Sticky gas pedal since 2002 Accord was new

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Bought 2002 Accord coupe new. It has 40K miles. Just a few months after purchase the accelerator seemed to stick when starting up. Dealer "cleaned" something and the problem went away,
only to return about 6 months later. Ive had whatever it is in there "cleaned" a few more times since- the prob disappears- then returns. About a year ago the service manager told me if it happened again hed replace the "throttle body" something for free.
But now they say they wont do it- it will cost $150 to replace a "throttle body" thingie.
Ive read that this pedal stickiness is a fairly common problem. If I can clean this throttle body myself as opposed to spending $150 Id rather do that. How do I know this throttle body thing even needs to be replaced? The gas pedal was fine for several months each time it was cleaned.
Any thoughts? Thanks.
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NancyK wrote:

There's a couple things you can try, like using a different brand of gas or using fuel injector a bit more often. Vapors are gumming up the throttle body and gluing it shut when the car sits overnight. You can do a 'quick & dirty' cleanup in about ten minutes or you can pull the whole body off and render it hospital clean. I'd learn to do the former if I was you. Look at www.tegger.com or use google to find procedures.
'Curly'
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A sticky gas pedal is usually due to sludge and oil getting pumped into the throttle body from the crankcase breather tube. The usual reason for the oil is poor maintenance, specifically insufficient oil changes. This is where you need to clean the gum out of the throttle body, after which the gas pedal will work normally for a while.
Insufficient oil changes will plug up the PCV system, increasing the chance of oil getting pumped into the throttle body.
You need somebody to be honest with you and tell you if you are in fact not changing your oil often enough for your driving conditions.
There are occasional instances where the throttle body itself is defective, in which case the issue would be covered by a TSB from Honda. I can't find one for yours, but your dealer would know, and can print it out for you if one exists.
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There's plainly another reason, because it happens like this on my father's 98 Odyssey (4 cylinder) and it happened like this on my 2000 Accord, both of which get very regular maintenance.
There's something else going on with that particular engine.
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wrote:

Then there ought to be a TSB on the problem. The OP needs to ask his dealer.
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Tegger wrote:

cleaner in there and that's all. i agree with elmo that there is something going on. i agree that it's got to be something from the oil vapor like you say, but it shouldn't be happening nonetheless.
this kinda-sorta brings me to something i've been meaning to post for a while. for the past year, i've been running mobil 1 as a science project. i've also done a lot of reading around the subject of motor oils [and believe me, oil companies are slipperier than their product when it comes to keeping consumers in the dark]. here's part of what i conclude, and it may be relevant in this case:
m1 /definitely/ has a lower oil burn-off rate than castrol gtx. [this may be relevant for your integra tegger.] what i find is that within the first 1000-odd miles of high speed driving, my civic will burn about half a quart of m1, but after that, it'll burn maybe another quart over the whole next 9000 miles that i run it. including initial fill, that's a total of 5 quarts over 10k. not too shabby for a clunker. with gtx, a fine oil btw, it'll burn a quart in about 1500 miles, and keep on doing so, so it's a constant monitoring and refill process. over 6k, it uses nearly 7 quarts including initial fill.
some of this burn-off is due to volatile fractions in the base oil simply evaporating at high temperatures of operation - no surprises there. the difference is that m1 is much more isomerised than gtx and therefore has a much narrower spectrum of molecular weights in the base oil. therefore, there are fewer over-light fractions that can evaporate. now, if evaporation means this oil vapor from the crank case being able to circulate to the throttle body via the breather and condense into goo when the motor is turned off, then it's worth experimenting with a different oil with a lower evaporation rate to see if it mitigates the problem. it'll cost an extra $20-odd bucks at oil change time, but how much does it cost to have the dealer take off the intake and squirt cleaner every 50k?
just a thought.
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wrote:

The *correct* procedure is to spray, scrub and wipe until clean. If any franchised Honda dealer does a spritz-only, he should be shot. I would expect a spray-only to be done by AutoZone or Firestone. Or Canadian Tire, for that matter. Just that was done to me this past summer when I had Canadian Tire perform a Motorvac service (which includes a throtte body clean).

ONE: There is only one reason for sludge in the throttle body: Oil. There is only one source for oil in the intake pipe: The crankcase breather. There is only one way oil can get far enough through the breather to end up in the intake: It can't drain out of the valve cove baffles fast enough. There is only one reason it can't drain: Sludge. There is only one reason for sludge: Insufficient oil changes.
TWO: As I said before, I have seen it where there was a defect in the throttle body or the throttle cable/linkage that caused the gas pedal to stick, and in those cases Honda eventually issues a TSB on it.
THREE: There have also been issues with other cars where the valve cover baffles or PCV system are somehow poorly designed or assembled, leading to poor drainage and oil in the intake. In those cases as well, the automaker issues fixes for that. The fix may not be a TSB, but a mention in the automaker's internal information documents. Honda's is ServiceNews.
The above two paragrpahs are why I told the OP to have that checked out. In any case, those issues should be readily discerned during a quick investigation by a competent tech.
The fact that the OP's problem was fixed after the dealer cleaned the throttle body is strongly suggestive of oil in the throttle body. The OP also covers only 9K miles per year. We don't know what kind of driving he does, or how often the oil gets changed. No one has any information on the state of the engine's top end, or on the PCV system. Those things matter a great deal.
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wrote:

I wondered about that too, so I've been using Mobil 1 for the last four oil changes (total mileage under Mobil 1: about 8,500).
I tried 5W-30 first. Then I tried the ultra-fancy 0W-40. The last two were back to 5W-30. Mobil has a new 5W-50 mix, but I'm reluctant to try that one. I've heard bad things about oils with huge spreads between the numbers.
I also tried the Castrol GTX 10W-30 regular and "High-Mileage" formulations at one point.
The upshot of all this? NO change of any kind in oil consumption no mattter what oil I used.
My method of checking my oil level is very precise and controlled, so I can tell with a high degree of accuracy what my oil usage is. 1) Car is always parked in same place at same angle. 2) Car is always checked after sitting overnight, before starting engine. 3) Level is checked twice, and noted. 4) Car is driven 1,000 miles.
5) Repeat #1 to #3 to check level again. 6) Add necessary amount to top up (1L between centers of marks).
7) Repeat #1 to #3 to check level once more. If oil is now at original level, then amount added was correct. If level is still a bit low, you can now more closely estimate amount still to be added.
8) Calculate mileage.
Measurements are always taken after the car has been driven to at least one full-hot drive cycle, to ensure maximum drainback into pan. By that I mean you wouldn't add oil, wait a bit, then check. You'd add, drive it to full-hot, let sit overnight, then check.
All the above is meaningless on a car with low oil consumption, but once it gets as high as mine, it starts to matter.
My current consumption is: 1,300-1,400 miles/US qt at the height of summer, with extensive high-rev operation on the highway, 1,600-1,700 in the late fall, and probably about 1,800-1,900 in the dead of winter this year (estimated).
Two years ago, it was 2,200 in the dead of winter, and more like 1,600 in the summer. My rings are just plain worn out, and nothing will fix that except a rebuild.
If one's main bearings were worn, with high oil consumption due to excessive throwoff from the bearings, then it's possible a thicker oil would reduce consumption by reducing throwoff. My bearings are fine though; oil pressure is well within limits.
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Tegger wrote:

~2k per change on m1? ordinary oil is good for way more than that. provided there's no fuel mixture/ignition problems messing up combustion, m1 should double conventional mileage, especially for a freeway driver. last time i changed mine at 10k, it came out looking much the same as it did at 2k - same consistency too. should have left it in there for another 5k. especially as it had finished getting burnt and the level was constant.

i don't think you're giving it time to stabilize.

did your head gasket dude use any abrasives when prepping for the new one?

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I'm changing it every 3K now. It was 2.5K with Castrol GTX. I know I could leave it lots longer, but I'm paranoid here; I want to milk this motor for all it's worth. And when a rebuild is finally imperative, I want that crankshaft to be as perfect as possible.
My oil gets jet-black after 3K, as does our Tercel's. And the Tercel has only 75K on it.

There is no stabilization period. Either a car uses oil or it does not. Mine does, and no brand or viscosity is having any effect.

Absolutely not. In fact, he was most emphatically against using any sort of abrasives when we discussed the job afterwards.
My oil consumption is due to high piston speeds and worn rings. Nothing else.
At 239K miles, consumption was an average of 2,000mi/qt. At 279K miles, it's an average of about 1,600mi/qt.
It's declined 400mi/qt in 40,000 miles. If abrasives had been the culprit, It would have gone from 2,000 to 200 in a few thousand miles.
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Tegger wrote:

wow, that's not good. what plugs do you use? i know you live in colder climes which can keep the motor running rich, but excessive soot in the oil is a symptom of incomplete combustion. weak spark from the plugs can cause that. that's not say the plugs don't fire, but if they're weak, combustion is not complete - hence it's always recommended to have new plugs when going for a smog test. cheapo gasoline can give poor combustion too.
[i'm running ngk iridium plugs, ngk coiled core plug leads and have been running chevron gas since about march. mine's still brown after 10k.]

that's not true. if a base loses 15% of the lighter fractions, the [heavier] remainder will not evaporate and losses will be stabilized. then all you have to do is bring it back up to original level and it'll remain pretty constant. and that theory is backed by my experience, as reported above. mine's stable after about 2k, just when you're getting ready to change yours!

how did he clean the block mating surface? was there any difference between consumption before and after the head gasket change?

speed has nothing to do with it - it's temperature [pressure] and distribution in the combustion chamber. high speed generally goes hand in hand with temperature, but the speed alone is not the cause.

worn rings will do it for sure. what's compression like? have you done a leakdown test?

not so. it depends on the abrasive. something like scotchbrite is the worst of the worst - it has needle shaped alumina spicules that embed in surfaces causing abrasion for ever more. they will indeed cause ongoing degradation. but something like silicon carbide, with a relatively even grainy shape, will generally not embed and will sometimes, depending on circumstances, work its way out and get carried away by the oil. excess abrasion of any kind is a problem, but the /type/ of abrasion makes a big difference.
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Plugs are OEM Denso, straight from the Toyota dealer. The gas is whatever name-brand station is close by. The plugs are firing just fine, as evidenced by very low HCs when the car is smogged, as well as the obvious condition of the electrodes and insulators.

So then I should notice a definite difference after 2K, and I do not. Also, the car used to use no oil at all between changes, but that was 200,000 miles ago.
And the Tercel uses no oil either. If there were any evaporation going on, I think we'd be seeing it in the Tercel.

Piston speed has quite a lot to do with it. It's one reason the old-time long-stroke engines would wear rings very quickly. This is a well-known phenomenon.

Well he very explicitly and deliberately didn't use anything that might drop into the bore, so that's a non-issue here. He reports that when he did my head gasket, the bores were completely unscored, but were shiny smooth all over. My heavy oil consumption predated the head gasket change.
Also, my oil analysis showed very low silica in the oil, so that's not a factor either. Use of a foam air filter, or an unfiltered leak into the intake, will wear the rings/bores very quickly, but the evidence is high silica in the oil.
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Tegger wrote:

yes but that could just be an efficient cat. oil burning cars don't leave smoke trails like they used to - because of catalysts burning the hydrocarbons.

that's encouraging.

oil consumption /can/ be worn rings - as discussed before, but my car doesn't burn oil if i plod about town. it /does/ burn it if i gun it though. that's high temperature.

does the tercel get driven like the integra? valve timing on that thing is real benign, so i doubt it could reach the same combustion temps, even at full throttle.

speed => wear. wear => consumption. speed != consumption.

what /did/ he use? i spent hours and hours shaving crud off mine with a fine blade. no abrasives. i seriously doubt he had the time to do what i did.

ideally, they should still have shown the original cross-hatching.

ok, that was what i was driving at - that's definitely wear.

good.
indeed.
regarding evaporation though, consider one last thing. just like "synthetic" oil being a different formulation today than how it was originally, there's no reason a producer can't "weight" the base oil for higher consumption today compared to before. there's ZERO content information on the bottle, so unless you have a lab, you'd never be able to tell.
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Definitely. And I did say that. My oil consumption goes down significantly in the winter, which is definitely due to lower oil temperatures. At zero F, it's difficult for the oil in the pan to reach 210F even with highway driving.
However, my consumption is still high across the board. And since I'm on the highway about 80-90% of the time (during off-peak hours), I can't spend enough time at city speed to be able to see if there's a difference.
If I ever end up rebuilding my gearbox, I'm contemplating changing the 5th gear set for something higher, to reduce revs at highways speeds.

Yes, but as I said earlier, when my car had 75K on it, it used no oil between changes regardless of how hard the engine was driven. My driving then was much like it is now.

He used a blade and time. He tells me there are no shortcuts when removing the head gasket remnants.
He also says he's seen plenty of engines where someone has used ScotchBrite or sandpaper to clean the block face, and these invariably develop oil consumption problems very quickly, much faster than in 40K miles.

Sorry, that's what I meant. The crosshatching wears enough to make the surface a bit shiny compared to brand new, is what I was getting at.
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Thanks for your help Tegger. Bottom line- theyre gonna fix it! I had to call Honda customer care to get it addressed, and I have to take it to the far and away dealer to get it done, but it will get fixed gratis.
I would have just sucked it up and never questioned them without your help.
Incidentally, I spoke to the tech who did the work at the dealer who "diagnosed" it last week. He said he never took off the valve cover and PCV valve to inspect. They just gave me a price for what they said "should fix it".
Thanks once again.
"Tegger" wrote:
wrote in > > > > Tegger wrote: > > >> > >> > >> So then I should notice a definite difference after 2K, and > I do not. > >> Also, the car used to use no oil at all between changes, > but that was > >> 200,000 miles ago. > > > > oil consumption /can/ be worn rings - as discussed before, > but my car > > doesn't burn oil if i plod about town. it /does/ burn it if > i gun it > > though. that's high temperature. > > > > Definitely. And I did say that. My oil consumption goes down > significantly in the winter, which is definitely due to lower > oil > temperatures. At zero F, it's difficult for the oil in the pan > to reach > 210F even with highway driving. > > However, my consumption is still high across the board. And > since I'm on > the highway about 80-90% of the time (during off-peak hours), > I can't > spend enough time at city speed to be able to see if there's a > > difference. > > If I ever end up rebuilding my gearbox, I'm contemplating > changing the > 5th gear set for something higher, to reduce revs at highways > speeds. > > > > > > >> > >> And the Tercel uses no oil either. If there were any > evaporation > >> going on, I think we'd be seeing it in the Tercel. > > > > does the tercel get driven like the integra? valve timing > on that > > thing is real benign, so i doubt it could reach the same > combustion > > temps, even at full throttle. > > > > Yes, but as I said earlier, when my car had 75K on it, it used > no oil > between changes regardless of how hard the engine was driven. > My driving > then was much like it is now. > > > > >> > >> Well he very explicitly and deliberately didn't use > anything that > >> might drop into the bore, so that's a non-issue here. > > > > what /did/ he use? i spent hours and hours shaving crud off > mine with > > a fine blade. no abrasives. i seriously doubt he had the > time to do > > what i did. > > > > He used a blade and time. He tells me there are no shortcuts > when > removing the head gasket remnants. > > He also says he's seen plenty of engines where someone has > used > ScotchBrite or sandpaper to clean the block face, and these > invariably > develop oil consumption problems very quickly, much faster > than in 40K > miles. > > > > > > >> He reports that when he > >> did my head gasket, the bores were completely unscored, but > were > >> shiny smooth all over. > > > > ideally, they should still have shown the original > cross-hatching. > > > > Sorry, that's what I meant. The crosshatching wears enough to > make the > surface a bit shiny compared to brand new, is what I was > getting at. > > > -- > Tegger > > The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ > www.tegger.com/hondafaq/
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You're lucky. Unless it's a Safety Recall, TSB repairs are often your responsibility when the car's out of warranty. You must have been nice to them.

He's a bad boy. He obviously doesn't know enough to check for TSBs and recalls, which is the FIRST thing that should be done.

I love happy endings. :)
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Jim,
Interesting idea and plausible- I know nothing about cars as you might gather but your explanation makes sense.
Im the OP and wonder if you think that the lesser grade oil put in at the dealer would still affect the throttle thing after about 5K miles. Thats about the time it takes for me to notice it, even tho I always change oil at 3750.
Im going to call the original dealer and if I get the same run around I am really going to be upset. Will report on what their verdict is. Thanks.
"jim beam" wrote: > Tegger wrote:
> > wrote: > >> > >>> A sticky gas pedal is usually due to sludge and oil > getting pumped > >>> into the throttle body from the crankcase breather tube. > The usual > >>> reason for the oil is poor maintenance, specifically > insufficient oil > >>> changes. > >> There's plainly another reason, because it happens like > this on my > >> father's 98 Odyssey (4 cylinder) and it happened like this > on my 2000 > >> Accord, both of which get very regular maintenance. > >> > >> There's something else going on with that particular > engine. > >> > > > > > > Then there ought to be a TSB on the problem. The OP needs to > ask his > > dealer. > > > from what i can gather, the dealer solution is to spray > throttle body > cleaner in there and that's all. i agree with elmo that there > is > something going on. i agree that it's got to be something > from the oil > vapor like you say, but it shouldn't be happening nonetheless. > > this kinda-sorta brings me to something i've been meaning to > post for a > while. for the past year, i've been running mobil 1 as a > science > project. i've also done a lot of reading around the subject > of motor > oils [and believe me, oil companies are slipperier than their > product > when it comes to keeping consumers in the dark]. here's part > of what i > conclude, and it may be relevant in this case: > > m1 /definitely/ has a lower oil burn-off rate than castrol > gtx. [this > may be relevant for your integra tegger.] what i find is that > within > the first 1000-odd miles of high speed driving, my civic will > burn about > half a quart of m1, but after that, it'll burn maybe another > quart over > the whole next 9000 miles that i run it. including initial > fill, that's > a total of 5 quarts over 10k. not too shabby for a clunker. > with gtx, > a fine oil btw, it'll burn a quart in about 1500 miles, and > keep on > doing so, so it's a constant monitoring and refill process. > over 6k, it > uses nearly 7 quarts including initial fill. > > some of this burn-off is due to volatile fractions in the base > oil > simply evaporating at high temperatures of operation - no > surprises > there. the difference is that m1 is much more isomerised than > gtx and > therefore has a much narrower spectrum of molecular weights in > the base > oil. therefore, there are fewer over-light fractions that can > > evaporate. now, if evaporation means this oil vapor from the > crank case > being able to circulate to the throttle body via the breather > and > condense into goo when the motor is turned off, then it's > worth > experimenting with a different oil with a lower evaporation > rate to see > if it mitigates the problem. it'll cost an extra $20-odd > bucks at oil > change time, but how much does it cost to have the dealer take > off the > intake and squirt cleaner every 50k? > > just a thought.
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Tegger, I am sorry to ask but what is a TSB? Thanks....Nancy
"Tegger" wrote:
wrote in > wrote: > > > >> A sticky gas pedal is usually due to sludge and oil getting > pumped > >> into the throttle body from the crankcase breather tube. > The usual > >> reason for the oil is poor maintenance, specifically > insufficient oil > >> changes. > > > > There's plainly another reason, because it happens like this > on my > > father's 98 Odyssey (4 cylinder) and it happened like this > on my 2000 > > Accord, both of which get very regular maintenance. > > > > There's something else going on with that particular engine. > > > > > Then there ought to be a TSB on the problem. The OP needs to > ask his > dealer. > > -- > Tegger > > The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ > www.tegger.com/hondafaq/
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It's short for Technical Service Bulletin. It's a document Honda puts out for its franchised dealers when a problem has arisen. TSBs list the symptoms, causes, fixes, amd the VIN numbers of the cars that are suspected of having the problem.
TSBs may be issued soon after the car is released, or up to years later, depending on when a particular common problem surfaces.
Honda has to see a repeating pattern to the problems before they will issue a TSB. They won't issue one if only a handful of cars come in with a particular problem.
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Thanks very much Tegger for your reply. I change the oil at the dealer every 3750 miles religiously even tho the car is not driven under severe conditions. I think Im going to take it to the dealership I bought it from and see if I cant get a straight answer. Elmo, the Honda service person said that the Odyssey and the Pilot both DO have this problem but not the Accord. (I googled this and found that indeed it exists for the Accord too) But Ill be interested in knowing what youve done to get yours corrected.
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