1998 Honda Civic - stalling problem

Encountered this problem today. I have a 1998 Honda Civic EX. It has sat in a non heated garage for the past 2 weeks, during which we had freezing/snow weather.

Today I went to start it up and it did just fine. Drove it approx. 5 miles to local hardware store, then on way back it stalled out on me in main intersection. This happened after I had been sitting stopped waiting for green light. When I took off is when it started jerking like it had no power then stalled.

I was able to turn it over and it started and I cleared intersection…but all the way home it continued to do this, not stalling again as I tried to rev it high. Not once did the check engine light come on.

I took it out again later and it nearly stalled out a few more times.

I did notice when I sat in parking lot and did a few restarts that the battery light seemed a bit faint (not sure if i’m just seeing things - ha!). And it did seem slower turning on.

I’m thinking battery is having issues since I let the car sit for 2 weeks not turned on.

Any comments, suggestions?

I do have an appt. that I had already scheduled with the dealer this coming week for a main seal replacement but would like to know where to point them too for this stalling thing.

Thanks much folks! =)


You didn’t tell us how old the battery is. A battery in good condition will not be damaged by sitting in a garage, even a cold one, for two weeks.

I suggest having the battery and the charging system tested. Many auto parts stores will do this free.

On the other hand, it may have nothing whatsoever to do with the battery. I only suggest these things because you said you thought the battery light was faintly lit and the engine seemed slower to start.

Have the testing done and see what you find out.

I think you’re right, you have a good working alternator but a battery with a bad cell or two (batteries don’t do well in freezing conditions, especially if they are not regularly charged). But it doesn’t matter what I think, the shop can easily test the alternator’s ouput and the battery, so just ask them to do that.
There is a test you can perform yourself, if you have time: start the car, and with everything on, lights, fan, etc., remove the negative battery terminal. If the car keeps running, the alternator is good. If the car stalls, you need an alternator.

Kizwiki may have good intentions, but please don’t do this!

You should NEVER disconnect either battery cable from a running car.

This may have worked in the 50’s or 60’s, but modern, computerized cars do not take kindly to a disconnected battery cable.

You can actually cause damage by doing this.

Take the car to a mechanic or an auto parts store and have the charging system tested the correct way.

I believe the battery is 2-3 years old. I can’t find the receipt of when honda replaced it but seem to recall it was within past few years. My dealership will have it on file since they were ones that put it in.

Thanks though for you comment. We’ll see what the deal is tuesday I guess.

I was wondering if that was safe…despite good intentions. =)

I’ll see what dealer says when I go in on tuesday, will have them check the charging system.

Thank you!