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Older Civic Maintenance and Repair



  • kenlwkenlw Posts: 190
    possibly a vacuum leak somewhere.

    another possibility: bad plug wire
  • mongoliftmongolift 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Posts: 3
    Thank you for your help. It is very much appreciated. I will have this work done tomorrow.
  • 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 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.
  • 1) Automatic. Also, what does "slipping" feel like?

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

  • kenlwkenlw 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 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 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 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 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

  • kenlwkenlw Posts: 190
    tried throttle body cleaner? the symptoms are similar. it's a painfully simple dyi.
  • pmoreno51pmoreno51 Posts: 1
    I have a 1999 Honda Civic with 130,000 miles, It has a squealing noise when I try to start it.I thought that the cause could be the starter so I took and brought it to Auto Parts shop to be checked, according to the test the starter is ok. Any idea what will be the problem of this annoying noise? by the way the car does not star.
  • kenlwkenlw Posts: 190
    your main belt (or another, not sure how many you have) may be slipping. You can get some "belt dressing" at most auto stores. you spray it on the belt and it makes it slip less as it goes over the pulleys. a little bit goes a long way so don't over do it.

    How old is this belt? they often start getting noisey as they get old and the surfaces get worn and smooth. Belt dressing can pinpoint the problem as the belt (or which one), you might have it replaced if you haven't done it in 130,000.
  • kenlwkenlw Posts: 190
    just re-read your note where you say it doesn't start. Obviously the belt issue only applies if it does start.

    does it just crank and not catch? or does it catch and just not keep running?

    Unless something is seized that runs off the belt (alternator, power steering, AC, etc) and that won't let the engine run (if something won't turn that the belt is driving, it could cause such a load on the engine that it won't start). See if everything that the belt turns will in fact turn. While someone attempts to start it, look at everythign that the belt goes around and see if something isn't turning. If something won't turn, it is probably seized and you've found the problem.

    let's hope it is that easy. good luck.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Actually, if you temporarily take the belt off completely, that will eliminate the possibility of all of the accessories causing the problem. Just don't run the vehicle very long this way after it presumably starts.

    I personally would suspect the air conditioner compressor has internally self destructed if the starter checked out which is supposedly did.
  • dmogdmog Posts: 1
    I sure hope I'm not the only one with this problem. For about a month now I've been here some rattling under my car, especially when I go over bumps in the road. I finally took my car in today to the mechanics, and was told that it was my motor mounts. I haven't had my car not even 6 years and this is happening? The mechanics asked me if I go off roading in my car? Is he serious? I had called the Honda dealership wondering if there was an estimated time for these to wear out, and he said no. Can anyone help me out and tell me what I should do? Was there ever a recall on this? Help me someone!!
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    I'm not a Honda expert, but I remember reading on the boards here motor mount problems, and a TSB to fix it. Do a search and I'm sure you'll find others with the dealer resolution.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Kiawah gives you a good suggestion. The information he saw could be in any of the topics here in the Civic group so click on that link and use the Search Honda Civic feature on the gray bar. Let us know what you find.

    Meanwhile maybe someone else reading here can offer some feedback.
  • pops3468pops3468 Posts: 1
    Car will not start cold with out a shot of starting fluid. But runnes fine once started.
  • How much should it cost to get a keyless entry system put on my 1997 honda civic LX? I forget way too often to manually lock the driver's side door (the power lock won't work so that i don't lock my keys in the car). I also read that ALL 97 LX's have the receiver built into the radio and that as long as the car has power locks, I can simply buy a honda keyless entry fob and program it without having to install anything (or needing to pay someone else to do it) - is this true?
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