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Old 07-12-2014, 08:39 AM   #1
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1st Gen Honda CR-V - engine cuts out intermittently

2.0L engine. The other day it cut out while driving. I pulled over. Cranked it and it fired up fine. With mental note to sort it out at home, I drove on. 200 feet later, it cut out again. Parked it and took transit to appointment. 3 hours later I come back. It fires up immediately. I gingerly drive it home. Around the block at home, I try all sorts of full power runs, stop and start the engine--100% fine, 100% normal power.

I should clarify: when it "cuts out", it runs extremely rough for about 2 seconds, then cuts out, not like turning off the engine.

I'm not a tech but like most of you, am an enthusiast and good with a wrench. I'm thinking the following:

1) loose cable, perhaps to coil
2) coil
3) distributor
4) fuel pump
5) ignition switch

Because the car normally runs fine, I think it's not one particular cylinder.

Also, since it normally runs well, it's not something that slowly degrades and affects overall performance (e.g. Oxygen sensor).

Any comments and advice welcome.
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Last edited by banshee; 07-15-2014 at 01:15 AM. Reason: Poor grammar
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Old 07-12-2014, 09:39 AM   #2
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Check your ground wires.
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Old 07-12-2014, 09:55 AM   #3
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Our family Odyssey also had the issue of randomly stalling while driving. A lot of the earlier 2000's Hondas had ignition switch problems. We discovered the car went through the recall already so the new switch must have failed aswell.

Car would be driving normally then just shut off, the locks would come back up and there would be a green key symbol reminding you to take your keys.

Replaced the ignition switch and everything was fine again.
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Old 07-12-2014, 10:04 AM   #4
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CRV owners unite! I recently just ran into this issue as well. Randomly cuts out, sometimes it will crank over, some times it won't.

Initially, I thought this was related to a set of spark plug wires that a friend gave me, from NGK or something. We installed it and about a few days later, the cutting out started to happen. The car turned over right away after I swapped the wires back to OEM. But the issue was still happening after that.

Check your spark plug connections.
Check the fuel filter, prime the engine and check if fuel is working.

My solution at the moment, and it hasn't cut out since we swapped it, was the distributor. Put a new one in there and hasn't cut out since... though the guys at The Speed Syndicate think it may be the main relay that is causing the issue. The distributor is rather expensive :/

Hope this helps
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Old 07-12-2014, 11:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LP700-4 View Post
Our family Odyssey also had the issue of randomly stalling while driving. A lot of the earlier 2000's Hondas had ignition switch problems. We discovered the car went through the recall already so the new switch must have failed aswell.

Car would be driving normally then just shut off, the locks would come back up and there would be a green key symbol reminding you to take your keys.

Replaced the ignition switch and everything was fine again.
Thanks LP. Did you remember the car cutting out "completely", i.e., radio too? Or just the engine? When it cut out, was it "quick" like you turned off the key? Or did it run rough for a bit?

In our CR-V, the radio remains playing. And the engine sputters for a couple seconds and then dies.
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Old 07-12-2014, 11:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k3lv View Post
CRV owners unite! I recently just ran into this issue as well. Randomly cuts out, sometimes it will crank over, some times it won't.

Initially, I thought this was related to a set of spark plug wires that a friend gave me, from NGK or something. We installed it and about a few days later, the cutting out started to happen. The car turned over right away after I swapped the wires back to OEM. But the issue was still happening after that.

Check your spark plug connections.
Check the fuel filter, prime the engine and check if fuel is working.

My solution at the moment, and it hasn't cut out since we swapped it, was the distributor. Put a new one in there and hasn't cut out since... though the guys at The Speed Syndicate think it may be the main relay that is causing the issue. The distributor is rather expensive :/

Hope this helps
Thanks K. Similar to my question for LP, did your engine sputter? Or did it cut out quickly? I'm thinking that if it was the main relay (or ignition switch) it would behave as if you turn off the car.

In my case, the engine sputters and gasps for a couple seconds, then dies, which points to perhaps the distributor.

How long has the distributor solution remained problem-free?
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Old 07-12-2014, 11:45 AM   #7
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The engine cut out and go limp as if I turned it off, dash lights turn on as if the key was in the position to crank over. Still have electricity.

Distributor solution has been in there since... June 25th.
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Old 07-12-2014, 02:13 PM   #8
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for first gen crv, 2 things come to mind. Ignitor or ignition switch.

While the engine is running, firmly wiggle and jiggle the key while its inthe ignition. if it cuts out, its the switch. Or next time it stalls while driving. Take note before touching anything. Are any warning lights on the dash (as if you turned on the ignition without cranking)?
Or are all the warning lights out on the dash (as if you turned off the ignition)?

Ignition switch I think would be the most common on first gen crv
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Old 07-12-2014, 04:15 PM   #9
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When was the last time you had the valves adjusted?

1st Gen CRVs need to have the valves adjusted much sooner than the NA Honda literature says. If its not done, the valves will pound into the head.

Stalling could be a sign of the valves being off. Many people reported on forums that when first started cold, if put into reverse it would stall as well.

You may want to check the valve adjustment sooner than later, just in case. If its left too long, new valves or a new head will be in order.
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:26 PM   #10
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Stalling from tight valves won't be very common. Unless its so tight, theres no compression remaining. But before it gets to that point, misfiring, more particularly at idle would be the main symptom.
I wouldn't think lack of valve adjustments would cause valve seats to wear. I tend be believe its the other way around. What causes valve seats to wear? Carbon build up? Wear and tear? For whatever reason, these crv's are more prone to it. Once they start to wear, adjusting them is just a temporary fix. Eventualy, will run out of adjustment, and as noted above...new head will be in order.
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Old 07-13-2014, 08:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puck Luck View Post
Stalling from tight valves won't be very common. Unless its so tight, theres no compression remaining. But before it gets to that point, misfiring, more particularly at idle would be the main symptom.
I wouldn't think lack of valve adjustments would cause valve seats to wear. I tend be believe its the other way around. What causes valve seats to wear? Carbon build up? Wear and tear? For whatever reason, these crv's are more prone to it. Once they start to wear, adjusting them is just a temporary fix. Eventualy, will run out of adjustment, and as noted above...new head will be in order.
Its actually a pretty common problem on the CRV B20 motors for some reason. The valves tighten up, and eventually cause plenty of issues. Stalling is reportedly one of them.

Pretty easy to look up on both CRVownersclub.com and hondasuv.com. Both have a few examples.

General consensus is that the US owners manual stating that valves only needed to be adjusted every 100K miles or so was some kind of misprint. I believe the UK manual stated every 40K miles.

Just putting it out there to look into if you find nothing else. Its pretty easy to pop the valve cover and at least check them just to be safe.
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