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Old 2nd October 2013, 19:58   #1
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Default Engine randomly coughs & jerks while driving

I have started encountering a problem with my 2006 Honda City ZX Gxi - the engine will randomly cough (as though suddenly starved of fuel) while driving. This isnt restricted to any one particular gear; it kind of coughs, jerks, and then continues as though nothing ever happened. Then, it happens again. And then some more.

I'm starting to think it's an impending fuel pump issue, or maybe the fuel filter? But before I wanted to take the vehicle to a service center, I wanted to be sure I knew some facts. Now, I've done a fair amount of searching in these forums and on the internet but couldnt find a problem description quite matching mine.

Any thoughts?
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Old 2nd October 2013, 20:41   #2
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Default re: Engine randomly coughs & jerks while driving

It maybe a fuel pump issue. See if there is enough fuel pressure in the lines on battery on status (before engine is started). If there isn't, it might be a weak fuel pump.
Of course, there can be other reasons, like the spark plug HT leads, or the plugs themselves, etc.
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Old 2nd October 2013, 20:48   #3
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How many kms has your car done ?

Might be a case or clogged injectors also.
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Old 2nd October 2013, 22:13   #4
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Default re: Engine randomly coughs & jerks while driving

Check for water in your petrol tank / lines.
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Old 2nd October 2013, 22:24   #5
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Default re: Engine randomly coughs & jerks while driving

When was the last time you replaced / checked your spark plugs?
Suggest you check them.
Also, is the air-filter in the best of conditions?

Typical signs of engine misfire AFAIK.
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Old 2nd October 2013, 22:48   #6
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Default re: Engine randomly coughs & jerks while driving

The spark plugs was another item on my list... since the vehicle has covered 70K odd kilometers with the OEM plugs. The air filter was replaced in February of this year, and I did check them to verify if they needed cleaning/replacement.

Clogged injectors - would this be something the average mechanic would be able to inspect? The reason I ask is because I've been engaging a mechanic nearby my residence for changing engine oil, coolant, and the such.

Fuel pump failure - would this show up in the instrument panel? Atleast some kind of warning that sufficient pressure isnt being maintained? I havent observed anything show up other than the usual battery/oil/steering/temperature lights prior to starting the engine.

Water in the petrol tank/lines - I got the car washed at a place I usually go to, and they spray the engine area as always. I havent had this problem before, but assuming it's water in the fuel lines, would this cause any problems in the long run? Do I need to take any pre-emptive measures?
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Old 2nd October 2013, 23:18   #7
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Default re: Engine randomly coughs & jerks while driving

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnieshwartz View Post
The spark plugs was another item on my list... since the vehicle has covered 70K odd kilometers with the OEM plugs
You probably have your answer here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnieshwartz View Post
Clogged injectors - would this be something the average mechanic would be able to inspect?
If this was the case, your fuel efficiency would have dropped noticeably, since you would have had to press the pedal a little more for the speeds you wish to attain. The next time you fuel-up, get an injector cleaner bottle and mix it with the fuel.

Injector cleaning needs to be done only at the service station, it needs detailed attention.
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Old 3rd October 2013, 00:59   #8
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Default re: Engine randomly coughs & jerks while driving

This has recently happened to me as well. Mine has covered over 75k. Since it's my dad's daily drive I don't look after the maintenance however I have being driving this car daily for short distances (<1km) and this always happens. I plan to give it for service soon and these tips will help a great deal.
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Old 3rd October 2013, 08:48   #9
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Default re: Engine randomly coughs & jerks while driving

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnieshwartz View Post
The spark plugs was another item on my list... since the vehicle has covered 70K odd kilometers with the OEM plugs.
Rare for Honda plugs to cause engine misfire / 'coughing', even at 70k km. Check the HT leads, clean and reconnect, or replace if cracked.
Quote:
Clogged injectors...
A dose of System-G (1ml/litre) and a fast highway run of 100-200 km should take care of that.
Quote:
Fuel pump failure - would this show up in the instrument panel?
Would leave you with a dead car which won't start. Doesn't cause intermittent misfire. No indicators on the instrument panel either.
Quote:
Water in the petrol tank/lines...
...comes from the petrol pumps - bad luck if you do get water mixed in the petrol, but it happens during the monsoons. It's the commonest cause of your type of issue, and cleaning the fuel tank is less of a headache than you think it is.
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Old 3rd October 2013, 09:14   #10
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Default re: Engine randomly coughs & jerks while driving

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Rare for Honda plugs to cause engine misfire / 'coughing', even at 70k km. Check the HT leads, clean and reconnect, or replace if cracked.

A dose of System-G (1ml/litre) and a fast highway run of 100-200 km should take care of that.

Would leave you with a dead car which won't start. Doesn't cause intermittent misfire. No indicators on the instrument panel either.

...comes from the petrol pumps - bad luck if you do get water mixed in the petrol, but it happens during the monsoons. It's the commonest cause of your type of issue, and cleaning the fuel tank is less of a headache than you think it is.
Thank you, and all others who offered insights into this problem. I will be taking the vehicle to a Bosch service center over the weekend and will have these to-do's taken care of.

I will report back in about a week's time; hopefully by then these niggles have been ironed out.

Thanks again!
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Old 4th October 2013, 08:47   #11
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Default Re: Engine randomly coughs & jerks while driving

If its not a fuel issue, then I would strongly suspect the ignition coil.
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Old 4th October 2013, 10:44   #12
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Default Re: Engine randomly coughs & jerks while driving

My diagnosis is a clogged fuel filter. before doing other expensive service like Injector cleaning and all, just replace your fuel filter and see if it works. Sometimes sediments from the petrol pump tanks comes into your car tank and clogs the filter.

It happened to me once, even though my filter was changed only 4,000 kms ago, I felt the same symptoms as you.
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Old 4th October 2013, 10:51   #13
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Default Re: Engine randomly coughs & jerks while driving

It is definitely combustion problem That can be due to
. Erratic fuel supply - either clogged fuel filter or water in petrol
. Spark plugs. These have to be changed every 20-40K km. 70K is carrying it too far
. Ignition coil, mainly due to oil/dust accumulation which may be creating intermittent shorts.

Go about it as follows
. Change the fuel filter. See if it was clogged, if so that is your problem.
. Change the spark plugs. Visually check the plugs for too large a gap/corroded electrode.
. Clean the ignition coil and leads.
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Old 5th October 2013, 19:28   #14
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Default Re: Engine randomly coughs & jerks while driving

Yesterday, I parked the car in the garage and then cleaned the corrosion deposits on the negative terminal. The problem as described in the original post, has practically disappeared ever since.

All the same, I will be replacing the spark plugs, fuel filter, as well as having a mechanic inspect the ignition coil.

I've been trying to find someone selling System-G or something similar... iftex.com was one such website, will get in touch with them and see if they can send me a couple.
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Old 17th June 2016, 16:44   #15
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Default Re: Engine randomly coughs & jerks while driving

I had the same issue with my Honda city 1.5 Gxi at around 75K kms and after months of research and trial and error I finally solved it ecnomically. Its the ignition coils and they are very costly if changed in ASS. The genuine Honda ignition coil are Thailand make. We can get the same from a website called aliexpress. The ignition coils in Honda city 1.5 Gxi are CM11-108 3Y13C and CM11-109 3Y18C, 4 pieces each. You can get the same for around Rs 13000 and install it ourselves. I replaced all 8 coils at 88K and now my car is doing 1.1K. Till now no issues.

Let me elaborate my experience. For a properly maintained Honda city, the authorized service centres narrows a missing problem down to a defect in fuel line and suggests replacement of 1st the spark plugs, then the fuel pump and finally the ignition coils. This was the order suggested to me. Since my car was fully serviced from day one in Honda, I agreed for a fuel pump plus spark plugs replacement and ignition coils cleaning to sort this issue. Fuel pump costs 22K and the total bill was around 30K.

After a weeks drive the issue resurfaced and ASS suggested ignition coils replacement. Now Honda City has 8 ignition coils and the total cost is around 48K in 2013. Since they had already failed in repairing my car once they took time in checking each coil, identified two as damaged and replaced the same. They always suggest replacement of all 8 since a good ignition coil next to a week one damages the latter soon. Unfortunately I had to replace ignition coils few more times and ASS suggested a one time replacement of all 8. It is then I checked for alternatives and as part of my job I frequently order items from alibaba and I found these coils in aliexpress. Search CM11-109 and CM11-108 and bargain with the sellers for a good buy.
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