Dave Redinger's The Neighbourhood Mechanic 9/20/06

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When that little light on the dash comes on, your car is trying to communicate with you. The colour of the light has a direct relationship to it’s importance. Green or blue signifies that things are normal. Usually these lights are an indication that something is on or engaged. Orange signifies attention is required. Red, look for trouble, red signifies that a severe failure is imminent. Best example, a lack of oil pressure, or a lack of coolant etc. Be prepared to pull over and check the engine. It’s always amazes me how many times I see a piece of tape covering a warning light, because it’s glow is bothering the driver. When it comes to warning lights it’s just like kinder garden “red says stop, green says go”.

One of my friends that read your articles said that you might be able to help me with my car problem. You are my last hope before I get rid of my Honda 1999. For the past three years this car has been stalling when it wants. I have brought it in many times to the dealer and other Mechanics and no one seems to know what it might be. They have checked the starter, Battery, Coil, Distributor. They have also kept it over night to see if the problem would present it self but never does. They tell me wait till it happens more often and they do not want to just replace things that might not be the problem, fair enough. But I can not continue to drive an unreliable car.


Experience leads me to believe your problem to be electrical in nature. First off I would suspect the ignition switch. Honda's of this vintage have serious ignition switch failures. Some models are under recall. Secondly check the operation of the PGMFI relay. Mention these to your mechanic. Don't give up on HONDA it's a great brand.

I been having trouble with my ride . I start my car and let it idle. After five minutes it will get a rough idle and stall , try to restart and will not catch. After letting the car cool-down or waiting 20 mins. It will start normally. I do not use this car very often and leave parked in my garage for extended periods of time. Once restarted it will run as normal.


Thanks for your question. It's really hard to diagnose this without access to the car, However; your situation is very characteristic of a failing sensor. Look for a pick-up coil failure when hot. What you’re looking for is a lack of spark in the no start condition. Best thing here would be to use a scan tool and check for pulse. If you have spark, then focus on the fuel system. Weak pump or plugged lines. Seek the help of a pro.

Dave Redinger a mechanic with over 40 yrs of experience. Dave operates his shop “DOCTOR H HONDA SPECIALISTS in Toronto for the last 25 yrs.

Email : davidredinger@rogers.com (

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Dave's Past Columns

July 14, 2005

July 22, 2005

July 29, 2005

August 12, 2005

August 19, 2005

August 24, 2005

August 31, 2005

October 12, 2005

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October 25, 2005

November 5, 2005

November 16, 2005

November 23, 2005

December 4, 2005

December 11, 2005

February 14, 2006

January 3, 2006

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January 18, 2006

January 25, 2006

February 1, 2006

February 8, 2006

March 1, 2006

March 8, 2006

March 15, 2006

March 22, 2006

March 28, 2006

April 4, 2006

April 17, 2006

April 26, 2006

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May 23, 2006

May 28, 2006

June 27, 2006

July 11, 2006

July 24, 2006

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