Mechanics

CAR WON'T START

1997 Honda Civic

Electrical problem
1997 Honda Civic 4 cyl Two Wheel Drive Manual 180000 miles

Hey,
I've got a 1997 Civic ex with 180,000 miles on it and the other day it stalled at a red light. I thought it was just my clumsy foot on the clutch. Then it wouldn't start back up. My friend and I pushed it back to his apartment. Now, it's two weeks later and the car still won't start. I know it's not the battery or alternator because I still have functioning lights, radio, fans, ect. When I turn the key to the on position, I also hear the fuel pump pressurizing. (Or something like that. I don't know the technical term for it.) My friend and I also pulled the wires and plugs, one at a time, to see if it was getting spark. All the plugs failed as well as the wires. I've heard that it could be the distributor cap or rotor. I've also heard that it could be my plugs or wires. Also i've heard that it could be something as complex as a timing belt. I didn't hear a loud clink noise like would be expected for when it breaks. I'm really on a tight budget and need to get my car back on the road without towing it to a mechanic or having someone diagnose it. That costs quite a bit of money. Any help you have would be greatly appreciated. I would like to diagnose and fix it myself. Thank you!
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Marc_skerritt
November 7, 2008.



I would bet this is your timing belt. You don't necessarily hear anything when they snap? You could remove the plastic timing belt cover and look to see. Or another simple test is to turn crankshaft pulley with a wrench. If it moves freely with no resistance now and then .(Ie. It will turn freely then resist you then go free again). Then it's definately your timing belt. And a very costly repair. Any more info required please contact me

Dave H
Nov 8, 2008.
The only thing that I was saying about a clink was that it's an interference engine, it would slam the pistons into the valves. Which plastic cover is it that I need to pull off to check the timing belt? The one to the right of the engine when looking into it correct? Let me know. I appreciate it.

Tiny
Marc_skerritt
Nov 9, 2008.
Open the hood. As you stand facing the car looking at the engine the plastic cover is at the end of the head. (Passenger side of vehicle) underneath the cover is the timing belt. Check if it has snapped

Dave H
Nov 9, 2008.
I haven't done that yet, but wouldn't the fact that the engine is still turning over and forcing air out the exhaust, as well as the distributor still turning all say that it's not?

Tiny
Marc_skerritt
Nov 9, 2008.
I'm gonna give a little more info. I may have left out some important stuff. Today, I tried to start it with the plugs out and felt the air being forced out of the cylinder. I also smell gas in through where the spark plug should be. I also had a friend start the car and I watched the rotor spin on the distributor. I did replace the rotor becuase it was very worn down. The connections in the cap however, are fine. I'm thinking that it could be either the ignition module, or the coil.

Tiny
Marc_skerritt
Nov 9, 2008.
Have you tried to start the car since you put new rotor arm on? I'm trying to find a diagram to show locations of timing belt cover

Dave H
Nov 9, 2008.
I have. I pulled both the coil and module and took them to o'reilly and they tested both to tell me that the module was bad and coil was fine. I've gotten a new module but yet to put it all back together.

Tiny
Marc_skerritt
Nov 9, 2008.
Good news. Let me know if all goes ok

Dave H
Nov 9, 2008.
Didn't work

Tiny
Marc_skerritt
Nov 10, 2008.
Ok. Lets start again. Can we check if we are getting a spark. With car all back together. Take out number 1 spark plug. Or any plug will do. Put it back into it's HT lead. Hold the end of the lead with a pair of pliars. Hold the plug bottom about 1 mm from any clean metal on engine you can find. And ask someone to turn the car over for you? You should get a spark at plug gap?

Dave H
Nov 10, 2008.
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