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1998 Civic won't crank

Old 03-18-2012, 07:12 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: CO
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Default 1998 Civic won't crank

Car was starting and running fine. I found a leaking heater hose that connects to the engine block right under the distributor. I removed the distributor assembly from the block, replaced the hose, replaced the distributor. The engine started immediately and I ran it for about 5-10 minutes to check for leaks then I turned it off. Car was not driven the rest of the day. Today, my daughter went out to start the car and nothing happened when she turned the key. I went out and tried and nothing...
The dash lights come on, the check engine light came on and stayed on. The main relay clicks properly; the fuel pump clicks. The engine light did not go off so I researched forums and it was suggested that I remove the FI fuse and disconnect the battery for 5 mins+. Did that. Tried starting it and nothing... All the same lights come on, check engine light came on then turned off, which is what it's supposed to do. All the proper "clicks" were there. Clicks from the left of the dash and clicks from the right(I don't understand why both sides). There's a whirring sound from the right dash that goes away in about 2 seconds.

Anyway, that's my story. I'm out of options. Any and all suggestions will be much appreciated.

Old 03-19-2012, 04:16 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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If manual, check the clutch pedal switch. The rubber pads break, then the switch is not pressed when you press the clutch pedal, and the starter won't work.

You can jump the starter to rule out the battery, starter, and major connections.
Old 03-20-2012, 08:40 AM
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Sorry, I should have added that this is an automatic.

Thanks for your input. It's pretty frustrating and I'm sure it has something to do with the electronics but I'm just sure where to go from here. I've checked for forum input and have checked the main relay and battery(new). I'm just at a loss and don't want to take it to the dealer without some more input.

I'm thinking of replacing the ignition switch since I've run out of options and that seems pretty easy. I've reset the ECU, checked all fuses in the fuse box except for the big black plastic ones, etc.

It just irritates me that it started fine, then nothing.

Last edited by thebriarman; 03-20-2012 at 08:43 AM.
Old 03-20-2012, 09:52 AM
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Try checking the starter solenoid and wires. Jump wires from battery direct to solenoid.

Last edited by axis11; 03-20-2012 at 09:55 AM.
Old 01-27-2016, 11:18 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 2
Default 1998 Civic doesn't crank and won't start

I encountered the same set of issues. The dash lights come on and don't dim when you turn the key to start the engine. A faint relay click can be heard when turning the key to start position. All lights are bright and not dim. There is a signal wire connected to the starter solenoid that sends 12V coil voltage when the key is turned to the start position. I removed this wire from the solenoid and checked for 12V when the key is turned to the start position. 12V was present when the key was turned to start the engine however it seemed too easy to disconnect the wire. This wire has a boot on the end which covers a spade type electrical connector. It is difficult to be sure the spade connection is properly engaged since you cannot see under the boot. Someone had previously worked on the engine and failed to properly connect this signal wire resulting in a intermittent starting problem. It is easy to misalign the spade alongside the connector rather than inserting the spade into the connector. Once this wire was properly connected the starter fired perfectly.

Last edited by celvick; 01-27-2016 at 11:20 AM.
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