Jim Grant's Tech Tips
Honda Accord: The "Honda Disease"
Q: Recently, my nephew sent me a copy of one
of your articles which appeared in a New Hampshire newspaper. The question
posed, dealt with someone who had purchased a used 1988 Honda Accord and
described a problem of a loss of power, bucking etc. in cold wet weather.
I could not believe my eyes. I felt as if I had written the question.
I too have experienced this loss of power, bucking etc. in cold wet weather,
with my 1988 Honda Accord and have not been able to solve the problem
for years. Not to mention the fact that I come from a long line of Honda
owners. My sisters, father and nephew have all owned Honda Accords and
all have experienced what we now refer to as the "Honda disease".
We have all
independently attempted to come up with the answer to this seemingly unanswerable
question. I contacted Honda directly and was informed that the problem
was with the fuel pump. We now know that the fuel pump was not the problem.
My mechanic also has another customer (also a 1988 Accord) who has the
same problem. She too changed her fuel pump among other things, only to
discover on the next cold wet day that this was not the solution to her/our
problem. She eventually sold her Honda. I, on the other hand, like my
Honda (on dry days that is) and can not afford to buy a new car. I also
hesitate to put more money into "potential" solutions. My mechanic
suggests that the solution may be in changing the ignitor, however he
cautioned me that this may not be the answer and can be a little costly.
I have chosen
to hold off on that idea. I would however be interested to hear if your
reader tried your solution (replace the TAC system) and if you have truly
come up with the answer. I'm sure you can understand my hesitation. Your
explanation sounds logical and would explain why my car will return to
normal if I pull over and turn off the engine for a few minutes. I am
then able to resume driving. It is frustrating however when I have to
do this two or three times during my commute.
be willing to give me some feedback on this? I would love to hear from
you or your reader as to the success of replacing the TAC system.
refresh our readers: The TAC system is a Thermostatic Air Cleaner which
is simply a heating system for the air entering the air cleaner of the
engine. This is necessary, as carburetors are fussy and operate best in
a controlled environment, warm and dry.
Now to answer
our readers question. Diagnosis of the TAC system takes only a matter
of minutes and it does not have to be cold, rainy or snowing.
Of the components
that are essential to TAC operation, it is the diaphragm of the vacuum
motor at the inlet of the air cleaner that fails most often, rendering
it inoperative. But dont just go slapping another vacuum motor on,
prove its defective first!
As for my
success: Replacing a defective vacuum motor provides pleasing results,
but only if the component is defective. If replacement is required use
Honda parts, they cost under $30; and fit and performance far exceeds
aftermarket replacement type parts.