1987 Honda Civic not starting at times

Tiny
PATTY E
  • MEMBER
  • 1987 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 180,000 MILES
I have a honda civic si hatchback fuel injected 1.5. It keeps doing this thing of not starting or should I say kicking over/firing. It won't act up when the mechanic has it and thus he is stumped. The last time I just turned on and off the ignition quickly and it started on the fourth try. Later that day while driving the PGM light came on briefly. The mechanic changed out some chip or something under the dash last May and we thought that was it, but it happened again on three different occassions since then and wouldn't happen for him. Thus it is sparatic. He said we could change out the distributor at $700 but that may not be it.
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Wednesday, October 7th, 2009 AT 3:30 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi Patty E,

Was it the PGM-FI main relay that was replaced?

After replacement, how long did it last before the problem resurfaced?

Did you check the trouble code on the ECU?
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Saturday, October 10th, 2009 AT 10:13 AM
Tiny
PATTY E
  • MEMBER
Hi folks. Thank you for taking the time to read and reply about my car woes. I remember the mechanic saying they replaced the relay but I am not sure if it is the one you are referring to, that may have been Februaru or March and the trouble started again in July. They did check the code and I did as well when it happened again. There was nothing to refer to a problem so Jay (the mechanic said it wasn't the box under the seat.) I thought it might have been that because during our rainy seasons out here my car leaks quite a bit. When the little sprouts pop up in the carpet I joke about driving a green car involuntarily. When it gets to freezing the floor is ice. When I have to scrape the water off of the windows I do both the outside and inside (lol). Thus with all this moisture I guess anything can be possible. Now here is the other thing that has happened. I joke that the rats in my neighborhood enjoy aisin food rather than american. Everynight now when I get home I pop the hood and put rat poison on aluminum foil on top of the engine. Three times over a two year period, I have had to redo the wiring from the distributor to the fuel injector ports. This last time I had to replace the plugs that plug onto the injector system. This was before they replaced the relay under the dash, (I think). It all seems to be running together. If I could afford a new vehicle I would and almost did have with the clunker trade in, but with full coverage insurance (required) payments were more than budget allows.

I thought it might be a module, which went bad in my thuderbird so many years ago. However Jay said that is inside the distributor and to replace the distributor would be around $700, which I think I mentioned before. Sorry for repeating myself.

Well I hope this info might help in finding a simple solution, but I understand if it doesn't. Without physically seeing someting it is pretty hard to make a dertimination. Thank you so much for your time.

Sincerely,
Patty E
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Saturday, October 10th, 2009 AT 3:00 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi Patty,

You are welcomed for the appreciation.

Our site is here to help in whatever way we can but no guarantee that it works all the time though we try our best.

So you have a mobile aquarium and mini zoo, did you remember to feed the fishes? ;)

I guess the leaking should be resolved first if you wish to continue to keep this car. Electrical control units are like cats, they do not like water. Rats loves wirings which cause the death of circuits.

It is possible the ECU is damp causing internal shortings of the curcuit and this would not allow the vehicle to run or keep running.

Remove the ECU and dry it out first. Clean and resolder the circuit board if required. The replaced relay could be the PGM-FI main relay but these items are known to cause intermittent failing even though they might be new. Get Jay to remove it and resolder the circuit board. That should eliminate the relay faulrt.

As to the wirings inside some rats tummy, if they had been repaired, they should be ok but you would need to check for new missing portions.

Since the vehicle starts most of the time, it most probably is not the distributor. As the mechanic is not able to encounter the problem, maybe you should learn some trivks so that if the problerm occurs, at least you can try some basic testing to see what is missing to cause the non starting.

It should be either ignition or fuel and here is a link that you can go through to get some idea what to look for. Any additional information that you can provide the mechanic is going to narrow down what to look out for.

http://www.2carpros.com/kpages/first_things.htm

Does the PFG-FI indicator light stays on when you are not able to start?

.
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Sunday, October 11th, 2009 AT 3:57 AM

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