1997 Honda Civic Car won't start

Tiny
MARC_SKERRITT
  • 1997 HONDA CIVIC

Electrical problem
1997 Honda Civic 4 cyl Two Wheel Drive Manual 180000 miles

Hey,
I've got a 1997 Civic ex with 180,000 miles on it and the other day it stalled at a red light. I thought it was just my clumsy foot on the clutch. Then it wouldn't start back up. My friend and I pushed it back to his apartment. Now, it's two weeks later and the car still won't start. I know it's not the battery or alternator because I still have functioning lights, radio, fans, ect. When I turn the key to the on position, I also hear the fuel pump pressurizing. (Or something like that. I don't know the technical term for it.) My friend and I also pulled the wires and plugs, one at a time, to see if it was getting spark. All the plugs failed as well as the wires. I've heard that it could be the distributor cap or rotor. I've also heard that it could be my plugs or wires. Also i've heard that it could be something as complex as a timing belt. I didn't hear a loud clink noise like would be expected for when it breaks. I'm really on a tight budget and need to get my car back on the road without towing it to a mechanic or having someone diagnose it. That costs quite a bit of money. Any help you have would be greatly appreciated. I would like to diagnose and fix it myself. Thank you!

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Friday, November 7th, 2008 AT 1:30 PM

18 Replies

Tiny
DAVE H
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I would bet this is your timing belt. You don't necessarily hear anything when they snap? You could remove the plastic timing belt cover and look to see. Or another simple test is to turn crankshaft pulley with a wrench. If it moves freely with no resistance now and then .(Ie. It will turn freely then resist you then go free again). Then it's definately your timing belt. And a very costly repair. Any more info required please contact me

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Saturday, November 8th, 2008 AT 10:09 AM
Tiny
MARC_SKERRITT
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The only thing that I was saying about a clink was that it's an interference engine, it would slam the pistons into the valves. Which plastic cover is it that I need to pull off to check the timing belt? The one to the right of the engine when looking into it correct? Let me know. I appreciate it.

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Sunday, November 9th, 2008 AT 2:32 PM
Tiny
DAVE H
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Open the hood. As you stand facing the car looking at the engine the plastic cover is at the end of the head. (Passenger side of vehicle) underneath the cover is the timing belt. Check if it has snapped

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Sunday, November 9th, 2008 AT 3:14 PM
Tiny
MARC_SKERRITT
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I haven't done that yet, but wouldn't the fact that the engine is still turning over and forcing air out the exhaust, as well as the distributor still turning all say that it's not?

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Sunday, November 9th, 2008 AT 3:39 PM
Tiny
MARC_SKERRITT
  • MEMBER

I'm gonna give a little more info. I may have left out some important stuff. Today, I tried to start it with the plugs out and felt the air being forced out of the cylinder. I also smell gas in through where the spark plug should be. I also had a friend start the car and I watched the rotor spin on the distributor. I did replace the rotor becuase it was very worn down. The connections in the cap however, are fine. I'm thinking that it could be either the ignition module, or the coil.

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Sunday, November 9th, 2008 AT 3:53 PM
Tiny
DAVE H
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Have you tried to start the car since you put new rotor arm on? I'm trying to find a diagram to show locations of timing belt cover

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Sunday, November 9th, 2008 AT 4:07 PM
Tiny
MARC_SKERRITT
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I have. I pulled both the coil and module and took them to o'reilly and they tested both to tell me that the module was bad and coil was fine. I've gotten a new module but yet to put it all back together.

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Sunday, November 9th, 2008 AT 5:52 PM
Tiny
DAVE H
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Good news. Let me know if all goes ok

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Sunday, November 9th, 2008 AT 5:56 PM
Tiny
MARC_SKERRITT
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Didn't work

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Monday, November 10th, 2008 AT 11:49 AM
Tiny
DAVE H
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Ok. Lets start again. Can we check if we are getting a spark. With car all back together. Take out number 1 spark plug. Or any plug will do. Put it back into it's HT lead. Hold the end of the lead with a pair of pliars. Hold the plug bottom about 1 mm from any clean metal on engine you can find. And ask someone to turn the car over for you? You should get a spark at plug gap?

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Monday, November 10th, 2008 AT 11:58 AM
Tiny
MARC_SKERRITT
  • MEMBER

After getting the new module, we put everything back together and tried to start the car with no luck. We removed a spark plug and tested for spark, none at all. just to be sure, we cleaned the plugs and checked for spark on every plug... nothing. I tested all of the connections inside the distributor. All connections on the ignition module read 12v as do the terminals on the coil. There is another part that i do not know how to test, it looks to be a pick-up module. I am not sure if this could be the problem, how to test it or replace it. I will include a picture, it is the piece in the upper left hand corner of the distributor.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/267766_photo_2.jpg

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Monday, November 10th, 2008 AT 2:48 PM
Tiny
DAVE H
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Could you tell me the exact model of civic it is ?? there are different distributors listed ?


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/266999_Graphic14_1.jpg

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Monday, November 10th, 2008 AT 6:36 PM
Tiny
MARC_SKERRITT
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It's a 1997 Honda Civic EX.

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Monday, November 10th, 2008 AT 7:34 PM
Tiny
DAVE H
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There are 2 distributors listed for this EX model the pic i sent earlier must be the right one the other looks totaly different ? .. so the CKP/TDC/CYP sensor is in the top left corner of your photo ..(ckp = crank position sensor.. tdc = top dead centre sensor cyp =cylinder position sensor and they are all in the one unit .. here is how to test ..

Turn ignition off. Disconnect CKP/TDC/CYP sensor distributor 10-pin connector. Measure resistance between CKP/TDC/CYP sensor terminals. See CHECKING CKP/TDC/CYP SENSOR RESISTANCE . If resistance between sensor connector terminals is 350-700 ohms, go to next step. If resistance is not as specified, replace distributor ignition housing. See Fig. 8 .
Check for continuity between ground and each specified CKP/TDC/CYP sensor terminal. See CHECKING CKP/TDC/CYP SENSOR RESISTANCE . See Fig. 8 . If continuity does not exist, go to next step. If continuity exists, replace distributor ignition housing.
Reconnect CKP/TDC/CYP sensor distributor 10-pin connector. Disconnect PCM 31-pin connector "C". See Fig. 3 . Measure resistance between specified PCM connector terminals. See CHECKING CKP/TDC/CYP SENSOR RESISTANCE . If resistance between sensor connector terminals is 350-700 ohms, go to next step. If resistance is as specified, go to next step. If resistance is not as specified, repair open in suspect circuit. See the WIRING DIAGRAMS article. See Fig. 3 .
Check for continuity between ground and PCM 31-pin connector "C" terminals C2, C3 and C4 individually. See Fig. 3 . If continuity exists, repair short in suspect circuit. If continuity does not exist, substitute a known-good PCM and recheck. If symptom or indication goes away, replace original PCM. (powertrain control module)

CHECKING CKP/TDC/CYP SENSOR RESISTANCE

CKP terminals 2 & 6 pcm number terminal C2 & C12
TDC 3 & 7 C3 & C13
CYP 4 & 8 C4 & C14


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/266999_ckpwire_1.jpg

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Monday, November 10th, 2008 AT 8:23 PM
Tiny
MARC_SKERRITT
  • MEMBER

Just tested terminals and they all read 370 ohms.

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Thursday, November 13th, 2008 AT 3:59 PM
Tiny
MARC_SKERRITT
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No continuity

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Thursday, November 13th, 2008 AT 4:06 PM
Tiny
DAVE H
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Turn ignition off. Disconnect CKP/TDC/CYP sensor distributor 10-pin connector. Measure resistance between CKP/TDC/CYP sensor terminals. See CHECKING CKP/TDC/CYP SENSOR RESISTANCE. If resistance between sensor connector terminals is 350-700 ohms, go to next step. If resistance is not as specified, replace distributor ignition housing. See Fig. 8.

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Thursday, November 13th, 2008 AT 4:15 PM
Tiny
STREACKERMAN
  • MEMBER

I seem to be having similar problems. Can either of you tell me if this worked or where you went from there? Thanks.

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Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 AT 10:28 PM

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