95 Civic acceleration problem

Discussion in 'Civic' started by DesignGuy, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. DesignGuy

    DesignGuy Guest

    I have a 1995 Civic LX which has developed an acceleration problem very
    recently. From a dead stop when I accelerate heavily (say to merge into
    traffic), the car seems to shudder and then finally pick up speed. I should
    note the transition from "shuddering" to normal acceleration happens very
    quickly, as if a switch was being thrown.

    I was thinking fuel filter, but it would seem that acceleration would be
    poor at all times if that were the case.

    If it is fuel filter, how easy is it to change? As I recall, one is near the
    engine and the other inside the fuel tank (?)
    DesignGuy, Feb 23, 2004
  2. =================

    Guy, It almost sounds like you've jumped a tooth on your timing belt.
    You said it happened suddenly, or just recently? What's your service
    history? When's the last time you ran a can of injector cleaner thru the
    beast? Fuel filter problems only appear suddenly if it injests some
    water. Did it all start after filling at a station you never go to? Is
    ethanol-enhanced fuel available to you?


    'Curly Q. Links', Feb 24, 2004
  3. DesignGuy

    DesignGuy Guest


    The timing belt was recently replaced (about 4 weeks ago or so). I just
    noticed this problem yesterday, when attempting to accelerate into traffic.
    Putting the pedal to the floor yields practically nothing for several

    The gas I've used I've used before, and truth be told it has been a while
    since I've run some injector cleaner through. I'll do that on the next

    But your mention of the timing belt has me worried.... a new one was put on
    but is it possible it could go bad, or be mis-aligned somehow?
    DesignGuy, Feb 24, 2004
  4. Guy, if the timing belt was not tensioned properly the belt could jump a
    tooth and the typical complaint sounds like: 'gutless acceleration, but
    somewhat better when warmed up fully' More likely it was put back
    together 'out of time', but that will require an hour or so of work to

    Was it 'sick' since it came back from the shop? Does it start exactly
    the way it did before, does it idle rougher? Have you checked your dash
    lights according to the manual, as well as all fluid levels under the hood?

    'Curly Q. Links', Feb 24, 2004
  5. DesignGuy

    Graham W Guest

    Try removing the distributor cap and scrub it clean in the sink. Dry it
    and use a bit of silicone polish to shine up the inside and outside and
    provide a bit of damp-proofing.

    Graham W, Feb 24, 2004
  6. DesignGuy

    DesignGuy Guest


    Whether the car is warmed up seems to have no effect... I suspect I would
    have noticed the timing belt problem prior to this, since it was changed
    around 3-4 weeks ago and the problem just popped up a couple of days ago.
    Car was fine after the belt was replaced.

    No lights on panel, fluid levels okay. Starts fine, idles fine.

    I don't notice the problem under normal acceleration, only when depressing
    the accelerator almost to the floor as one would do when attempting to pull
    into traffic from a dead stop, or under emergency conditions.
    DesignGuy, Feb 24, 2004
  7. You mentioned that it was sluggish for four seconds after you hit the
    gas. What happens then? Does it go to full power or is it still
    slow? If the former, does the power come on smoothly or is it sudden?
    Is the problem consistent or intermittent?
    Gordon McGrew, Feb 25, 2004
  8. DesignGuy

    DesignGuy Guest

    After being sluggish the power returns suddenly. The problem seems to be
    consistent and worsening. Before it only occured during rapid acceleration,
    ow it seems to happen even with normal acceleration.
    DesignGuy, Feb 25, 2004
  9. ==============

    Now you've hit on something. If you have a lot of corrosion in your
    area, it could be that one of your electrical ground wires is
    intermittent when the engine torques a bit more than usual, or maybe the
    wiring to an engine component, like the O2 sensor, or coolant temp
    sensor is going 'open', ever since you had that work done on the timing

    A really thorough visual inspection would be in order, but you'll have
    to get a person who really knows Hondas, or they might not spot
    something that's out of place.

    Make sense to anybody? 'Curly'

    'Curly Q. Links', Feb 25, 2004
  10. OK, here's something to check.

    I had a very similar problem on my '86 Integra starting when it was
    about six years old. It started out very subtle but slowly got worse
    over the course of a year or more. At the end the car was very
    sluggish below about 3200 rpm. It would pull steady - no missing or
    jerking - but it was weak. When it got to about 3200 it was like
    someone threw a switch and it would almost jerk your head as it
    screamed right up to red line. Pretty much did it all the time but
    some days seemed a little better than others.

    On a hunch I put a timing light on it. The timing was funny - I don't
    remember exactly how but it was hard to set or didn't run right when
    set to spec or something. I took it to a mechanic who (after I
    insisted) opened up the distributor and found that the centrifugal
    advance mechanism was all gummed up. As a result, timing was retarded
    until about 3200 rpm when the vacuum advanced kicked in. He cleaned
    up the mechanism and it ran great for another three years when I sold

    So if that sounds like your problem, check the advance mechanisms for
    proper operation. Let us know what you find.
    Gordon McGrew, Feb 26, 2004
  11. DesignGuy

    Randolph Guest

    Good call, but the '95 Civic did not have centrifugal advance, nor
    vacuum advance. The RPM and load adjustments of ignition timing was done
    by the ECU (based on RPM and manifold vacuum, but not through a
    mechanical centrifugal advance or vacuum diaphragm
    Randolph, Feb 26, 2004
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