1994 Civic VX - doesn't start, help please!!! - Fuelly Forums

Android Users - Coming Soon! - Migrating from aCar 4.8 to 5.0

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 12-03-2011, 08:29 PM   #1
Registered Member
 
djenyc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 119
Country: United States
1994 Civic VX - doesn't start, help please!!!

1994 Civic VX - car sometimes doesn't start/sometimes very difficult to start, sometimes starts ok and runs ok, at low RPM engine doesn't make any power, could barely get the car moving, idles Ok.

Symptoms started when the car overheated back in the summer after one of the radiator hoses failed. I was out of town and had to drive about 5 miles to the closest parts store to get a new hose. After replacing the hose the engine would occasionally run very rough when accelerating at lower rpm (1500-2500) - thought I blew head gasket, but the symptoms went away and it started driving ok. I noticed that the distributor was making squeaky noises - replaced the distributor and the squeaky noise went away.

Since that incident, I've been driving the car and put about 4k miles and been getting intermittent rough running while accelerating at lower rpms, sometimes a week would go by with no problems. Now the problem got worse, and occasionally the car would not start at all.

I just finished replacing the timing belt since it was time anyways and thought that may be it would help, but it did not help. Also just replaced spark plugs, fuel filter, air filter. Checked engine compression 200/200/190/200 psi. Did leak down test - did not show any problems. Checked timing and spark - fine. I'm puzzled. Right now the car is extremely difficult to start unless I let it sit for a day.

Any ideas on how to go from here?
__________________

djenyc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2011, 03:55 AM   #2
Registered Member
 
theholycow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 6,624
Country: United States
Send a message via ICQ to theholycow Send a message via AIM to theholycow Send a message via MSN to theholycow Send a message via Yahoo to theholycow
Re: 1994 Civic VX - doesn't start, help please!!!

Can we assume that by "difficult to start" you mean that it cranks ok but doesn't fire?

Have you eliminated fuel supply as an issue by spraying starting fluid into the throttle body to see if it fires?
__________________

__________________
This sig may return, some day.
theholycow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2011, 05:50 AM   #3
Registered Member
 
GasSavers_Erik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,027
Country: United States
Re: 1994 Civic VX - doesn't start, help please!!!

No check engine light? Any stored codes? Can you hear the fuel pump prime for a few seconds when you first turn on the key?

Perhaps the MAP or some other sensor got wet back when the rad hose failed.
GasSavers_Erik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2011, 08:17 AM   #4
Registered Member
 
djenyc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 119
Country: United States
Re: 1994 Civic VX - doesn't start, help please!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by theholycow View Post
Can we assume that by "difficult to start" you mean that it cranks ok but doesn't fire?
Yes, it'd crank for 15-20 seconds and not start

Quote:
Originally Posted by theholycow View Post
Have you eliminated fuel supply as an issue by spraying starting fluid into the throttle body to see if it fires?
Not yet, going to do that today

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik View Post
No check engine light? Any stored codes? Can you hear the fuel pump prime for a few seconds when you first turn on the key?
No CEL, no codes, can hear fuel pump

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik View Post
Perhaps the MAP or some other sensor got wet back when the rad hose failed.
Cool, gonna put MAP sensor on my things to check list. I have another VX that runs fine so swapping parts is something I can do, although it does take a long time
djenyc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2011, 09:21 AM   #5
Registered Member
 
benfrogg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 450
Country: United States
Re: 1994 Civic VX - doesn't start, help please!!!

I was thinking fuel delivery too. If spraying while cranking helps, I'd vote for fuel pressure regulator (FPR). You don't by any chance have a fuel pressure gauge do you?
FPR failure could give the symptoms you describe, I think. Although it is more common to get an excessively rich condition rather than not enough fuel. If so, it probably wasn't from the overheat, it was probably coincidental.
Another thought is to eliminate simple stuff first. Bad gas?/Wet fuel?
B
__________________
Check out my music!
Website:
http://simplydrumming.com
Youtube Channel:
http://www.youtube.com/user/benfroggg?feature=mheehttp://simplydrumming.com
benfrogg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2011, 10:03 AM   #6
Registered Member
 
djenyc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 119
Country: United States
Re: 1994 Civic VX - doesn't start, help please!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by benfrogg View Post
I was thinking fuel delivery too. If spraying while cranking helps, I'd vote for fuel pressure regulator (FPR). You don't by any chance have a fuel pressure gauge do you?
FPR failure could give the symptoms you describe, I think. Although it is more common to get an excessively rich condition rather than not enough fuel. If so, it probably wasn't from the overheat, it was probably coincidental.
Another thought is to eliminate simple stuff first. Bad gas?/Wet fuel?
B
This morning car started fine, ran fine, went for a drive ~15 minutes - everything good, came back, left it idling, started to run rough after 10 minutes and died. Then was hard to start, poor idle, died after I tried backing out of parking lot and would not start again. Pretty much the same thing happened yesterday.

So today after it would not start:
* checked spark on all four cylinders - there is spark
* sprayed starter fluid while cranking - would not run but did backfire, shooting cool yellow flames out of throttle body

I'll hook it up to fuel pressure gauge and check fuel pressure next. Would love to hear any other ideas, cause I want to get this thing fixed
djenyc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2011, 03:18 PM   #7
Registered Member
 
theholycow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 6,624
Country: United States
Send a message via ICQ to theholycow Send a message via AIM to theholycow Send a message via MSN to theholycow Send a message via Yahoo to theholycow
Re: 1994 Civic VX - doesn't start, help please!!!

Spark timing is probably the next suspect. Distributor gear slipping when warm? Distributor cap loose when warm?
__________________
This sig may return, some day.
theholycow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2011, 04:16 PM   #8
Registered Member
 
benfrogg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 450
Country: United States
Re: 1994 Civic VX - doesn't start, help please!!!

I forget what they call the electromagnet sensor bits inside the dizzy.... ignitor? maybe.... anyway, that could fail when warm but work okay cold, or just randomly not work right.... I would assume there'd be a check engine code, but maybe not.
Did you replace your distributor with a new one or a junkyard one? Do you still have the old "squeeky" one? I'd pop the old one back in if so to see if the problem stays or not.
I didn't see anything in your posts about replacing plug wires recently.... Open the hood in the dark and have someone crank it/idle it. Spray the wires with a mist bottle (like you'd have windex in) with water. Any arching means replace em'.
B
__________________
Check out my music!
Website:
http://simplydrumming.com
Youtube Channel:
http://www.youtube.com/user/benfroggg?feature=mheehttp://simplydrumming.com
benfrogg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2011, 06:08 PM   #9
Registered Member
 
GasSavers_Erik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,027
Country: United States
Re: 1994 Civic VX - doesn't start, help please!!!

Put a timing light on it and check the timing while it is cranking. Make sure strobe flash is regular.

Check all of the wire connectors and especially all of the grounds under the hood.
GasSavers_Erik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2011, 06:55 PM   #10
Registered Member
 
djenyc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 119
Country: United States
Re: 1994 Civic VX - doesn't start, help please!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by benfrogg View Post
I forget what they call the electromagnet sensor bits inside the dizzy.... ignitor? maybe.... anyway, that could fail when warm but work okay cold, or just randomly not work right.... I would assume there'd be a check engine code, but maybe not.
Crankshaft position sensor maybe? I had that fail a long time ago on another car (shot in wiring) that caused all sorts of weird drivability problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by benfrogg View Post
Did you replace your distributor with a new one or a junkyard one? Do you still have the old "squeeky" one? I'd pop the old one back in if so to see if the problem stays or not.
I didn't see anything in your posts about replacing plug wires recently.... Open the hood in the dark and have someone crank it/idle it. Spray the wires with a mist bottle (like you'd have windex in) with water. Any arching means replace em'.
B
The distributor came from a "parts" engine I had laying around, so I can't assume any parts from it to be good. The old distributor got thrown away cause it was binding pretty bad. Now that reminds me that I do have another civic vx that is runing good so may be I'll swap distributor/wires with that other civic and see what happens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theholycow View Post
Spark timing is probably the next suspect. Distributor gear slipping when warm? Distributor cap loose when warm?
Checked timing while cranking - timing was correct, yet the engine would not start.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik View Post
Put a timing light on it and check the timing while it is cranking. Make sure strobe flash is regular.

Check all of the wire connectors and especially all of the grounds under the hood.
The flash was not very regular, not sure if it's because the engine is being cranked by the starter (e.g. low/inconsistent rpm). I also took each wire out and connected to an old spark plug that I grounded to the block - the spark was consistent, but I can't say wheather it could be considered hot spark or if it's weak (e.g. would not fire under pressure). May be replacing distributor is the next order of business. I'll have a chance to mess around with that car again on Tuesday.
__________________

djenyc is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Being a Uncle shatto General Discussion (Off-Topic) 1 09-05-2010 06:22 PM
WTB: OEM honda civic vx catalytic converter thisgsx For Sale 3 08-06-2008 02:30 PM
McCain now supports electric cars! rgathright Automotive News, Articles and Products 1 07-20-2008 12:08 PM
Wheel covers Telco Aerodynamics 6 05-27-2007 06:25 AM
Concentrating photovoltaics advancements ... cfg83 General Discussion (Off-Topic) 4 03-01-2007 07:24 AM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:59 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.