Jim Grant's Tech Tips
Honda Prelude, Swimming Lessons
Q: I drove my '84 Honda Prelude with
Bass boat and trailer attached, to the local lake. The fishing wasn't
good, but the incident that occurred when I left, made my day even worse!
I backed the boat trailer into the ramp area, leaving the Honda running
with the hand brake on. As I loaded the boat onto the trailer with the
winch, the trailer, boat and car began moving backwards into the lake!
The vehicle became submerged up to the doors while the car continued to
run. After a frustrating struggle, I finally pulled the mess out of the
lake and began driving home. The engine misfired, bucked and had moments
of smooth running while driving home. The gas tank was drained, fuel filter
replaced, added fresh gas and several cans of moisture remover. For some
time now, the engine runs like it has 3 cylinders and does not idle well.
The carburetors are always mentioned as the probable source of trouble.
I know the dual side draft carburetors are a pain to work on.-Finding
someone that will service them is also a problem. I am wondering how the
carbs would have been damaged by water in the gas?
water entered your gas tank and the vehicle was driven, then there's no
question that water made its way into the carburetors. The combination
of water, aluminum (which your carburetor is made with) and gasoline will
cause a rapid formation of corrosion. This corrosion quickly interferes
with the very small fuel control and metering passages in the carburetors
of your Honda. Adding dry gas or cleaners to the gas tank have little
to no effect on this type of corrosion. Unfortunately this fishing tale
is going to end with having your carburetors cleaned and rebuilt.