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Older Civic Maintenance and Repair

cnu_gurlcnu_gurl Member Posts: 2

I am looking for any kind of help or suggestions that I can get. My 98 has recently been giving me problems. It looks as if the battery is going. But we have checked that and it seems to be fine. I will be driving and the whole thing will shut down [no sputtering just shuts down]. I will try to start it back up and I get nothing. It wont even turn over. The radio and the clock have reset [which is what led me to believe that it was the battery]. Once I jump start the car it works just fine. This has happened about 3 times now, and seems to happen when I am low on gas. I am not out of gas.. just on the low side. Which makes no sense. And I dont see how the two can be related, unless it is just some sort of freak accident.

Also, and I have no clue if this is part of the same problem.. I will drive my car for quite a while [ about an hour drive seems to be where this happens].. and then stop somewhere. If I get back in my car to start it up with in 15 min.. it will not start. But if I let it sit there for about 30 min or longer it will start up just fine.

Someone suggested starter for the second problem, but I have nothing on the first. I will take any suggestions that I can get [besides just taking it to the junk yard, as many have suggested already].



  • itmatters1975itmatters1975 Member Posts: 1
    I am new to this forum and really need help. I have a Honda Civic 99 model car. recently for the past 2 weeks or so while I am driving suddenly my engine shuts off, and I have to pull to shoulder and when I start again it is fine. Also I noticed my music system was playing when this happens and nothing else works not even my blinkers. It is scary. No
    other engine fail indication or any warning. My friends says this is something to do with alternator. I didn't change my fuel filter for a while. Any help will be appreciated before I take to some mechnaic. I tried
    to post this question to the forum but unable to do so - so reaching you guys. This is similar to one posted by cnu_gurl any suggestion will be appreciated PLEASE HELP !!!
  • dolphin5400dolphin5400 Member Posts: 1
    I could use someones help. I just purchased a 1999 Honda Civic but now that I have driven it a little while I have noticed that when I put the car in reverse it makes a whining sound. The car is an automatic so I don't know where the noise could be coming from. Anybodies help would be greatly appreciated.
  • nikky7nikky7 Member Posts: 4
    I have had my 2003 civic since it was new. In the past few months, when the heater is on, there is a hot chemical odor. Also at times it smells like paint thinner. Does anyone have any idea what this smell is and where it is coming from?
  • wsustudentwsustudent Member Posts: 35
    Hi everyone again. I'm sure you're sick of hearing about my 2003 Honda Civic EX coupe 5spd. Its basically on every maintinence forum on here at some point because of all the problems I've been having. Well I've got a new one for everyone.

    I was driving home from school last night and the ABS light came on. Within 2 minutes, the gauges stayed lit but they all went dead (tach to 0, speed to 0, fuel and temp to low). Then my lights went dim and started losing all kinds of power. Other system lights came on such as the airbag light, cruise control light, check engine light (cause by this point the engine started misfiring due to low electrical). I pull over to the side of the road and the car misfires to a stall. Could not get the car restarted right away. So I end up pushing it into a parking lot and let it sit for like 45 minutes while I wait for my dad. He gets there, we go outside, and the battery recovered itself enough to get the car started. We are running the car, and the battery voltage across it only reads 11.5 Volts. We turn on the lights and the ABS light turns on again and the whole sequence starts over.

    Here's what we checked:

    Grounding connections

    All checked out OK.

    Now we thought maybe the alternator, however the battery light on the dash was the ONLY light NEVER to come on during this whole sequencing of powering down. When we got it started the battery light flickered a couple of times but went away.

    Would anyone agree with me that maybe a wire to the alternator was damaged or came loose from the head gasket replacement I had done last week?

    Any other suggestions as to what it could be or similar experiences?

    I appreciate any help or suggestions I can get.

    If it turns out to be another major problem I promise everyone this will be one of my last posts on the Honda forum at least about my own car. I will still offer suggestions to others with the knowledge I acccumulated from Hondas I owned but I will be getting rid of this car and going with another brand and NEVER step foot in another Honda dealership again.
  • jody42jody42 Member Posts: 1
    i have a 1979 honda civic with 47,000 original miles, as i was driving the other day it just stopped, and after a few minutes it started up again only to die after a few minutes. this contuned a few times,any one have any ideas where to start looking for problems? thanks
  • jd10013jd10013 Member Posts: 779
    it most deffinitly sounds like your altenator is dead, or rather, dying. your car runs off the battery, but the altenator recharges the battery. If the battery is not being sufficently recharged, then the problems you describe will occur. take the car to a mechanic. They can check to see how much power the altenator is producing. In short, whats happening is, the longer you drive the car, the more power your drawing from the batter. But, the atlenator is not recharging the battery. Even the best batteries will eventulay run out of power if not recharged.
  • wsustudentwsustudent Member Posts: 35
    Thank you for the reply. My dad looked at it and it turned out that my mechanic that fixed the head gasket did not tighten the alternator power cable to the lug properly, causing the wire to overheat, and eventually short out after arcing. It's been about a week now and everything looks good so far. Again, thanks for the reply!
  • 92civic92civic Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1992 honda civic that the speedometer stoped working does this car have a speedometer cable or it a computer that this runs off of.

    Is it hard to repair or replace?
  • evandlevandl Member Posts: 2
    91 Honda Civic distrubtor 1.5. At an idle in gear, neutral, does not matter but there seems to be a bit a rough idle intermittently. It seems as though it has a bit a of a miss, or about to stall but it does not. IF the idle is increased a bit the problem vanishes. The cap had cracks and burn marks but with over a 100k miles, so it was replaced. Wires and plugs are good with no carbon tracking and gaped fine. I have also noticed this problem in friends cars around the same year and mileage. This all happened after the head gasket was replaced. Timing is also on the mark. The only problem I could think of is the throttle body may need cleaning, but have not been able to get around to it. I was wondering if any one else has encounter this problem?
  • evandlevandl Member Posts: 2
    The 1.6, 1.5 vtec, and 1.5 16valve have an electronic speedometer and takes about an hour to replace and is not hard.
  • hondamand16hondamand16 Member Posts: 9
    Hi,I'v got a 99 Honda civic coupe with D16Y engin. My car overheats whenever I go over 140k/h about 70m/h or if I accelerate fast, I have changed the rediator,new 2 fans, new thermostat,and I use the right % of antifreez water. The car over heats wither the AC is on or not,water jupms out the rediator which indicates that the water pump is working. I dont know what the deal is, one more thing, whenever I check the bottle next to the rediator after each trip, its always full with water,even though its was filled beteen the min and max lines before the trip, plz help..
  • kenlwkenlw Member Posts: 190
    the bottle is full because the fluid has expanded due to the heat. That part is normal.

    Does the fluid look dark or have brown streaks in it?
  • hondamand16hondamand16 Member Posts: 9
    99 honda civic, D16Y engine(not VTEC), when I step on it, it takes long time to give the full power, for ex. from rpm 2-rpm 4 , it takes long time then when it passes rpm 4.5 it gives crazy power as if it was a VTEC , I dont have anything added on the engine, I have used all the full cleaners a man kind made,am using a 40Am battery, air filter is cleaned regularly and the del co is balanced,
  • hondamand16hondamand16 Member Posts: 9
    It used to have brown streaks in it, something like a thick brown mud, the x owner used drinking water in the radiator,however it had disappeared ever since I changed the radiator. I dont know if this is useful to know, the gasket between the exhaust and the maniful is broken. one more thing, when i installed the new radiator and fans, i drove the car for straight hour and half on 160k/h about 100 m/h and the tempretur was stable the whole trip, it was slightly above half which is the normal Honda tempreture but the it started to over heat again after 3 days,there is no leak, and the radiator led doesn't leak
  • wsustudentwsustudent Member Posts: 35
    Looks like you exhausted all possiblities except for the head gasket which is what I suspect. You are describing the same symptoms my car was experiencing especially with that overflow bottle completely filled up. I would get that in as soon as possible for that, if you keep let it overheating you may warp the aluminum head and it will cost more to have that milled/remachined to straighten it out. The sooner the better and the better chance you have of making it a cheaper repair.

    Most people would say the head gasket is only blown if you start seeing white smoke coming out of the exhaust, but this was not true with my vehicle because it was not "burning" enough coolant to see an effect in the exhaust yet. I caught it in the early stages of the gasket deterioration and leaking so it was just enough to create air pockets in the cooling system and cause the overheating and the overfilled bottle. Also in the winter time I was not getting good heat output in the cabin because of all the air trapped in the system.
  • hondamand16hondamand16 Member Posts: 9
    I will try that for sure and let you know , thanks alot for the advice as i also thought that the gasket is broken only if there is white smoke coming out, your theory makes sense
  • laylabinnurlaylabinnur Member Posts: 1
    :confuse: We've got a 1990 Honda civic that's run like a charm until, suddenly the radio/cassette deck stopped working, just dead, then a couple of days later the car started stalling in the middle of drives. We've had it towed three times into varying repair shops: two had no idea what was wrong, one claimed a loose screw ... but many $$ later, no radio, still stalling.

    Surely there must be some connection between the radio and the stalling problem. What could we check!!??


    Many thanks!!
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    Suspect basic electrical problem (corrosion or bad main fuse link/cable, ignition key switch going bad, battery, etc)
  • wsustudentwsustudent Member Posts: 35
    I agree with kiawah, especially if you are able to get the car restarted it sounds like the alternator is still kicking out and keeping your battery charged, otherwise you would not be restarting the car. Another thing to check other than what was mentioned would be to check your main ground running from your battery to the frame. If that loosens it can cause this problem.
  • hondamand16hondamand16 Member Posts: 9
    Hey , I did what you suggested, i replaced the head gasket,manful gasket and the idol water fuel valve plus i cleaned the block and tuned the engine,and i checked all the sensors because the check engine yellow light is still on, nothing is wrong, nothing is missing, my car is still overheating whenever i exceed 140km/h 80m/h...I need help plz
  • hondamand16hondamand16 Member Posts: 9
    Hey , I did what you suggested, i replaced the head gasket,manful gasket and the idol water fuel valve plus i cleaned the block and tuned the engine,and i checked all the sensors because the check engine yellow light is still on, nothing is wrong, nothing is missing, my car is still overheating whenever i exceed 140km/h 80m/h...I need help plz
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    I didn't read that you've checked/replaced your thermostat and waterpump. Did you do that initially?

    Other than that, only other thing I can think of is air blockage in front of the radiator.
  • kgerringkgerring Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1996 Civic.
    the speedometer is not working and sometimes the lights will flicker on the car.
    What is happening?
    I can only guess. I dont have a manual for the civic.
    Soeed Sensor? ( for the speedometer) Lights ???
  • hondamand16hondamand16 Member Posts: 9
    hi , yes i did, infact , i installed a new water pumb and thermostat, ...any how the problim is fainaly solved...apearantly honda civic made two radiator sizes, 1 line and 2 lines depends on where they exporting thier cars, when i changed the rediator the first time , they had installed the one line rediator, where it should have been 2 lines, now the 2 lines is on and tempreture is under control...
  • podunk503podunk503 Member Posts: 45
    so i was looking at the recalls on edmunds.com and noticed one about the gas pedal being notchy and the fix is a new throttle cable. i have this exact issue however, the recall looks different than the others. there are no dates and it doesn't say how many cars are affected or anything. so i'm a little hesitant about taking this to a dealer. what's your thoughts? i would love to not have to pay for this service.
  • villagemoronvillagemoron Member Posts: 2
    the same thing happened to me but i caught it sooner. It is most likely your alltinator about a 200 dollar part
  • villagemoronvillagemoron Member Posts: 2
    I have just recently got into an accident and destroyed my front passenger side, front bumber, hood, and alittle of my driver side fender. Please give a price range on labor estimates i kind of figured out part estimates but not labor thanks
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    Let's be realistic.....nobody could estimate your damage with what you indicate and not being able to see it, and would take a professional estimator to look at the damage and get close. You could have secondary hidden things bent in the suspension and/or body alignment, which could vary costs wildly.

    I'd take it to a professional garage and get them to give you a repair estimate. It'll cost you a minimal amount for an estimate, but it would be a really good estimate.

    Had a friends son recently hit a curb with his Honda. To the untrained eye it looked like a damaged tire and wheel...and that is what they thought the damage was. After that simple repair, it wouldn't drive straight. To make a long story short, the vehicle had to be put on a frame straightener to pull it back into correct tolerances, and 4 suspension parts were found damaged and had to be replaced before the car could be aligned and it would track straight again.
  • hondamand16hondamand16 Member Posts: 9
    I have a 99 Honda civic D 16Y engine manual trans. When I accelerate my car, it sometimes picks up normally and fast but suddenly it loses power and starts to shake slightly and no matter how hard I push the accelerator it speeds up so slow then again speeds up again, even when I push the acceleration when on neutral, the RPM picks up fast then very slow after 3000 RPM and never reaches even 6 RPM, I have changed the spark plugs but I think that my Delco is not set on the right position, one more thing, sometimes the RPM needle keeps going down and up from 1000 RPM to almost zero and back again to 1000, there is no white smoke and the engine has been tuned and serviced recently
  • hondamand16hondamand16 Member Posts: 9
    have a 99 Honda civic D 16Y engine manual trans. When I accelerate my car, it sometimes picks up normally and fast but suddenly it loses power and starts to shake slightly and no matter how hard I push the accelerator it speeds up so slow then again speeds up again, even when I push the acceleration when on neutral, the RPM picks up fast then very slow after 3000 RPM and never reaches even 6 RPM, I have changed the spark plugs but I think that my Delco is not set on the right position, one more thing, sometimes the RPM needle keeps going down and up from 1000 RPM to almost zero and back again to 1000, there is no white smoke and the engine has been tuned and serviced recently
  • kenlwkenlw Member Posts: 190
    possibly a vacuum leak somewhere.

    another possibility: bad plug wire
  • mongoliftmongolift Member Posts: 3
    I recently bought a '91 honda sivic dx d15a2 fuel injected, and my boyfriend and I are trying to fix it. No spark is reaching the plugs. What could be causing this? Any advice?

    (P.S. my boyfriend said to mention that I'm a cute 21 year old chick. he thought it might increase replies.)
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    Did you buy this vehicle non-working? or, was this vehicle running and you can describe what symptoms might have occurred before it stopped working?
  • kenlwkenlw Member Posts: 190
    ....I'm a happily-married-for-30-years 52-year-old geeezer...

    Now that THAT is out of the way....

    No spark could be wires (but usually at least one plug gets spark, tho)

    No spark on ANY plug would be the ignition coil (if there is one) or the wire from the coil to the distributor.
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    LOL....I almost answered a similar way, nothing but a bunch of old car nut geezers, with years of experiences. Could also be some engine sensors to the computer, or the computer itself.
  • mongoliftmongolift Member Posts: 3
    The car was loosing power for a while then almost all power, and finaly wouldn't start. It turns over, but won't start, Fuel is reaching the negine, i can smell it at the tail. I thought it might be the timing belt, but when i was checkig for other things i found that the coil pack was dead. It also fried the new coil pack i bought. what should i do?
  • mongoliftmongolift Member Posts: 3
    On this model the coil is inside the distributor cap, and there doesn't seem to be any spark at all. I'll check all the wires, thank you.
  • kenlwkenlw Member Posts: 190
    my 1st try would be the throttle body cleaning. It's cheap, easy and it probably needs it anyway.

    Usually a plug/wire-caused misfire happens under load and can often be hard to find when not in gear (neutral/park isn't much load on the engine).

    A quicky way to find a bad plug or wire is to see if it gets worse when you remove one wire at a time and race the engine slightly. If it gets worse, that one is OK. If it does NOT get worse, then that wire or plug is bad.

    And along the lines of carbon tracking, I usually wait and do this in the dark (literally), looking for the faint blue arc or glow around the wires. Always replace all the wires if you replace any.

    A clue as to why this happens after a head gasket is replaced is possibly because in doing so, the plugs and wires were removed; moving old wires tends to crack them.

    good luck
  • stevelow1stevelow1 Member Posts: 3
    My daughter's 97 Civic with 87K on it gives off a "dragging" or "Chugh-Chugh" sound when coasting to a stop before and when the brakes are applied. I just had new brakes put on all four wheels and it still makes the sound. CV boots were replaced at 60K miles.

    Also, before the brake job and now still the brake pedal feels "soft". There's just not that normal tight feel you get when stepping on the brakes. Is this a safety issue?
  • stevelow1stevelow1 Member Posts: 3
    Another issue with my daughter's 97 Civic. The passenger side door won't lock or unlock when the power door lock switch on the driver's door is activated. But all the other locks still work. The passenger side lock button sometimes won't even go down when pressed manually. The only way to lock it is to get out of the car and lock it using the key and even then you have to hold up the door handle to make it lock.

    What's wrong with this lock/power lock system? Is this problem expensive to fix? Should she just learn to live with it?
  • kenlwkenlw Member Posts: 190
    the soft pedal is likely air in the brake lines. Have them purged ("bleeding") to firm up the pedal.

    The noise could be the caliper pins (on disk brakes) or return springs (on drum brakes). They can stick and prevent the pads from pulling back from the surfaces properly. It could be several other things, but this is one that comes to mind.
  • stevelow1stevelow1 Member Posts: 3
    Thank you for your help. It is very much appreciated. I will have this work done tomorrow.
  • thescore04thescore04 Member Posts: 3
    1) What's a normal RPM for the engine to go up to when the car is shifting gears? If it's higher than normal, does that mean I should get my transmission checked out?

    2) The engine sometimes races when I start the car. What is usually wrong when this happens?
  • kenlwkenlw Member Posts: 190
    1) manual or automatic? if manual, it is determined by how much you press on the gas.

    2) are you pressing on the gas when you start it? if so, don't. If not, at times it wil go into "high idle" (1100-1500 rpm) when it is cold. this is normal for all cars. Otherwise it should idle at 800 rpm in neutral/park.
  • thescore04thescore04 Member Posts: 3
    1) Automatic. Also, what does "slipping" feel like?

    2) No, and that's exactly what it idles at when cold.

  • kenlwkenlw Member Posts: 190
    slipping is usually described as a very long delay between shifts, say if it shifts from 2-3, if slipping it might fell like something isn't quite catching before it finally gets into 3rd gear. A bit like a hesitation, even sluggishness perhaps.

    It is unusual for modern transmissions to truly slip as the designs are such that the traditional components that cause it aren't used anymore. Usually when this happens the transmission fluid is very dirty, thickened or even just low. Low fluid is a common cause of transmission issues, most of which can be corrected with no longterm harm if caught soon enough.
  • zicherizicheri Member Posts: 2
    I have a manual 1995 Honda Civic with about 130,000 miles on it.

    I just recently noticed something interesting that occurs only when the car is in neutral. While sitting at stop lights or even while coasting, the RPMs will oscillate between 0 and about 1500 RPMs. I have never noticed this before.

    Any suggestions as to what this might be or how serious it could be would be very useful to me.

  • kenlwkenlw Member Posts: 190
    if the RPMs are going to 0 that usually means the engine isn't turning or on.

    sounds like it could misfiring, how's the power when accellerating? How old are the spark plugs? Plug wires?
  • zicherizicheri Member Posts: 2
    so it's not actually going all the way down to zero. it's more between maybe 500 and 2000 RPMs. it will stay low and then jump up to 2000 and drop back down for a few more seconds. it's just like if i tapped the gas every 5 seconds or so. it has never done this before.

    the power when accellerating is fine. once it's in gear it doesn't act this way at all.

    i'll have to check on the spark plugs and plug wires later.
  • jamn_vajamn_va Member Posts: 2
    The History:
    My wife bought her 99 Civic LX from Carmax in 2002 with about 30K miles. About a year after buying it (and 3mo after the 36K dealer service), the A/C compressor seized up and had to be replaced. This was quite costly...

    The Problem:
    Starting around 3 years ago (2004 w/ ~50K mi & about a year after the A/C compressor replaced), the car began to act quite odd. Specifically when the car is just started / cold start (warm or cold weather), for about the first 10 min the engine almost wants to cut-off. Until the engine is fully warmed-up, it idles exceptionally rough and drops very low. Usually the engine will almost die out while driving a few times in the first 10 min or so. You will have your foot on the accelerator driving down the road, then suddenly the RPMs drop to below 500 and no further power is transferred to the road (almost coasting). No matter how far you press down on the gas, it just sits stupid in low idle for about 2 or 3 seconds then suddenly lurches back up. It will repeat this a few times randomly until the engine is completely warmed up. Even if you put the transmission in neutral the idle does not pickup, so it is not load related.

    Once the engine completely warms up this problem goes away. Again it will do this in the middle of the summer the same as in the winter - the only difference is in the summer it does it for about 5 - 10 min & the winter about 10 - 15 min.

    Taking it to a few shops has just been frustrating since I have been given a litany issues / solutions costing from $850 - $2500. Obviously going with the cheapest is not the best option and $850 isn’t chicken feed. I can’t even remember all of the “issues” identified, but with my fairly decent knowledge some were just ridiculous. At 50K the timing belt should not have been the cause, but was suggested at that time.

    Changing the distributor, plugs & cables did not help, nor did having the fuel injector cleaned. Proper oil and filter changes have also been done. The car now has 80K and had this problem for about 3 years.

    I am hoping someone might be aware of this issue and have some good suggestions

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