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Civic Problems Help plz

Got a 97 civic I’ve changed the icm coil ecm distributer cap n rotor but still no spark comes through the wires to plugs any thoughts…question should the coil continuously spark or just spark once when testing…? Needing some advice don’t want to spend anymore if I don’t need too. Thanks

When the ignition switch is on Run and Start is 12V getting to the distributor?

It looks like you are on the right track there OP. The way I test for spark on my vehicles, I use a spare spark plug, connect it up to the wire I’ve removed from the installed spark plug, and hold the metal base of the spare plug against an engine ground while a helper cranks the engine. There’s a clearly visible spark that jumps across the electrode, white/bluish in color. There’s a sort of “zap” noise associated with the spark too sometimes. About 2-4 spark flashes per second as I recall. It’s a distinct spark flash, not a continuous one. On some vehicles the configuration of the ignition system makes doing the above test not as simple as other cars. But that’s how I do it anyway.

Here’s the sequence for what happens, or is supposed to happen

  • starter motor turns engine
  • turning of engine is detected by a sensor, usually a combo of a crank position sensor/cam pos sensor/dist shaft pos sensor.
  • When sensor(s) output a pulse, the computer tells the ignition module to fire the coil, which causes a surge of current to the coil, then once the coil is charged, that current is abruptly cut off and the spark happens at that time.
  • the spark output of the coil goes to the top of the spark plug, and causes a spark at the lower part of the spark plug.

So you got something wrong w/all that. My guess is the computer isn’t getting the sensor pulses so it doesn’t realize the engine is turning. Note that sparks and gasoline don’t mix, so be careful there’s no fuel leaks. And keep a big fire extinguisher on hand. I also wear rubber gloves to minimize the chance I get zapped by the spark.

You need to check the electrical part of the ignition switch. Switches have been a problem and some Hondas of this era are under a Recall for faulty switches although the problem exists in other non-recalled year models.
As mentioned, you need to verify whether or not 12 volts is getting the distributor in both the START and RUN positions of the switch.

You also need to check ALL fuses.

Will check for the voltage n fuse n get back soon thanks

Wasn’t there also an issue with a main relay of some sort in this vintage of Honda?

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Yes. That is a no fuel issue (fuel pump doesn’t get 12V) but this looks like a no ignition issue.

Yes, there is a main relay issue but there are several individual circuits in the relay. The problem child is the fuel pump circuit due to many miles of high current electricity which can cause the relay to fail on that particular circuit. The fuel pump is also the cause of ignition switch failure as the same high current passes through it.