88 Accord LX shutting off after warming up

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I just bought an 88 Accord LX and once it reaches running temperature it either starts misfiring severely then stalls or just straight up stalls. When it dies it's instant, like it just stopped receiving spark
and then it will not start at all unless I let it sit for like an hour. When the car starts it's instant and idles at about 2200rpm then goes down to 880rpm in a bit and runs perfectly for a good 5-10 minutes that is. Only other thing is after it warms up smoke rises up from under the header intermittenly in large amounts, goes away sometimes if I turn the A/C on. Thanks a lot for the help, this is my only car right now so I'm hitching rides to work and the sooner I figure it out the better.
My thoughts: Bad igniter or ignition coil Carb rebuild needed Choke problem Main Relay
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I just finished checking the PCV valve and although it does rattle, the plunger is soaked with oil I'm not sure if this is abnormal but it all does seem to be pointing to a bad PCV valve especially the intermittent oil smoke. Will replace it tommorow and update.....
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Tanner wrote:

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Main relay is VERY doubtful, since it's vibration that keeps a bad main relay functioning. Bad igniter or ignition coil sound like good candidates. Did you search this newsgroup for ALL the great posts about this topic?
Is your coolant reservoir full up?
'Curly'
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the accord have a control for cold starting that make them run fast to warm up a cold engine. When, if at all, did you last replace little things like spark plug wires, distributor cap and plugs. the wires can do WONDERS for ignition probs.
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Take the below seriously. Also, use only OEM parts for the engine ignition parts. They pay for themselves.
Also do the air filter and fuel filter and check the timing. Just replace the PCV valve. It's cheap enough, and they do get clogged over time. Replaced my 91 Civic's at 140k miles or so, and fuel mileage went way up.
Because this seems temperature dependent, I am betting on the ignition coil for now.

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My '88 Accord LXi recently developed precisely the same symptoms, which were immediately resolved by replacing the TW sensor.
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Thanks for the quick responses, I work second shift so I have little to no time to work on the car. I spent A LOT of time searching the topics similiar to this but obviously each one is a little different than what I'm experiencing. I replaced the PCV valve before work and am going to try and wake up earlier lol to see if that helped. The guy I got it from said he recently replaced the spark plugs, wires, cap, and rotor but it has the original ignition coil so I will replace that tommorow too.
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Tanner wrote:

Don't overlook the possibility of severe carbon crud. I saw a severe case of this on a camry we have , and it will cause the same symtoms. I think it's probably a bit more critical on FI engines, but can probably do it with carbs too. I assume you have a carb, if it's a 88 LX... If the intake valves get carboned up, it will snowcone around the valves. The car will start great when cold, but as it warms up the carbon expands, and the car quits due to lack of compression. The valves won't close all the way. Let it cool, and it will runs again. For a short while... The camry we had in three shops, and the third was a dealer. None of them could find the problem. The yota dealer said it was a bad wiring harness, and charged us about $400 for their misdiagnosis. I asked them if they checked it, and they said, we can't. I had to laugh... Anyway, I took it home, and checked the harness myself, one wire at a time. All was good. Why they couldn't do this, I dunno.. Rookies I guess.. It took me a while, but I finally found out the real problem. SEVERE CARBON BUILDUP!!! It took me about a week to get it all cleaned out. I fed it a mix of carb cleaner and techron straight into the vac lines. Let it get good and wet, and then kill the engine and let it sit. Over and over. It's the sitting time where the crud actually melts. This also applies to using techron normally in the gas tank. The only time it's actually doing any good is when you kill the hot motor and let it sit. The more often you do that, the faster it will clean it up. You can get flush kits if you want to do it real fast. Or take to a place that has a motovac machine, etc.. Anyway, if all the usual tests like fuel output, spark, etc, etc turn up ok, I'd be eyeballing for carbon crud. BTW, a carboned up engine will really show up when under a heavy load. Often they will quit once the carbon gets good and hot. Also.. The carbon soaks up fuel vapors, and can cause lean running. Are you plugs white looking? Seem to run real lean? It can also cause hot spots in the chambers.. The carbon gets glowing hot. Can cause detonation, pinging, etc.. Even burn a piston in a bad case.. Carbon will cause all that. Nasty it is.. MK
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Thanks that info is much useful, as much as I hope it isn't the problem it sure sounds like it is. I just had it running with the new pcv valve and I cleaned the warm air flapper in the intake as it was gummed shut due large amounts of gummy oil, still didn't help it shut off after about 10 minutes and the coolant hoses were already too hot to touch. If I remember correctly when I pulled one of the spark plugs it WAS white too. Only other new thing is I shut the car off at about 5 minutes of running it and it dieseled a little bit. Thanks again for the help I WILL figure this out soon, Tanner
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can imagine I'm about to give up as I HAVE to get to work I can't be getting rides ar 12am much longer. I checked all the vaccum lines, cleaned the warm air flappper, replaced PCV valve, replaced auxuliary fuel filter, tested choke function, tested fuel cut off relay function and related circuitry, listened to the fuel pump..........IDK. I orderd an ignition coil as I could get a spark plug to work when I pulled it out grounded it and cranked the motor over (after it had stalled). I Doubt this $45 fix will help it but it's worth a shot, also when goes to stall if I slam the gas it does nothing.
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Tanner wrote:

you can imagine I'm about to give up as I HAVE to get to work I can't be getting rides ar 12am much longer. I checked all the vaccum lines, cleaned the warm air flappper, replaced PCV valve, replaced auxuliary fuel filter, tested choke function, tested fuel cut off relay function and related circuitry, listened to the fuel pump..........IDK. I orderd an ignition coil as I could get a spark plug to work when I pulled it out grounded it and cranked the motor over (after it had stalled).

One other thing... When it konks out, does the speed of the starter get faster, or sound irregular? If carbon expands and keeps the valves from closing, the loss of compression will usually make the starter speed/sound change a bit. If you are getting spark, the present coil is probably good. With what you describe, I would probably suspect lack of fuel before lack of spark. But...It could still be carbon.. I was thinking you could do a pump volume test, but my book doesn't give a spec for volume vs time in seconds. They say to test the pressure with a gauge. The carb version should do 2.4-3.4 psi. MK
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I agree with Elle; the coil is on the top of my suspect list. BTW - when you get the replacement don't forget it is a big no-no to fire the coil without a load. The coil will short out.
Mike
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Just reinforcing Mike's point about not firing the coil unloaded. Tegger's site discusses this. At least one poster in the last year destroyed a new coil or fairly young coil this way.
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Replace the TW sensor.
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To locate the TW sensor, peer in to the engine compartment from the front of your car; the sensor should be about 1-1/2 inches to the left of the rear-left (your left) corner of the head cover.
The performance of the TW sensor is sensitive to the presence of air in the cooling system. Before you replace the sensor, you might want to make sure that your cooling system - including heater core - is fully purged. Coolant level in the reservoir tank should be up to the 'max' line.
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Ok, thanks. Weekend was too hectic to work on it, I'm gonna wake up early tommorow and see what I can figure out. I will update if I get anywhere with it, I have to make a trip to NY on sunday to look at a turbo CRX :) So it will be awesome if I can drive it there.
I'm going to replace the coolant, ignition coil, re gap plugs, and if both fail replace TW sensor. If this doesn't solve it I'm gonna take it to a shop because I'm NOT taking that carb off lol. Thanks
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Thread not dead YET haha I replaced the ignition coil and purged the coolant and it didn't help. What I did figure out however is that after it stalls it is definitely getting NO spark but I'm eluded as to why. ignition coil is definitely good and it still starts after letting it sit for a LONG time, Thanks in advance, Tom
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Another update* I just took it for my first spin around the block and it did just fine for about 12 laps then died like usual, had LOTS of power too not doggin it. Only things I noticed during the ride were I would hear an electrical clicking noise in the middle and left side of the dash and the battery light would flicker at the same time also looked like the high beam indicator would flicker red REALLY quick at the same time too. Other thing which is the bigger problem, the headlights and a few other things would flicker off and on every so often only doing it once at a time. Also keep in mind I was driving it with no battery. I stalled right before my driveway too aren't I lucky :p THANKS!
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Don't run the car without a battery - the battery stabilizes the voltage. Without the battery all sorts of bad things can happen... mostly damage to the alternator and electronics. No wonder you had such weirdness.
Mike
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Alright she has a new batter, ignition coil, cap/rotor/, I gapped the plugs and it still quits after 10 minutes.
No spark at all after stalling Red powder inside ditributor
Should I replace dizzy as next step?
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