Honda Accord/Prelude 1984-1995 Repair Guide

Description and Operation


All vehicles covered in this information are equipped with an electronic ignition system. This system eliminates the points and condenser. With fewer moving parts, it requires less periodic maintenance.

The electronic ignition system used on 1984-89 Accords and 1984-90 carbureted Preludes employ a magnetic pulse/igniter distributor and a conventional ignition coil. The distributor cap, rotor, advance mechanism (vacuum and centrifugal) and secondary ignition wires are also of standard design. The distributor contains the stator, reluctor and pulse generator (pick-up coil) and igniter assembly.

During operation, when the teeth of the reluctor align with the stator, a signal is generated by the pulse generator (pick-up coil) and sent to the igniter (module). The module, upon receiving the signal, opens the primary windings of the ignition coil. As the primary magnetic field collapses, a high voltage surge is developed in the secondary windings of the coil. This high voltage surge travels from the coil to the distributor cap and rotor through the secondary ignition wires to the spark plugs.

The system used on 1990-95 Accords and 1989-95 fuel injected Preludes uses the distributor components to signal the engine computer. The ECU triggers the spark through the igniter unit and coil. This spark timing is controlled by the computer as an integrated function of the fuel management system. The distributor contains a crankshaft angle sensor and a No. 1 Cylinder Top Dead Center (TDC) sensor. Using these and other electrical inputs, the computer controls spark timing electrically. This system eliminates the need for mechanical and/or vacuum advance mechanisms within the distributor.