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1998 Manual: Engine dies after 15 minutes

1198 Views 15 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  98CRVinMaryland
All, I picked up a beautiful 1-owner, low mileage, always garaged 1998 Manual Trans 4WD EX for our oldest child.
(on my bucket list I want all of our kids to learn how to drive a manual & it's also a great anti-theft & anti-text feature!)

Anyhow, it's started to completely shut off the engine after about 15 minutes of run time.
The engine will crank so battery & starter are working great.
If a jump starter is put on the battery then it'll start right up.

I'm thinking it might be the PGM-FI Main Relay on passenger side between glove box & right wall.
This relay controls FI & Fuel Pump.
I removed it (5 min job) & bench tested it per page 11-189 of Service Manual & all 3 tests show good continuity & that it's working.
BUT, I've heard that they may have some interior continuity issues when they get warm.

Anyone have experience with this issue & what was resolution?
Thank you very much!:)
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's a great tip & easy to follow up on. I'll re-install the Main Relay, run engine for 15 minutes & upon failure pull a plug & crank it & look for spark. If I have spark I'll tap Main Relay to try & trigger it. Thx for taking time to respond!
 

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Usually the Main Relay symptom is when the Interior heats up the cracks in the solder inside the relay opens up and the vehicle will not start. You can use an electrical cleaner and spray it onto the circuit board and reconnect and try to start it. As what Trogg78 it could also be the Distributor or the Igniter inside. But be very careful when replacing the Distributor Assembly with An Aftermarket unit some of them when it heats up you will end in the same symptom.
 

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I'm confused, you say the battery & starter are good but when you connect a jump starter the car will start right up. This as they say "does not compute". All you are doing with a jump is connecting an additional 12 volt power source across the battery terminals to make up for a low voltage/current condition. Check that you have clean connections from the cable clamps to the battery, and I mean take them off clean them and reinstall. Check the ground connection from the battery's negative post to the car's chassis. Again for a car that old you should remove the lug from the chassis, clean it up bright and shiny and reattach it. Next how many volts on the battery do you measure before starting the car. When the car is running and when it stops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here's an update: Engine dies after 13 minutes, pulled a plug & engine cranks with no spark. I got a replacement main relay/fuel pump relay that mounts on passenger side. Replaced the old one. Once again, exactly at 13 minutes the engine died. Could continue to crank but no no spark. Switched the new relay for the old relay & immediately it starts. Switched back to new relay & still starts. I think I'm going to investigate what @trogg78 & @otto888man suggest & look into the Distributor next. Thank you all!:)
 

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If you are close to where I live I could lend you some extra Igniters and Distributor I have. Also check the Inside of the Distributor for oil soaking. I would suggest to check the Igniter 1st. Don't replace the Distributor Assembly with an Aftermarket. If you do be sure you get a Good Quality Aftermarkert Distributor.
 

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I understand. I can tell from your username lol. I am from Toronto Canada. There are a few Igniter Manufacturer for Honda some are OKI, Mitsuba , TEC and NEC. Be sure that you discharge yourself from Static Electricity. I have included a diagram. When you 1st install the Igniter be sure you cycle the Ignition key several times before starting the engine.


item 7
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
@otto888man Thank you so much for taking the time to provide such a thorough post w/links! I'm going to use the trouble shooting pages from the Honda Service Manual & we'll see where that leads me: Igniter? Coil? It's interesting that it always dies 13 minutes after running whether at idle or a mix of high RPM & idle so clearly the amount of fuel is not an issue. Must be a heat cycle that's disconnecting a connection (solder joint?) somewhere. When I switched out the main coil it restarted so I'm going to check the connections of the wires that depart the main coil too. Thx again!:)
 

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If ignition doesn't solve it, time to test the fuel pressure. From the moment you crank to cold, to the time it shuts down.
 

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You're welcome! Glad to help! As for my experience these Igniters go bad because of Wear and tear. I think that it overheats and you will not get spark. It could be that you are right it could be a bad Internals. Try this after the no spark scenario get a contact cleaner or any air duster to cool the Igniter and install back see if it starts and get good blue spark. When you check for spark Initially is the color of the spark is blue or Orange? Just curious what spark plugs did you use?

I also forgot to mention that to be very careful not to loose the small spring that sits on top of the main terminal of the Ignition Coil that goes to the Cap. This small spring is critical. I hope this helps. Keep us posted.
 

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This is to make electricity flow. Because I have replaced a few ICM for Honda's if you don't cycle the key a few times it will start easily. I theorize that if you cycle the key it will jump from different systems and the engine will easily fire up.
 

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Hey! I had a similar issue on my '98 CRV, car would shut down after a few minutes, then wouldn't start again until it had cooled down. After spending some time on Honda forums and YouTube to figure out what to troubleshoot, I found this video showing how to replace the Ignition Control Module inside the distributor assembly. He had the same prob with his '97 and thankfully made a vid documenting his repair. Hope this helps!

 
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