Can't adjust timing

1996 Accord LX (auto). Here's my dilemma: Timing is off, but I can't adjust it no matter how I play with the distributor.I had the same problem before,
back then the check engine light bulb was burnt out. Replaced the bulb ($6 CDN for a tiny little bulb -highway robbery!), and voil?, no problems adjusting the timing. Now the SRS-bulb is burnt out (I'm assuming it's just the bulb?), so is it safe to assume this is where the problem lies again? Is there anything I should/ could check first before ripping the dash out again? (Well, I guess I'll have to replace the bulb, anyway, but I would like to understand WHY this happens!)
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Seems strange that the timing is thrown off by a broken bulb - that would be an insane design and very hard to believe.
Are you sure your timing belt didn't jump a couple of teeth?
Remco
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Find a manual that describes how to properly adjust timing. Timing in OBDII cars is controlled by the computer. You have to disable that correction to set mechanical timing. Your assumption of a burned out bulb creating that condition is off base and incorrect....

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Ok, I totally admit I might be way off, but that's just what happened the last time, so I figured that'd be it now, too.. BTW, what is a OBDII? Please excuse my ignorance, but hey, don't give a girl those big words she can't understand! (I'm still in kindergarden when it comes to cars, ok?).
And I do have a manual, (Haynes), and like I said,I've been able to do it before... It's really not that complicated!
But then again, some "real mechanics" (at a repair shop) replaced the timing belt and balance belt in Dec 04, when they replaced my frt balance shaft seal (apparently there was a recall on those, but my car never got fixed, so sure enough, one day it came off and as a result my oil was all over the parking lot, but that's a whole other story!)
Anyhoo, so maybe the guys never got the timing belt on right in the first place... Stupid me for trusting them to do their job, and never noticing this begore, right??!
Lady *blushes with embarrassment*
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you have to jumper the service connector before you try to adjust the timing manually. Its a 2 wire harness located by the ECU in the passenger side kick panel. Use a paper clip to connect the 2 wires. Start the car, allow to get warm, and adjust the timing.
I am assuming you are using a timing light? pretty tough to do this job accurately without one.
If you can't adjust it enough to get it right, then you are off by a tooth, probably on the cam.
t
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Don't be embarassed - we tend to forget acronyms like OBDII are jargon.
OBD stands for "On Board Diagnostics." It is a standard for a maintenance interface to the Engine Control Unit, the computer that controls the fuel injection, ignition and related engine stuff. Since 1996 all cars sold in America have to comply with level 2 of the specification, which gives us the "II" (pronounced "two.")
OBDII is the Citizen Kane of the power train - always there behind the scenes making sure the emissions are right. Yep - the specification exists to control emissions (although Honda and some other manufacturers have piggy-backed transmission codes on it). If it sees something is wrong, it turns on the "check engine" light to tell you something is wrong and you can't tell what it is! Brilliant plan there. If you leave the gas cap loose, the "check engine" light comes on because the system says there is a vapor leak. You can either take the car to the garage to have the codes read, or buy a reader yourself, or wait to see if it goes away, but the car won't tell the driver what is wrong - just "something." Gotta love it.
This brings up an important point. Unlike the oil pressure and battery and coolant temperature warnings we are used to, as long as everything seems to be working normally there is no reason to stop driving when the "check engine" light comes on. The worst possibility is that the engine has lost a sensor that is now causing the mixture to be too rich, and hard driving - like charging up hills on the freeway - can damage the catalytic converter. As long as everything seems normal, you can gently drive a car with the "check engine" light on forever without hurting it. If the fuel economy is reasonably normal, you can pretty much ignore the "gently" part, too.
Mike
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