Close

1990 Honda Accord Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 1990 Honda Accord based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

No_car_image
Get a Repair Estimate
Guaranteed by certified locations nationwide. Learn more
Get a Repair Estimate For Your 1990 Honda Accord
RepairPal estimates are guaranteed at over 1,700 quality certified locations nationwide. Learn more
26
Known Problems

The Honda Accord is known for premature alternator bearing failure. The alternator shaft bearing alerts of mechanical failure by making a howling or grinding noise, but other symptoms may appear, including:

  • Battery warning light illumination
  • Engine will not start
  • Engine stalling or hesitation
  • Power steering and A/C failure

    Continued use after the alternator makes these noises generally result in loss of the serpentine belt, power steering, air conditioning and battery power.

    The correction is to replace the alternator immediately.

  • Four cylinder models of the Honda Accord from 1990-2001 have a known issue with ignition distributor shaft bearing failure, which causes:

  • Failure to start 
  • Engine randomly misfires 
  • Check Engine Light Illumination
  • OBD Trouble code(s) P0300, P0301, P0302, P0303, P0304, P1336, P1337 
  • Engine vibrations  
  • Hesitation or stalling 
  • Oil leak from distributor cap 
  • The ignition system uses the distributor to send high voltage electricity to the spark plugs at the right time. It accomplishes this timing mechanically by a shaft, which connects the crankshaft and ignition distributor, so they spin at the same rate. That shaft, part of the distributor, rests in a bearing inside the distributor.This bearing, the distributor shaft bearing, is known for failing, and allowing the shaft to move slightly.

    As the bearing fails, it allows the shaft to move away from the shaft seal, and oil pours into the distributor cap, causing misfires.

    The play in the shaft can also cause contact with the crankshaft position sensor, causing a no start problem.

    Total bearing failure will be most evident from the grinding noise that changes with engine speed, and oil in the ignition distributor cap.

    If the bearing is making noise, driving or running the vehicle can result in catastrophic engine failure.

    To correct this issue, the ignition distributor and shaft must be replaced. Any damage to the crankshaft position sensor will necessitate replacement as well.

     

    The distributors on higher mileage vehicles can leak oil onto the heater hose causing the hose to soften and break. Heater hose breakage will cause a coolant leak.

    Leaking gaskets around the tail lights can allow water entry into the tail light assembly. New gaskets should fix this concern.

    The front brake rotors can warp and cause a vibration when braking. The rotors will need to be machined or in cases where they are worn too thin, replaced to correct this issue.

    The temperature control knob may break, requiring replacement.

    Plugged moon roof drains can cause a water leak inside the car. The water will usually leak onto the driver's or passenger's head when the car turns a corner.

    The head gaskets are prone to fail if the engine overheats. When the temperature climbs above the normal operating temperature, turn the heater on the hottest setting, pull over, and shut the engine off to allow the engine to cool down.

    On some models moisture could make its way into the rear wheel bearing, which would lead to noise. Rear wheel bearing and dust cap replacement will be needed for this repair.

    Our technicians note that this model must be fully warmed up in order to pass the smog/emissions test.
    Poor radio reception can be caused by corrosion in the antenna mast. Replacement of the antenna and other corroded parts will be needed.