1995 Honda Civic The Engine Wouldn't Fire Up, I Took it to

Tiny
HASELVISLEFTTHEBUILDING
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 206,000 MILES
My car gave out at a gas station. Its engine would turn over but not fire up. The gas was low. After adding 3 gallons of gasoline, it still would not start. The dipstick showed there was essentially no oil in the engine. Two quarts of 10-40 were added. It still would not start. It was towed to a mechanic who ran a diagnostic on it and then performed a minor tune up and cleaned the fuel injectors.
The car drove out of the garage but stalled while idling (the engine shuddered when the rpm's dipped). It re-started, and after a little while of driving at no more than 40mph and idling intermittently, the rpm's stopped dipping and the car stopped stalling when idle.
I took the car onto a highway and reached 65mph. It drove well for about 5 miles. I felt the engine begin to bump. This continued until the car stopped recognizing that my foot was on the accelerator and it began to coast. It momentarily picked up on the acceleration a couple times and then lost it and I coasted onto the shoulder. There was a smell but no smoke.
I tried the engine, it turned over but wouldn't start.
I called the mechanic who suggested I leave the car off for 5-10 minutes because it might be overheating.
I checked the coolant container and found it empty.

I had the car towed to a gas station. I decided I would try to add coolant. I haven't yet, and I am not sure that is the (only) cause of the problem. I plan to add coolant to the engine and try turning it on tomorrow, but I am concerned that trying to turn the engine on will only worsen the damage that this event may have caused.

As a side note: the engine never registered as overheated, but the oil light never went on when the engine had no oil either, so I consider most of the indicators to be faulty.
The engine had stalled at idle several days before the engine wouldn't fire up the first time.

1. Is the mechanic negligent for not alerting me that there was no coolant?

2. Will trying to start the car cause further damage?
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Sunday, July 4th, 2010 AT 1:40 AM

7 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi HasElvisLeftTheBuilding,

Starting the engine for a short while would not cause any further damage if there are oil and coolant.

Did you check the radiator coolant level?

If the engine could not be started and the cause is lack of fuel, then the most likely fault would be the PGM-FI main relay. It is a known problem and tends to fail intermittently.

Remove the relay to chjeck for cracked solders on the circuit board and if any found, resolder them to rectify.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/192750_PGMFIRelay95Civic_4.jpg

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Sunday, July 4th, 2010 AT 3:29 AM
Tiny
HASELVISLEFTTHEBUILDING
  • MEMBER
The car has gas but no coolant. Today I will add coolant and post the result.
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Sunday, July 4th, 2010 AT 10:03 AM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hope you have not damaged the engine due to lack of coolant.

Check if fuel is getting to the cylinders.
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Sunday, July 4th, 2010 AT 1:07 PM
Tiny
HASELVISLEFTTHEBUILDING
  • MEMBER
This afternoon I returned to my car and found a red "7.5" chip on the driver's side floor. I checked under my steering wheel and found the slot it was missing from and put it back in (I am unfamiliar with the chip and am going to look it up online). Then I added coolant to the car (max volume) and started the car. It took a couple of tries, but it started. I let it run for five minutes to check if the coolant was leaking. It was not. The engine ran quietly.
I drove it to a safe place at no more than 40mph. The engine was quiet with the exception of small, heartbeat-like sounds that would sound intermittently and with no pattern.
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Sunday, July 4th, 2010 AT 2:14 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Did you check the colant level in the radiator?

You would need to monitor the engine since it is able to start. It could be something else apart from the coolant level that is low.

Can you upload a pic of the chip that you mentioned?
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Sunday, July 4th, 2010 AT 2:35 PM
Tiny
HASELVISLEFTTHEBUILDING
  • MEMBER
I am not sure how to check the coolant level in the radiator, but I can look that up online.

I looked up the chip, it is a fuse. It may have been the fuse for the PGM-FI, like you mentioned earlier, but 7.5 fuses are used for several different things.

I will continue to monitor the engine, I am going to attempt highway driving later.
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Sunday, July 4th, 2010 AT 3:55 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
When engine is cold, remove the radiator cap and check the level.
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Sunday, July 4th, 2010 AT 4:06 PM

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