Turns over but will not start?

Tiny
KAI ERFLE
  • MEMBER
  • 1991 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 9,320,568 MILES
Hi there, I've been having problems with my car lately. It runs most of the time but in the last two weeks I had a problem where it was turning over but not starting. I got it towed to a mechanic and they called me the next day and said it started every time. Today I tried to start it and the same thing, it won't start.
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Thursday, October 31st, 2019 AT 9:35 PM

36 Replies

Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
We can assume this either fuel or ignition related. Next time this happens, get a can of starter fluid ready and see if it starts when you spray a little in the intake. If it does, then the fuel pump may be going out. One way to confirm that is to turn the key a number of times so the pump primes the system.

This sounds like a fuel pump or the distributor has gone out. When you turn the key to the on position without cranking the engine over can you hear the fuel pump run in the tank for 5 seconds?

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/car-cranks-but-wont-start

Please run down this guide and report back.

The other is ignition which can be tested by pulling a plug out and holding it against the block while cranking to see if you have spark. If not then we need to dig into the ignition system.
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Friday, November 1st, 2019 AT 5:01 PM
Tiny
NEEBL
  • MEMBER
  • 1991 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 14,600 MILES
My car has been running fine, but a week or so ago it wouldn't start for a long time(like 15 minutes) but when I went back an hour or so later it was fine. So yesterday while I was driving it seemed to cut out on me once or twice while accelerating. Now when I try to start the car it will turn over like it wants to start but yet, it will not. It is not making any unusual noises while it is turning over. Fuel pressure seems fine, although when I pull the pressure regulator output hose there is a stream of fuel while cranking(not sure if this is normal or not). There is spark at the plug.
Wondering if it might be the timing belt, but like I said, there is not any unusual noise-i would thing the valves would make a noise if it were the timing belt.
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Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 AT 12:39 PM (Merged)
Tiny
2CEXPT
  • MEMBER
The fuel pressure regulator is ruptured-replace it -its not maintaining its job as designed to do-
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Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 AT 12:39 PM (Merged)
Tiny
NEEBL
  • MEMBER
Thats what I thought-in fact I was just going to call the parts store and get one-thanks for the reply-i'll let you know what happens.
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Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 AT 12:39 PM (Merged)
Tiny
NEEBL
  • MEMBER
Well, I replaced the fuel pressure regulator and the car still won't start-seems like a fuel problem more than anything else-sounds like I have compression, but still won't catch and turn over-any other ideas?
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Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 AT 12:39 PM (Merged)
Tiny
HENRYH
  • MEMBER
  • 1991 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 175,000 MILES
The car has been running with no problems for more than a year and then suddenly stopped running on a hot summer day. The failure was similar to running out of gas, i.E. A loss of power, followed by no start. When hot, the engine turns but will not start. The engine will start if allowed to cool. I have replicated the problem using the "hot soak" method of running the car for 20 min. And then letting it soak to 10 min before starting. There are no ECU error codes shown. I do have spark when hot. I found a loose distributor rotor so I replace the rotor and cap but the problem is still present. Fuel pump seems to run when the key is turned to "II". The engine seems to idle low, near stalling when hot. I suspected a fuel pump or relay problem but the lack of a "16" ECU code lead me to discard that choice. Would this be an ignitor? How would I diagnose that problem?
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Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 AT 12:39 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi henryh,

The PGM-FI main relay is a known issue for similar symptoms and I would suggest taking a look at it. Remove it and check for bad or broken soldered contacts.

Resoldering the joints on the circuit board would solve the problem if it is the cause.


https://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/192750_PGMFIRelay90Civic_3.jpg

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Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 AT 12:39 PM (Merged)
Tiny
HENRYH
  • MEMBER
I main problem here was that I was unable to repeat the failure except after extensive driving of about 45 minutes. After being stranded a couple of times I found that the fuel pressure was good and there were no ECU codes. I replaced the cap and rotor (the rotor was loose due to incorrect installation) and then the coil. The coil seems to have been the problem and the car has been running reliably since then.
This site was very helpful in diagnosis of the problem and was the basis for my working throught the ignition system

Thanks for the help.
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Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 AT 12:39 PM (Merged)
Tiny
GERRY CONNERY
  • MEMBER
  • 1991 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 17,500 MILES
I have a 1991 honda civic hb dx 1.5L which has intermittent starting problems. The car always starts when it is cold and runs perfectly getting 30mpg around town and 40mpg+ on the road. When the car is warm and I turn it off for a short time, 5-10 minutes, sometimes it will not start. The starter turns normally but it will not start. If I let it sit for a few
minutes, it starts like everything is fine and continues to run beautifully.

When I turn the key to the ll position, the cel comes on for a short time and then turns off and I can hear the main relay click. Is it possible that the ecm is not energizing the fuel pump for the two seconds to start the car? I have a hard time hearing the fuel pump in the start or no-start situation. How do I determine if it is the ecm or the main relay that is not sending the correct signal to the second relay, injectors or the fuel pump?

So far, it has always eventually started and I don't think the temp has changed much between the start and no-start periods. The fact that it always runs well when it starts leads me to think it is not the main relay. I have not changed the fuel filter in 5 years so I will start there but if it were the
filter, why only problems when it is hot? There is a little ground wire at the bottom of the distributor which appears a bit whipped and I wonder if a bad contact there might cause arcing and overheating but why wouldn't it cause the car to cut out in normal use? How about the coil, igniter or fuel pump
sock as possible causes? Any direction would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you, gerry connery
Email: gconnery@aol. Com
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Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 AT 12:40 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi gerry connery,

The main relay clicks after 2 seconds to turn off after priming the fuel pump but even though it is working, it might not be passing power through to the fuel pump because the circuit is bad.

I would suggest replacing the main relay or if you want to try resoldering all the contacts on the circuit board.
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Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 AT 12:40 PM (Merged)
Tiny
TRANQ
  • MEMBER
  • 1991 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 190,000 MILES
Ok for some reason my car won't start up right away sometimes. If it does start up after running the engine for a little bit when I shut it off I have to wait a while to start it up again. What could be causing this problem?
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Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 AT 12:40 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BRUCE HUNT
  • EXPERT
Check the EFI relay. It is a box up under the dash on the driver side. It is way up in there. The connection have been poorly soldered and could be the cause of the issue. Fix it or replace it would be my starting place.
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Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 AT 12:40 PM (Merged)
Tiny
TRANQ
  • MEMBER
And what else could be causing the issue if that doesn't work?
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Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 AT 12:40 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SWEETWALLY
  • MEMBER
  • 1991 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 138,000 MILES
I have a 1991 Honda Civic 1.5 L that will not start. I recently went to get gas and it took a few cranks to start. This is usually my sign to change the distributor cap and rotor button. Also this car does not like the heat or moisture (humid days). I also notice that my issues always begin at the gas station when I go to drive away. I changed the distributor cap and button and the car roared to life. I did not keep the car on long as to test it. I didn't try to start the car again for two days. When I did, I just got the spinning of the rotor and no sense of combustion. I have not done any tests of spark, fuel, igniter unit, coil, plugs (fairly new 10,000) or fuses. Something else I have noticed with this car. It runs better with more fuel in the tank, as the tank gets lower, the car seems to get more sluggish. (Fuel pump?)

I replaced the engine at 126,000, starter, alternator, brake system and shocks.

I am going to try a new cap and button again to see if I received a faulty part?
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Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 AT 12:40 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi sweetwally,

You should test the fuel pressure and sparks to confirm which is giving the problem before attempting to replace anything.

Some problems are intermittent and might just go away while you were replacing the distributor rotor and caps. As far as I know, these two items seldom fails till you cannot start the car.
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Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 AT 12:40 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BLISA79
  • MEMBER
  • 1991 HONDA CIVIC
Engine problem
1991 Honda Civic Wheel Drive Type unknown Manual 153748 miles

I keep trying to turn the car on and I hear the engine, but it won't start. There are no unusual noises and all the electrical stuff is working so I know the battery is not dead. It's been raining a lot today and I'm wondering if that has something to do with it.
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Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 AT 12:41 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
Hi there,

You will have to establish if there is spark, fuel pressure and injection pulse. Also a code read will be helpful to pin point wher your fault is.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 AT 12:41 PM (Merged)
Tiny
PV46
  • MEMBER
  • 1991 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 22,000 MILES
I have a 91 honda civic DX 1.5 liter. The car died on the highway and it needed to be towed home. I found the screw had fallen off the rotor and the rotor was not turning with the disturbutor shaft. Once I put the screw back in the rotor I started having these starting problems. So far, I have replaced the sparkplugs, wires, rotor, distributor cap, fuel filter, o2 sensor, coil, ingnitor, and I checked the ECU and had 5 volts at the map sensor. I tried another map sensor and starting problem was the same. I am getting spark and fuel when I turn the key to the starting position. The engine chugs, back fires, then starts and barely runs until the check engine light comes on and then the car runs fine. My battery can't handle all the cranking to start the car and eventually needs to be charged if I can't get it started.

A few months ago, the car was having starting problems when it was hot outside. I resoldered the Main Relay and the car worked fine untill now. How do I fix it?
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Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 AT 12:41 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BRUCE HUNT
  • EXPERT
What is the code the car is giving you? Up under the dash is the connection on the passenger side to short and read the flashes of the check engine light. You should be able to find more on how to read and do this, but the long flashes are tens and the quick ones are ones. Add them up and let us know what the code is.
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Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 AT 12:41 PM (Merged)
Tiny
PV46
  • MEMBER
It does not give a code. When I turn the car off and then try to restart it, the check engine light goes out after 2 seconds.

PV46
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Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 AT 12:41 PM (Merged)

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