Honda Accord/Prelude 1984-1995 Repair Guide

Diagnosis and Testing

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The electronic ignition system on your Honda requires special handling. Unlike conventional ignition systems, it is very sensitive to abrupt changes in voltage or voltage applied in the wrong direction. Observe the following precautions listed to prevent expensive system damage.



Always disconnect the battery cables before doing repair work on the electronic ignition system
 
Always double check the markings on the battery and the routing of the cables before making connections, especially if the battery has been removed and might have been reinstalled in the opposite position. Hooking the battery connections up backwards will cause current to flow through the electronic ignition system in an improper way. Immediate damage may result
 
Do not allow the wires connected to the pulse generator to touch other ignition wiring connections
 
Abnormal voltage pulses may damage the system. Be sure to either disconnect the battery or switch the ignition OFF before performing any work on the vehicle that is of an electrical nature
 
Connect tachometers to the negative terminal of the ignition coil; not to any other connection on the ignition coil
 
Always double check any connection involving the ignition system before reconnecting the battery and putting the system into operation
 
When cranking the engine for compression testing or similar purposes, disable the ignition system. This can be accomplished by unplugging the connectors on the primary side of the coil. Make sure the ignition key is in the OFF position first
 

SERVICE PROCEDURES



Spark Test

The spark test is used to see if the ignition system is delivering electricity through the coil wire to the distributor. Use this test as a preliminary test if the engine cranks but won't start. It's a simple test, but can give a nasty shock if not performed correctly.

  1. Disconnect the end of the coil wire at the distributor.
  2.  
  3. Use a well-insulated tool (such as ignition wire pliers) to hold the exposed end of the wire about 1 / 2 in. (13 mm) from the metal of the engine block.
  4.  


CAUTION
Do not attempt to hold the wire with your bare hand. Use as much insulation as possible between the wire and the tool holding it. Do not stand on wet concrete while testing. Do not lean on the bodywork of the car while testing. The electrical charge will pass through the easiest path to ground; make certain it's not you. Make certain the metal ground point nearest the cable end is safe; don't choose components that might contain fluids or wires.

  1. Have an assistant crank the engine by turning the ignition switch to the START position, but only for 1 or 2 seconds. Keep clear of moving parts under the hood, and keep clothing and hair well out of the way. If the cable end is the correct distance from solid metal, a distinct, blue-white spark should jump to the metal as the engine cranks.
  2.  
  3. The engine may be cranked in 1-2 second bursts. Longer cranking will cause the fuel injectors to deliver fuel into the cylinders, flooding the engine or at least fouling the spark plugs.
  4.  
  5. If no spark is present, turn the ignition switch OFF and proceed to check the resistance of the coil wire, the voltage supply to the coil (12 volts with ignition ON ), the coil resistance, and if applicable, the air gap within the distributor.
  6.  

Reluctor Gap Inspection and Adjustment

See Figure 1

This procedure is applicable only to 1984-89 Accords and 1984-90 carbureted Preludes.

  1. Remove the distributor cap and the rotor.
  2.  
  3. Turn the crankshaft to align the reluctor points with the stator ends.
  4.  
  5. Using a non-metallic feeler gauge, check the reluctor-to-stator air gaps; they must be equal.
  6.  
  7. If necessary, loosen the stator-to-distributor screws, then adjust the stator-to-reluctor air gaps and tighten the screws.
  8.  



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Fig. Fig. 1: Inspect the air gap with a non-metallic feeler gauge

  1. Recheck the air gaps.
  2.  

Igniter Unit Test
1984-89 ACCORD AND PRELUDE WITH HITACHI DISTRIBUTOR

See Figure 2

This procedure is not applicable to 1988-89 fuel injected Preludes.

  1. Remove the distributor cap.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the lead wires from the igniter unit.
  4.  
  5. Using a voltmeter with the ignition switch ON , check the voltage between the blue wire and body ground, then the black/yellow wire to body ground. There should be battery voltage present.
  6.  
  7. If no voltage is present, check the wiring to the igniter unit.
  8.  
  9. Turn the ignition OFF . Using an ohmmeter, check the continuity of the igniter at the terminals:
    1. Place the positive probe on the black/yellow wire terminal and negative probe on the blue wire terminal; continuity should be read on ohmmeter.
    2.  
    3. Place the positive probe on the blue wire terminal and negative probe on the black/yellow wire terminal; no continuity should be read on the ohmmeter.

      Click image to see an enlarged view

      Fig. Fig. 2: Hitachi igniter wiring and terminals

    4.  

  10.  
  11. If ohmmeter readings are not as specified, replace the igniter unit.
  12.  

1984-85 ACCORD AND PRELUDE WITH TOYO DENSO DISTRIBUTOR

See Figure 3

  1. Remove the igniter unit.
  2.  
  3. Using a voltmeter with the ignition switch ON , check the voltage between the blue wire and ground, then the black/yellow wire to ground. There should be battery voltage.
  4.  
  5. If no voltage is present, check the wiring to igniter unit.
  6.  
  7. Turn the ignition switch OFF .
  8.  
  9. Connect a jumper wire between the green and blue terminals. Using an ohmmeter, check the continuity of the igniter at the terminals:
    1. Place the positive probe on the black/yellow wire terminal and negative probe on the blue wire terminal; continuity should be read on ohmmeter.
    2.  
    3. Place the positive probe on the blue wire terminal and negative probe on the black/yellow wire terminal; no continuity should be read on the ohmmeter.

      Click image to see an enlarged view

      Fig. Fig. 3: 1984-85 Toyo Denso igniter terminals

    4.  

  10.  
  11. If ohmmeter readings are not as specified, replace igniter unit.
  12.  

1986-89 ACCORD AND PRELUDE WITH TOYO DENSO DISTRIBUTOR

See Figures 4 and 5

This procedure is not applicable to 1988-89 fuel injected Preludes.

  1. Remove the distributor cap, rotor and shield. Remove the distributor hold-down bolts and remove the distributor for access. Leave the distributor wiring harness connected.
  2.  
  3. Remove the igniter unit from the distributor housing.
  4.  
  5. With the ignition switch ON , use a voltmeter to check for the presence of battery voltage at the black/yellow wire terminal, then at the terminal for the "BLU 1" wire. Battery voltage should be present in both cases.
  6.  
  7. Turn the ignition switch OFF .
  8.  
  9. Measure the resistance between the "BLU 2" and the adjacent green wire terminals. It should be approximately 750 ohms.
  10.  

The following steps do not pertain to 1989 models.



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Fig. Fig. 4: 1986-90 Toyo Denso distributor terminal identification

  1. Check the continuity in both directions between terminals A and B of the igniter unit. There should be continuity in only one direction.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 5: Toyo Denso igniter unit terminal identification

  1. Connect the ohmmeter positive probe to terminal D of the igniter and the negative probe to ground. The resistance should be approximately 50,000 ohms.
  2.  
  3. If ohmmeter readings are not as specified, replace igniter unit.
  4.  

1990-91 ACCORD

See Figure 6

  1. Remove the distributor cap, rotor and shield.
  2.  
  3. Label and disconnect the 4 wires from the igniter unit.
  4.  
  5. Switch the ignition ON . Use a voltmeter to check for voltage between the black/yellow wire and ground. Battery voltage should be present. If the voltage is not present, check the black/yellow wire between the igniter and the ignition switch.
  6.  
  7. Check for voltage between the white/blue wire and ground. Battery voltage should be present with the ignition ON . If voltage is not present, check the white/blue wire from the igniter to the coil an test the ignition coil.
  8.  
  9. Turn the ignition OFF . Check for continuity in the yellow/green wire between the igniter and the ECU.
  10.  



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Fig. Fig. 6: Terminal identification on 1990-91 Accords

  1. Check the blue wire for continuity between the tachometer and the igniter.
  2.  
  3. Check the resistance between the terminals which connect to the blue and white/yellow wires. It should be between 1,100-3,300 ohms. If not, the igniter must be replaced.
  4.  

1992-93 ACCORD

See Figure 7

  1. Remove the distributor cap, rotor and the inner cover.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the black/yellow, light green, yellow/green and blue wires from the igniter.
  4.  
  5. Check for voltage between the black/yellow wire and ground. Battery voltage should be present with the ignition ON . If voltage is not present, check the black/yellow wire between the ignition coil and the igniter.
  6.  
  7. Check for voltage between the light green wire and ground. Battery voltage should be present with the ignition ON . If voltage is not present, check the ignition coil and the light green (black/white) wire between the ignition coil and the igniter.
  8.  
  9. Turn the ignition switch OFF .
  10.  
  11. Check the yellow/green wire between the engine control module and the igniter for continuity. Also check the blue wire between the tachometer and the igniter for continuity.
  12.  
  13. Check the resistance between the terminals which connect to the blue and light green wires. It should be between 1,100-3,300 ohms. If not, the igniter must be replaced.
  14.  



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Fig. Fig. 7: Terminal identification for 1992-93 Accords

1994-95 ACCORD EXCEPT V-6

See Figures 8 and 9

  1. Remove the distributor cap, rotor and the inner cover.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the wires from the igniter.
  4.  
  5. Check for voltage between the black/yellow wire and ground. Battery voltage should be present with the ignition ON . If voltage is not present, check the black/yellow wire between the ignition switch and the igniter.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 8: Terminal identification on engines without VTEC

  1. Check for voltage between the green wire ("BLU 2" on VTEC) and ground. Battery voltage should be present with the ignition ON . If voltage is not present, check the ignition coil and the green ("BLU 2" on VTEC) wire between the ignition coil and the igniter.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 9: Terminal identification on VTEC engines

  1. Turn the ignition switch OFF .
  2.  
  3. Check the yellow/green wire between the engine control module and the igniter for continuity. Then check the BLU 1 wire between the tachometer and the igniter for continuity.
  4.  
  5. If the wiring is OK and a problem still exists, the igniter is probably at fault.
  6.  

1995 ACCORD V-6

See Figure 10

  1. Remove the distributor cap, rotor and the inner cover.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the wires from the igniter.
  4.  
  5. Check for voltage between the yellow wire and ground. Battery voltage should be present with the ignition ON . If voltage is not present, check the ignition coil and the yellow wire between the ignition coil and the igniter.
  6.  
  7. Check for voltage between the green wire and ground. Battery voltage should be present with the ignition ON . If voltage is not present, check the ignition coil and the green wire between the ignition coil and the igniter.
  8.  
  9. Turn the ignition switch OFF .
  10.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 10: Igniter terminal identification on the Accord V-6

  1. Check the yellow/green wire between the engine control module and the igniter for continuity.
  2.  
  3. If the wiring is OK and a problem still exists, the igniter is probably at fault.
  4.  

1990 CARBURETED PRELUDE WITH TOYO DENSO DISTRIBUTOR

See Figure 4

  1. Remove the distributor cap, rotor and shield. Remove the distributor hold-down bolts and remove the distributor for access. Leave the distributor wiring harness connected.
  2.  
  3. Remove the igniter.
  4.  
  5. Switch the ignition ON and test for battery voltage between terminal "BLU 1" (the outermost blue wire) and ground.
  6.  
  7. Check for battery voltage between the black/yellow terminal and ground.
  8.  
  9. If voltage is not present in either one or both tests, switch the ignition OFF . Check the "BLU 1" wire between the igniter and the ignition coil for continuity. Check the black/yellow wire between the igniter, the ignition switch and the coil for continuity. Also, test the coil.
  10.  
  11. If all wiring tests OK and a problem still exists, replace the igniter.
  12.  
  13. Reinstall the shield, rotor and cap. Install the distributor.
  14.  

1990 CARBURETED PRELUDE WITH HITACHI DISTRIBUTOR

See Figure 11

  1. Remove the distributor cap.
  2.  
  3. Label and disconnect the wires from the igniter.
  4.  
  5. Switch the ignition ON . Check for voltage between the blue wire and ground. Battery voltage should be present.
  6.  
  7. Check for voltage between the black/yellow wire and ground. Battery voltage should be present.
  8.  



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Fig. Fig. 11: Terminal identification on 1990 carbureted Preludes with Hitachi distributors

  1. If voltage is not present in either one or both tests, switch the ignition OFF . Check for continuity in the blue wire between the ignition coil and the igniter. Check for continuity in the black/yellow wire between the ignition switch, coil and igniter.
  2.  
  3. Using an ohmmeter, check for continuity between the pins of the igniter. Continuity should exist only in one direction.
  4.  
  5. If all tests are as specified and a problem still exists, the igniter must be replaced.
  6.  
  7. Reinstall the distributor cap.
  8.  

1988-91 FUEL INJECTED PRELUDE

See Figure 12

  1. The igniter is located on the right front shock tower. With the ignition OFF , unplug the wiring connector from the igniter.
  2.  
  3. Switch the ignition ON . Check for voltage between the blue wire (white/blue on some models) and ground. Battery voltage should be present.
  4.  
  5. Check for voltage between the black/yellow wire and ground. Battery voltage should be present.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 12: Igniter terminal identification on 1988-91 fuel injected Preludes

  1. If voltage is not present in either test, switch the ignition OFF . Check for continuity in the blue wire between the ignition coil and the igniter. Check for continuity in the black/yellow wire between the ignition switch, coil and igniter.
  2.  
  3. Check the white wire for continuity between the ECU and the igniter connector.
  4.  
  5. If all tests are as specified and a problem still exists, the igniter is probably at fault.
  6.  

1992-95 PRELUDE

See Figure 13

  1. Remove the distributor cap, rotor and the inner cover.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the wires from the igniter.
  4.  
  5. Check for voltage between the black/yellow wire and ground. Battery voltage should be present with the ignition ON . If voltage is not present, check the black/yellow wire between the ignition coil and the igniter for continuity.
  6.  
  7. Check for voltage between the green wire and ground. Battery voltage should be present with the ignition ON . If voltage is not present, check the ignition coil and the green (blue) wire between the ignition coil and the igniter for continuity.
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 13: Terminal identification on 1992-95 Preludes

  1. Check the yellow/green wire between the engine control module and the igniter for continuity. Then check the blue wire between the tachometer and the igniter for continuity.
  2.  
  3. If all tests are as specified and a problem still exists, the igniter is probably at fault.
  4.  

Ignition Coil Test

All test resistance values are given for a coil temperature of 70°F (21°C). Resistance will vary slightly with temperature. Use common sense and good judgment when interpreting readings.

1984-85 ACCORD AND 1984-86 PRELUDE

See Figure 14

  1. Label and disconnect the wiring from the coil. The small external primary winding terminals are marked on the coil case. The large coil terminal (from which the coil wire runs to the distributor) is the secondary winding terminal.
  2.  
  3. With the ignition OFF , measure the resistance across the primary terminals. Resistance should be 1.06-1.24 ohms.
  4.  
  5. Measure the resistance between the secondary terminal and the primary positive terminal; resistance should be 7,400-11,000 ohms.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 14: Coil testing 1984-85 Accords and 1984-86 Preludes

  1. If the coil circuit resistances are outside the test specifications, the coil must be replaced.
  2.  

1986-89 ACCORD AND 1987-91 PRELUDE

See Figure 15

  1. These vehicles use a 4-pin primary wiring configuration. With the ignition OFF , unplug the primary and secondary wiring connectors from the coil.
  2.  
  3. Measure resistance between terminals A and D. On 1986-89 Accords and 1987-89 Preludes, the resistance on the primary side should be 1.2-1.5 ohms. On 1990-91 Preludes, it should be 0.3-0.4 ohms.
  4.  
  5. Measure the resistance between terminal A and the secondary terminal. On 1986-89 Accords and 1987 Preludes, the resistance should be 11,074-11,526 ohms. On 1988-91 Preludes, it should be 9,040-13,560 ohms.
  6.  
  7. Check the resistance between terminals B and D. It should be approximately 2,100-2,300 ohms for all vehicles.
  8.  



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Fig. Fig. 15: Ignition coil identification for 1986-89 Accords and 1987-91 Preludes

  1. On carbureted engines, test at terminals A and C. Continuity must be present.
  2.  

Fuel injected engines do not use terminal C.

  1. All test conditions must be met. If any test condition is not satisfied, the coil must be replaced.
  2.  

1990-91 ACCORD

See Figure 16

  1. The ignition coil is contained within the distributor. With the ignition OFF , remove the distributor cap.
  2.  
  3. Remove the screws securing the black/yellow wire and white/blue wires from the terminals. The black/yellow wire is connected to the primary positive terminal and the white/blue wire is connected to the primary negative terminal.
  4.  
  5. Measure resistance between the terminals. Resistance should be between 0.6-0.8 ohms.
  6.  
  7. Measure the resistance between the primary positive terminal and the secondary terminal. Resistance should be 12,800-19,200 ohms.
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 16: Coil terminal designation on 1990-91 Accords

  1. All test conditions must be met. If any test condition is not satisfied, the coil must be replaced.
  2.  

1992-93 ACCORD

See Figure 17

  1. These vehicles use a 4-pin primary wiring configuration. With the ignition OFF , unplug the primary and secondary wiring connectors from the coil.
  2.  
  3. Measure resistance between terminals A and C. It should be between 0.6-0.8 ohms.
  4.  
  5. Measure the resistance between terminal A and the secondary terminal. It should be between 14,000-22,000 ohms.
  6.  
  7. Check the resistance between terminals B and D. It should be approximately 2,090-2,310 ohms.
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 17: Ignition coil terminal identification on 1992-93 Accords and 1994-95 Accords, except VTEC and V-6 models

  1. Test at terminals A and B. Continuity must be present.
  2.  
  3. All test conditions must be met. If any test condition is not satisfied, the coil must be replaced.
  4.  

1994-95 ACCORD EXCEPT VTEC AND V-6 MODELS

See Figure 17

  1. These vehicles use a 4-pin primary wiring configuration. With the ignition OFF , unplug the primary and secondary wiring connectors from the coil.
  2.  
  3. Measure resistance between terminals A and B. It should be between 0.6-0.8 ohms.
  4.  
  5. Measure the resistance between terminal A and the secondary terminal. It should be between 14,000-22,000 ohms.
  6.  
  7. Test at terminals A and C. Continuity must be present.
  8.  
  9. All test conditions must be met. If any test condition is not satisfied, the coil must be replaced.
  10.  

1994-95 ACCORD VTEC

See Figure 18

  1. The ignition coil is contained within the distributor. With the ignition OFF , remove the distributor cap.
  2.  
  3. Remove the screws holding the black/yellow wire and blue wire from the terminals. The black/yellow wire is connected to the primary positive terminal and the blue wire is connected to the primary negative terminal.
  4.  
  5. Measure resistance between the primary positive and negative terminals. Resistance should be between 0.4-0.6 ohms.
  6.  
  7. Measure the resistance between the primary positive terminal and the secondary terminal. Resistance should be 22,000-34,000 ohms.
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 18: Coil terminal identification on 1994-95 Accord VTEC

  1. All test conditions must be met. If any test condition is not satisfied, the coil must be replaced.
  2.  

ACCORD V-6

See Figure 19

  1. These vehicles use a 4-pin primary wiring configuration. With the ignition OFF , unplug the primary and secondary wiring connectors from the coil.
  2.  
  3. Measure resistance between terminals A and C. It should be between 0.3-0.4 ohms.
  4.  
  5. Measure the resistance between terminal A and the secondary terminal. It should be between 14,000-22,000 ohms.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 19: Ignition coil terminal identification on Accord V-6

  1. Test at terminals A and B. Continuity must be present.
  2.  
  3. All test conditions must be met. If any test condition is not satisfied, the coil must be replaced.
  4.  

1992-95 PRELUDE

See Figure 20

  1. These vehicles use a 4-pin primary wiring configuration. With the ignition OFF , unplug the primary and secondary wiring connectors from the coil.
  2.  
  3. Measure resistance between terminals A and B. It should be between 0.6-0.8 ohms.
  4.  
  5. Measure the resistance between terminal A and the secondary terminal. It should be between 14,000-22,000 ohms.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 20: Coil terminal identification on 1992-95 Preludes

  1. Test at terminals A and C. Continuity must be present.
  2.  
  3. All test conditions must be met. If any test condition is not satisfied, the coil must be replaced.
  4.  

 
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