Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

1989 Honda Civic

RPM’s will not get above 2000, in 1st and 2nd gear. No power

1.5liter hatchback

we’d need a lot more details before we could even start hazarding any guesses beyond “it’s broken.”

It has no power in all gears? Like its dragging ass,no power? Maybe timing off?

Changed fuel filter and fuel pump.

could be timing, injectors, ECU, spark plugs, plug wires, coil, ignitor, distributor cap, distributor sensors, plugged exhaust, sticking caliper, stuck e-brake, loose throttle cable, bad throttle position sensor, timing belt jumped a tooth, and a whole host of other things.

Tell us what noises it’s making, when it started, when the last time work was done, what was done, how well it’s maintained overall, how many miles are on it, if you can rev above 2000 when you’re not in gear, and anything else you can think of that it’s doing now that it wasn’t doing before the problem started and we might be able to narrow the list down more. :slight_smile:

Just bought car. Haven’t driven it long enough to no history. No noises when started. Has 200,000 miles. Yes, it will rev above 2000 not in gear

“Just bought car.”


I have to assume that you did not test-drive this gem prior to purchase, and that you did not have it checked by your mechanic before you paid for it.

Any chance of returning the car and getting a refund at this point?

If it will rev normally in neutral (???) but not in gear, you have some serious drag on the engine. like perhaps a frozen brake or two. Or maybe clogged or collapsed exhaust that’ll allow it to breath a little but not enough.

There’s nowhere near enough information here to guess.

First, replace the timing belt. Yesterday. As far as you know, it’s the original, which means it’s 140,000 miles overdue. If it breaks, you’re buying a new engine.

Check the cam timing, old belt could have jumped a tooth.
Check the valve lash.
Test the compression.
Replace the distributor.

You paid MONEY for that car??? Honda built some pretty strange cars in 1989 as the fuel injection patent and emissions wars raged…I suspect Honda was still carbureted, maybe even a 3-valve CVCC engine…

“Just bought car.”

Fire bad. Bread good.

Here is a web site dedicated to the 4th generation Civic. It hosts a forum of enthusiasts that probably can provide you with help.

The engine is a sohc, 8 valve, carbureted engine. The description of your problem would indicate that the main jet is partially clogged. The above site may be able to help you find a good carburetor tech in your area.

If you do not have to pass an emissions test, the lowest cost alternative maybe to put a Redline Weber carburetor on it.

the 89 civic had either a multipoint fuel injected engine, or a dualpoint throat-injected engine (what I call a glorified carb, but isn’t really a carb) depending on trim level. It did not have a traditional carb. The carb motor was sold in non Euro/American markets, so that’s likely not what we’re dealing with here.

I stand corrected. Any check engine light?

Changed distributor. Car runs great!! Thanks