2001 Honda Civic Sdn - Problems starting

I have a 2001 Civic with new battery. Tried to start the car, head the starter cranking, but engine will not start.

Towed to repair shop and the car started properly next day. Mechanic was able to start the car without any problem but was not able find any problems.

Picked up the car and drove home. Tried to start the car two days later and will not start again.

Mechanic is at lost as to what may be causing the problem. Would appreciate any suggestions.

Thank you.

is there a check engine light on or any codes? check both battery connections. when the car wont start try to have someone wiggle them to see if it starts.

Hope it is not like one my mechanic had in his shop a couple of years ago I forget what make it was but it was doing the same thing the OP’s is doing he kept it for two weeks checked all the usual suspects started it many times first thing in the morning when he opened the shop again many times during the day and again at closing time also took it for a few parts runs and one employee took it home a few times never could figure out what the problem was.

If it isn’t setting any error codes and the check engine light is not on, could be the crankshaft position sensor.

A faulty PGM/FI (main relay) can cause an intermittent no start problem.


Without knowing what is missing (fuel or spark) a random guess might be a failing ignition switch. Some Hondas of this era are under a Recall for this but I do not believe your car is covered.

That being said, failing switches have been a problem for decades. To check, one needs to test the power lead out of the ignition switch. My fuzzy memory thinks it’s a black wire with a yellow tracer.
That wire should have power in both the RUN and the START positions. Of course the car needs to be inoperable to check this.
The root cause is burning of the contacts in the switch.

I presume this is a cranks ok but won’t start and run problem. You hear that rrr rrr rrr sound w/the key in start, right?

The first step as mentioned above is to discover if the problem is either no spark, or no fuel. It is usually one or the other. Spark is usually the easiest of those. Ask your shop to show you how. You’ll need a helper to turn the key to “start” while you check for a spark at a spark plug. Easiest to do using a spark sparkplug.

If you don’t want to do this yourself, ask the shop to keep the car until they’ve discovered themselves the problem is spark or fuel. It may take a few days or even a few weeks.

The relay mentioned above by Tester has been a common complaint w/Honda Civic owners here. I don’t recall hearing this as much now as some years ago however. If that relay fails I think the symptom is there’s neither spark nor fuel. You can use the forum search feature (icon above, right this page) to see what other Honda owners done.