1999 Honda Civic 99 Honda Civic not starting.

Tiny
SUNSHINE28
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 HONDA CIVIC
1999 Honda Civic 4 cyl Two Wheel Drive Manual

This car is my boyfriend's car but he is away right now, and it stopped working the day after he left to the military. His mother drove the car and it stopped working while she shifted into neutral and slowed down to stop for a red light. The car died as if you had let go of the clutch while it was in gear. No weird noises or sputters were heard. He advised me a few days earlier that he needed an oil change soon, he also needed me to buy oil from the store to fill his engine. When the car died it was towed back to our house and his uncle said his oil tank was completely empty and that it was bad that we'd driven in it. He filled it and we let the car sit for about two days. I tried to start it up but it wouldn't start. It sounded like the engine was gonna turn over but just wouldn't. It also made a kind of high pitched grinding/whirring sound from the engine.

i had my brother and a friend come over to look at it but so far they haven't found much wrong with it after taking apart a few things. I'd like to know what might be the issue so that I can buy whatever is wrong with it or take it into a shop. But since the car isn't moving it's hard to take it anywhere. So far the air, fuel and sparks work fine. I don't know what's wrong. Hope you guys can help.
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 AT 12:56 AM

11 Replies

Tiny
BUDDYCRAIGG
  • EXPERT
Hello.

OK.
You sound like a young lady, so I will try to be gentle with my words, but I am a grumpy old man, and i'm not very good at sugar coating things.

First, stop letting your brother and his friends work on it. Unless they are at least 25 years old and know how to change oil and a flat tire.

Now then.
When you turn the key all the way to the crank the engine over. Does the engine actually crank over.
All the way around?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 AT 1:25 AM
Tiny
PEAR69
  • MEMBER
First tell me if the engine is siezed up. When you turn the key - does the engine crankshaft rotate? Look at the belts as you turn the key.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 AT 1:33 AM
Tiny
SUNSHINE28
  • MEMBER
Haha yes, my brother and friend are much over 25. They know a bit about cars that's why I asked them to check out the car first incase there wasn't anything huge that was wrong with it.

When I turn the key it does turn all the way and the engine sounds like it's about to come to life but it just won't reach that peak. The only thing noticable was that the timing belt was a little bit loose but not loose enough to not be able to start the engine so i'm not sure if that's the problem. If anything, I may have to take the car to a professional.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 AT 1:35 AM
Tiny
SUNSHINE28
  • MEMBER
I'm not sure if the engine is seized up. So far, the people I have looking at it says it isn't. And yes, the crankshaft does rotate. The timing belt is turning and we filled the oil and everything but the car still won't start.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 AT 1:37 AM
Tiny
BUDDYCRAIGG
  • EXPERT
God I was dreading that from the moment that you said that it just stopped running while you were driving it.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 AT 1:38 AM
Tiny
SUNSHINE28
  • MEMBER
Should I buy a new timing belt? My brother is going to look at the car again tomorrow. He is going to check everything, and if nothing is wrong then we were thinking of replacing the belt.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 AT 1:42 AM
Tiny
BUDDYCRAIGG
  • EXPERT
I'm going to let pear69 continue to help you.

There can only be one chef in a kitchen at a time.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 AT 1:44 AM
Tiny
PEAR69
  • MEMBER
PHEW.I thought I was going to tell you that the motor seized when it was running with no oil in it. However DO NOT TRY TO START OR CRANK THE ENGINE ANYMORE.I'll explain.
I am assuming that the engine has well over 100000 miles on it. If the timeing belt is loose then it is probable that the timing belt jumped a rib (or a tooth) or two. That would explain the high pitched whirrling sound (being the timing is off). When this happens the engine usually will stop. The bad part is when you go to try to start it again (with the timing belt off a little) you can cause serious damage to the valves - pistons - and other parts. Depending on how the far the belt is off or stretched will determine how much -- if any ---damage was done. SO CHECK THE TIMING

If your brother is mechanicaly inclined -- and he has a few tools -- then replacing the timing belt is really not that hard. But if this is to be attempted be sure to purchase a car repair manual for your car, and follow the instructions step by step. Purchasing a repair manual can also educate you as to what may be wrong with any issue with any car. This can have give you an advantage when you go to a mechanic and try to explain a problem.

If it is determined that the head or valves are damaged -- I suggest -- do not have it rebuilt. You can get a remanufactured head for almost the same price. A remanufactured heads reduce down time and they are usually have a warranty. They also are machined - measured - and ready to install. If you have your existing head rebuilt it may not pass specifications and you may spend more money that anticipated.

And -- if you brother does not do the job - be sure to take it to an ASE Certified Mechanic.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 AT 1:20 PM
Tiny
PEAR69
  • MEMBER
Oh yea, one more thing. Being that the car runs out of oil, determine why. If it leaks out - find the leak and fix it. If it is being consumed in the engine, then you should consider how much money you want to spend. Oil can is consumed or burned in the combustion chamber. It can get in there two ways - either by leaking by the valve seals (located in the head - which will be new if you replace the head) or oil can leak past worn piston rings. When oil leaks past piston rings the end is near. A simple compression and/or leak down test can determine this with out getting involved with tearing the engine apart. If the piston rings are failing then the engine is nearing the end of its' service -- And BTW I hope your boyfriends' service gives him a speedy and safe return home.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 AT 1:37 PM
Tiny
SUNSHINE28
  • MEMBER
THANK YOU !
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 AT 7:25 PM
Tiny
PEAR69
  • MEMBER
You are welcome anytime sunshine28. Keep us posted.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 AT 10:09 PM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides