Engine wont start, but cranks and backfires

Tiny
DOPEDRAGONZ
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 250,000 MILES
Ok I have a 96 honda civic dx with the 1.6 sohc/non-vtec. I understand you need compression, fuel, and spark for your car to run. I was on my way somewhere a few days ago and my car felt like it was hesitating twice(kind of jerking) on the way there. When I got there I turned it off and thought nothing else of it. The next morning I tried to start it and it cranked, but wouldnt turn over and start. So I started looking around the engine bay for anything noticeable and the only thing I saw wrong was my exhaust manifold was split in half. So I took it off(in 2 pieces). I bought an aftermarket header and put it on. Of course the car still wouldnt start. I bought an obd 2 tester and the codes it threw were, 2 misfires and a problem with the catalytic convertor. So I got rid of the cat all together since I had just put a new header on anyway. I did a compression test and it was fine. The engine is still getting fuel at the fuel rail and it is still getting spark. The spark plugs were black from carbon though and were brand new. Earlier a friend helped out and adjusted the timing a few times and tried to start it, but it still wouldnt start even though it sounded like it would. Instead it just backfired loudly and blew out black smoke. I also changed the fuel filter(forgot to mention that). I have spoken to a few friends that are mechanics and the only thing anybody has guessed is a sensor or possibly the injectors even though that doesnt make sense to me. Well I guess thats all I can say so any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Sunday, April 27th, 2008 AT 9:58 PM

107 Replies

Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
To me it sounds like the timing belt let go here is a guide to help you check it out.

https://www.2carpros.com/diagrams/honda/civic/1996

The fuel might be making it all the way to the fuel rail but is the injector/s opening and closing as programmed and also is it the correct fuel pressure. If its getting fuel in the combustion chamber-I recommend you recheck the valve and ignition timing once the belt is done.
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Monday, April 28th, 2008 AT 3:11 AM
Tiny
DOPEDRAGONZ
  • MEMBER
You nailed it the timing belt was shredded! Engine runs great with the new header. Thanks for your help this site is great :)
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Monday, April 28th, 2008 AT 3:30 AM
Tiny
JCO354
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 HONDA CIVIC
  • 2.2L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 123,000 MILES
I was involved in a front end crash a few days ago. The bags deployed, shifter is stuck in park, and the car wont start. I understand that the airbags and SRS module have to be replaced. My engine cranks but will not start and the shifter is locked in park, I have to use the shift lock next to the gear shift to get it into neutral.
Will the car not start until after I have replaced the SRS system?
There was no body damage, the impact was mainly from below on the passenger side. I'll also be replacing the left front suspension on the car. I'm going to be doing the repairs myself so any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Monday, March 12th, 2018 AT 7:10 PM (Merged)
Tiny
FREEMBA
  • EXPERT
Check your fuses (especially any fuse which goes tot he ignition system.

Check the spark plug wires for a spark while you are cranking the engine over.
Let me know what the results of the "tests" are. Thanks.
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-1
Monday, March 12th, 2018 AT 7:10 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JCO354
  • MEMBER
I replaced the complete right front suspension, both air bags, and the SRS computer. I bought two different scanners to reset my light, but they both said they could not connect to the cars computer.
But just a month before the accident I could plug in the scanner and it would read it just fine. I went to a repair shop and they told me that I will need to take it to the dealer to do a master reset.
Does this sound correct?
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Monday, March 12th, 2018 AT 7:10 PM (Merged)
Tiny
FREEMBA
  • EXPERT
There could have been damage to the wiring to the computer. However, check the fuses first (check all of your fuses). Let me know what you find.
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Monday, March 12th, 2018 AT 7:10 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JCO354
  • MEMBER
The other night I was on here reading other post on related subjects.
So I went out to the car and checked the fuses.
The SRS and SRS/Fuel pump fuses were blown. I replaced them and the car fired up immediately without missing a beat! The shifter was also released from the park position.
Funny thing is that after I turned it on and drove it around the block, I noticed the SRS light did not remain on. I thought I was going to have to reset it, but it looks like I don't. It does turn on when I turn the car on, but then shuts off after 2-3 seconds.
Thank you very much for your help and advice on this website. I did all the work myself and saved myself a few hundred dollars by not having to go to the dealer :)
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Monday, March 12th, 2018 AT 7:10 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MARCANTEL
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 150,000 MILES
Engine problem
1996 Honda Civic 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 150000 miles

My daughter parked the car and after about one hour it would not start. Later it started. No problems until recently while driving engine died and will not start. Engine turns over fine but will not start. Any suggestions.
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Monday, March 12th, 2018 AT 7:10 PM (Merged)
Tiny
FISHERMAN
  • MEMBER
Hello !

Well start checking what is the problem: gas or spark.

Pour some gas on the throttle body crank the engine and let us know if starts for a few seconds.

That way we will know if is fuel starving.

Then we re going to check for spark.

We will wait for your response.

Good luck!
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Monday, March 12th, 2018 AT 7:10 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BLACKOP555
  • EXPERT
Will it fire up with starting fluid sprayed int he throttle body?

Also are you getting bright blue sparks, post back!
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Monday, March 12th, 2018 AT 7:10 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RETHADINE
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 HONDA CIVIC
  • 200,000 MILES
My 96 Honda civic won't start. Have new alternator 1yr new battery 4mo. Prior to incident had driven apprx 25mi to work ran in store 5min later car wouldn't start. Left car 4hrs later started right up. Drove to work and park. 3.5 hrs later drove 25mi back. Car won't start alternator 1yr old checks out good. Batterry 4mo old. Getting gas checked fuel filter fuses spark plugs distributor, and trans 1yr. Dash lights up when try to start here a click also coming from glove box area. Week prior to won't start had issue few times let car sit awhile then start right up.
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Monday, March 12th, 2018 AT 7:10 PM (Merged)
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
Check starter ignition switch wire for power when key is turned to start.
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Monday, March 12th, 2018 AT 7:10 PM (Merged)
Tiny
GREER
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 300 MILES
96 Civic. 1.6 non-vtec. 300k miles. Began stumbling on acceleration from stop but would smooth out as more throttle applied. Slowly got worse and was showing misfire and O2 sensor codes. Began to feel as if it was not running on all cylinders. Replaced fuel filter and did not improve. All cylinders have fire which appears to be good. Have checked ICM and coil with multimeter and they appear to be within range specified by manual. Replaced fuel pump and drained tank and replaced with new fuel. Now will not start at all though it tries to start and acts as if flooded. Pump is working. Relay is working. Replaced MAP sensor. Did not improve. Did a k-test for ECM and pulled 5v. Have not replaced O2 sensor because now it will not start and cannot be heated. Fuel pressure regulator appears to have solid diaphragm and pulling vacuum. There is adequate fuel to rail. Injectors tested with multimeter for resistance and could be heard clicking when engine would still run. I am lost. Please help.
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Monday, March 12th, 2018 AT 7:11 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Are the sparks bright blue, indicating strong sparks? A weak ignition coil would not allow the cylinders to fire.

That could be the reason for the hesitation prior to it not starting.
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Monday, March 12th, 2018 AT 7:11 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JENNIFER MANZANO
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 300,000 MILES
My car cranks but wont start. Cant seem to find the problem.
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Monday, March 12th, 2018 AT 7:11 PM (Merged)
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Check fusses under hood and relays then try resetting your security system if no manual look online for your car on how to do it
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Monday, March 12th, 2018 AT 7:11 PM (Merged)
Tiny
EDRIEBERGEN
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 150,000 MILES
My car will turn over but will not fire. We have replaced the rotor and distributer cap, spark plugs and wires, fuel filter. I was driving my car to work the other day and it lugged twice and the engine died. I still have full power, lights, stereo, etc. So it is not the battery
996 Honda Civic EX 2 door Coupe - standard transmission
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Monday, March 12th, 2018 AT 7:11 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Are you getting spark and fuel to the engine?
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Monday, March 12th, 2018 AT 7:11 PM (Merged)
Tiny
EDRIEBERGEN
  • MEMBER
When we pulled out the old spark plugs you could smell the gas on them and when trying to start the car you can smell gas so it seems like the fuel is getting to the engine. We haven't actually pulled the spark plugs out to see if they are sparking while starting it at the same time.
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Monday, March 12th, 2018 AT 7:11 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
That would be my guess, no spark. Check to make sure. If there is none, make sure the coil is getting power and check the crank sensor.
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Monday, March 12th, 2018 AT 7:11 PM (Merged)

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