Car cranks but will not start

Tiny
TRISHNA SINGH BUNDHOO
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 HONDA CIVIC
  • 1.5L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 175,000 MILES
Battery, fuel pump, distributor, all okay, check and car spark.
If swap spark plug 2 with 3 on the distributor, the car will start but will idle from time to time.
Also noted the manifold getting very hot and after around 15 minutes of engine running, start turning red hot.
Any help will be appreciated.
Also if don't swap the spark plug car will crank but wont start.
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Saturday, December 5th, 2020 AT 6:02 AM

102 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

If you are referring to the exhaust manifold, that is because it is likely dumping raw fuel into the exhaust and the catalytic converter is plugged.

Here is what I want you to try. First, let's get the spark plug wires in the correct place. See pics 1 and 2 below. Once we are sure they are correct, then I want you to remove the pre-catalytic converter O2 sensor. See pic 3.

I have a feeling the converter is plugged and causing all the problems. By removing the O2 sensor, you allow more air to exit the engine. Because of its size, the engine won't run perfectly, but it should make a big enough difference to let us know if the converter is plugged.

Try this and let me know. Also, moving the spark plug wires to the wrong cylinders is causing unburned fuel to enter the exhaust. That is likely why it is red hot and has likely damaged the catalytic converter (plugged it).

Let me know what you find.

Joe
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Saturday, December 5th, 2020 AT 6:30 PM
Tiny
TRISHNA SINGH BUNDHOO
  • MEMBER
Hi Joe,
Thanks for the reply. I thought no one going to reply.
So I set the spark plug wire as per the picture, remove the O2 sensor and start the engine.
It cranks as normal but won't start. While cranking, it do choke twice and can see a black smoke out of the O2 hole.
I did that at least 5 times but each time same thing. Crank, choke but won't start.
I also notice a crack on the manifold.
I've attached some picture.
Thanks to advise further what else can I do to start the car again.
Have also attached picture of the O2 sensor.
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Saturday, December 5th, 2020 AT 10:08 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

I see the crack in the manifold. That should be replaced. However, the idea that you see black smoke usually indicates too much fuel. Have you checked fuel pressure? Also, what is the condition of the spark plugs?

Is it possible for you to record it cranking so I can hear what it's doing?

Let me know.

Joe
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Sunday, December 6th, 2020 AT 9:47 PM
Tiny
TRISHNA SINGH BUNDHOO
  • MEMBER
Hi Joe,
Thanks.
Yes, did check the fuel pressure. It comes out with high pressure when turning the key.
The spark plug looks ok but can put new one if needed.
Okay, will put new spark plugs and also record the cranking.
Will get back to you soon.
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Monday, December 7th, 2020 AT 1:31 AM
Tiny
TRISHNA SINGH BUNDHOO
  • MEMBER
Do you think it has to do anything with the engine timing? You thing the engine timing is completely off?
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Monday, December 7th, 2020 AT 1:32 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

The new spark plugs won't hurt anything. As far as fuel pressure, if it is too high, that can cause a problem. Also, I wanted to hear what it sounds like cranking because it will help me get a better feel of what is happening. Plus, I should be able to tell if it is a timing issue.

So, have you confirmed the fuel pressure is within the manufacturer's specs? Also, have you checked to make sure the plug wires go to the correct cylinders for timing purposes?

Let me know.
Joe
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Monday, December 7th, 2020 AT 6:57 PM
Tiny
TRISHNA SINGH BUNDHOO
  • MEMBER
Hi,
Sending you 2 videos. In the first one I forget to remove the O2 sensor but was not connected.
For the fuel pressure, check it visually. Can you please advise how to check if as per manufacturer specs.
Regarding the plug, set it as per the picture you send.
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Monday, December 7th, 2020 AT 10:51 PM
Tiny
TRISHNA SINGH BUNDHOO
  • MEMBER
Attached video.
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Monday, December 7th, 2020 AT 11:17 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

First, here is a link that gives a general overview of testing/how to check fuel pressure:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-check-fuel-system-pressure-and-regulator

____________________

Here are the directions specific to your vehicle for testing pressure. The specifications are included in the directions. Try this and let me know what you find or if you have other questions.

1999 Honda Civic DX Sedan L4-1590cc 1.6L SOHC MFI
Component Tests and General Diagnostics
Vehicle Powertrain Management Fuel Delivery and Air Induction Fuel Pump Fuel Pressure Testing and Inspection Component Tests and General Diagnostics
COMPONENT TESTS AND GENERAL DIAGNOSTICS
Inspection
1. Relieve fuel pressure.

pic 1

2. Remove the 12 mm banjo bolt from the fuel filter while holding the fuel filter with another wrench. Attach the special tools.
3. Start the engine. Measure the fuel pressure with the engine idling and the vacuum hose of the fuel pressure regulator disconnected from the fuel pressure regulator and pinched. If the engine will not start, turn the ignition switch ON (II), wait for two seconds, turn it off, then back on again and read the fuel pressure.

Pressure should be: except B16A2 engine:
260 - 310 kPa (2.7 - 3.2 kg/Sq.cm, 38 - 46 psi)

B16A2 engine: 270 - 320 kPa (2.8 - 3.3 kg/Sq.cm, 40 - 47 psi)

4. Reconnect vacuum hose to the fuel pressure regulator.

Pressure should be: except B16A2 engine:
200-250 kPa (2.0 - 2.5 kg/Sq.cm, 28 - 36 psi)

B16A2 engine: 210 - 260 kPa (2.1 - 2.6 kg/Sq.cm, 30 - 37 psi)

If the fuel pressure is not as specified, first check the fuel pump. If the fuel pump is OK, check the following:
- If the fuel pressure is higher than specified, inspect for:
- Pinched or clogged fuel return hose or line.
- Faulty fuel pressure regulator.
- If the fuel pressure is lower than specified, inspect for:
- Clogged fuel filter.
- Faulty fuel pressure regulator.
- Fuel line leakage.

_________________________________

You will need a fuel pressure gauge to do this. Most parts stores will lend one to you. Also, did this problem start all at once? The engine is cranking really fast. If we find the fuel pressure is good, we may need to engine compression.

Also, after trying to start it, pull a couple of spark plugs, and see if they are wet.

Let me know

Joe
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Tuesday, December 8th, 2020 AT 12:51 PM
Tiny
TRISHNA SINGH BUNDHOO
  • MEMBER
Hi,

Actually there was oil leakage at the distributor and on engine cover. So I remove the distributor, change the rubber ring and put it back, same for the engine cover. When all assemble, started the engine, it is as seen in the video.
So, have been searching the whole web to find a solution to this problem.
Was thinking may be the engine timing have an issue or by mistake I move the distributor rotor, not aligned with the mark on it.
Have checked everything, fuse, plugs, test for spark but can't start the car.
It is an automatic one.
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Tuesday, December 8th, 2020 AT 7:04 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
It is possible the distributor isn't properly installed. That certainly would cause this issue.

Here are the directions for "replacing" it. It explains how to remove and install. Follow these directions and see if it helps.

The attached pics correlate with the directions.

_____________________

1999 Honda Civic DX Sedan L4-1590cc 1.6L SOHC MFI
Replacement
Vehicle Powertrain Management Ignition System Distributor Service and Repair Procedures Replacement
REPLACEMENT
Removal:

1. Disconnect the connector from the distributor.
2. Disconnect the ignition wires from the distributor ignition (DI) cap.

Pic 1

3. Remove the mounting bolts from the distributor, then remove the distributor from the cylinder head.

Installation:

NOTE: Before you install the distributor, bring the No.1 piston to compression stroke TDC.

1. Coat a new O-ring with engine oil, then install it.
2. Slip the distributor into position.

NOTE: The lug on the end of the distributor and its mating grooves in the camshaft end are both offset to eliminate the possibility of installing the distributor 180 out of time.

3. Install the mounting bolts, and tighten them lightly.

Pic 2

4. Connect the ignition wires to the distributor ignition (DI) cap as shown.
5. Connect the connector to the distributor.
6. Set the ignition timing.
7. After setting the ignition timing, tighten the mounting bolts.

_____________________________

Let me know if that takes care of the problem. Also, let me know if you need help.

Take care,
Joe
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Wednesday, December 9th, 2020 AT 7:41 PM
Tiny
TRISHNA SINGH BUNDHOO
  • MEMBER
Hi Joe,

Thanks a lot.
I followed your instruction and the car started. I just slightly turn the key and the engine run normal.
Thanks for helping me out and saving me thousands.
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Friday, December 11th, 2020 AT 12:49 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

You are very welcome. I'm glad to hear you got it fixed.

Take care of yourself and feel free to come back anytime in the future if you have questions. You're always welcome here.

Joe
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Friday, December 11th, 2020 AT 9:26 PM
Tiny
JMAN6329
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 175,000 MILES
I have been having a problem with this car for the past few days. My Girlfriend has been having problems periodically about starting her car.

I didnt have a chance to come look at it for a few days. She had her friend come change her oil and do a tune up. He was unable to get the plugs out because the rubber caps from the old cables were stuck in there. I went to check the car myself and was unable to get the rubber seals out. So I left 2 cables unplugged and forgot and tried to start the car. It wouldnt start but then I plugged them back in and still the car would not start. I was finally able to get them out by spraying a little WD-40 around each one and then prying them out using a piece of wire from a chainlink fence that I had bent slightly at the tip to make a hook.

I changed the spark plugs. Bought new cables. Changed the distributor cap and rotor and yet the car still wont start. It turns over but wont start. Also, everytime we try to start it, the engine area smells like gas. I also had accidentally pulled out all of the cables from the cap forgetting which one went where and I had to guess a few times trying to start it each time. Until I found the firing order and a picture of where they go online.

The starter is working fine. I tried to prime it with a little starting fluid but still it didnt even attempt to start. I am at a loss here and I have no idea nor the money to find out what else it could be.

If you could please help me I would be really thankful for it.

Thank you so much,

Julio
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Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 AT 11:01 AM (Merged)
Tiny
F4I_GUY
  • EXPERT
Check to see if you are getting good strong spark. It should be bright white/blue. If not, check your ignition coil/icm.
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Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 AT 11:01 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JMAN6329
  • MEMBER
I checked it today and there was no spark at all. Would I need to change the whole distributor or the ignition coil?
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Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 AT 11:01 AM (Merged)
Tiny
STAYSLIDEWAYS
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 HONDA CIVIC
  • 1.6L
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 213,000 MILES
So I have been having head gasket problems and my car has been overheating a lot. I unplugged the coolant overflow reservoir and it stops overheating as long as I keep the coolant up. That is only a temporary fix to get from work and back until I replace the head gasket.

Last night I went to start my car and it started up fine so I put it in drive. As soon as I pressed the gas pedal, the engine started to shake hard and the car did not have enough power to go 25 mph. I had to get home so I figured out that if I barely pressed the gas the car would work fine, it just took a little while to get to second gear. Once I was in second gear, the car drove normally. At every stop this happened, but only in first gear.

This morning I went to start it up to go to work and it would not start. I kept cranking it and the engine would shake, it would catch for half a second or less, then die. At first I was pretty sure this is due to a misfire, but how could it get so much worse from just sitting overnight? I am lost and I cannot think of anything that would cause this.
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Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 AT 11:02 AM (Merged)
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Probably because coolant is in one or two cylinders so it wont start. The coolant builds pressure when you drive and with a blown head gasket it may have leaked into engine cylinders or oil system.
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Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 AT 11:02 AM (Merged)
Tiny
STAYSLIDEWAYS
  • MEMBER
So will replacing the head gasket and whatever else comes in a head gasket kit fix this problem too?
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Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 AT 11:02 AM (Merged)
Tiny
STAYSLIDEWAYS
  • MEMBER
Also, if I get it to start should I drive it?
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Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 AT 11:02 AM (Merged)

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