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Hey Everyone,

1998 CRV LX AWD 155K miles

Last week, started throwing misfire codes and running rough. I adjusted the valves (most were loose, one intake was a tiny bit tight), found a fault plug wire and replaced all. Changed the plugs too.

It ran okay that night around the block, took the next day about 20 mins ride to pediatrician. Stumbled returned. On the way home, it started stalling at stop lights. 1 mile from home, it just stalled period. I could restart, but it would die once put into gear.

Towed it home. Changed the fuel filter. Changed the Ignition module. Car will start (eventually after 6 tries), and will idle perfectly. If I push the gas pedal moderately, it will stumble/stall. Feather the gas, and it will stay running.

Fuel pump low on pressure?
 

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Do a resistance check on the ignition coil. If it is at all out of spec, change it.
http://easyautodiagnostics.com/honda/2.2L-2.3L/honda-ignition-system-tests-1.
Cranking the engine over with the starter while the dist cap is off (for instance, trying to line up the rotor screw) or with a spark plug wire disconnected (or possibly broken) without disconnecting the connector supplying low voltage power to the dist (right next to it) or pulling the fuse, can short out the ignition coil and give you symptoms similar to yours.
If that spark plug wire you replaced was not allowing the voltage through it, it could have cause the ignition coil to internally short itself out. Fairly common on the 1st gen CRVs.

My guess would be the ignition coil.

Check to see if the timing belt skipped a tooth or is failing.

Rotor and Cap?
The low cost NGK copper V-groove spark plugs also seem to work the best on the 1st gen CRVs. (NGK 2262 ZFR5F-11 V-Power Plug)
Usually the exhaust valves get tighter and the intakes get looser. Did you do it on a cold engine? Much better too loose than too tight.
Buffalo4
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Funny you should mention the plug wire disconnected. I pulled the plug wires when the car was running to see if I had spark (seeing the sparks fly inside the tubes). Would that do it?

Multiple misfires seemed to disappear after the change in plug wires, and then this problem (the stalling when under load) started right after. The bad plug wire (there were electrical burns along the long shaft that goes down through the valve cover): I'm wondering if that, or me pulling the wires while the motor was running, caused this new problem.

Could I have created this problem while fixing problem #1 (mulitple misfires, no stalling)

Rotor and cap look great, I just put in new NGK plugs, and I adjusted everything the valves to the lose end of the range. And, yes it the motor was cold.
 

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Yes, checking for spark that way can cause the ignition coil to arc internally. i think that link I posted mentions that.
Multiple misfire codes can be thrown just from one cylinder misfiring or a weak coil.
By putting in new spark plugs and wires, a weak coil probably worked OK for awhile.
Many mechanics will adj the intakes on the tighter end of the spec and the exh on the looser end. (intakes tend to loosen up and exh tend to tighten up over time). As long as they are close to specs they are fine.
Overall, read the URL thoughout and see if it helps. Page #2 is very informative about Do's and Don'ts.
I think using a regular spark plug is fine for spark testing, as long as it is properly grounded. If the spark (high voltage buildup) from the coil has nowhere else to go, it can arc inside itself and that is what causes the coil failure.
Usually a failing igniter will fail after it heats up. A weak ignition coil can cause hard starting (flooding symptoms) and misfires.
Buffalo4
PS: NEVER pull the spark plug wires with the engine running on a Gen 1 CRV as you risk shorting out the ignition coil.
 

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Great advise and suggestions by Buffalo4. If you own one of these little creatures, @ 0ne time or another they will have minor/major problems, it's just a matter of time. That being said, I guess the strangest thing that ever happened to my V was starting in the garage and trying to back out, and it quit and would not start, so I had the wrecker take it to my local shop. Once diagnosed, it needed a new distributor, and @ 210,000 miles, it has never ran as smooth as it does now. The power, transmission shifting, mileage, and even the cruise control seem to work better than ever. JMHO and good luck.
 
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