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Stalls upon startup or driving


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Good morning guys, hope you’re having a good day so far. I need some help in having my mom’s car fixed. She has a 2008 Honda Accord i4 auto with 147k. Her car has been stalling upon startup and as of recent has been stalling while she drives. When she brakes and takes a turn or when she’s at a stop. We did change the Crankshaft Position Sensor (OEM), Spark Plugs (OEM), Ignition Coils (OEM) Starter (OEM), Mass Air Flow (OEM), and Air Filter. Throttle Body has been cleaned, and had a mechanic test the fuel pump and results came back normal and there is no air leaks anywhere. I, along with mechanics are stumped and don’t know what the problem is. There’s no check engine light codes either. Is there anything else that we’re missing to check that can cause this issue? It’s very dangerous and is a safety issue for her going down the road and for others as well. Thank you guys very much for the help in advance!

Also forgot to mention we did have the battery and alternator tested and they both came out find as well. Sorry!

2 Answers

You probably wasted a lot of money on those other parts.  You should have replaced the MAP sensor and PCV valve.

I’ll definitely give those a try after I’m off work. Thank you Doc!

I along with you have a similar problem and replaced many of the same parts. Luckily, none of the parts you replaced are outrageously expensive with the exception of the OEM MAF sensor, but it does start to add up. My car doesn't have a MAF sensor so I didn't buy a new one to try and solve the problem. It does have a MAP sensor so I'll be interested in seeing if this fixes your problem. A MAP sensor should throw a code when it goes bad but it can also cause engine problems without throwing a code if it's still within the +/- parameters set by the manufacturer. My car hasn't thrown even one diagnostic trouble code for the past six months that my car has had stalling problems.

Before you buy a new PCV valve you can test it buy unplugging it and seeing if it rattles. I think you can also suck on it but you should look up a YouTube video and find out for sure. I think a bad PCV valve might also cause the engine to run roughly and should cause a drop in fuel milage.

Does your mother's car have an "inertia switch". My Honda doesn't (at least I haven't been able to find it) but a bad or corroded connection on that switch could cause stalling problems.

Also, InTrustWeTrust ("Wingman,", one of the moderators) linked a video where Scotty fixed a no-start Honda with a replacement distributor. I've already replaced the ICU and coil inside of my distributor but it could conceivably be an internal wiring problem within the distributor that causes stalling and hard re-starting.

Good luck with finding your problem.

Good morning! So I did over the weekend replaced both the MAP and PCV Valve and no luck. I’m starting to think maybe it’s electrical? But im not entirely sure. Twice after I replaced the parts it was running just idling and next thing I knew it stalled out and died, twice. Still no codes and I don’t know where to go from here. I checked the ground wires while I was working and doesn’t seem like any oddities that I was able to detect. I will try and research what you mentioned Dave and I’ll look into it when I’m off from work.

Have you checked your fuel pump ("main") relay? It's probably fine since you have good fuel pressure. But intermittent problems can fool you. I took mine apart and re-flowed the solder joints. You can tell if your fuel pump relay and fuel pump work by turning the ignition key slightly past the second position but not quite enough to turn over the engine. The idiot lights (including the CEL) will illuminate briefly. If all is working you will hear the relay click (by the glove box) and the fuel pump buzz while it pressurizes the fuel system. Then the CEL will turn off.

Does the stalling happen when the engine is cold or only after it gets hot? When ICM's (igniter) begin going bad they just quit when they get too hot. On second thought, your car may not have an igniter if it has coil on plugs. My car has a distributor with an igniter and a single coil inside of it.

My next move is will be cleaning up the electrical connection from the distributor. I have been unable to unplug is as it's frozen in tight. If that's due to corrosion in the connector that might cause the electrical signal to be weak or to cut out.
I'll post how it goes on the thread I started. Good luck with figuring out you problem.


Something else to consider.  Some Hondas had a problem with the ignition key wiring harness.  This could cause random stalling.  There was a recall for some years and models.  I'm not really sure how to go about testing it.  But buying a new wiring harness would be kind of expensive, if you could even find the part.  I figured that my ignition key wiring was probably OK since it cranks the engine just fine, even when I can't start the engine.  

Check your car for recalls. There may have been a recall for the transmission control module (TCM) that could cause stalling. Check at:

I finally traced my Honda's stalling problem to a faulty ignition switch. This is the wiring harness that I mentioned in my earlier post. The contacts inside the switch were scorched pretty badly. When that happens the resistance of the circuit increases to the point where not enough current gets through to the ignition circuit. Turns out that you can buy a good aftermarket ignition switch on Amazon for $30 or so. Find a copy of the Honda service manual for your car and look up the specs and testing procedure for the switch. Be aware that intermittent failures can lead you to inconclusive results. Replacing the ignition switch is an inexpensive and easy job to do.