Honda civic ex 1994 starts but dies immediately after 1 second

Honda civic ex 1994 starts but dies immediately after 1 second. what could be the reason. this started a few days back. Today, it started and kept running. This happened 3 times. After that it again started and died after 1 second. And now it is again starting and dying in 1 second.

Is gasoline getting to the injectors? There is a fuel pump relay under the dash that is often problematic on Hondas of this vintage. It could be causing your problem.

What happens if you turn the key to “ON,” wait 5 seconds and then turn the key to “START?” Try that and see if it makes any difference.

Thanks for your suggestion. I will try this (may be that’s what happened earlier today when it started and sustained 3 times).

I tried this: turn the key to “ON,” wait 5 seconds and then turn the key to “START”.

Unfortunately, it did not sustain.

I tried many times.

I don’t know why it did sustain earlier today (by fluke???).

I’d say it’s your ignition switch. It runs briefly when the key is still in the cranking position. When it returns to the Run position, it dies. The contacts are worn or burned out but you occasionally might get enough contact for it to run.

Thanks. I will try this out.

The problem might be with the igniter in the distributor. The igniter is another name for an ignition module.

The igniter operates in two modes. The start and the run modes. When you go to start the engine, the igniter allows full battery voltage to the ignition coil. This ensures the engine has a hot spark when it’s being started. Once the engine starts, and the ignition switch is allowed to move to the run position, the igniter switches to the run mode. This drops the voltage to the ignition coil because not as hot of a spark is required to keep the engine running, and doing this allows the secondary ignition components to last longer. Much like how ballast resistors and wires worked on old point type ignition systems.

So, it could be that the run mode of the igniter is beginning to fail. And that could be why the engine starts but stalls out shortly after the ignition switch moves to the run position.


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Sounds quite possible that it is the distributor. Today I saw a similar problem on the internet on Honda civic '94 (same car as mine). I’ll also call Honda and see if there is a recall on this.

Thanks again for your thoughts.

I checked with the Honda dealers. There is no recall on this. So I’ll have a mechanic look at this…