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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2003 Honda Insight manual trans with AC with about 160k miles. I'm hoping that you guys can help on where to start troubleshooting. When the car is idling, every so often there's a single misfire and it happens a lot more often with the AC on. Like every 5 seconds it will misfire at least once when the AC is on. I feel like the stumbling when driving at around 45 mph is also misfire but less pronounced because of the higher rpm. The car has done this ever since a bought it a year ago with about 145k miles, but it seems to be misfiring more often now. The battery and spark plugs have been replaced recently. The spark plugs were a little white, which I'm assuming is normal for a lean burn engine. There's no check engine light, but there is a code for the accelerator pedal position sensor. I've thought about replacing the ignition coil, but a good one is about $70 each and I don't want to just throw money at it.

What do you guys think? Could this be related to the accelerator pedal position sensor CEL or would it be a good idea to get some ignition coils?
 

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Take it out for a long drive and "Drive it like it you stole it" for a while and see if you can get it to set a code.
If you are in the NE, I would say a coil is starting to malfunction.
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Discussion Starter #4
Take it out for a long drive and "Drive it like it you stole it" for a while and see if you can get it to set a code.
If you are in the NE, I would say a coil is starting to malfunction.
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I drive it pretty hard a lot and I've never had a check engine light. I'm in Florida and the car was always registered in Florida.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
RPM? MPH is not as useful as RPM + what gear you are in.
It stumbles at around 45mph at 5th gear. I can't remember what exact rpm that is. It does feel like it's more dependent on the amount of throttle I'm applying than the rpm. When it stumbles at 45mph, I can increase the throttle and the misfire goes away.
 

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I'd start by replacing the TPS. That's my next attempt at fixing my part-throttle bucking.
 

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The P3xx codes are notoriously slow to set. If you could get a P3xx code you might have a place to start. I too think coils are a good bet since you replaced plugs. Like Willie said, take it out and drive it hard with the A/C on. Maybe you can get a code to set. Use lots of acceleration, brake, accelerate hard.

Of course, check your ground straps under the air filter by giving them a good hard pull. That would be cheap.

Could also be an ignition switch, though that doesn't seem to come up very often. Could be corrosion on the ECM plugs, since the "fire" starts there. Has the passenger carpet been wet?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The P3xx codes are notoriously slow to set. If you could get a P3xx code you might have a place to start. I too think coils are a good bet since you replaced plugs. Like Willie said, take it out and drive it hard with the A/C on. Maybe you can get a code to set. Use lots of acceleration, brake, accelerate hard.

Of course, check your ground straps under the air filter by giving them a good hard pull. That would be cheap.

Could also be an ignition switch, though that doesn't seem to come up very often. Could be corrosion on the ECM plugs, since the "fire" starts there. Has the passenger carpet been wet?
Water does get in with hard rains in the driver side. It's humid in the car for awhile every time it rains hard. The ground straps look good and are tight. I'll try undoing and tightening the bolt. Okay, I'll drive it hard with the AC on tomorrow and see what happens. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I drove it really hard today and no check engine light. I'm going to order a TPS and see if the trouble code goes away.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I used my OBDII scanner today and it didn't have any codes at all so I'm not going to order a TPS yet. I guess I'll keep driving it until I get a code. I still get excellent gas mileage so I don't mind it too much.
 

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I have a similar issue with my 00 MT. To me it happens when transitioning out of lean burn at a similar MPH in 5th. I have chalked it up to a likely dirty EGR plate. For me that is where I'm going to start since gaskets and time are cheap.
 

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The plate gaskets are reusable. I sprayed the metal one with copper gasket spray just to be sure it sealed. Cleaning the EGR didn't fix the stumble for me. But it needed to be done anyway. I cleaned all the head passages too. Today I drove with the EGR valve blocked off with a plate and it still stumbles. Been putting off trying to get the TPS out. Hoping to avoid taking the whole TB out. Maybe I can reach the headless screws with my die grinder.
 

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Will be looking forward to feedback on this. retepsnikrep and others have postulated that this is the real root of many examples of rough running. I've wondered if one could see the glitches in the potentiometer with an analog meter like Sean proposed with the EBR Printed Circuit resistor??
 

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Drtye, please include your Location in your Profile.
Well the LEAN BURN window has such a wide variance from about 19" to 8" of vacumn, so when the "Purge" happens there is a sudden jump from the high to the low inches of vacumn that the engine will stutter, especially if the engine is under a heavy "Load" situation. It's probably all in the MAP settings of the ECU.
My theory.
 

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You may be on to something. Could be a tired and slow to react sensor(s) seeing how it is almost a 20 year old car. I haven't had much of any seat time 10 years ago to see if that was a common problem. It might be a sticking egr that is reacting slowly and the ecu is attempting to over compensate and that's when you get the wild map value swings. I need to get my scanner on this and do some data logs. I know I also need to go through and do the basic maintenance items seeing howhat I bought the car a couple months ago
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I cleaned out the EGR plate the other day. Nothing in there appeared to be clogged and there was only a thin layer of carbon. I reused the metal gasket. I haven't driven it too much since. But, the little bit I have driven it under 45 mph, it hasn't stumbled at all. I'm going to drive it at higher speeds tomorrow.

That's an interesting theory Willie. But I can't imagine Honda not thinking about that detail and not at least offering a software update for the ECU. If the issue is lean burn related, then disconnecting the MAP sensor and seeing if it doesn't stumble might confirm it. If it stops stumbling, I can at least confirm that my ignition coils are fine.
 

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I cleaned out the EGR plate the other day. Nothing in there appeared to be clogged and there was only a thin layer of carbon. I reused the metal gasket. I haven't driven it too much since. But, the little bit I have driven it under 45 mph, it hasn't stumbled at all. I'm going to drive it at higher speeds tomorrow.

That's an interesting theory Willie. But I can't imagine Honda not thinking about that detail and not at least offering a software update for the ECU. If the issue is lean burn related, then disconnecting the MAP sensor and seeing if it doesn't stumble might confirm it. If it stops stumbling, I can at least confirm that my ignition coils are fine.
Try cleaning the injectors with a bottle of Techron.
 
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