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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
OK, I've read some of the other posts on this problem but I honestly don't know where to go from here w/ my 2000 Ody. w/ 138,000 miles. What should I try next? I'm open to any advice. Anything that I try, I will report back and let you know what happens. Here is the problem:

1. It takes several tries of starting before the engine finally catches - very reluctantly. (That is, the battery and the starter seem fine. They crank and crank and crank and finally the engine fires - stubbornly).
2. Even after it starts, it idles very rough and misses - sometimes worse than other times - no predictable pattern.
3. Acceleration is poor in first gear and the engine feels like it is missing. Not noticeable as much in higher gears.
4. No CEL codes.
5. The fuel pump runs for the standard ~2-3 sec. when turning the key halfway, so it doesn't seem to be a fuel pressure problem.

What I've tried:
A. Elsewhere on this forum, others have sworn this is a worn (but not broken) main relay that isn't providing enough voltage. Replaced it and no improvement. ($50)

B. Just changed all six spark plugs - no improvement. ($40)
Plug #2 had a little carbon buildup (not much) and plug #3 had a little white calcified-looking buildup, but not too bad. One plug (I think #2) was not even finger-tight when I removed it. I was hoping that was the problem but nothing seemed to change.

C. Pulled the wires off of each of the six coils one by one to determine if one coil was bad. After I pulled each wire, the engine ran significantly worse, thus I could not narrow it down to any one coil that might need replacing.

D. The CEL *finally* came on tonight, so I took it to Advance Auto and they checked the code and said it was the first O2 sensor. Bought a new Bosch and replaced it. No change. ($81)

E. I pulled the wire off of the EGR valve and no improvement. I took the EGR valve off and it had some carbon buildup on the rounded valve part. Tried to clean it off a little.

Other things I've read that might be causing the problem include:
I. Weak coil pack that still fires but misses every now and then.
II. A bad or dirty idle air control valve. ($100 aftermarket replacement)
III. Timing may be off(?)
IV. Clogged fuel filter.
V. Bad fuel pump. (Both in gas tank)
VI. Vacuum leak.
VII. Bad compression in one cylinder.

Let me know where to start. Thanks.
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Impressive first post!!!

Since the problems is NOT only at idle, you can rule out IACV.

Which spark plugs did you put in? They certainly can not be the OEM at $40 for 6pack. I hope at least you got NGK.

Why would timing be off? Was timing belt just replaced? Or you think it has slipped?

Can you get a fuel pump gauge on the rail? That might give you clue.

Are you still getting O2 code? What exact code are (were) you getting? Is the replacement sensor OEM equivalent? NGK or Denso would be the preferred one.

I am assuming you have been through strong dosage of Techron/Regane etc. You did not specifically state it though.

You could check dry and wet compression but I would first rule out fuel and ignition problem by making sure I have good fuel pressure and good volume and ignition is OEM spec.

Your drop cylinder test indicate that you do not have cylinder specific problem, so you should be looking for something which is common across all the cylinders.

- Vikas
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks for the input, Vikas. I should have mentioned that we run extra concentrated fuel injector cleaner through it regularly (~4 times/yr). I just ran another bottle through with the last tank of gas. Replaced with Bosch +4 platinum plugs, which I've put in all our vehicles for a/b 15 years. I know they can run a little hot, but I've had good luck with them. O2 sensor was Bosch OEM equivalent and CEL went off this morning. Don't have a good reason for timing to be off - just read somewhere it's a possibility. More things I've tried and other clues:

1. When I disconnect the wire leading into the idle air control valve, the problem goes away and the engine idles smoothly at a higher RPM. However, it always seems to run more smoothly when the RPM's come up anyway.

2. Checked PCV, which seems fine.

3. Checked manifold vaccum pressure ~19psi.

4. Checked misc. vacuum hoses, which seem fine.

5. While checking vacuum, I noticed there is a faint whining noise when RPM's are low and engine is just about to die. When I restrict air flow by pulling the intake hose off of the air cleaner and plug it up with my hand, the whining gets very loud. I got a piece of rubber hose and put it to my ear and the whining seems to be coming from somewhere in between the throttle body and the manifold.

6. I connected a piece of rubber hose to a propane torch and blew propane in various places to see if a vacuum leak would draw in the propane and cause the engine to idle more smoothly, but no go.

7. I let the guy at the parts store hear the whine and he said that he thought it might be a leak in one of the manifold gaskets.

I'll let you know what I try next. think I will follow up on this whining noise. Could it be anything other than a vacuum leak? I know the IAC valve and fuel rails are also in proximity to the whine.
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Pull the manifold, clean out the EGR port, put in new gaskets and tourque it down.
 

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I would suggest that the spark plugs be OEM NGK Platinums and the O2 sensor be a DENSO brand.

Check for poor connections or loose terminals at the primary HO2S (Sensor 1) and the PCM.

Check the fuel pressure. Repair the fuel supply system if needed.

Check for a poor ground or a bad PCM.
 

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Vacuum is low, should be 21-22". I know this is the internet, but it sounds suspiciously like you need a valve adjustment. Sounds like you are quite proficient at working on your Ody, spend a few hours and check valve adjustment before shotgunning more parts into it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I think you're right about the vacuum. 19 was too low. The whining noise in the vacuum leak accounts for that.

So, I wanted to try to fix the vacuum-leak whining, which seemed to be coming from the upper manifold/plenum gasket (esp. loud when I restricted airflow per #5 in my previous post).

I followed the advice to replace the the upper manifold/plenum gasket, where the whining noise appeared to be coming from. The gasket is basically three sheets of black stainless steel joined together by a rivet on either end. First, I pulled the fuel pump fuse while the engine was running to release the fuel pressure.

When I removed the old gasket, there was some white crusty oxidized aluminum adhering to it from off of the aluminum manifold. There was also some oil that looked like might have been blow-by from the PCV. Either of these looked like they may have been involved in the vacuum leak.

I then sprayed carb cleaner on the surface of the manifold and plenum surfaces and used a $6 razor scraper I bought from the parts store to clean the surfaces off as slick as glass, after wiping it off with a rag.

Next I placed the new gasket down on the upper surface of the lower manifold and then lowered the upper manifold/plenum down on top of the gasket. I tightened the bolts down in the proper sequence. HOWEVER, I didn't have a torque wrench, so I guesstimated 16 ft/lbs. of pressure per bolt. (In actuality, it could have been anywhere between 15 and 22ft lbs., who knows? I tried to err on the high side. But there's no guarantee that they all have been equivalently torqued).

When I was finished, the van cranked up like show-room, and ran like a top for the next 48hrs. Super smooth idle and great acceleration. HOWEVER, last night and this morning the van, again, didn't want to crank - not as bad as before, but there was still hesitation. :confused: Also, minor roughness when idling - almost like a slightly cammed up car that rumbles a little during idle.

Does anyone think I may have another problem, or do you think, I need to remove the plenum, and re-tighten down on the gasket with a torque wrench to specs this time.

ALSO, somewhere on line I read that you should put some anti-seize lube on the surfaces of the gasket; however, the guy at the parts store told me it should be put on dry.

One more thing I've done is to check every fuse in the van (in four places). All were fine.
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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I also meant to add that there are no CELs and I plan on checking the vacuum again to see if we're up to that 21-22" that mjody recommended.

Also, I've read many posts about aftermarket plugs and sensors, but I'm not convinced that running Bosch instead of OEM would cause the problems that I'm having based on (1) testimonies from others on the internet, and (2) my past 15 years of experience in running Bosch aftermarkets in our Honda, Toyota and GM vehicles. Could I be wrong? Certainly.
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There was a post a few years ago about somebody putting the metal gassket on upside down. If looked at from above, there is a metal tab that sticks out next to the throttle body, it must be on the firewall side of the upper plenum. Sorry if that sounds confusing, but there is a pic here somewhere of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Good advice, mjody.

This afternoon, as I turned the key half way in the ignition, I could hear a noise coming from the back of the car. It was like a simultaneous grinding/slurping sound. I assume either my fuel pump is bad or my fuel strainer is clogged or both.

I guess I 'll attempt replacing both. The parts store has aftermarket AIRTEX or BOSCH fuel pumps for roughly $90 each. Any experiences with either of these? Also, anyone know whether there is truly a fuel filter in a 2000 Ody or just a fuel strainer? Thanks.
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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
PROBLEM SOLVED! . . . for now. . .

PROBLEM SOLVED! . . . for now. . .

Much of the following is for posterity as well as for anyone else out there like me with more kids than money.

Per the HAYNES Manual, I removed middle seats, pulled carpet back, accessed "fuel level sending unit module" (AKA, fuel pump module), disassembled module and removed fuel pump and strainer. New BOSCH fuel pump for $98 and strainer for $18.

Some observations:

1. After replacing the fuel pump, the van cranks right up and idles with no stuttering or vibrations. Apparently I had TWO problems: a vacuum leak and a weak fuel pump.

2. The guy at the parts store told me the BOSCH fuel pump is a “new turbine” type that is more efficient than the OE. Thus, BOSCH claims their fuel pump “meets or exceeds” OEM standards.

3. When I shined a light into the gas tank, the gas was a chalky pond-green opaque.

4. The fuel strainer had lots of fine metal shavings adhering to it. . . there's no telling what is in the fuel filter.

5. NOTE: The actual fuel filter is an integral and un-removable part of the fuel pump module. This filter CANNOT be replaced unless the whole fuel pump module is replaced for >=$200. For more info, see the following thread: http://www.odyclub.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=102739&highlight=fuel+module

6. Although the Haynes manual was my primary source for this job, I also found the following thread useful: http://www.odyclub.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=100293&highlight=replace+fuel+pump

7. I didn't relieve the fuel pressure properly, so when I pulled the quick-connect fuel line off of the top of the fuel pump housing, it sent gasoline spewing all over the place for about three seconds until I reconnected the line. Huge mess. One spark would have been the end of me, especially with all of the gasoline in the tank below me.

8. If I had to do this job again, and had the option, I would probably run the gas tank dry to minimize injury in the case of accidental combustion.

9. All fittings, connectors, O-rings, gaskets and seals looked fine after 10+ years.

10. I ended up with one extra rectangular black rubber/neoprene gasket that was about 3 x 1 cm. I couldn’t find anywhere to put it. Anyone know where this might go?

11. I purchased a fuel pressure gauge for $42. I intend to check the pressure some time to determine if the fuel filter might still be clogged and impeding the fuel pump. I also bought a torque wrench/stick for $37 to double check the bolts on the plenum/upper intake manifold (see earlier comments).

12. To get the large 6” plastic retaining ring (nut) off of the top of the fuel pump housing, you are supposed to have a special tool made by Honda (picture in Haynes manual). I took a Phillips screwdriver and a hammer and simply tapped the edge of the nut in a counter clockwise direction until it came off. To put it back, on I used a larger steel tool to get leverage, and pushed it in a clockwise direction until it tightened down. Forget trying to tighten it by hand. It is a very tight fit.

13. I’m aware that I’ve spent a lot of money on parts and tools; however, (A) the local mechanic probably would have ended up charging me more to track down and fix these two problemsb and (B) if I had paid someone else to do this, I wouldn’t now own all these cool tools.

QUESTIONS:

1. Do I need to replace the fuel pump module just in case the fuel filter may be clogged and might destroy the new fuel pump?

2. Do I need to clean out the gas tank? There’s no telling what was in it that led to the chalky pond-green opaque appearance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Problems Again- Air sound in fuel pump

Problems Again. . . AIR sound in fuel pump

Despite the van having more power, smoother idle, and no hesitation, 36 h after I replaced the fuel pump, it didn't want to start again until the 3rd crank.

*Here's what I know:

1. Whenever the van does not want to start, there is a loud sound that comes from the fuel pump like air or bubbles being forced through the line or either coming back into the tank through the return line. It sounds something like turning on a water faucet after the water has been cut off for a while and then cut back on and you can hear the sound of the air and water being forced through the pipes together.

2. It doesn't do this consistently, but when it makes this noise, the van has problems cranking.

3. Per Vikas' question, above, yes, the fuel pump is housed *inside* the fuel pump module, which is a canister about 6" diameter and 10" high. Here are four urls with pictures. The first two are the pump module and the second two are the actual fuel pump:

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...e=2&ndsp=9&ved=1t:429,r:5,s:8&biw=800&bih=405

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...ed=1t:429,r:2,s:8&tx=37&ty=59&biw=800&bih=405

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...&page=1&ndsp=6&ved=1t:429,r:5,s:0&tx=86&ty=18

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...=3&ndsp=8&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:14&biw=800&bih=405

This fuel pump module contains an integral un-removable fuel filter.

4. I bought a fuel pressure gauge, but it only works with "Schrader Valves" and my fuel rail does not have a Schrader valve, so I took it back.

5. I bought a torque wrench and torqued upper intake/plenum bolts down to 16 ft lbs. to seal the new gasket.

QUESTIONS:

1. Anyone know anything about this air bubble noise coming from fuel pump/fuel tank?

2. Any good urls where I can learn how to check the fuel pressure without a Shrader valve?

3. Could a clogged fuel filter be causing this air bubble noise?

4. I tested the vacuum again after torquing plenum bolts and it reads 18.5" Hg at ~600 RPM idle and 21" Hg when I increase RPM to ~2,500. Does this sound right?

5. Could a clogged fuel filter be causing this air bubble noise?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
New OBD Code

OK, so the problem continues. The van still has trouble starting and started lurching some today before the CEL came on. The code that came up was PO172- Bank 1 "System Too Rich."

Could this be related to:

1. The fuel pump I just replaced, or

2. The new plenum gasket I just replaced to repair the vacuum leak, or

3. The O2 sensor I just replaced?

I'm going to do some checking for what others have written on this and then try to fix it again myself. As you can see, I've invested quite a bit of time and money in this. I sure wish I could find a quick fix to my problem. . .
 

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Re: New OBD Code

gurtljb said:
OK, so the problem continues. The van still has trouble starting and started lurching some today before the CEL came on. The code that came up was PO172- Bank 1 "System Too Rich."
My experience, the vast majority if the time P0172 means it is time for a valve adjustment.
 

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Can you get more data via scanner? MAP readings would be useful. Come to think of it, if you have leaks in the MAP subsystem, it will lead to engine running rich.

Generally, rich condition could also be attributed to a leaky injector. Incorrect O2 sensor could also result in that condition. Did you have any misfire condition? Was there any cylinder specific code?

When you checked the spark plugs, did you find a black or wet plug?

Are you still with after market spark plugs and after market O2 sensor? If nothing else fixes your vehicle, you will have to try replacing them with OEM parts. Odyssey is known to have issues with Bosch spark plugs. I understand that you do not believe that to be the case.

I am interested in knowing how tighter valve clearance could lead to rich running. Looser valve would be clattering and OP would have noticed it.

- Vikas
 

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sontakke said:
I am interested in knowing how tighter valve clearance could lead to rich running. Looser valve would be clattering and OP would have noticed it.

- Vikas
The air/fuel mixture has an incomplete burn due to the valve being open longer. The unburnt fuel exits the exhaust ports on the head, O2 sensor reads the rich mixture.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
PO172 is the only code that came up - no cylinder misses, misfires, or other sensor codes came up.

I'm going to look into all of your advice and see if I can come up with something. If I had to do it over again, I would have put the NGK plugs in this time instead of the Bosch. The guys at the parts store guy tried to tell me to run NGKs but I was unfamiliar with the significance of running OEM plugs. However, I ran the last Bosch plugs for 60K miles and no problems. Next thing I'm definitely going to do is check fuel pressure. If there's no problem there, next step will be to look at the injectors. I'm also going to look into the MAP.

If I rule everything out, I may go in for a valve job. I think you're supposed to have an adjustment anyway in my mileage range (139K).(?) I had my CR-V valves adjusted at 150K.

I just hope I dont burn out O2 sensors or catalytic converter with the rich fuel.
 
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