Will crank but no start

Tiny
CHRIS CURRY2
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 HONDA CIVIC
  • 1.6L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 160,000 MILES
In the past year I have replaced the battery, timing belt, water pump, crank position sensor and distributor. With the ignition switch on you can hear the fuel pump turn on. I checked fuel pressure and it's good. I have also checked the ignition coil and compression in each cylinder and everything checks out good. If I press the gas pedal while trying to start it kind of of starts but falls on it's face immediately. It is a manual transmission. I also pulled out the plugs after trying to start it and there's fuel on the plug. I have no idea what could be the reason for the no start. So after pumping the gas while starting I got it to start. I hit the gas every time it tried to stall. Now it starts up with no problem. What could cause that? I drive it 100 miles five days a week. This problem occurred after six days of sitting. Thanks in advance for advice.
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Saturday, January 5th, 2019 AT 5:34 PM

119 Replies

Tiny
HEYMAN1104
  • EXPERT
Wet spark plugs indicates that the sparks are either weak or non-existent -or- less likely too much fuel is being injected into the engine. I'd go get a spark tester (maybe $15.00 to $20.00 at the auto parts shops) and check for sparks.

Here's the tester that I use. It's pretty simple. https://www.amazon.com/Lisle-20610-Inline-Spark-Tester/dp/B0002STSC6/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1501325755&sr=8-3&keywords=spark+tester

Basically, you pull the plug wire off of the ignition coil (also pictured below) and plug in this tester between the coil and the plug wire. Then get someone to turn the key while you observe it. If it flashes, then you have spark. Check all of the cylinders.

If you have good consistent spark at each cylinder, then the next thing I'd look at is the plugs and wires themselves. Incorrect plugs and/or wires, or really worn out plugs and wires will keep the car from running well, if at all. This guide doesn't completely apply, but if you scroll down you can see information about inspecting the plugs. Here: https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-change-spark-plugs

Start there and let me know what you find. We'll get your car going again.
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Saturday, January 5th, 2019 AT 9:51 PM
Tiny
CHRIS CURRY2
  • MEMBER
I used a similar spark tester all four cylinders had spark and the plugs we're replaced a month ago. The plug wires are about a year old with around 20,000 miles on them. I pumped the gas while starting the engine and got it to start. I kept it running around 2,000 rpm's for a few minutes. It went to idle and sounded like a champ. Now it starts with no problem, I want to know of what could have caused this.
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Sunday, January 6th, 2019 AT 11:24 AM
Tiny
HEYMAN1104
  • EXPERT
Hmm, is the service engine/check engine light on? If so, get it scanned and let me know what the codes are. An issue like this could be a lot of things. Most of them are spark or timing related. I'd probably suspect a failed camshaft or crankshaft position sensor.

I'd like to have the VIN so I can see exactly which engine you have. My information shows three different 1.6L engines, probably with only minor differences. Again, if the service engine light is on, get it scanned and post those code numbers on here.
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Sunday, January 6th, 2019 AT 1:16 PM
Tiny
CHRIS CURRY2
  • MEMBER
It has no stored or pending codes according to my code reader. I just replaced the crank position sensor due to chaffing wires on the alternator belt. I drove it 50 miles this morning, it definitely is sluggish under 3000 rpm's I put injector cleaner in it. I think it may be a bad gas or an improper fuel spray pattern. I will get back to you with the VIN.
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Monday, January 7th, 2019 AT 3:11 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Hello,

It sounds like you may have a catalytic converter that is fallen apart and blocking the exhaust at times. Here is a guide to help confirm the issue:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-test-a-catalytic-converter

Please run down this guide and report back.

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Thursday, January 10th, 2019 AT 12:42 PM
Tiny
HEYMAN1104
  • EXPERT
That does sound like a possibility. Good thinking, Ken! A definite possibility at 160,000 miles.
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Thursday, January 10th, 2019 AT 1:44 PM
Tiny
CHRIS CURRY2
  • MEMBER
Sorry for the late reply. So after partially removing the cat (removed springs and reinstalled the bolts) it accelerates at lower RPM'S with no problems. Took a couple of hills both cold and hot. On a cold engine it went up without a problem in a was gaining speed. Once the engine was hot I did loose a little bit of speed but not much. Would you say that is a catalytic converter problem? I also removed and really cleaned the injectors. I had two that are partially clogged. As always thank you for your time and help.
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Thursday, January 31st, 2019 AT 6:22 PM
Tiny
CHRIS CURRY2
  • MEMBER
I drove the car again this morning to see if I was still having the same issue. Shifting gears at around 2500 rpm still shows the same problem.
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Friday, February 1st, 2019 AT 12:46 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Yes, the catalytic converter sounds clogged, how did the test turn out from the guide above?
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Saturday, February 2nd, 2019 AT 12:23 PM
Tiny
CHRIS CURRY2
  • MEMBER
The catalytic converter tested good although I checked the temperature after driving about 40 miles. The inlet side was high three hundreds and the outlet was mid four hundreds. I didn't hear any rattles. And the engine is a d16y8 heyman1104 was asking for it.
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Saturday, February 2nd, 2019 AT 5:17 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
The catalytic converter sounds good. can we check the timing belt timing it could have jumped a tooth? here is a guide:

https://www.2carpros.com/diagrams/honda/civic/1997

Please let us know what you find.
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Sunday, February 3rd, 2019 AT 12:12 PM
Tiny
CHRIS CURRY2
  • MEMBER
Just wanted to let you know that I just got done removing the timing belt cover. All the reference points line up and the belt is tight. Did find a valve cover bolt that was stripped. Any other ideas because at this point I'm not sure what it could be. As always thank you for your help.
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Tuesday, February 5th, 2019 AT 2:52 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Can you please shoot a quick video with your phone so we what the car is doing? That would be great. You can upload it here with your response. Does the transmission cause the issue or the engine?
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Wednesday, February 6th, 2019 AT 11:44 AM
Tiny
CHRIS CURRY2
  • MEMBER
As soon as I get it back together I'll upload a video.
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Wednesday, February 6th, 2019 AT 1:13 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Please do.
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Thursday, February 7th, 2019 AT 10:15 AM
Tiny
CHRIS CURRY2
  • MEMBER
I adjusted the valves before putting it back together. I'm not having the same lagging issue it was very hard to start, like the original problem. Once I got it started it ran like a champ. I plugged in my reader all the vitals looked good the only one I can't read is fuel pressure. I don't think that the problem is solved. The valve gaps weren't to far off, but they were a little loose. When the problem comes back I will be sure to upload a video.
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Friday, February 8th, 2019 AT 10:54 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Fuel pressure can cause the low power issue, also ignition timing. Does it have new fuel filter? Can you please check the ignition timing? The video will help. :)
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+1
Saturday, February 9th, 2019 AT 6:14 PM
Tiny
CHRIS CURRY2
  • MEMBER
The fuel filter was replaced about a month or two ago. I will check ignition timing and post a video and report back.
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Sunday, February 10th, 2019 AT 12:18 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Sounds good.
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Monday, February 11th, 2019 AT 10:00 AM
Tiny
CHRIS CURRY2
  • MEMBER
This video is stated by going down a small hill followed by a steep incline. You see I lose about 5 mph previously I would lose 10-15 mph this is in fifth gear. I previously could only use fifth gear on the highway.
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Monday, February 11th, 2019 AT 5:36 PM

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