89 Civic Wagon, Blue...phone call

Just wanted to chime in…I’m not sure when Honda switched to them, or started using them, but there is a relay under the dash called the “Main Relay” that controls both ignition and gas. Older ones tend to have problems due to the solder getting brittle and cracking, causing loose connections on the circuit boards. This will let the car crank over, but it keeps it from getting fuel on hot days due to the shrinking and contracting in extreme changes of temp. I replaced the ignition tumbler, which I later realized was in need of replacing anyway, and did all kinds of checks on the fuel system and engine on my 94 Accord before I learned what it actually was. I don’t know if she’ll see this, but if they used these on the wiring harness for the 89s, then it’s a possible culprit as well.

Your advice is definitely valid, but the probability of the female caller still needing this advice is somewhere between slim and none. The phone call that you heard–as well as the rest of the program–is “archived” material that is–at best–about 2 years old, and–at most–possibly as old as 16 years.

Most likely that woman either resolved her starting issue long ago, or she finally got rid of the car.

My son thought I was a genius thanks to one of the guys here. His 96 Acura stalled in the summer heat about 50 miles from here. I stopped at Acura and picked up a main relay on the way based on a hunch. Put it in and walla, worked ever since.

“Put it in and walla, worked ever since.”

Does the car still work when he leaves the state of Washington?


The car has been gone for about ten years at least but I did have a relative in Walla Walla but the car was never there. Last I was there was 1982 after the mountain blew up.

And here I thought I had saved the day for this lady. I was wondering why she was so excited to repair her 89 Civic. So many angry hot afternoons of trying to crank over my car, especially when I was trying to get to work.

It is very frustrating when your car won’t start, and you don’t know why. It’s dangerous too, especially if you are parked in a bad neighborhood. Manufacturers – if they wanted – could put in diagnostic circuitry which would tell you what the problem is via the diagnostic codes, at least whether it was spark or fuel, or if the car wouldn’t crank, why not; but as yet they haven’t bothered to do this.