What does pulsating engine mean?

catherinetOctober 7, 2005

Hi all,

About 6 weeks ago, when I took my Honda Odyssey in for it's routine service, I mentioned to the guy that I had started hearing my engine sort of pulsating (fast, slow, fast, slow). He asked if I could see the speedometer arrow pulsating with it and I said a little. Afterwards, he said it wasn't a problem. Now it's getting more severe. What does this mean is happening, and will it be expensive to fix? Does it hurt to drive with it like this? Does it use up more gas, because I've noticed a 3-4 mpg decrease in my fuel mileage. I'm very happy with the service at this Honda place, so I hope I can trust that he knew what he was talking about. Maybe he knew it would get worse without hurting the engine, and we could fix it with my next servicing. Thanks.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Does the pulsating happen only when the engine is under load, when you are accelerating, or climbing a hill? Or, does the pulsating happen continually when the engine is running, including when the engine is idling at a stop light?

    Bookmark   October 7, 2005 at 9:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It seems to be JUST when it's idling.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2005 at 10:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There is definitely something wrong, but with the fluctuating idle speed and more importantly, the MPG drop. You may have to find a better dealer who can handle these more complex problems.
Have all the sensors checked out and also the alternator.
Computer controlled vehicles are voltage sensitive - this should, with a good regulator, vary very little..

BTW, you are wise to be recording your MPG...

    Bookmark   October 7, 2005 at 12:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks earthworm,
This is a really great service department at a Honda dealership. They are always very good and honest and competent. The guy I told was the manager. Is it possible he knows that I bring it in every 3500 miles, and thought it could wait until the next time? I'm very perceptive about things....actually, I'm TOO perceptive, and I notice changes long before most people. Maybe it was too subtle at that point, to check it all out. I'm due to take it back in about 6 weeks. Could I hurt anything by driving with it this way, and might the car poop out on me while I'm out with it? I have loved this Honda van, and have never had any problems with it that weren't handled at it's normal servicing. It's at about 93,000 miles, and everything has been covered so far on it. A great car and a great service department!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2005 at 12:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Catherine T. :

If the engine, at idle, momemtarily drops speed, and then recovers, it's probably the Air Conditioner pump kicking in. The air conditioner pump is active when the cooling position, or cooling with re-heat, are selected, or when in the defrost mode. Maybe the A/C was turned on and forgotten. That would explain a drop in fuel mileage of about 2 miles per gallon.

At low speed, say 20 to 30 miles per hour, sometimes the driver can feel the A/C compressor turning on and off.

Check the settings of your A/C controls. This may explain what you are experiencing.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2005 at 1:58AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Cost to Replace Car Battery?
DH took our 2005 Jaguar X-Type into the dealer for...
99' Blazer won't start when it's cold!
I would love to talk to John_G. I read some responses...
Problem with remote starter
I had a remote starter (AS-1780) installed on my 2014...
pump keeps stopping when trying to fill gas tank
Hi! Can someone give me a clue what might be suddenly...
Honda Odyssey 2005 EX-L Fire
Hi All, My Honda Odyssey 2005 EX-L recently totaled...
Sponsored Products
Virtu USA Bathroom Dior 72 in. Vanity in Espresso with Ceramic Vanity Top in
Home Depot
Barcelona Loveseat-Chocolate - 100% Italian Leather
IFN Modern
Bay Breeze Dining Arm Chair Cover - Sand
$139.50 | FRONTGATE
Mod Daisy Twin-size Headboard
DENY Designs Rachael Taylor Tonal Floral Fleece Throw Blanket - 13258-FLELAR
$59.00 | Hayneedle
Outdoor Parkdale Rug in Symphony Earth Cane Wicker - Cane Wicker, 5' x 8'
$599.00 | FRONTGATE
NEXIO Tall Toilet Brush and Holder by Blomus
$50.39 | Lumens
Lion-Head Wall Fountain
$1,375.00 | Horchow
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™