Reader Question My girlfriend has a 1985 Honda Accord SE-i with approximately 150,000 miles on it. It has been running fine up until very recently until it started missing very badly whenever the car gets hot (has been driven for 100 miles or so). Once it starts missing, the car will stall and die whenever you put a load on the car.
This all started after she accidentally knocked a spark plug wire loose when checking the oil. She did not realize that she did it and drove it until it started missing very badly. Since this, I have replaced the cap, rotor, spark plugs, spark plug wires, and fuel filter. However, this problem is still the same whenever it is driven for very long. By the way, there is not any slop in the distributor. Do you have any suggestions?
Well at first, I would have thought you need to replace the spark plug wires and possibly the cap and rotor…but then I read where you did that. Did you check around for a vacuum leak under the hood that might cause a misfire type of sensation? Sometimes, the hard black rubber fresh air intake hose from the air cleaner to the engine will get a hole underneath it and cause an engine miss type of problem with stalling and other running conditions.
I would also check the spark at each spark plug and make sure the spark plug electrode was not bent or the gap set to small or wide or the spark plug was damaged or cracked during installation. Double-check the inside of the distributor cap for signs of rubbing or arching. If you still do not see anything out of whack, I would run a compression test on all the cylinders and see if there is a weak or dead cylinder.