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Anthony
Anthony, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Honda
Satisfied Customers: 11808
Experience:  ASE Master Automobile Technician with over 20 years exp.
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My 1993 Honda prelude is not sending a spark signal to the

Customer Question

My 1993 Honda prelude is not sending a spark signal to the coil pack it has power but the wire is not sending signal so the coil will not spark either
JA: Are you fixing your Prelude yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: I have tried a different main relay, ignition switch, and another ecu
JA: How many miles are on the car? Has the car been starting normally?
Customer: And yes myself
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: 153,000 miles and before it stopped sending spark the rpms were fluttering all over the place and it hit 0 and died out
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Honda
Expert:  Honda-Man replied 1 month ago.

Thank you for taking time to seek expert Honda advice. I am reviewing your question and gathering information. Please standby.

Expert:  Honda-Man replied 1 month ago.

It sounds like the ignition module(ICM) has gone bad. When it's going out the tach needle will act erratic. It's one of the most common no-start and stalling problems. It's inside the distributor housing, I have included instructions for replacing it. Click on the blue text to go to a parts site for the price.

Please navigate to the rating page and provide a rating. If you are using the free trial, or have a subscription a rating is still required. If for any reason you can't rate now please tell me why so I can continue to help. The rating has nothing to do with when or how you get charged. Rating is how JustAnswer knows when to credit me. I will keep the question open after you provide a rating today.
Thank you,
~Honda-Man
Factory trained and ASE certified Honda-BMW tech 30+ years experience.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I also have a new coil pack and new distributor on the car but if it's after the coil and the coil isn't receiving spark how could that be the problem?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
The new parts were added after the car decided to give out
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Also all fuses and relays have been checked and are in good order
Expert:  Honda-Man replied 1 month ago.

You didn't mention that?

Expert:  Honda-Man replied 1 month ago.

So have you checked the ignition module? Tested it?

Expert:  Honda-Man replied 1 month ago.

It's what controls spark or switches the coil.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
it is in working order
Expert:  Honda-Man replied 1 month ago.

Guess I am out of suggestions then, sorry. I will opt-out.

Expert:  Anthony replied 1 month ago.

Hi!

Different expert here...

What exact engine do you have?

Do you have a voltmeter or can you get one?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
H22a1 and I have a multimeter and I would be able to use it on Saturday is that ok?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Also have the light tester
Expert:  Anthony replied 1 month ago.

Ok sure

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Would I be able to reply to you then and the convo will just continue right?
Expert:  Anthony replied 1 month ago.

Correct

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Alright I'm at my car and have the multimeter along with the rest light
Expert:  Anthony replied 1 month ago.

Sorry for the delay...

I wasnt sure when you would be back. Are you still near the car?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I actually just left where my car is and it's ok would you be able to tell me what I would check with re multimeter so I can get straight to it tomorrow and tell you the results?
Expert:  Anthony replied 1 month ago.

Ok, turn on the key. At the distributors wire connector see if the yellow with black stripe wire has 12 volts to ground or the engine block.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Alright there is not a yellow with black stripe but there is a fat solid yellow one so I tested that and got 11.49v
Expert:  Anthony replied 1 month ago.

Hi

Okay you have a bad part in that distributor. Its either the module or the coil. It cant be anything else.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I don't have any spark going to the coil and it's new and so is the dizzy
Expert:  Anthony replied 1 month ago.

Right but not true int his case. YOu have power so it only can be a defective module or distributor causing no spark. Or in a rare case if the rotor does not turn when cranking the engine, you have a broken timing belt.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I'll take it out and get it tested at a oriellys or autozone is there any chance it could be a bad ecu also? Or is there anyway to test a ecu
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
It's not the timing belt for sure I took off the valve cover and saw it turn when cranking
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I guess there isn't any distributor testing here what will I need to do to test everything in the distributor
Expert:  Anthony replied 1 month ago.

Hi

The ECU cant be the problem. The distributor is self contained in making a spark. ITs probably a bad module from the start. Have it tested or try another one.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Alright I'll try another is there no possible way to test it with my multimeter at home?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
There isn't anywhere around me that doesn't test distributors
Expert:  Anthony replied 1 month ago.

Hello!

The only test is to see if its getting power which you did. Power + no spark means bad distributor. Try getting a fully rebuilt distributor thats been tested.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Alright cool I'll get back to you with the results when I get it
Expert:  Anthony replied 1 month ago.

Ok great

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Alright I changed out the ICM and still no spark the dizzy is a external coil and I did a diagnostic on my car since it's obd1 just used a pin connector and the CEL stays solid which im guessing means code 0 which is a bad ecu
Expert:  Anthony replied 1 month ago.

Hi!

Any code thats 0 is a bad ecu in most cases.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
would that affect the spark you think?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
your also confirming that a solid light during diagnostic is a code 0
Expert:  Anthony replied 1 month ago.

What exact engine do you have? Is it a vtech?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
it is a vtec
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
2.2l h22a1 Dohc vtec
Expert:  Anthony replied 1 month ago.

Yes a bad ecm can inhibit spark. Its not very common but very possible.

Expert:  Anthony replied 1 month ago.

Based on your info, the ecm is not firing the module.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
You get the info from the previous mechanic also right I think my ICM was going out and the ECU decided to go out around the same time I'm guessing since I had erratic rpms before the engine shut off and stay off it was like very erratic rpms jumping everywhere real fast
Expert:  Anthony replied 1 month ago.

Well he didnt know it was a vtech and i didnt until now. A vtech gets its spark from the ecu so thats why i am agreeing to the ecu being bad. The vtech part has changed my answer.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Do you know if the ECU is interchangeble with any 4th gen vtec manual or is it year specific and generation specific
Expert:  Anthony replied 1 month ago.

Its specific to the year because of the timing tables stored in the ecm.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Alright I'll find somewhere that repairs them and get back to you on that
Expert:  Anthony replied 1 month ago.

sure thing

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Alright I ended up trying another ignition switch and it actually started right up