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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.

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26
Known Problems

Several symptoms can occur due to the power door lock actuators failing. These can include doors that don't lock, doors that lock themselves and doors that won't unlock. Often times these problems are intermittent and there's no rhyme or reason as to when the issues will occur.

Once it has been diagnosed and determined one of the door actuators is the problem, the part can not be repaired and must be replaced. 

Ignition switch failure may cause the car to stall or fail to start. Honda issued a recall to replace the ignition switch. For more information on this recall please click here»

The radio and climate control display can go dark on some models. It will be necessary to replace the affected unit to correct this concern. Some customers have reported receiving help from Honda regarding this repair.

Honda Accord models may develop shifting issues with the automatic transmission accompanied by warning lights.  

Rough shifting may occur, and the “D4” light and check engine may begin to blink. The check engine light will also illuminate, and OBD trouble codes P0700, P0730, P0740, P0780, P1768 and/or P1768 will be stored in the computer.

If the transmission shifts roughly, the failure is very likely mechanical failure of the transmission. If the transmission performs normally, a faulty sensor, or dirty transmission fluid may be the case.

In most cases, it is necessary to use professional diagnostic equipment to provide a diagnosis, and complete the repair.

The longevity of the transmission is dependent on strict adherence to the manufacturer's recommendation for ATF replacement intervals and procedure.

The front brake rotors can warp and cause a vibration when braking. You will feel vibrations in the brake pedal and the steering wheel. The rotors should be replaced to correct this issue. Using high-quality rotors is highly recommended. The OEM parts are best for brake repairs but some aftermarket rotors can work well. It's always good to ask your mechanic to use rotors they've seen the best results from. 

Some models have shift quality problems when shifting into third gear. A new "third gear set" from Honda will address this issue.

The 1990-1997 Honda Accord V6 is well known for issues with the fuel pump and fuel injection relays.

These relays send power to the fuel pump and fuel injectors when the key is turned to the “ON” position. So, when they fail, there is no electrical current to the necessary fuel system components to send fuel into the engine, causing engine stalling or failure to start.

In this situation, there are many other possibilities, so testing components is vital for time and money savings.

If the relays test bad, they must be replaced with relays specific for that circuit.

To help prolong the life of your under-hood electrical components, ensure the lid for the fuse block is closed, and any factory sealing material is correctly installed.

The front axles are prone to failure on the 1990-2002 Honda Accord 4-Cylinder. This will be evident as fast clicking or popping sounds will be audible while driving, most commonly when the steering wheel is turned while the vehicle is in forward motion.

Constant velocity (CV) axles, sometimes called a “half-shaft”, are designed to allow the wheels to be driven by the transmission, even when turning the steering wheel.

They are manufactured of a shaft with a gear at both ends. When one of the gears on the end of the shaft fails, it will make noise as the vehicle is driven.

The axle should be replaced immediately, or damage may occur to the wheel bearing/hub assembly if left unattended.

 

The exhaust recirculation valve (EGR) on the 1990-2007 Honda Accord V6 may fail, causing:

  • Illumination of thecheck engine light
  • OBD trouble codes P0401 and P1491
  • Rough idle
  • Reduced fuel economy
  • Engine vibrations
  • Hesitation or stalling
  • Long cranking before engine starts
  • Failure of state or federal smog tests
  • The EGR valve has open and closed positions, and opens or closes on command from the computer.

    Exhaust gases constantly pass through the valve when it is open, leaving carbon deposits on the valve. These carbon deposits may lead the the valve sticking in the open or closed position.

    To correct this issue, sometimes it is sufficient to clean the valve, but replacement is recommended in all cases.

    For further information on your vehicle's issue, try out our diagnostics tool here.

    Damaged engine mounts can lead to vibration and roughness felt in the steering wheel. A rattle in the dash and engine area may also be heard. Replacement of damaged mounts will commonly correct these issues.

    The temperature control knob may break, requiring replacement.

    Poor radio reception can be caused by corrosion in the antenna mast. Replacement of the antenna and other corroded parts will be needed.

    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.

  • The driver's door latch assembly can break internally, which causes the door to stay closed. The interior and exterior door handles do not work to open the door. Our technicians note that the door panel must be removed while the door is closed (likely damage will occur) and the latch assembly must be drilled in a specific spot for the door to open.

    The 1990-2016 Honda Accord engine oil pressure sensor may leak from normal operation.

    More information about the oil pressure sensor here.

    To correct the leak, the sensor must be inspected, properly sealed and installed, or replaced with new.