Jim Grant's Tech Tips
'90 Civic LX, Distributor Rotor Eater
a '90 Honda Civic LX with a reoccurring problem with the distributor system.
The screw that holds in the rotor keeps coming out and causing the rotor
not to spin. Also after my last stall, my engine light came on and the
engine now stutters at 2500 RPM. Any suggestions? Also I heard about a
recall on distributors on Civics from '89-'94. Is there such a recall?
your timing belt. If there is too much slack in the timing belt it will
cause the camshaft to snap/oscillate in a manner that will cause the screw
that locks the distributor rotor in place to vibrate out. Also when installing
the lock screw for the rotor, a drop of lock-tight on the threads is a
good insurance policy. As for ignition problems, Honda did have a problem
with the ignition module/igniter. Check the engine vehicle identification
number located under the hood on the firewall. If there is a punch mark
over the second character (which should be an H) your vehicle has the
new and improved module/igniter. One other note, because your vehicle
is fuel injected the distributor has 2 sensors that report to the computer.
If the timing belt is too loose and is causing the camshaft to snap/oscillate,
the information from the distributor to the computer can be fooled, resulting
in an engine skip or misfire. Also the screw for the rotor (once fallen
out of place) has been known for damaging the sensors in the distributor.