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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys. I REALLY need some help with this issue. Sorry for the extremely long post but I figured it would be best to explain my situation completely.

Well I purchased my 1992 H23 Prelude late last year and this issue has persisted since day 1. Basically, I will drive my car and it will perform top notch UNTIL my gas tank reaches below half. I will start at the beginning: The day I purchased my car, it was performing great. I took it for a test drive, and it drove like a dream. So once I made the purchase, I set off to the interstate to drive back to my house. I wasn't concerned about gas since my gas meter showed FULL. So about 30 minutes down the road, my car started performing oddly. I would lose power and then it would KICK back up. After a while, the issue happened more and more until I decided to stop by the gas station and see if that would fix the issue. While driving on the exit ramp toward the gas station, my car dies complete and my gas light comes on. I was extremely fortunate to be able to make it to the gas station (slowly.) I was able to put almost $60 of v-power shell gas in it. So problem solved right? Fuel Level Sending Unit as broken. Replaced it and now my gas meter works. But now here's my current problem. The symptoms that will happen will usually be the most noticeable on the interstate or when I'm pushing the car a little bit. I will have an issue where when I press down my gas to accelerate faster (passing someone) the engine will not give any power. It will seem sluggish and bogged. Now here is what I've noticed, if I drive like a grandma, I can get below half a tank without engine bog but when my tank is that low and I pull up to a stop (sometimes) my engine will either start to idle lower and then go back up OR my engine will completely shut off. It can be quite scary to pull to a stop with traffic and have your engine die on you. So my question is what could be causing this? Clogged fuel filter? Faulty fuel pump? I'm open to any ideas! I click my battery on to listen for my fuel pump and it DOES make noise but not constant. It will buzz until my engine light shuts off.

Also, when I purchased my vehicle, I had it inspected by Ken Towery's and they informed me that all regular maintenance had recently been done. Fluids, Spark Plugs, etc.

Thanks for any help that you guys can give! I'm desperate for answers
 

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Fuel pump will either work, or not work... very seldom will it become periodic unless there is a short in the wiring.

The pump will turn on when you turn the key to the on position until it pressurizes the system, and then turn off. That is normal.
 

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You are sure that the correct sending unit was put in, and that the float is not getting stuck half-way in the tank?

Have you ever written down the mileage to see what your mpg's are and how much fuel you are using?

How far can you drive WHILE your car is bogging and how long does it take to peter out?
I wonder if you are actually at empty despite the guage saying half...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
You are sure that the correct sending unit was put in, and that the float is not getting stuck half-way in the tank?

Have you ever written down the mileage to see what your mpg's are and how much fuel you are using?

How far can you drive WHILE your car is bogging and how long does it take to peter out?
I wonder if you are actually at empty despite the guage saying half...
I sure have. I average around 23 MPG. and my gauge seems to be reading properly. I can usually drive around 130 miles (Aprox 5/8ths tank left) before I have to start completely driving like a grandma. As for the sending unit, I got it off a junked 4th gen. Seems to work just fine. Certainly better than the one I purchased the car with. Haha

What I did notice however was when I removed the old sending unit, it was practically rusted stuck. Which told me that most likely the previous owner was using cheap gas... :nono: But since I have owned it, I have put nothing but 93 octane premium gas. (Shell or BP)
 

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Ok. The reason I ask, is that if you can without a doubt say that it is ONLY happening when your gas tank gets down to half-way (or close) you can effectively rule out anything past the tank. The pump should be bringing the fuel from near the bottom of the tank, so if your problems are happening around the half, it may be a broken part of the pump or lines, pumping nothing but the gas surrounding it when full, but allowing air to enter the system near the point where it may be broken, loose, or corroded when the fuel level gets to the point of the break/leak.

This would cause EXACTLY what you are experiencing.

Pull your pump out of the tank, and check to be sure all the connections inside are tight and leak-free. If I remember correctly, there is a small rubber piece that is clamped onto the top of the pump with two clamps (which happens to be near the 5/8's mark in the tank). The high levels of ethanol in our gas has been eating away at metal and rubber components. check that hose, the clamps, and the other lines carefully.
The fact you found the sending unit to be rusted would lead me to believe there may be other corrosion issues as well.

There is an entire pump/sending unit on ebay right now for $65 right now if you find you need a new one.

92 93 94 95 96 Honda Prelude Fuel Gas Pump Motor with Assembly Stock | eBay
 

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Pump is probably shot from being too low too much when the sending unit was bad. I personally would have changed the pump and all components. But id change the fuel filter and check your sender job. Maybe ur suckingup tank crap. Run any cleaner recently? No 02 codes?
 

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My friend had an issue with his Prelude where when fuel was low and he cornered hard the engine cut out. He dropped the tanks and upon inspection found it was absolutely gunked up. He also replaced the pump at the same time.
 

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Pump is probably shot from being too low too much when the sending unit was bad. I personally would have changed the pump and all components. But id change the fuel filter and check your sender job. Maybe ur suckingup tank crap. Run any cleaner recently? No 02 codes?
CThondaGuy: The sending unit tells the gas gauge how much gas is in the tank. Basically a float. Doesn't "send" fuel to the engine... it just "sends" a signal to the gauge. And the pump is always pulling from the bottom of the tank, so it would ALWAYS be sucking up crap anytime it had a chance to sit still and settle if that were the case.

The fuel filter would not magically clean itself out anytime the tank was filled and clog up again when the level got to around half in the tank, and this issue has been ongoing LONG before he replaced the sender... about a year if I recall.

Like I said, since it runs fine when the tank is full, but CONSISTANTLY has the problem at the exact same level in the tank each time, it can be attributed to the tank hardware or devices... most likely a leak in one of the lines near the pump, causing pressure and air issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks so much for all the input, guys! It seriously helps me out. I guess what I should do is take out my fuel pump and check everything out. Maybe see if there are any noticeable issues such as leaks or anything.

Any other suggestions, let me know, guys!
 

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How did you make out? Been a while since you posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I did some work with my buddy Chett tonight and we replaced the fuel filter and spark plugs. The fuel filter bolt and fitting had some rust on them and the contents of the filter itself were very rusty and dirty.

The car drives fine for 10 or 15 minutes, but then nearly falls on its face. The engine doesn't stall, but if you give it more than just a bit of gas, it cuts out. Now here's the odd thing. You can stop and shut the motor off. Wait all of 30 seconds, start the car right back up, and everything is fine for another 10 or 15 minutes.

When the gas tank is full, no issue, at least until you get to about 70 miles or so from a full tank. That's when the issue starts back up again.

The thing that makes this such a difficult issue to fix is the fact that I get no check engine light, so I cant plug it up to see what's wrong...

However, here's another weird thing that it does. The car only bogs if its in motion. If I stop the car and put it in neutral, I can rev it completely fine. Same result with the clutch held in. This is why I don't really know how we can check the pressure since the only time it occurs is while in motion.

Here's our theory. Let me know if you guys think this to be a possibility.

Since I can simply shut the car off and turn it back on to temporarily fix the problem, what if when I turn the key on and the fuel pump primes the engine, that gives the engine plenty of gas to perform normally. Then after a few minutes of driving, the engine starts to have less and less gas because the fuel pump isn't sending fuel fast enough. Then when I try accelerate, all it does is bog down because it barely has enough fuel to idle. Just a thought.

ANY INPUT IS EXTREMELY WELCOME AND HELPFUL!!!
 

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You have a leak in the line, sucking in air.
At rest, with no load, even when you are revving, you are using less fuel than you are when you are trying to get 3500 lbs of car rolling forward.
The fact that it is not having the problem with a full tank means the leak is in the lines IN the tank.

When you stop the car, and turn the key on again, the pump is pressurizing the system again, and since it is not USING any, the fuel is getting to the engine again.


I'm assuming that you didn't check the lines in that tank like I suggested earlier. At this point, just get the ENTIRE assembly that goes in the tank (lines and everything) from another car and put it in. I'll bet that your problem goes away.

It is possible that when you replaced the sending unit that you may have bent one of the lines, crimping it, and causing a small leak.
Replace the entire assembly and be done and happy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yeah, unfortunately it is sounding like you're right, man. I really don't want to go through all that trouble but to get my lude working right, I suppose it's worth it. But, come to think about it, since I purchased my car at a dealer, I also purchased a 6 month warrantee that says it covers my fuel pump and most of the labor costs. Looks like I may not have to do it myself, afterall!
 

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-Remove rear seat
-Remove rear floor beam
-remove access panel
-disconnect pump electrical harness
-undo bolts for pump and pull entire pump assembly out.

You said that you removed the old sending unit before, so you SHOULD already know how to do all that. (unless someone else did it for you, then THEY should be fixing it)
If you have a warranty... use it! :)
 

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^ smoke a massive one as well while you do this ;)
^I was going to say something about smoking and sparks and stuff... but I figured common sense would prevail. LOL :laugh:
 

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:laugh: I assume nothing these days.

On this subject..... It did make me chuckle the other day; I got told off on a forecourt for checking my phone while filling my car up, the very same moment an evo rocked in and a 3" flame shot from its exhaust :)

Good luck to the OP
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hey guys! Just a quick little update on what's going on.

I brought my car in to a local shop today and they are ordering a new fuel pump for my car. (Covered by my dealership warranty) If they can find a complete fuel pump assembly, they will order that. So that should be installed ASAP.

Also, on PreludePower, a person told me that the issue may be caused by my external coil? Not exactly sure what that is but he said that it would cause the same issues that I'm having, supposedly. Any input on that?
 

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Hey guys! Just a quick little update on what's going on.

I brought my car in to a local shop today and they are ordering a new fuel pump for my car. (Covered by my dealership warranty) If they can find a complete fuel pump assembly, they will order that. So that should be installed ASAP.

Also, on PreludePower, a person told me that the issue may be caused by my external coil? Not exactly sure what that is but he said that it would cause the same issues that I'm having, supposedly. Any input on that?
They are pulling your chain or don't know what they are talking about. The problem is IN the tank since it is directly corresponding to the level of fuel in your tank. Have them give you the old unit to prove that they replaced the ENTIRE unit, and not JUST the pump. As I said before, the issue is likely with the line that attaches to the pump, not the pump itself... but hey... you'll be getting a new pump outta the deal anyhow!
 
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