This problem recently started. However, the check engine light has been on for over a year. Once it came on and I was told it was a bad oxygen sensor. Then it came on again and the code read that the real problem of the catalytic converter is the prob. But I haven’t replaced it yet. It has been running fine until a few days ago when it shook while going about 35 miles and hour. It also jerked later on. I took it into the shop. They tested it and said they didn’t see anything wrong. Today I drove it across down to have breakfast with a friend. When I came out to start it, it would turn over then die. Then I couldn’t get it started at all. The battery seemed fine. when the tow truck came, he started it and it ran fine. The tow truck driver said as long as its running, the mechanics won’t be able to tell me the problem.
Maybe the original problem wasn’t an O2 sensor at all. Maybe it was something else that was causing an O2 code, or even a converter code.
By putting off what may have been a simple problem that did not cause an engine running problem this may have created a bigger problem that is noticeable.
The tow truck driver is wrong of course because codes may be left in the ECM memory. Take the car to an AutoZone, Checkers, etc. and have them scan it. They will do this free and it only takes a few minutes. Post any codes back for discussion.
The failure to start may not have anything to do with the CEL. Some common problems are the ignition module, main relay, or the ignition switch. (electrical part)
I think this particular year and model is under a Recall for ignition switch problems which can cause all kinds of problems; including not starting or dying on the road.
Call the Honda dealer tomorrow with the VIN of the car and get this done if it has not been done already. It’s a Recall so it’s free of charge to you.
You have a host of problems, and they are too many for me to help you from here. I suggest you start with what you know is wrong. You know your computer thinks the catalytic converter isn’t doing its job properly, which could mean you need a new Oxygen sensor (or two), or could mean you need a new catalytic converter.
I drive a 1998 Civic DX, and this is what I would do. Have a shop read the codes from the computer again. If they say it is the catalytic converter, ask them to put it in writing that if they replace the catalytic converter, and it doesn’t solve your problem, you get 100% of your money back. That way, if it ends up being an Oxygen sensor (or both), you won’t be out the cost of the catalytic converter.
It is quite possible you have more than one problem. The symptoms you have been experiencing recently might not be related to your catalytic converter or Oxygen sensors. However, your catalytic converter might be clogged, causing your dying and not starting issues, but you need to find a highly knowledgeable mechanic to resolve these issues.
the check engine light has been on for over a year
It has been running fine until a few days ago…
oops, meant to post to original
How many miles were on your Civic when this happened? Because I’m thinking about buying a used 98 Civic with 112k on it…