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Older Civic Maintenance and Repair



  • I solved it! I looked at the other door and bent a coat hanger to match the door profile. I slipped the hanger between the door and car frame on the non working door and flipped up the child safety lock. This allowed the inside handle to work again. Now that the door is open and appart I can see it was only a nylon retaining clip that attaches the pushrod to the door handle (part number 72134-S04-003)
  • i accidently hit a dog got to get something to eat when i hit the dog the airbags deployed and the car stoped i have tried starting the car but it wont start when i turn the key on the power windows and blinkers and everything works but it still wont start does any one have any suggestions one machanic told me there is a reset button but he couldnt find it does any one know if there is one or what its a 1997 honda civic lx
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    hit a dog got to get something to eat .... what country are you in?

    Check the owners manual to see if it mentions a reset. A number of vehicles have a relay which turns off the fuel pump if in an accident, to avoid the potential for a fire. Some vehicles it is just a special series of actions, like turning the key on/off three times (some secret special handshake with the computer). All of my vehicles have the description written in the owners manual, don't know if Honda did that back in 97.
  • My son's 1991 Civic DX 1.5 FI 3 door will not start. I have tried nearly everything mentioned in several repair forums, but with no luck.

    The car will turn over fine. it occassionally comes close to starting, but does not.

    I have done the following:

    replaced distributor cap, rotor and ignition coil.

    checked for spark at the plug. yes, there is spark, but I am not sure if it is at the proper voltage. it easily covers the gap on my budget spark tester.

    pulled the main relay and following the Haynes guide, checked for correct continuity at several different points.

    the fuel pump does come on for 2 seconds as it is supposed to when you turn on the key to pre-start position.

    all the correct dash lights come on when you turn on the key.

    my ECU is not showing any errors (probably because I have taken off the negative battery cable more than once for different test and have probably reset the ECU).

    I do not have a fuel pressure gauge, but have removed the fuel service bolt on top of the fuel filter and cranked the car, fuel does pump out of the port at good velocity.

    checked the continuity of the fuel injectors. they are both within spec.

    I have sprayed quick start fluid into the intake as it was being cranked, and it did not crank up.

    the battery is good.

    What am I overlooking? Any ideas before I tow it to my local repair shop?

  • "i accidently hit a dog got to get something to eat" What does needing something to eat have to do with hitting a dog? (Did the dog survive or did you leave it on the side of the road)? Have you ever heard of punctuation? It sure would make solving your problem easier if we can figure out what you are trying to say.
  • mark19mark19 Posts: 123
    have you measured the resistance of the spark plug wires? are they out of spec? you can find that specification in the haynes manual.

    spark could happen, but I'm wondering if the plug wires are sparking but not delivering the right amount.

    also, have you checked the compression of the cylinders?

    another issue i had with a mid 90's civic was it would barely start, the idle air control valve (IAC) was bad. It would sort of start and then die. Another issue to check.

    Hope that helps. Keep us posted !
  • Thanks for the info. I finally did get the car to start---but barely. I replaced the ignition coil and then replaced the vavle cover gaskets (as there was a bit of oil on the spark plug wires). After it did crank,(it ran rather poorly) I was able to generate a new ECU code and it was the Top Dead Center error code. Either the TDC sensor is bad, or the whole distributor (which I do not think I can buy just the sensor). So I am going to put a distributor on the car this weekend

    Wish me luck
  • mark19mark19 Posts: 123
    hey glad to help! finally a code was thrown, good deal. At least it points you in the right direction! I know that the 91 civics had an igniter problem that was part of a recall. Forgot that earlier. So to focus on the distributor would be a good direction, indeed!

    Have you also tried a compression test? just to make sure.

    keep us posted how it goes! and Happy New Year! :shades:
  • KettyKetty Posts: 14
    In September 2008 my friend purchased a used 2002 Civic with 35,000 miles. Three months after purchase, the battery light started blinking while driving. She took the car to her usual mechanic and was told that the alternator needed to be replaced for $400. Has anyone else had to replace an alternator? How long do they usually last? My friend is now concerned more repairs may be needed...should she be concerned?
  • KettyKetty Posts: 14
    My daughter is considering turning in her 2000 Civic LX with 104,000 miles and purchasing a Hybrid.

    Should she keep the Civic until it is no long usuable or purchase a Prius or Civic Hybrid? Some comments in this forum indicate that the Civic Hybrid has had many transmission the Prius a better choice?
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,443
    So what is wrong with the 2000 LX Civic with 104,000 miles? It only gets 11,555 miles per year !!! Was the timing belt and water pump changed in addition to the spark plug change and major tune? There is no reason that car should not last a min of 300,000 miles, unless she drives it like a pizza delivery driver (or is the pizza delivery driver) or is abusive of the car.

    The yearly mean mileage indicates you will NEVER break even with a hybrid Civic/Prius. I say fix it (the 2000 Civic) when needed/necessary and pocket the monthly payments. If she simply MUST be a slave to a new car, a Civic/Corolla/Hyndai (etc) product is the way to go.
  • Read this article from Consumer Reports last-10-07/overview/200k-ov.htm then invest in getting your Civic repaired as needed. ;)
  • Hi all!

    I am hoping that one of you can help me. I have an 02 Honda Civic. About a year ago my car temperature gauge would constantly fluctuate hot and cold. My husband determined that it was the fan switch going bad. He replaced it and my thermostat...everything was peachy until recently it started happening again. Any recommendations on what it could be now??? Could it be the lame switch again or maybe something different? Any options are greatly appreciated! Thanks!
  • Hello, I have a 1997 Honda Civic DX with 103,000 miles. Car still drives like a dream. Only problem is at night when driving at any speed the headlights intermittently dim or pulsate. I would say that they dim to about 70% then back to 100% . Everything else works fine. I also noticed that the dashboard lights do the same. Please help
  • Hello everyone, am new here and hope someone can help me. My husband and I moved to Indiana from South Carolina last year, since we have been here for two very harsh winters, we are having some troubles with our Honda. In the winter, whenever you start the car, the power steering is frozen, you can not turn the wheel easily. If you let it run and heat up for about 10 minutes, it is fine, what could be causing this problem? Is it just a cold natured car? We never had this problem before we moved, but the car has also never been in negative degree weather and/or snow? thanks for your help.
  • KettyKetty Posts: 14
    I agree with you but she is eager to select her own car. I gave her the car when she started commuting to college ...
  • ts87ts87 Posts: 1
    My 2000 Civic EX is overheating. Whenever I drive in stop-and-go traffic or 30-45+ minutes my car starts to overheat -- in cold weather, hot weather, with the air conditioner on or off, with the air vent on or off. The temperature gauge will almost immediately return to near-normal levels upon turning my heat on full blast. The car doesn't overheat with freeway driving.

    My coolant levels are fine. My oil levels are fine. I've just had the thermostat replaced. The fan is working (when leaving my car on idle, the fan will kick on as soon as the gauge hits the mid point or so -- returning the temp levels to normal). I just had the 100k tuneup.

    Knowing absolutely nothing about cars, I asked my mechanic about the possibility of a blown, cracked, or otherwise damaged head gasket (which seems to be the consensus diagnoses for other forums dealing with similar issues) -- he scoffed and said that wasn't the problem.

    What the heck is wrong with my car.

  • Hey guy it sounds like your electric cooling fan (behind the radiator) has either quit working or the temperature relay that controls it has failed.

    The cooling fan is set up to come on when the car reaches a certain temperature, which is activated by a relay connected to the engine which senses temperature; though the fan should always come on when you turn on the A/C switch.

    To verify turn on the ignition and turn on the A/C, check the fan. If I am right he fan is not running.

    You can unplug the fan at the connector and insert a test light into the leads to see if you are getting power. If you are getting power then I would replace the fan.

    Hope this helps,
  • I have a very similar problem as post #261. My car was over heating. We checked the fan and verified that it was functioning. We then assumed the Temp relay was bad. In replacing the relay, my boyfriend over tightened it and it snapped off. Until we could figure out how to remove the sheered off part, he hot-wired the fan so it would stay running from the moment I turned on the car. That worked. Well, then we had a mechanic replace the broken relay and within 2 days my car was back to over heating. We notice that as the water was boiling in both the radiator and the overflow, it had shriveled and melted the gasket that sealed the top to the overflow and steam was now coming out the top. We have been unable to find a replacement for the gasket. He once again hot-wired the fan, but somehow that failed and the car started over heating again. My question is - if the car has a working fan and has a new temperature relay, is just a missing gasket from the overflow going to cause the car to overheat? What else could it possibly be? :(
  • mark19mark19 Posts: 123
    have you checked to make sure the water pump is working? also, have you checked the thermostat? that might be screwed up. either one wouldn't allow coolant flow through.
  • I know this is a popular issue for Civic owners of certain model years. I have a 2001 Civic EX automatic. I drive very little and have only 55,000 miles. One of the front struts started leaking a couple of years ago. The extended warranty covered a replacement. Now another front strut is leaking. I understand that this is a popular problem, and I'm not all that excited about getting new struts again. Has Honda, or anyone for that matter, come up with a permanent solution to this problem. I'm not all that excited about replacing the struts every year. What if I do nothing and just keep driving the car until I absolutely have to replace them? So far, I haven't noticed any problems with driving.
  • I had the same problem on my '95. It's usually a sign of an alternator on the way out (failing diodes). I replaced the alternator and the problem was resolved. It also helps to check and clean chassis/engine grounds at the same time.
  • The reason the heater works is that it's a mini radiator. Also, it points to the fact that either (1) there is not enough coolant flow through your radiator, or (2) more heat than normal is being produced by the engine.

    For (1), did the problem start after the new thermostat? If so, it could be in backwards or is bad. If not, then you could have a radiator that is clogged up.

    For (2), the classic cause if a failing head gasket. I'd find a new mechanic who will actually test for that possibility.
  • The water pump was replaced when the timing belt was changed which was the same time the mechanic replaced the part my BF broke off. The thermometer has not been checked as there was some reason to believe it could not be the issue. I guess it's worth a try though. In the mean time, I just keep adding coolant/water every couple days and don't drive for more than 20-30 minutes at a time. Sure wish I had the time to get this worked out. ;) Thanks.
  • I have a '93 civic that has no problem starting, but the last three times it has rained heavy, it will not start the next morning. it cranks fine, but will not fire to start. when it sits and "dries out", (could be hours) it starts fine. any ideas? thanks
  • mark19mark19 Posts: 123
    sounds like moisture is getting into the distributor cap/rotor. Check the distributor cap for any cracking in the plastic, and see if the rubber seal is missing off of that cap. Also see if there is any moisture inside the cap, this will confirm where the issue is.

    The part that gives the "juice" for the spark is called the igniter, it's inside that distributor cap and if it gets moist, it wouldn't be able to start. Please be careful, remove the cap slowly and gently, the igniter has a ceramic tip to it and you can break it off if you don't remove the distributor cap slowly.

    Let us know what you find! :shades:
  • we are having the same problem with the same year car. i don't understand why this prob would all of a sudden start, is it because we are living in an extremely cold area now, or is it something that just happens?
  • mark19mark19 Posts: 123
    no that's not something that just happens. car should start regardless of temperature.

    Have you checked the battery? Have a load test done on the battery. As temperatures fall, the battery's ability to produce enough amps/volts to start the car also fall. If it's a bad battery, would start fine when warm, but get it to an extreme cold, and poof! It won't be able to start the car.

    Check that first. If you've already done a load test and the battery checks out ok. Then I would look into the same as I mentioned before, the distributor cap, even to go as far as to check the igniter for good operation. I don't know the measurements but a good service manual would tell you.

    Let us know if you had a load test on the battery...
  • thegagethegage Posts: 13
    Classic sign of weak spark--either gettting shorted to ground in the cap due to moisture or somewhere in the wires, or due to worn plugs. When was the last time you changed the spark plug wires and the spark plugs?
  • Hi have a strange one, think I know the cause but some advice could be good if im on the right track.

    The full story is.

    Have a Honda civic 1.6 automatic 1998 model I think. Drove around town and noticed temp gauge was right up. Checked radiator well and was bone dry as was radiator, refilled both seemed to be okay, but by mistake I topped up with screen wash not antifreeze that I thought was in the car oops.

    Had to do a 200 mile journey on motorway/highway traveling on average at about 80mph well needed topping up but all seemed okay, not until the last 10 miles did the temperature go back in the red again, rest of journey normal, no air con or heating on as nice day.

    Made it to destination with another top up of water, remaining in well was boiling. (there is nor thermostat in the card, removed last year and never put it back in although new is in my glove compartment)

    This morning did a short journey to test straight into the rep, called recovery out, found pipe going into the back on the manifold had sheared off, did a temporary repair by wrapping remains of pipe over the stub left on the manifold checked for water leakage and that pipe to radiator was getting hot and all seemed okay.

    Drove another 5 miles and back in red again, let car rest, topped up water levels in radiator and well and all seemed fine for around 20 miles, then back in red. Switch on the heaters and stayed at correct temperature.

    Gambled and drove the 200 miles back at about the same speed with heater on full, stopped after 100 miles found well was dry topped it up again.

    Tried turning the heaters off to test as we went, heat went straight back up, soon as you switched them off heat went back down.

    Made it home crossing every finger I had.. But need to get fixed fast as im going to boil having the heater on all the time.

    Whats going wrong,??????
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