September 19, 2008 Applies To: 1996-00 Civic DX, LX, EX - ALL
MIL Is On With DTC P0420 or Engine Ping Under Load
(Supersedes 05-027, dated May 20, 2008, to update the information marked by black bars and shown with asterisks.)
MIL is on with DTC P0420 (catalyst system efficiency below threshold) or the engine pings under load. DTC P0301 (No. 1 cylinder misfire detected), P0302 (No. 2 cylinder misfire detected), P0303 (No. 3 cylinder misfire detected), or P0304 (No. 4 cylinder misfire detected), may also be set.
Poor connections at the igniter terminals.
Crimp the wires from the distributor subassembly, and install a new catalytic converter if code P0420 is stored in the PCM/ECM.REPAIR PROCEDURE 1. Remove the distributor assembly from the vehicle:
Refer to 1996-2000 Civic Service Manual, or
Online, enter keyword DISTRIBUTOR, and select Distributor Replacement from the list.
2. Remove the distributor cap, the rotor, and the cover.
3. Use a diagonal cutter to cut away the side of the terminal boot as shown, and slide the boot down the wire.
NOTE: Steps 4 thru 5 are done for each terminal shown, one at a time. Use caution not to twist or bend the terminals during removal. If you damage the terminals or the distributor, replace the distributor subassembly.
4. Center the terminal in the opening of the crimping tool, and carefully crimp the terminal by closing the tool completely.
5. Slide the boot back down over the terminal. The open end will not cause a problem.
6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the other two terminals.
7. Reinstall the terminals. When reinstalling a terminal, do not insert it at an angle or wiggle it from side to side. This can spread the terminal and cause a poor contact.
8. Reassemble the distributor, install a new O-ring, and install it in the vehicle.
NOTE: If the terminals or wires are damaged, replace the distributor housing with the appropriate part listed under PARTS INFORMATION.
9. Replace the catalytic converter if code P0420 was stored in the PCM/ECM.
See section 9 of the service manual, or
Online, enter keyword EXHAUST, and select Exhaust Manifold Removal and Installation from the list.
10. Start the vehicle. Check the ignition timing, and adjust it if necessary.
11. If the MIL was on, clear the code with the HDS.