erratic honda performance

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i have a '97 honda civic with vtec engine. my problem is that the car's engine seem to be performing inconsistently. there are times when it runs smoothly and the pick-up is great, and there are times when it is rough and heavy on the pedal. the vibration of the body is also magnified when it is not running well. there are also times when it is running in between these two conditions. the problem started not long after i bought the car. what could be the cause of the problem? i wonder if it can be related to a defective computer box.

posted by  pokz

check spark plugs, plugs wires, fuel filter, airfilter. as a start.

posted by  doug wong

Thanks...but I regularly bring the car to a Honda shop for maintenance and all the items you mentioned were already replaced several times but still the problem persists...the only thing they do when I complain about the problem is to fine tune the engine...but it does not solve anything...maybe the cause of it is much deeper than fine tuning the engine...

posted by  pokz

Strange problem, Surprised the Honda gnomes didn't fix it for you yet (you know, the little men that come out at night and fix hondas for fun).

Anyhoo, Im not sure what might be causing your problem, You might be having problems with retaining oil pressure. My brothers car does the same thing whenever his oil pressure drops.

Do you Idle fine whenever your car is going through one of it's angry phases? Or does it idle rough and choppy?

posted by  Zalight

may be the following, intermittent clogged injector, electronic ignition (distributor ) engine computer. have honda guru put it on the computer that can put a load on the engine.

posted by  doug wong

It does idle roughly when its not running well...the cut-in of the a/c also becomes more thing i also noticed is that there are times when i switch off the ignition where there is a humming sound at key position II,
then it goes out when the power is cut-off (position I)...I then try to bring the key back to position II and the humming sound occurs again....but this does not happen during starting...only after driving in rough running condition and switching off the engine and it is not always present....i do wonder if has something to do with the problem...the problem with consulting this to honda guys is that you can only describe it to them...they cannot actually hear them since it is unlikely to crop up when i bring the car to the shop...i was thinking if it is better to leave the car at the shop for a couple of days and let a service advisor use it to really have a feel of the car....thanks for all those suggestions...i'll have them looked up next time i go to honda service center...

posted by  pokz

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