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Discussion Starter #1
Let me start by saying hello to everyone, first time poster but have been rummaging through your wealth of knowledge here for a few weeks and have found answers to all my questions so far. Ill start by saying i picked up a 98 crv ex awd from the wifes friend for $400 with a bad transmission, bought a tranny for $200 swapped it two weeks ago and were back on the road for a steal of a price, until last night. I should note i was given every service record for the vehicle, meticulously maintained by honda only, i got it from the original owner and all maintenance is up to date. 188k miles, runs like a top.

Whilst driving home at 1am (damn swing shift) I happened upon a hill, not just any hill, a very small very long hill to which my crv has had no past troubles with when all of the sudden i feel it start to misfire, a few times at first, then it got bad and the cel started flashing, it was after about 10 minutes of driving highway speed. I pulled over, checked the obvious things to no avail. Started her back up, ran fine at idle, back on the highway, fine for a minute then back to sputtering. I do know about the consequences of driving with a flashing cel but had no choice, 10 minutes later i got home.

This morning it fired up fine, drove fine for about 10 minutes, flashy lights again. Dont have a code reader and dont want to drive it 20 minutes to the nearest one. I did swap the plugs (they were bosch platinum, i know i know) and immediately drove it again as its normally having issues while warmed up, no problems now but solid cel, i have a reader on order but im sure its the typical misfire.

Question time, ive read alot about the valve clearances, would this situation be affected by valves? Wouldnt it run crappy all the time and not have a "light switch" effect? Would the terrible bosch platinum plugs cause this? They are pretty white on the tip, bad? I plan on checking the valves tomorrow morning, anything i need to be concerned about or also check while im in there?

Also want to add that i did search the forums and read every thread about this, there are a few very old threads and none had answers. Thank you guys in advance for reading my novel
 

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http://easyautodiagnostics.com/honda/2.2L-2.3L/honda-ignition-system-tests-1
Perhaps the igniter is your problem or even the rotor or distributor cap or ignition coil or spark plug wires.
The NGK 2262 ZFR5F-11 V-Power Plug is used by many with great success. It is about the cheapest one also.
Valve lash adjustment should be done if you can't find it in the records, just for preventive maintenance.
Basic tests such as vacuum and compression can tell you a lot.
Maybe you just got some contaminated gas!
The fuel filter is pretty cheap and easy to replace.
Buffalo4
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Come to think of it i filled up on the way to work, could be water i guess combined with those crappy plugs, any suggestion on how to test for water in the gas? I do live in oregon so its possible with all the rain lately, wouldnt be the first time this has happened to me this season
 

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To test for water you will need to suck out some fuel from the tank. You can do this by the fuel filter under the hood remove the outlet hose coming from the fuel filter going to the fuel rail & then catch it with a clean container the water should separate in the container if it has water. You can ask someone to cycle the key to the ON position without starting the engine to prime the fuel pump to get the fuel. Let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Update: im not sure its bad gas, when it starts to struggle if you let off the throttle it smothes out, so 1/4 throttle=no misfire 3/4=misfire, what changes between those throttle positions that could affect a misfire? Valve clearances are good and there is no indication anything is wrong under the valve cover, timing belt looks nice and new, no scoring on the cams to indicate a valve issue. I have bought bad gas before but it wasnt quite this bad but i did fill it from basically bone dry, but it doesnt make much sense to me that it would get worse the harder you push on the throttle, burning water should be difficult in any amount yea? Suggestions on where to look next?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ok so i thought my issue was gone until about an hour of driving i got the misfire again, i just readjusted the valves, all the exhaust valves were out of spec but none were tighter than .005 so not too bad, compression test before adjustment was 150 150 160 155 so all within spec there and no bad variation, my focus has shifted to electrical, i got an obd reader and it seems my misfire is jumping cylinders so that rules out plugs and wires, i took the dizzy apart and the points in the cap are pretty corroded and the rotor has some corrosion as well. I pulled the ignition coil and checked for any physical damage, nothing. I did run through the link posted abaove but everything checks out. My issue is a pain to diagnose because it doesnt rear its ugly head until after ive been on the road for a long time, so im going to throw a few parts at it and see what happens, im doing fuel filter, cap and rotor and ignition coil, we will se where were at after than, any suggestions?
 

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Try to do all of those parts 1st then see if it resolves the issues. Also in regards about the ignition rotor be sure you take out the set screw 1st before attempting to remove it. Manually turn the crank bolt to turn the rotor. Do not use the starter bump method as this might fry your Ignition Control Module or the coil. Let us know.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok everything went on went, ignition coil was replaced, cap and rotor replaced, and i have yet to do the fuel pump but i took it out and drove it, getting louder valve clatter which i guess is a good thing but after reaching operating temp it started again though not quite as bad, it still misses at idle and anything under about 2k but if i stomp on it its totally fine in the higher revs. Just doesnt make much sense, is there a valve that opens anywhere after reaching temp? I know the o2 sensors kick in then but that doesnt explain my problem at all, could there be an egr valve issue? Iac issue? Just strange how its totally fine while cold at all revs and tanks sometime later after warming up, ill do the fuel filter tomorrow, anything else i should dig into?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So what ive done..
New coil
New cap
New rotor
New spark plugs
Techron
Valve adjustment
150 150 160 155 compression

Guess ill look at the ignitor if that could be a possibility, is there a way to test it that doesnt involve the car running, since my issue is hidden until driving it, like a resistance check or something, ive heard the crank position sensor can cause issues but i would suspect that it would miss more frequently and not run fine for long periods of time and cause issue when warm. Must be electrical somehow. The ignitor would make sense if its overheating and causing random failures to fire.
 

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Try this remove the EGR valve , get a tin foil or Aluminum foil that is a bit thick. Block the passage of the EGR gasses then take it for a spin. Yes, the EGR will start working when the engine gets to proper operating Temperature. Do not replace the ICM yet. Let me know. If you are close by I can lend you an Ignition Control Modules.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ok so i replaced the plug wires and the ignition control module, its now running without the horendous misfire. I also found one of the wires connected to the ignitor was falling apart so i ran dome new wire for that and all seems well. BUT...now im either having another symptom of the same issue or a seperate problem.

Im getting virtually zero power between 2 and 3k, it idles fine, pulls off the line fine, but as soon as i hit second gear i have to gun it to go anywhere, its not revving, so this isnt slipping, it also not misfiring at least that i can tell, it just has no power. I did remove the distributor to replace some wires but i marked it and put it back in the same fashion so im doubting its timing. Needing some help, thanks in advance.
 

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A misfire puts a lot of unburned fuel into the cat converter and can clog it up.
Research on how to check for a plugged up cat converter.
One of the easiest ways (if you can remove the Primary O2 sensor) is to remove the Primary O2 sensor and drive the CRV (will be very noisy) a short distance and see if the problem is gone. If it is, a new cat converter is needed.
Another way is to use an infra-red thermometer to check the cat. Look it up.
Good on getting part of the problem fixed.
Buffalo4
PS: Don't replace any parts until you KNOW it is the problem. Very expensive!!
Did you use a Honda Igniter or an off brand (what most would use). Perhaps put the old one back in since you changed the wire connection. Don't forget to use some heat sink compound.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I know the shotgun approach is unwise but right now i have less time than is required to diagnose each part then make a 40 mile trip to the parts store each time. I did replace it with a generic auto zone icm, i will replace my old one tomorrow and see what happens.

Looking bavk on my valve adjustment i did rotate the cranck using a wrench on the exhaust cam, if i accidentally pulled it off a tooth would it still run ok and produce these symptoms?

Ill pull an o2 sensor and see if that helps but the upper rev range pulls good, its like it wakes up at 3k and pulls like it should so wouldnt more revs mean more exhaust flow there gor a clogged cat would be worse higher up in the range?
 

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How about the ignition rotor is it tight in there. The set screw is tight? When in neutral does the engine rev properly? I have seen this symptom before. Buffalo4 could be right, it could be a bad ICM. I have seen this in Aftermarket Distributor Assembly. Let us know.
 

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Ok the first thing I would do is park the car and put in neutral N with handbrake (or even in P). Then I would rev the car fully in neutral or park and see if it revs full. I would hold the rev at 5 rpm for two minutes. If the car has trouble holding the rev or bogging down maybe its the CAT. If it revs ok then maybe gear is bad. I would also try driving in all gears and taking it to higher revs like in D4 D3 D2 D1 or even R. You can rev the car in neutral or park and have somebody check the engine bay for any sparks or trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I feel this may be cause for concern.the two pictures uploaded show an obvious slack in the belt. I take it this is from the 90° clockwise rotation i made, most likely moving the belt out of position. So..is it normal for a belt to have that much slack not taken up by the tensioner? Even rotating the wrong way shouldnt the belt be at least somewhat tight? And how can i verify/adjust the timing without taking the whole damn side case apart, is there a way to get access to the crank pulley to see the TDC marks without taking anything major apart?
 

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Strikes me as too much slack in the belt. If you jumped out of time by a tooth, I think the engine would be weak all over its performance range.

Check the valve timing, tension the belt properly (somewhat tricky), and see where you are.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Ok so despite what the belt looked like it didnt jump time so thats a relief, and totating the crank ccw a few full turns put the belt back at tension, must have just been my 90 degree clockwise mistake that brought all the tension out, nevertheless i had found and fixed my problem, after reassembling the distributor after changing the burned wire on the ignitor i apparently only finger tightened the distributor to the valve cover, so needless to say the timing was full in the advanced position all the way toward the firewall, put it back to the mark i made and torqued it down, runs like a champ. Thank you all for your help and suggestions.
 
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