Troubleshooting Common Problems -

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Old 05-18-2010, 09:44 AM
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Default Troubleshooting Common Problems

Main relay symptoms are:

  • Car won't start when hot outside
  • Car won't start after parked for just a minute.
  • Car starts but quickly dies as the rpm shoots to 1300 rpm. A second cranking attempt will crank but no signs of catching or any strong rpm movements.
  • Once started the car won't stall. After the car runs for a couple minutes, the symptoms return after shutting off the engine.
  • Windows have been rolled up on a hot day when problem occurred.
  • The heater was on before turning the car off.
  • Tapping your fingers or keys on the main relay will start the car.
  • No (humming) sound from the fuel pump the moment the ignition switches ON.
  • No click sound after the ignition key turns on or
  • No click sound two seconds after the ignition turns on.
  • Check engine light comes on (rare cases) or stays on longer than usual and no sparks (electronic timing only.)
  • 10-15 of waiting and the car pushed to a shade, will usually start.

Ignition switch symptoms are:
  • The dash will go dark when it dies (no warning lights, no shift indicator, no electrical).
  • Car stalls then can be started, then stalls after driving or idling for a few seconds or minutes.
  • Car runs fine when the key slightly held at start position or part way between start and ON position. In rare cases, this symptom is similar to a bad main relay.
  • Ignition (electrical) switch is hot.
Igniter/ignitor symptoms are:
  • The tachometer quits abruptly or jerks around before stalling.
  • The car quits abruptly or jerks around before stalling.
  • Engine cools down and starts, stalls under normal operating temperature.
  • Oki igniter brand was installed.
  • No spark at the coil.
  • All dash warning lights shows up during stalling.
Coil symptoms are:
  • No spark at the coil.
  • Cranking shows no signs of sputtering.
  • The RPM needle shows an immeasurable hint of life.
  • Car won't start the next day and from then on.
  • The distributor was abused before it died.
  • The coil looks extremely dry, melted, flaking or cracking.
  • All dash warning lights shows up during stalling.
Fuel pump: Symptoms of a bad fuel pump.
  • Turn the ignition switch on and no hum is heard for the first 2 seconds.
  • Car stalls while idling or cruising above 1 mph. Sometimes car comes back to life.
  • Spark is found and can smell gas.
  • Engine will crank but with no signs of sputtering but may sputter on one or two cylinders.
  • Once started, a plume of smoke is seen from the tailpipe and idles rough before settling into a smooth idle.
  • After being able to start the car will restart just fine.
  • Press the gas halfway or fully down to release fuel vapor and allow more air to balance the air/fuel ratio usually starts.
  • Some late model cars have the ability to shut off the injectors for a number of seconds when starting at full throttle. This clears the combustion chamber. Check your owner's manual.
  • Engine cranks but won't start when it rains.
  • Signs of moisture on the ignition wire.
  • Shutoff the car and come back a couple hours later will start.
Bad starter solenoid, dirty console, clutch switch:
  • Will only click at the starter solenoid but won't crank (motor/starter won't spin.)
Corroded battery terminals, bad ground straps, bad battery or alternator charging symptoms are:
  • Engine does not turn over or turns over very slowly then quits.
  • Sometimes the dash will go dark or dim when attempting to start (no warning lights, no shift indicator, no electrical).
  • Usually a single snap is heard from the battery post when attempting to start followed by no relay clicks, warning lights, no electrical.
  • Usually a jump start form another car will start the car is an indication of a draining battery, bad alternator or battery. The voltage should be 14 - 14.4V at 2000-rpm.
TW (coolant temperature) sensor:
  • Won't start when cold outside or on a cold engine.
  • Disconnecting the TW sensor usually starts.

Bad ECU or ECU at fault:
  • No spark and check engine light is on and stays on.

Low compression:
  • Won't start when stored for a month or so.
  • Car just overheated and quits on its own.
  • Compression reads low. (normally 100-180-psi should start)
  • Pouring a cap of motor oil into the cylinder usually starts. (Don't attempt if not certain.)
  • This is not categorized as intermittent.

if you guys come up with any other good ideas that i cant think of at this moment let me know

Last edited by trustdestruction; 02-21-2013 at 10:41 AM.
Old 01-05-2011, 07:24 PM
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Posts: 145

you have a chart thing to trouble shoot rpm gauges? i got a 93 civic and when i start the car my rpm needle goes way up to like 8k and bounces then goes to 0 and dont move till i rev it and it'll just jump to like 3k and drop to 0 again really fast. can you help?
Old 01-09-2011, 01:01 PM
wco wco is offline
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you can fined answer [Right here on this forum! No need to go to outside links!]

(Don't post links like this. First, last, and only warning WCO).

Last edited by WellFedHobo; 01-09-2011 at 02:47 PM.
Old 07-28-2011, 05:33 AM
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Posts: 1
Default light surge

i have a 97 honda civic the lights surge on it i have replaced the ecu and the iat any sugesstions?
Old 10-13-2011, 04:05 PM
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Posts: 1

i have a 1994 civic dx just put a new starter on andstill wont start. i checked for voltage at the small cable on the starter when key is turned on and have none. Any suggestions where ui go from here.
Old 10-13-2011, 04:09 PM
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this isnt a thread to post your problems, if you have a problem make your own threads
Old 12-03-2011, 03:48 AM
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any body help about my honda d15b. my problem is the idle is getting drop to 200 or 300 when i turn on the head lights.
Old 12-03-2011, 10:11 AM
94civichatchback's Avatar
Chubby Chaser
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Originally Posted by maharba View Post
any body help about my honda d15b. my problem is the idle is getting drop to 200 or 300 when i turn on the head lights.
Clean your IACV, not sure how to do it, google: HOW TO CLEAN IACV
Old 03-28-2012, 07:24 AM
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I have a 91 civic dx I changed the fuel filter and when I start the car it loses power when I put it in reverse or drive what do I need to do now.
Old 03-29-2012, 09:54 AM
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Why did you change your fuel filter? How are your spark plugs? worked on a 90's Chevy pick up about a month back in class that when you put it in gear the rpm would drop a lot. Replaced plugs wires ad fuel filter but didn't help. Found out the fuel pump was going out and didn't have enough flow.
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bad, car, civic, clicks, honda, hot, jump, moter, shift, slow, solenoid, spins, stalls, start, starter, wont

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