My 91 civic shut off while driving and won't cut back on!

civic
honda

#1

Hey guys. My car ( civic 1.5 dx duel injected) just cut off while I was going down the free pay like the key had been turned off. Now it turns but won’t crank. I am getting spark from my plugs, my fuel pump still works, i think my injectors are ok, when I took off the air box I can see fuel going into the throttle body, my throttle isn’t stuck, diaphragm seems to have a seal. I took the head cover off and there isn’t any fuel/oil in the valves. What could it be? Oh, after I put the plugs/cap/head cover back on it cranked for a second then idled down and back to no start.
Please help


#2

Also I sprayed starter fluid in and still didn’t start.


#3

Any check engine light? After market remote start etc.? Thinking theft control system, check all fuses. Wag I know!


#4

Check engine light is on, but sense the car won’t start I don’t know if it’s just while it’s turning. No theft control, no aftermarket. Do fuses go all at once, or can they go out intermittently? Thanks for the reply


#5

Maybe the timing belt jumped a tooth ? When was the last time the belt was replaced ? if you have fuel and spark that’s a possibility. You say it turns but won’t crank (confusing ) ? Does the engine spin when trying to start it ?


#6

@Cumlonimbus … a quick point of clarification. In order to get a spark, like you say you see, the crankshaft must be turning, and no important ignition related fuses could have failed. “Crank” means that the starter motor engages and turns the engine when the key is in “start”. You know, that rrrrr rrrrr rrrr sound, just before it starts. I think you mean your car cranks, but doesn’t start and run, right? And you are certain there is plenty of gasoline in the tank, and this didn’t happen just after getting a fresh tank of gas (which could have water or contamination in it). Ok, assuming that’s all the situation …

hmmm … not sure what you mean about the diaphram seal … explain? … and about the check engine light (CEL) … when the key is in “on” but the engine isn’t running, the check engine light is supposed to be on. It’s a way for the owner to tell the bulb is working. When the CEL is on while the car is running, that means the ECM (computer) has detected a problem. I’m assuming you’ve never noticed the CEL on when the car was running; i.e. before this happened.

hmmm … the fact that is idles for a while then dies could be an indication of fuel starvation. You get fuel for a few seconds, then something goes haywire. If you can find the fuel pressure regulator, remove the vacuum hose connected to it. Do you see any gasoline in that line? If so, the fuel pressure regulator diaphragm has failed and needs to be replace. If that’s not it, a fuel pressure test may be needed. Watch the fuel pressure gauge during cranking the initial idling, see if it quickly drops and then the engine dies. If so, a likely cause would be a failing fuel pump, clogged inlet screen, or fuel filter clogging.

hmmm … so if none of the above pans out, I’d have to concur with @Howie32703 above that the timing belt may be on the fritz. If you think that might be the case, avoid cranking the engine any more until you know for sure the timing belt and valve timing is spot on, as many Hondas, due to the fancy valve arrangements they have, are interference engines. If the timing belt fails, the pistons could ruin the valves. You don’t want that expense.


#7

Another thought … not sure if this applies to your car … but some cars of older vintage anyway have a resistor-wire in series in the primary ignition circuit to limit the voltage of the spark when the car is running to avoid burning the plugs, but this wire is bypassed only during cranking, when the biggest possible spark is desired. If so, then if this resistance wire has opened up, the car would crank and seem to start, then die as soon as the key is turned to on. There’s a technical name mechanics use for this resistance wire, but the name escapes me. Maybe somebody here can remember. Is it called “fusible link” wire?


#8

I had the same problem in my old 1.5 DPFI car. BOTH injectors have to be working right or the car won’t run. Turns out, I had one that had failed, so I’d see fuel in the TB and think things were fine, when really that was the problem. I’d start by looking there.


#9

George, thanks. Yes I mean the car is cranking but won’t start, except for that one random time amongst like fifty tries. I didn’t know much about cars, obviously, when I mentioned the diaphragm I was listening for that sealed whoosh like on a motorcycle carb when i found it on the TB., don’t even know if that applies. I took the fuel pressure regulator off before I knew to chek the vacuum line for fuel, so don’t know if there was gas in it. But guess I could hook it all back up and try it again. I’ve never heard of a timing belt problem when the belt was still in tact and looked ok, I’ll check that. And shadow fax, one of my injectors does look bad and the intake is gummy and dirty where it meets the TB, maybe that’s it. I thought if one worked the car would at least start. I’ll get back to y’all when I test these potential problems.
Again, thanks so much


#10

And yes, the CEL is only on while I’m trying to start the car, wasn’t on when it died at least