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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been having a random misfire (check engine light flashing) occasionally during hard acceleration. I've installed new plugs/wires. AutoZone recommended using Lucas Oil fuel injector cleaner which I used after my last fill-up.

I have also been putting 91 octane in for the past few fill ups. Although there is a definite increase in performance, I don't think this is going to solve the problem.

I've pulled codes:

P0300 - Random Misfire
P0301 - Misfire in 1st cylinder
P0305 - Misfire in 5th cylinder

After each incident, I'd take it in to Autozone and try to pull the code. This has happened 6 or 7 times total, but I've only been able to pull codes this last time.

During these "random misfires," I hear nothing, feel nothing, and see nothing but the flashing check engine light. The engine runs great and sounds great. I do however, smell strong exhaust fumes after a cold start that goes away within a few minutes.. I don't know if it's related at all.

What could be causing these random misfires if they're even misfires at all? Is it damaging to my exhaust system as stated in the owner's manual? What other troubleshooting techniques can I take that will help me pin this down?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
I stumbled across this online:

"Power Train Misfire
Sometimes, the engine has nothing to do with a misfire. One common cause for "jerky" performance that feels like a misfire is a problem in the transmission and its ability to properly up- or down-shift. If the misfire occurs during higher speeds, it could be a problem with the operation of the overdrive gear or a chattering clutch in the Lockup Torque Converter. If the vehicle jerks or feels like it is "missing" during deceleration, it could be due to harsh transmission downshifts, badly warped rotors, out of round brake drums, and/or sticking brake pads or brake shoes.

Vehicles can set misfire codes when badly warped and out of round rear brake drums violently jerk the entire power train when the vehicle slows from highway speeds. Make sure that you have the vehicle properly inspected in order to determine the root cause of the misfire. Entire engines have been replaced to solve a wrongly perceived mechanical misfire problem that was actually rooted in the transfer case, transmission, drive shaft, or front/rear differential."


Now that I think about it, the downshifts were always a little rough, but I thought that was the nature of the truck. When I'm driving around 40-45mph, let off the gas completely, and then re-apply the gas, there's a slight shudder/jolt like the torque converter or transmission is catching again.
 

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Well, the codes do say it is a misfire, nothing to do with a jerky xmission.
Could be the plugs, but it does seem strange more than one would be acting up at the same time, unless all of them are badly worn.

Strong, definite jerks are usually always ignition, fuel starvation will be 'softer'.
Transmissions can certainly cause similar symptoms, but so can a faulty throttle position sensor.
 

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Remove the plugs from the #1 and #5 cylinders and look at them. If the electrodes look worn, replace the plugs. That's the least expensive route even though plugs aren't very cheap these days. Sometimes ignition problems are cured through a process of elimination.
 

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Recheck your plug install. Maybe 1 and 5 aren't seated all the way in or their coil packs aren't installed properly. While the plugs are out, check for any oil or heat damage. Just because parts are new, doesn't always mean they're working the way they should. Having two cylinders having identical problems seems suspicious. I'd look into where the coil packs get the signal to fire the plug. I don't know where that is on the Ridgeline, maybe the computer. You may just have to bite the bullet and take it into Honda for service.
 

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Does anything else cut out when it misfires? How's your battery doing? Are the terminals nice and clean? This also sounds like the old bad ignition switch problem in older vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Does anything else cut out when it misfires? How's your battery doing? Are the terminals nice and clean? This also sounds like the old bad ignition switch problem in older vehicles.
There are no other symptoms when it misfires. My battery is newish, terminals are clean.

I called the Honda dealer, they want me to pay $99 just for pulling the codes.. I already have the codes! On top of that it's $65/hr for labor plus parts... I'd be saving a considerable amount of money if I found and fixed the problem myself... One of my friends suggested a faulty O2 sensor?
 

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misfire under a load? -- or while coasting. What I mean is can you replicate the problem by laying on the throttle and backing off quickly while the RPMs are in their upper range? or is this something that happens while coasting around at cruising speeds (RPMs 1500-2000)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Misfires only under heavy load and high RPMs. Passing on the interstate, getting on the highway etc... I've never had it happen below 4500 - 5000 RPMs.
 

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I don't know where you are in terms of warranty - but my last vehicle (a Hyundai - yes I know a piece of crap) which was purchased brand new had random misfires. They were unable to identify the source of the issue - under NC law - this qualifies the vehicle as a lemon - and if they fail to fix it after 3 tries - replacement or my money back.

I don't know if this helps - if it does great - if not - then ignore my rambling.:act024:
 

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Could this possibly be a failing Coil pack on noted cylinders? This same scenario I have see on an F150 and an Expedition. I know they are Fords but they use per Cyl Coil packs like Honda does. Especially when you mention it happening under load.
 

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One bad coil pack can cause multiple misfire codes... esp under load if the ECU is not reporting the proper voltage - thus the injectors aren't compensating for fuel etc etc etc...

Your motor might be due for a valve adjustment too - esp if you are a little harder on it.

My experience has been J-series motors often misfire under load -- but the cause is different each time

If your running lean your fuel could be pre-detionating which would lead to a misfire.... We could all throw suggestions but the best bet would have Honda look at it if you've covered the basics (spark plugs, belt, normal valve adjustment according to spec, etc) -- if everything you've done checks out it could be a faulty injector (less likely) more likely a faulty coil pack which I've seen my fair share of them fail. Electronics aren't foolproof...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks guys, it's going in on Thursday... I just wanted to rule out any obvious and easy fix that I might have overlooked. I'll keep everyone updated as I know more. They said it could very well be the coil packs, they're also going to check the timing belt again (it was just recently replaced). They're gonna have it all day though.. oh well.

I'm also running 91 octane through it from now on.. It seems to run so much smoother that way..
 

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Maybe the timing belt is off a tooth.
 
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