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Engine Sputters during acceleration...ideas?

3955 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  97SS
My stock crx HF has just started sputtering on my way back to work from lunch. When I'm at a complete stop in neutral the engine revs fine, but when I put the thing in 1st gear and accelerate from a stop, the things sputters and if I keep the gas pedal constant (i.e. not giving it more/less gas) it will come out of that sputtering a few seconds after (2-3 seconds) and go ok after that. It does this on other gears too and under acceleration.
I took the plug wires out olf the distributor and the contacts look ok on the wires (dang it forgot to check the distributor cap side). Since I'm at work I couldn't unscrew the distributor cap itself off.

Anyone else have anything similiar to this happen? Any input/ideas? This little car has 150K and hasn't given me any problems since I've owned it months ago until today

Oh the timing belt/water pump/ were replaced months ago

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Sorry should have put as much detail as possible. No the check engine light is not coming on at all. It's weird.
spray you wires and distrib cap with water, see if it runs worse. if it does then do a tune up

spark plugs
So you think I should replace the distributor module? I'll try the other basic stuff first, cap, rotor, wires first. I hope it's not too crazy! :)
Yeah I'd do the tuneup stuff first, work your way up from the cheap stuff. Do plugs, cap and rotor, run a $4 bottle of Lucas Oil's Fuel Injector Cleaner (this smoothed out my idle and got rid of a little hesitation/sputtering when the engine is really cold, none of the other cleaners I've tried did anything)...then if you've still got a problem, do plug wires, then start looking into the distributor stuff.
Well some good news and some bad news.

I replaced the following:
- Bosch Spark Plugs
- Borg Werner Lifetime Plug Wires
- Distributor Cap
- Distributor Rotor
- Fuel Filter
So after the fun in that (damn it was hard getting the rotor screw in since I had to hit the key like a million times then get out to see if I could access the screw hole...doing this my myself was a pain in the rear) started it up and check for the normal things like fuel leaks (none), abnormal idling (none), and of course I checked the old parts. The distributor was well worn and definately needed replacment, and the rotor had some burnt looking carbon on more than one half of the metal strip, and the point of contact was also covered in some carbon smut. The spark plugs looked like normal worn plugs, some more black on them than I would like but all in all they needed replacing too so not bad.

Ok so the bad news...on my short 2 mile drive from work to home to do this tune up, it didn't have that hessitation like I described. It was odd...but either way I wanted to and needed to replace all those parts partly because since buying it about 8 months ago I had no idea when the last time it had a decent tune up.

I hope this fixes whatever was wrong with it, so I'll keep my fingers crossed and continue to drive it like usual. I wanted to thank you guys that responded and gave some input. This is my first CRX and I am loving it's versatility, it's driving characterstics and best of all (to me) the mileage of 50 mpg!

Incase anyone cares what it looks like...
What it looked like when I went to buy it all dull and oxided paint:

What it looked like after a wash,rubbing compound, polish, wax treatment of elbow grease:

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