1991 Honda Civic electrical problem

Hello Car Talk,

I have a 1991 Civic DX. 1.5 203,877 miles

I started having trouble this week while trying to start and then on Wed night, finally would not start anymore.

Yesterday, Friday, I replaced the main relay, (bought it from the Honda dealer). No change.

Last year or so, had a similar issue and the main relay was the solution then. But not this time.

Last month, replaced the spark plugs and wires. Six months ago, alternator. Last year, starter.

Heater blower motor also went out about a month ago, but I have not installed new unit yet. I have disconected the old unit, but can not get the squirl cage out yet, so it is still in pieces on the passenger floor.

No brake lights are a new problem too. No dash lights either.

Car will fire once or twice, but dies immediately.

I hear the main relay in positin II, but do not hear fuel pump.

I would try and replace that next, but if not for all the lights (dash, brake) and such, then I could think it was easy problem.

It seems that it is more of an electrical problem.

Any ideas or suggestions would greatly be appreciated and an answer to a prayer.

Thank you


(309) 620-4215

You need to do some electrical troubleshooting, using a multimeter and the wiring diagram. See Figs. 19 through 23. Register to the site if required.
When should the fuel pump run? Ans: For two seconds after the ignition switch is turned to RUN (II), and, for as long as the engine is cranking (or, the engine running).
If the engine isn’t starting, find out if it’s because of lack of fuel by spraying a shot of Starting Fluid into the hole where you, just now, pulled the rubber hose off the large black intake tube; and, then, try to start. Results?

If the fuel pump isn’t running then the fuel pump relay is the first suspect.

Thank you Hellokit for the help and suggestions. How do I see the “figs 19 through 23” that you speak of?
Sorry, new to the site and maybe I missed that part.
Thanks much for any and all help.

Very Respectfully,

Have you had the battery tested?

This is the link to the wiring diagrams at autozone.com: http://www.autozone.com/autozone/repairinfo/repairguide/repairGuideContent.jsp?chapterTitle=Wiring+Diagrams&partName=Chassis+Electrical&pageId=0900c15280061b0f&partId=0900c152800619e5 As I said, you may have to register with that site. When you open the wiring diagram page, wait two, or three, minuets for all of the wiring diagrams to load. Then, scroll down.
Go to this site for some troubleshooting ideas: http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq/faq.html
On Honda, the fuel pump relay is part of the main relay (full name: the PGM-FI relay). The engine computer is powered off this relay, as well.
I think you need personal help on this.

Yes, new batery last winter