98 Civic Ex dies, or doesn't start again after driving - HondaCivicForum.com

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Old 06-20-2015, 04:41 PM
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Default 98 Civic Ex dies, or doesn't start again after driving

I've been having this issue for a couple months now. I am not a mechanic, but hope to do small repairs when I can. Sorry I'm longwinded, LOL.

I have a 1998 Honda Civic EX, 2-door coupe. The problem first happened when we were going to the zoo, about a 15-min drive on a hot day. The car stalled, and we could start it again and drive for a few feet, then it would stall again. Eventually the car had to be towed. After taking it to the mechanic, he said they got the car to work fine for two days and nothing was looked at.

I drive it home. My fiance drove it for a couple of months, but only short distances. Then we went to the zoo again. This time it stalled on the way back. I was driving it this time. It seems the engine totally died. I saw the RPM gauge drop to 0 suddenly and it became hard to steer. I guess power steering was lost. I was able to pull over safely but couldn't get it to start again at all. We towed the vehicle again.

We wondered if maybe I got dirt or water in the fuel, but I don't think we can check that on our own easily. We tried one of those fuel injector cleaners (dunno what they're called) for a few bucks, but that didn't work. I decided to change the fuel filter. But before doing that, I decided to try the car again and this time just go nearby late at night (I was really hungry). The car got there, but wouldn't start again after. I went the next day and was able to drive it home.

So this time we changed the fuel filter. It was plenty dirty, and I don't know if it was ever changed. I don't know much about cars, and nobody ever mentioned it. I wish I had changed it before, but who knows? So after changing it, it seemed to drive smoother, and we drove it nearby again. It got there ok, but now it won't start again. It's cranking, but won't turn over. The radio comes on fine... The battery is about 2 years old, not really old, and I wish I had something to check it with.

I dunno what's going on, and I hope you guys can help me. I'm happy we got the fuel filter out of the way, but I don't know what else to do. I'm thinking of replacing the fuel pump relay but that's $50 and I'm not sure how to do that. And I have no idea if that's it. I need help diagnosing this. I know that was all WALL OF TEXT-like, but I'm a firm believer that the more info you get, the more likely you can figure out the solution.

Oh I should add that when I can't get it to start, the battery light, the check engine light and oil light are all lit. The check engine light is always on, however, and has been for years due to a faulty O2 sensor. I think the battery and oil light are typically on when you first turn the key, right? The oil is only slightly low, and according to the mechanic shouldn't cause a problem. These lights also came on when the car stalled while driving. I called Honda about the ignition switch recall and they said my vehicle wasn't involved.

Thank you all for your help.

Last edited by Cyborg Ninja; 06-21-2015 at 06:57 AM. Reason: recall
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Old 06-21-2015, 12:24 AM
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how do you know that the check engine code is only related to the o2 sensor there could be dozens of codes being given how would you know unless you recently read them ???
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Old 06-21-2015, 05:57 AM
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I don't know. I'm just stating that that was what I was told last time and it's been on since. I wish I could get it to an auto shop to check the codes again, but I'm afraid of the thing just stalling in the middle of the road again.

I'm trying to read the codes, but I don't know how to do it. I've seen so much info online but it's conflicting, maybe due to vehicle year or left or right-hand vehicles. I dunno. I'm trying to get to a green plug near the passenger's floorboard, but I don't see it. Do I have to unscrew something? I'm going to try to read it with a paper clip.

I think I removed the panel covering where the plug is supposed to be. I went to another site that said it should be blue, and not green. I don't know. I dunno what to do from here. Here are some pics of the panel I uncovered on the passenger side, and for kicks, under the hood of my car.

Last edited by Cyborg Ninja; 06-21-2015 at 10:30 AM. Reason: added images
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Old 06-22-2015, 04:09 PM
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I ended up getting the codes with the paperclip method. It's just the O2 sensor and no other codes came up.
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