1990 Honda Civic Honda Civic 1990-HARD TO START

Tiny
KTMBIGGIE
  • MEMBER
  • 1990 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 191,000 MILES
My car is a 1990 honda civic 1.5 Ltr. Problem: One day while turning right at a slow speed, engine shut down. After that, I left my car in the street for 4 days. However, I checked the car once in a while. When I start the car, it tried to crank but couldn't start. I had many unsuccessful attempt. There was no issue with the battery (I checked with my multimeter). All of a sudden car started after 4 days. Now I can start the car but it dies if I accelerate the car. What might be wrong?
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Sunday, February 22nd, 2009 AT 7:05 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
F4I_GUY
  • EXPERT
When it doesn't start, does it crank normally? If so, have you checked for strong spark and fuel? You must do these checks first, you'll usually find that you are missing one.
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Sunday, February 22nd, 2009 AT 7:08 PM
Tiny
KTMBIGGIE
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Hi F4I_guy,

Thank you for your reply. When I turn the key in, it cranks normally, but it just can't start. I am not sure how to check for strong spark and fuel.

Please help

Thank you in advance
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Wednesday, February 25th, 2009 AT 11:32 PM
Tiny
F4I_GUY
  • EXPERT
To test spark you can remove a spark plug boot from it's cylinder. Put a screwdriver in the spark plug boot and hold the metal handle about half an inch away from a chassis gruond (pretty much anything metal). Now, get a friend to crank the vehicle, you should see spark arcing from the metal shaft of the screwdriver to the chassis ground. The spark should be pretty bright as well.

To measure fuel pressure, you will have to purchase a fuel pressure gauge unforunately. This taps into the fuel filter banjo bolt and will give you a reading in PSI. A quick check to see if you have atleast some fuel would be to loosen up a fuel line at the fuel rain or fuel filter and turn the key to RUNII, the prime will prime and you should see fuel squirt out of the loosen nut/bolt.

Goodluck, let me know if you need further directions.
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Thursday, February 26th, 2009 AT 5:01 PM
Tiny
KTMBIGGIE
  • MEMBER
F4I_guy,

I tested the fuel systems and found that everything is fine. I checked the distributor rotor and they were kind of rusted and I changed distributor Cap and Rotors.

I found that there was shield leaking oil in the spark plug area. I replaced the gaskets and shield. I replaced the distributor wire (with used one).

Now car starts fine but feels no power (one in a while) when try to accelerate. Also the engine doesnot sounds uniform means start normally and tends to increase the noise every 5 seconds or so. ( I hope you understood what I mean). I was thinking there may be timing issue for the cylinders, but I have no clue if my guess is good or not.

Any suggestions would be very helpful for me.

Thank You very much
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Thursday, March 19th, 2009 AT 9:03 AM
Tiny
F4I_GUY
  • EXPERT
Ensure that your cam timing is not off as well as your ignition timing.

For ignition timing you need a timing light to check this.

For cam timing, you must remove the valve cover to remove the upper timing cover and set the crank at TDC and make sure the cam gear(s) line up with their marks.
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Thursday, March 19th, 2009 AT 5:40 PM

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