96 accord starting and vibration problems - help me out PLZ :)

Discussion in 'Accord' started by Paul, Jul 29, 2003.

  1. Paul

    Paul Guest

    sorry if this is crossposting across the two groups ...

    I have a few issues with my 96 accord and I figured that I can see if all
    can be cleared at once.

    1996 LX 5 speed with 121K miles on it.

    To be honest, I thought this car will never break, but finally....

    Today after trying to start it acted as if nothing is happening - I turn the
    key and the starter doesn't spin - just click and silence. I checked the
    battery - full, good, less than 1 year old. I checked the clutch - all the
    way down, and I felt the difference when turning the key with clutch pressed
    and depressed. After playing with the car for about 10 minutes ( clutch in -
    clutch out, gas pedal movement, quite a few key turns ) I finally got it to
    start - started no problem, like a champ I would say. I turned it off, and
    tried to start again - obviously same result - no luck. Ok, for the
    technical kinds - nothing turns, nothing even tries to turn - just a click -
    nothing else.

    Now for some background on the car

    I've had it since 31K - all oil changes done, blah blah blah. Had my belts
    replaced 5K miles ago. New battery in Dec 02. Now, I was about to change the
    distributor wires and sparkplugs, but just haven't gotten around to it. No,
    I haven't given the "do the sparks fly in the dark test", but I know I
    haven't changed the wires for a long time. Lately I noticed that when I am
    on the freeway ( 5th gear ~~~ 3K or so ~~ 65mph ) and I turn the AC on, the
    car "stutters" - like it doesn't have enough power, it also seems to drive
    a little weaker as long as the AC is on. Also lately ( maybe 1.5month or
    so ) I have noticed that when I just get in the car in the morning, I turn
    the key - and nothing, it acts as if I didn't press the clutch down, I
    repeat and everything starts fine. If this makes a difference, the car is
    garaged, and I always leave it in 1st when parked, and start with clutch in,
    and still in 1st.

    Last 30K or so miles I have also have noticed the vibrations are felt
    throughout the whole body ( I looked this up on internet, and it seems
    there's a whole bunch of people complaining about the same thing in similar
    model years 96-97 ) at pretty much the whole range of speeds. I have had my
    rotors replaced at 80K, and that didn't make any difference. I also have new
    tires put on at around 105K, and have had them rotated since and again, that
    didn't seem to make any difference either. Now, granted I am a pretty
    consistent breaker ( read : break at the last moment and hard ), I find it
    hard to believe that I could warp my rotors, as 90% of my driving is one on
    the freeway - thus the breaking is kept to a minimum.

    Now all these things described give me a few thoughts ( and please forgive
    me if they are complete nonsense ) :

    did the starter just DIE ? - the morning starting problems, and today's
    fiasco with trying to get it to start seem like this might be a pretty valid

    are my old and crying to be replaced distributor wires a culprit in any of
    this ? - very possibly as I am sure them degrading with time doesn't help
    the juice to flow
    as well as spark plugs probably having plenty of carbon deposits on them - I
    guess that could attribute to loss of power on the freeway as well as the
    ( all these notes remind me of another simple thing - the wire going from
    the battery to the chassis - I know with age it gets corroded and the can
    get pretty thin at the terminal ) - but wouldn't I feel it when starting if
    it was the case ?

    Sooooooooooooooooo, anybody wanna give me some ideas ?
    Paul, Jul 29, 2003
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