Engine Missing Problems

Reader Question:

I am very impressed with your knowledge of solutions to car problems we all experience. I have read many of the posts and your answers.

My Honda currently has 310K miles on it, motor was opened for head gasket @ 120K miles years ago. The car has never overheated, there are no apparent antifreeze leaks and the oil consumption is about 1 qt/2000 miles. The problem is the car has an intermittent spitting, sputtering sound that can be heard very easily out the tail pipe. I have installed new plugs, spark plug wires (ran an Ohms check on them and the coil wire) and replaced the coil itself.

Vacuum holds steady @ 19 inches with no erratic readings or jumping. The compression is 175# on all 4 cylinders but it has to build up from ~ 100 lbs on 1st cycle. The compression does not change with oil shot into the cylinders.

The vacuum on the EGR works as does the EGR itself. I have recently adjusted the valves and set the timing. I tested the fuel pump pressure and also ran a volume output test on it, all good. I changed both fuel filters. I sprayed the entire engine (with simple green) trying to notice a change in engine speed, nothing happened.

I have checked all vacuum hoses for leaks. I did a cylinder balance test and it was perfect. I did a spark output test, checked fine. This week I’m going to do a leak down test. Since this is a California car, I can’t tamper with the carb. The carb base plate (a chronic problem with these cars) appears to be holding OK.

BUT, I still have this intermittent missing, sputtering coming out of my exhaust. Once on the road, the car flies, no missing at all. I would appreciate your thoughts.
My Best Regards,

Hey Russell,
I would kinda suspect an internal carb problem from what you tell me. These carbs are complex and cause all kinds of problems when they get older. Thank God they went to fuel injection

If you just have an intermittent issue I would not replace or overhaul this carb for it.

Austin Davis

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Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."