Your Honda has been a great vehicle. You’ve relied on it to get you and your family around safely, and it’s never let you down. However, it’s been having some weird issues lately, the engine seems to be cutting out, or stalling — what’s up with that? Here’s what you need to know to identify and fix the problem.
Issue: The Engine Stalls When Cold/After Starting
Engine vacuum leak - Inspect the vacuum hoses, intake manifold gaskets, around the throttle body, the PCV valve, and the EGR valve.
Malfunctioning MAF - When the MAF is dirty or defective, the system will be slow to react to changes in air intake. This can cause hesitation in the engine. Cleaning the MAF usually fixes the problem, otherwise, replacement may be necessary.
Faulty idle speed control system - Idle speed is controlled by allowing a certain amount of air to bypass the throttle, if the circuit is interrupted, their will be a deprivation of air. Check the wiring, look for corrosion, and clean the idle air bypass with throttle cleaner — if the solution doesn’t lay here, replacement may be next.
Malfunctioning air temperature sensor - This is the sensor that gives a temperature reading to the PCM from the air entering the intake manifold. A bad air temp sensor will upset the air/fuel mixture and cause stalling problems.
Bad coolant sensor - Much like the air temperature sensor, this plays a role in the air/fuel mixture. If it’s bad, it will result in an inaccurate mixture.
Fault MAP sensor - The MAP sensor monitors the intake vacuum — if it is giving off an inaccurate reading, the PCM will add too much or not enough air, causing hesitation and stalling from the engine.
Low compression - Low compression happens from worn piston rings or cylinders, or bad valves — often resulting in major power losses. A compression check on each cylinder will tell you what’s going on.
Bad spark plugs or wires - Spark plugs or wires that are damaged or worn will disrupt the ignition system and cause misfires. Check the plugs and wires and replace when needed.
Bad Fuel - Contaminated gasoline will not burn as it should and will cause your engine to stall. The cure for bad gas is to drain the tank and refill from a different station.
Issue: The Engine Stalls When Stop/While Idling
Bad A/C compressor - It may sound strange but an A/C compressor that’s jared up may be pulling power from the engine. An easy way to tell if this is the cause is turning the A/C on and noting if it only happens while engaged.
High electrical load on battery or alternator - If the alternator is having to work extra hard to recharge the battery, the engine may cut out when at a stop. Check the charge on the battery.
If the engine continues to stall, there’s more likely an underlying problem and you should consult a Honda certified mechanic. When replacing parts, always use genuine Honda parts to avoid premature wear or failure of other parts.