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1991 Honda Accord Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 1991 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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24
Known Problems

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»

Power door locks can activate intermittently due to a faulty door lock actuator in the driver's door.

The starter motor used on the 1990-1997 Honda Accord V6 frequently fails on vehicles around 125,000 miles.

It may help prolong the life of the starter to service the starter to ensure the connections are clean and tight at the 100,000 mile mark.

The Honda Accord has a known issue with engine oil leaking from the ignition distributor shaft seal.

Leakage from the shaft seal coats the electrical components of the distributor with engine oil causing:

  • Failure to start 
  • Engine randomly misfires 
  • OBD Trouble code(s) P0300, P0301, P0302, P0303, P0304, P1336, P1337 
  • Engine vibrations  
  • Hesitation or stalling 
  • Cleaning the distributor cap and rotor can help or resolve driveability issues temporarily, but the mentioned issues will return shortly.

    Once this issue is diagnosed, the ignition distributor shaft seal must be replaced, and the distributor shaft bearing must be inspected.

    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.

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

    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 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.

    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.

     

    Smelling burning engine oil is common on the 1990-2002 Honda Accord 4-cylinder engine, and is associated with oil leaking from the valve cover. It is most common to smell the oil burning at a stop light, or just after you shut off your engine.

    Engine oil leaks from the valve cover, drains down, and settles on the exhaust manifold, which burns the oil upon contact due to high exhaust gas temperatures. This creates an odor that comes through the vents, and can be smelled around the front of the vehicle. 

    The valve cover gasket should be replaced in a timely fashion to prevent engine misfires resulting from oil contamination of the ignition coil, which is fairly common.

    Valve cover gasket replacement will correct both the leak and the smell of burned oil at the same time. If the ignition coil or spark plug wire was soaked in oil, it will need to be cleaned or replaced to stop or prevent misfires.

    The camshaft seal, located at the end of the cylinder head, has a reputation for failure on 1990-2002 Honda Accord four cylinder models.

    This seal wraps around the camshaft to prevent engine oil from leaking where the camshaft exits the cylinder head.

    Replacing the leaky seal requires timing belt removal, so timing belt and water pump may be recommended if your vehicle is near the service interval.

    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.

    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 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.