Car surges when given full throttle

Car had some other issues, but so far those are gone. Before it would die just getting up to operating temps by flooding out. So I replaced the injectors, now it’s fine.

I was driving, and the tach bounced a little, and I got a CEL. Pulled over, turned it off/on and the CEL was gone.

Driving back, I gave it WOT, and it wouldn’t rev, it just hit what felt like a limiter, and the car started lurching. However, under normal acceleration, it has no problems, even going to redline. It’s just only once I put my foot down.

I replaced my coil, ignitor, tps, and map sensor, with other ones I had laying around. So for all I know, I could have fixed the problem, but with a part that is on the way out also.

Any ideas? Because it would be nice for it to just be a sensor, rather than needing lets say… a whole new distributor.


This happened to me before, it’s probably your ecu. Are you running the stock ecu?

Stock ECU, and tried another already.

Hmm I’m not sure what it could be then, I had the EXACT same symptoms when running a bad map.

Next time this happens, pull over somewhere safe, DO NOT turn off the car! Instead, jump the service connector and read the CEL code. That should be your next step.

Service connector? This is an OBD-0 car, so as far as I know there isn’t a diagnostic port. The CEL was the code43 like a while back. Fuel Supply System. Though from what I’ve read on here, this error is an odd one. Some have fixed it by doing things that don’t even make sense, aka; bad ground connections, bad o2 sensor (which I’ve done), things pertaining to the distributor, etc. Personally I’d like to not spend 150 bucks if it’s not a bad overall distributor. But this problem is kicking my ass something fierce.

When it happened, the car just lurches, kind of like when you downshift into first too soon, and it just surges/lurches/just plain unpleasant if you’re in the car. Kind if like accelerating, tapping the brakes, accelerating, brakes, accel, brakes… kind of like the feeling when you try to push start a car. UGH hard to explain, but it just lurches like that when I put my foot down.

TPS, have you checked it?

TPS can’t be bad on all of my throttle bodies.

Anywho, I’m back to my original problem. I have just replaced the distributor with a brand new unit, and the car starts up great, but like before, once it starts getting warm, it does exactly this;

  1. Tach needle blips some. Normally up a few hundred RPM’s, nothing drastic. Engine idle is still smooth, and can’t hear any change.
  2. Engine starts to surge some. Like it’s actual revs are dropping a few hundred RPM, than back up. Drop down a bit more, than back up.
    3a. If I give it no throttle, just let it keep doing what it’s doing, it just dies. I can start it right away, but the same thing happens.
    3b. If I give it throttle, it will just bounce like it doesn’t want to rev, and I can hear little backfires. If I coax it to rev higher, than give it full throttle, it will rev all the way up as if there’s no problem. And this is WOT, not a gradual increase.

I also replaced the sensor in the intake manifold runner, the little small plastic one, with a spare I had, no difference. Hell, I don’t even know what it’s there for, heh.

Could a bad/broken AICV actually cause the car to die like this? Because this problem has me slamming the door and hood, which is something I never do.

Any more insight would be great, thanks.

The sensor in your intake is the intake air temp sensor. I don’t beleive that could be your problem. The IACV and distibutor are faliure prone in hondas. I’ve never experienced this problem. The IACV should not effect accell of the engine, only low idleing rpm’s. Which would be a fluctuation at idle. Sounds like something is telling the ecu to add more fuel and then the o2 is counter acting to run it leaner? Which would give you your erratic idle with no abilty to accell fast. Sorry i couldn’t be a big help. lol

Are you still getting the CEL? You stated that you read the CEL a while back. It could be a different code now (or more codes). I would suggest you read it again and see if it may have changed.

For Code43, check your fuel filter, if you have an inline fuel pressure guage, you can also check the fuel pressure at the fuel rail (should be over 32psi). And fyi the O2 sensor can infact cause code43 (and its pretty common on older Honda’s). Did you replace your O2 with a used unit or a new one?

Hey boosted. I got the same exact problem w/ my car. i just got home right now from driving for just 20 min, and i thought i had fixed by changing the icu. It did work for a few days but its back to square one.

In response to Dragon; Yea, it has a new o2, brand new. Fuel filter is also new. I don’t think this problem is mechanical, as the car ran fine before, and it just happened out of the blue.

No other code besides that 43, and I’m not even sure it’s still there, as there’s no CEL when I let it idle. This car is just a nightmare, which is sad because it’s in fantastic shape. =\

you have to check for codes again. the mil may not be illuminated, but a code will still be stored.
and to answer a previous post, an iat sensor can effect drivability. the iat sends signal to the pcm which compares it to the ect sensors signal.
a bad ect sensor could easily also cause your problem. and could throw a code 43, as can an iat. you can check the ect sensor by measuring its resistance cold, then using a hair dryer to measure it warm. the same can be done with the iat. check to see that it ranges within spec.
a bad tdc sensor could also cause your issue and is quite common. in which case the distributor would need to be replaced.

but first and foremost, check for codes. always

just re-read the post. erratic tach coupled with hesitation is usually a sign of a bad ckp. crank position sensor. in which case the distributor would need to be replaced.

i would check for codes, of course. because that should throw a code. if it didn’t, try testing with a known good distributor

Also, I have a brand new distributor on it, which I said a few posts up. So it’s not that… =\

sorry bout that. was kind of skimming. check for codes though. for sure

dont be so sure of that. where did you get this distributor from?


It’s a Richporter distributor. I looked around before I bought it, they’re just fine. Put it on my friends car, and it runs just fine.

sounds like youve covered that base, I only asked cause I bought a Dist. King one and it was faulty so I had to send it back and get another one.


But yea, remember that this problem only occurs when the engine is warmed up some. Dead cold it’s like nothing is wrong at all. So I’m thinking what ever is wrong, is something that controls fuel, and changes things based on engine temperature.

Could a completely shot AICV cause this problem? And again, the only code it’s ever had is a 43.