"No Start" Problems --Talk About Them Here!

help7help7 Member Posts: 8
edited March 2014 in Honda

Great informative site, please please help me im desperate i bought a 92 Honda civic VTI VTECH 1.6 DOHC B16a2 full dealer history 2 months ago. I was driving and as i dropped a gear i heard a bang the car kept on going fine but when i pulled over i could hear very strange noises coming from the distributor (scraping) so i called the recovery people he came and removed the distributor and sprayed inside the distributor when he put it back on the car wouldnt start at all it turned but would not start (it did b4) he then advised that i needed a new distributor and was towed home. I got quoted 400 uk pounds for it so i got my existing reconditioned only my housing remained for 150 uk pounds and fitted it back and it still wouldnt start no spark when tried with an old plug i took it back and he said it couldnt possibly be the distributor and something else is wrong if it is not the distributor what could it be not inc timing, plugs, leads, at least the distributor should send a spark should it not ? what was the bang was it my ignition coil inside the distributor ? also looking at old invoices from honda the car did have a non start problem due to IGNITOR UNIT FAILURE whats that and where is it located ? im sorry for the long essay but please please help my cars been of the road for 7 days cannot even get to work on time please supply as much info as possible otherwise all my savings what i have left will go to Honda garage who are a rip off in the uk.

Thank you kindly for your help.


  • 79377937 Member Posts: 390
    I'll tell you what happened to me once. Maybe it could help you. The distributor has a set of weights underneath the points. These move in and out with centrifugal force to advance and retard the timing. They are normally fixed with rivets at the fulcrum points. In my case, the rivets broke off and allowed the mechanism to rotate 180 degrees where it hooked up again and still allowed the points to open and close. Being 180 degrees out of timing, the car would not start. In my case however, I still had spark and it took me some time to figure out what had happened.

    A similar thing might have happend to your car. The noise that you heard might have been the weights hitting the housing. You say you have no spark. It does sound like the ignitor has croaked. I would also check up on that reconditioned distributor of yours. Check those weights.
  • help7help7 Member Posts: 8
    Thanks for the input really appreciate it.

    the whole of the unit has been reconditioned meaning the only part being used of my old unit is the housing even the rotating cog rod the rivets you are talking about are they fixed on the housing ? do you think i should just reject the recon unit and get another as if it is a part broken on the housing then i may as well look for a complete distributor. suggestions welcome thanks again
  • help7help7 Member Posts: 8
    i have a strong feeling you are right about the weights hitting the housing as i could hear rattling and scraping inside but when the recovery man opened it and sprayed lubricant the car wouldnt start at all just cranked but it did b4 i called the recovery services..
  • help7help7 Member Posts: 8
    Did the webmaster change my front page title?WHY ? not FAIR this related specificaly to the TD44 distributor problem ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
  • 79377937 Member Posts: 390
    The weights are inside the housing underneath a plate and you cannot see them. Your Honda does not have points but it still has the centrifugal weights. It's possible that when the service guy replaced the rotor cap the weights slipped around and your timing went out. Try this - remove the distributor and grip the drive shaft at the bottom and the rotor at the top and twist the drive shaft. The drive shaft should turn about a ¼ turn and then start to drive the rotor.

    Another place to look at is the bottom of the drive shaft. There is a key that fits into the camshaft. See if it's not sheared off. The key is off centre so that it can only fit one way into the camshaft.
  • help7help7 Member Posts: 8
  • help7help7 Member Posts: 8
    AAh so the drive shaft (on the distributor) should turn a quarter approx before it starts to drive the rotor.ps The key is fine, can the centrifugal weights be adjusted back to the correct timing if needed? I just want to get my facts because i know the unit recon guy will try and fobb me off with some excuse to say distributor is fine but what he doesnt know is i got good people like you arming me with info. The bottom line is that if the weights are out the distributor is gonna cause problems you think its wise just to get a another distributor (TD44)instead of fiddling ???

    thanks for your help again
    You sure seem to know your stuff :)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Hi Help--

    The title was amended so that the board doesn't end up with hundreds of discussion that have only 5-6 posts in them. I am sorry if this upset you and I'll try to remember to e-mail next time and explain.

    But the Host will do whatever is necessary to keep a clean and easy to read Board going.

    It looks like you are getting some good info, so no harm done I don't think. Chalk it up to "housekeeping".


    Mr. SHiftright
  • 79377937 Member Posts: 390
    I don't really know my stuff. It's just 40 years of fiddling with motor cars and blood sweat and tears. I also used to have a Honda Prelude so I know what the distributor looks like.

    No, you cannot adjust the weights. The delayed action before the rotor turns after the shaft is turned is correct. Hold the rotor and twist the shaft. Release the shaft and it should spring back. It's really difficult to say for sure what your problem is but I've given you a rough guide what to look for. Good luck.
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Member Posts: 872
    How many Mi/Km does the car have?

    I would look at a few things before trowing money at it.

    First pop the dist. cap and crank over the engine, I'm not that familiar with your car, but the rotor should spin. If it doesn't I would start looking at the timing belt. The bang could have been the belt jumping, and the computer could have compensated for it, but when it stopped the force of trying to spin the cams over from a dead stop could have finished off the teeth.

    If you have rotor movement next thing to check is the ignitor, I have seen numerous post on those going bad.

    After that look at things like cam and crank sensors, if those go out so will your ignition, also check out the ignition coil. Do you get spark from that?
  • help7help7 Member Posts: 8
    i have to get my distributor back in about 5 mins so when i have got it back i will check the above. The recon guys gonna put all the old parts back in cant beleive he charged me over 150 uk pounds i may just get another distributor altoghether when ive got my money back, my car has 130k Miles on the clock but with full Honda service history let u know what happens re: VTI MAN VS RECON MAN
  • help7help7 Member Posts: 8
  • marlynfishmarlynfish Member Posts: 2
    Hopefully, one of you can suggest a solution to the problem that I'm having with my '91 Geo Prizm. Bought it used in Aug. '01 and am currently at 126,000 miles. Car runs great except 3 months ago, after work, I went to start my car and it was dead. I replaced the battery figuring that was the problem. Car was fine for 3 months but then the brand new battery (a Sears Diehard) was dead after being parked over night. I took my car to a mechanic and he too gave me another new battery (even though I explained that the one in my car was only 3 mos. old). This battery lasted for 1 1/2 weeks and, lo and behold, car was parked overnight and battery was dead.

    So here we have a car that has completely drained 3 batteries in the span of 5 months!

    I've taken it to another mechanic who tested the alternator (it's fine) and checked for short circuits (none, so far). He says that the car is registering something as "on" and whatever this device is, it's draining the battery when the car sits for many hours.

    I'm wondering if any of you have experienced this problem with your cars (Geo or otherwise) and am hoping that you can suggest what device might be the gremlin causing this problem. All devices that I can access (radio, indoor and outdoor lights and vent fan) are completely off when I leave the car so I don't know what else could be the culprit.

    Please advise.
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Suggest to your mechanic that he place an digital ammeter is series between the battery and the positive battery cable, then start removing fuses and circuit breakers until the reading indicates less than 50 mA. He's just found the circuit in which there's a load which is still drawing current when the key's off. He might want to start by disconnecting the alternator B (battery) wire first to verify no shorted diodes.
  • ckinningckinning Member Posts: 3

    I've recently developed a problem on my 99 GLS where the car wont start for about 1 to 2 minutes after I fill it up at the gas station. I'll work the Clutch and gas peddle for about 2 minutes till it starts finally and afterwards is fine till the next time I need to fill up the tank.

    I took it to the local import repair; the local VW dealership is too far away and has a bad reputation, and they have been working with VW for 2 weeks trying to understand why this is happening. VW is at a loss and my mechanic has been working on VW's for almost 20 years. They've checked the fuel line and gas cap pressure but the problem still keeps happening. The car basically acts flooded after a fill up and the check engine light keeps coming on. One last thought that VW says is not an issue, but I had Jiffy Lube clean my fuel injectors during my last oil change, after which the problem started, but neither my mechanic or VW says this is a problem

    Any thoughts???


  • opera_house_wkopera_house_wk Member Posts: 326
    1. Does it only not start when you fill up?
    2. If you went to the Quick-E-Mart for 5 minutes would there be a problem?
    3. When it does start, does it run rough for 15 seconds?

    A vapor bubble could be forming in the fuel rail as a result of a pressure leak down. That leak down could occur as a result of: a leaking injector, leaking regulator into the vacuum line, and leaking regulator back into the tank. The fuel pump could also leak but am focusing on those things that might be damaged by a cleaning.
    Leaking injector or regulator into vacuum line could flood the engine. If you removed the intake to the throttle body, there would be a strong smell of gas. Why did you have the injectors. cleaned?

    Next time you are in that situation, before starting do this. Turn your key on for 5 seconds then turn it off for 2 seconds. Repeat this 3 times. This will flush out a bubble if there is one. Note that fuel pumps only turn on for a few seconds and then shut off until the car starts.
  • ckinningckinning Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for replying:

    In response to your questions and comments; which I'll pass onto my mechanic:

    1. It only seems to not start when I fill it up with more than 5 gallons of gas ( 14 gallon tank) and after I get it running, it drives fine till the next fill up. You are correct in suggesting that it does run hard for a few seconds after I get it going.

    To be honest I don't know alot about cars and how to do more than basic maintenance on them. The reason I had the injectors cleaned, was because I had 32K miles on the car and did a lot of city driving the first 29k miles and I noticed it was a service the oil place offered and asked them about it. They said the fuel injectors were really dirty and I asked VW and my mechanic about it and he didn't think that the oil place could have done any damage; but this all started after I took it to Jiffy Lube. I will pass on your comments to VW and my mechanic as its now going on 2 weeks that they've had it and they are still at a loss. However the mechanic said that it would not occur unless he put more than 5 gallons of gas in the car as he tried putting in a few gallons and could not get the same problem.
  • opera_house_wkopera_house_wk Member Posts: 326
    Strange things happen here sometimes. Did a long reply but it crashed on the information highway. I should save these off to the word processor. Problem is with the evaporation recovery system. Diagram is located under the hood. You have a charcoal canister and a valve that opens when you start the engine. Vent connection to the tank is usually high, like in the fill pipe, so gas doesn't get sucked in when driving. A baffle is damaged or some other hole which allows liquid gas to enter this vent line when filling. Get a small see-thru inline gas filter and some hose. Connect it in series with the vent line and fill up the tank. Then examine the filter for signs of gasoline. If it is there, you know that you are filling the canister and flooding the engine.
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    The cannister purge valve or solenoid opens after the engine reaches a predetermined temperature, off idle. Otherwise there'd be poor idle quality and tip in hesitation driveability problems.
  • grunt52grunt52 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 95 Pont GP-GT with the 3.4 liter engine. It seems to have a cold starting problem. The engine surges to 3000RPM then falls off and spits and coughs and may even die. Upon restart the same thing happens until I start driving for a while. It will then keep running but want to idle at a high RPM. I just had a complete tune up and no help...but it sure is a fast car.
  • cramirezcramirez Member Posts: 4
    I have a new 2002 explorer xls with the 4.0 v6 8700 miles. I'm having a problem with it starting. It acts as if it have way to much timing sometimes like an old car berated car and will not start. When it does finnaly start it bellows out black smoke but will run fine. The only reason I'm asking is because the dealership is having a hard time figuring out what is wrong with it. I hope someone can help. Thanks
  • hondadudehondadude Member Posts: 6
    with spring and warm temps around the corner I thought it the time of year to bring up the MAIN relay problem. in those years of accords the main relay is up under the dash where lots of hot air gets trapped, the actual problem is cracked solder connections on the circuit board itself. the most common complaint we get is "cranks but won't start after the car has sat closed up in the parking lot all day in the sun, but will start every morning" the solder connections are easily repaired and when I have the case apart I drill a few tiny vent holes in the case. I am very proud to say none of my reliable rebuilds have ever come back. unfortunatly, some of my customers who opted for OEM replacement, have come back again with the same problem, verified via autopsy. I can only think the japaneese etiquitte prevents Mr. Honda from telling Mr Mitsuba, to use a better solder on those circuit boards. best of luck to all, I hope this helps you.
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