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98 Civic stalling

Greetings all! I am in desperate need of some advice. I have a manual 98 civic with 120k miles on it that has recently developed an annoying habit of stalling. The car started fine the other morning so I backed it into the driveway to warm up, no problems there. When I went to leave for work, the car stalled and died. I got it restarted but when I tried to drive it stalled again. It happened as soon as I disengage the clutch. As I said, moving in reverse was no problem. The battery died after I attempted several times to restart it so I charged the battery overnight. The next morning the car fired up right away with no hesitation nut as soon as I released the clutch it started sputtering so I gunned the engine to keep the RPM’s up. I managed to get it into 2nd and even 3rd but as soon as I down shifted for a stop sign it died. It isn’t a sputter, sputter cough die, it just cuts out immediately. One other note, 3 weeks ago I had an a front bank O2 sensor reading too rich, but it went away 4 days before this all happened. I adjusted the throttle cable to give me higher rpms to get it home where I cleaned the MAF/MAP, and the oxygen sensor. All to no avail. Any ideas out there? The clutch feels pretty normal, the clutch fluid is brown, but filled up to the brim. Not sure if I should look at the master/slave cylinders, internal transmission, clutch pedal… Just want to try to get it running myself as it’s Christmas and I can’t afford an expensive repair. All responses appreciated.

Have you tried cleaning the throttle plate? On my 1998 Civic, the idle speed can get so low that, once in a great while, the engine will die. It only happens after the engine warms up and the idle slows down. Every year or two I get a can of carburetor cleaner and clean the throttle plate to solve/prevent the problem. It used to happen more when I had working air conditioning.

When is the last time you replaced the spark plugs and spark plug wires? Based on mileage, you might not need it, but based on age, you might be long overdue.

How old is your battery? The battery in my Civic is so small that it really doesn’t do well when it gets drained. You can get your battery tested for free at many auto parts stores, and if it’s more than three years old, I’d get it tested. You might also check the battery connections to make sure they aren’t loose and the battery terminals are clean.

If everything checks out, you might consider getting the charging system (alternator) checked.

Your Situation Has Some Clues That Make Me Think It’s Not Related To A Bad Ignition Switch, But Have You (Or Previous Owner(s) )Ever Had One Replaced Under The Honda Recall ?

The recall covered/covers many Honda models, including 98 - 00 Civics. The recall deals with stalling.


I’ll clean the throttle plate tonight. the spark pulgs and wires are less tahn a year old and I got original replacement parts. I had the battery checked a few months ago and was told it was still good, however I found a dated sticker on it last night and it seems it’s over 7 years old! It’s the wifes car so I wasn’t never sure when she last had it replaced.
To common sense, I’ll call the dealership to see if my car was ever repaired. Is there a time limit on getting something replaced for a recall? Just curious.

" Is there a time limit on getting something replaced for a recall? Just curious. "

I don’t believe this recall expires, but the dealer can let you know that, too.


So it seems that the ignition switch was changed, the battery and alternator are fine and the cars running again! Not sure if cleaning the throttle plate did it, but I haven’t had any problems so fingers crossed, we’ll see.
Thanks for all the help and happy holidays!

So I’m back again. I ended up replacing the alternator and the battery on the civic. It’s running smoothly now, for the most part. I drove it home from my in laws house where I was working on it this past weekend. It had a couple of hiccups on the way back but nothing major(or so I thought). I turned the car off and tried to turn it right back on( I had tried this over the weekend and had not been able to get the car started so I thought I needed an new battery which was close to toast anyways). Long story longer, the car wouldn’t start. I heard quite q few “pops” from the muffler as the engine turned over. It sounds like it wants to start but just can’t catch. New plugs, wires, alternator, battery,. Any ideas??? Someone suggested I look at the gas pressure regulator.