1990 Accord LX Problems

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Hi Everyone

I have a 1990 Honda Accord LX that has a couple of annoying mechanical problems regardless of the others (known) which just require more money!

First when I start the car cold and shift the auto tranny in drive and back to park etc the idle goes up and down until it warms up. Even turning the wheel can effect the idle. I guess anything mechanical requiring power from the engine effects this idle situation no pun intended! I'm thinking emmision control stuff for this one.

Secondly when I try to start the bugger lately when I disengage (or don't have the parking brake on/up) the car starts easily. Sounds like a wiring computer issue with this problem. Unintended acceleration circruitry (anyone remember that in the Audi's)?

Any help with these problems would be greatly appreciated



posted by  Dan_Solo

Dan, some fluctuation in idle is typically normal when shifting from Park to a drive range. The computer is seeing this and adjusting numerous things to do with the engine to transmission engagement. How much does the idle go up and down? A little, a lot? how many rpm's? Turning the wheel WILL affect the idle speed a little....you are loading up the engine with a power steal due to the power steering pump having to work harder to turn the wheel. Also, the IAC system is most touchy when the car is cold and therefore, all the factors together create a situation whereby you might have some slight idle anomalies when cold. What makes you think you have a problem? Is this different now than it used to be?

I have no idea what this means. Might you try explaining this in English? :laughing: Don't you want the car to "start easily?" I can give you some advise on making it harder to start if you'd like???? :banghead:

posted by  cmeseadoin

Hey cmeseadoin

Thanks for the stab at my problem.

The idle for the warm up is high. It'll go from 1000 rpm to 1500 rpm during this "warm-up period" when I steer or shift. If I leave the car warm up (without doing anything) it'll get to the 750 rpm idle eventually. Not a major problem. I'm just curious what maybe causing the problem. I've seen something on the net about this problem and it maybe common. Its not just a boast to accomodate a power decrease.

The start thing is really weird. I used make it a habbit to start the car with the parking break on. I used to start the car with the brake on as it turns off the running head lights and take tension off the tranny. Better for the start and better for the tranny on a hill for example plus the emergency brakes keep getting used and don't seize up. My brother hap-hazzardly figured out that the car starts with the parking brake down. And oddily this is working for now. Now I'm figuring there maybe some wiring issue or the unintended acceleration system with the tranny/brake in the console.



posted by  Dan_Solo

I am not aware of any system in that car that prohibits the engine from starting when the parking brake is not engaged. I could be wrong but I have never seen it. I know that there are clutch switches to where you have to depress the clutch in a manual to get it to start on some cars, but never the parking brake. Maybe someone else knows more about that.

posted by  cmeseadoin

I have not seen the parking brake being required to be engaged for a start either. A cold engine ideling @ 1000-1200 rpm is normal. 750 rpm is normal for most engines for a warm idle

posted by  tbaxleyjr

I also own a 1990 Accord LX. I have a manual rather than an automatic, but my car does the same idle thing. As far as I understand, this is normal. My car, just to give you an idea, generally starts cold at 1000 - 1300rpms, then has shot up as far as 1700rpms after a couple seconds. I had a friend whose 1989 civic did the same thing. My car has been doing this for at least as long as I have had it (~3 years), and it is in great shape (for an old car). As far as I know, there is nothing wrong, the car is just old....it purrs after it has warmed up.

As for the other thing, are you trying to say that your car will not start with the emergency brake on? That would be a problem. What you have described is not. The only time you should not be able to start an automatic is when the car is not in park.

posted by  cheezysweet

Thanks Everyone

The idle scenerio seems to be common situation. Once the car warms up it stops the 1500 to 1000 rpm, up and down revs until it warms up. If I don't do anything (turn the wheel or go from reverse back to park) the idle drops to the 750 rpm with none of the coughing. No big deal. I was just wondering what causes this.

A mechanic just told me the parking brake thing maybe a neutral idle switch. And the car is aways started in the park position (tranny.) Maybe something is shorting with the daylight running lights... Got around the starting problem anyhow buy disengaging the parking brake when I start.

Thanks for the help. Hopefully this may help other 1990ish accord drivers with simular problems...



posted by  Dan_Solo

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