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Need help asap!

I have a '97 Honda Civic and I think I may need a new distributor, but I want to figure out if it could be something else before I spend $200 on the distributor.

I’ll be right over? Yes? No? Maybe?

Or, in other words maybe you should mention something about the car itself and what kind of problem you are having

I’m sorry I’m new to this!!! lol But I was driving and my car all of a sudden just stopped running.

To make a long story short, that does not indicate a distributor any more than many other parts. Keep on giving information. Sounds like you might need a mechanic?

Are you sure it wasn’t your timing belt breaking? Why do you think it’s the distributor?

My dad and uncle looked at it and they believe it is the distributor. I’m not sure if it helps at all but my fuel pump is working. The engine cranks over and it has normal compression.

I’m trying to avoid going to a mechanic at all costs due to money issues at home…

Also it didn’t just stop immediately, as I was driving it slowly died and came to a stop with a “chug, chug, chug” sound. The rpm’s just slowly went down as I drove until my car eventually came to a complete stop and would not start again.

Got fahr?

I’m sorry I dont know what fahr means…

The problem might be with the ignition control module within the distributor. This can be replaced without replacing the entire distributor which is cheaper.

However you need to determine if it has the Hitachi or the TEC distributor assembly as the modules aren’t interchangable.


Is there any way that I can test to see if it is the ignition control module?

And how can I find out if it is Hitachi or the TEC?

If there’s no spark then the module could be the problem.

The distributor will have to be removed in order to replace the module. The distributor body should have a stamping on it indicating whether it’s a Hitachi or TEC distributor. If not, the module will indicate which it is.


throwing parts at the car will be more expensive than having someone diagnose it properly and fixing it right(hopefully) the first time.

Yeah that is true, so would you recommend trying to get a distributor from a junk yard first or just buying a brand new one?

You may not be a redneck if you don’t know what “got fahr?” means.

You stated that the fuel pump works and you have normal compression.

Are your spark plugs making the little spark things?

If my car for example has a Hitachi distributor but I find a TEC distributor for a cheaper price, would I be able to interchange that?

And you said the only way to determine if it is the module is to see if there is or isn’t a spark?

And thank you so much Tester! You have been so extremely helpful!!!

You should be able to swap the entire unit, yes. You just can’t interchange individual parts within the unit (module for the TEC won’t fit in the Hitachi unit, etc). Double-check the connectors before installation to make sure.

Test for spark: Pick a plug, remove the wire and plug, connect them back together, and lay the plug (metal threaded part) on the valve cover (if aluminum, hold it against the metal mounting cover nut). Have buddy turn over motor. You’re looking for a nice fat blue spark. If it’s a tiny yellow one, then it won’t have the juice required to burn the fuel.

As it “Got Fire”?? I sorta speak redneck. :slight_smile: Sometimes I even get it right.

I also noticed the distributor has been leaking a bit of oil where it is mounted to the motor. Can the seal be replaced or would I still need to get a whole new distributor?