Weird Honda

My Fiancee’s '89 Honda Civic has a weird problem. If she drives it on a short trip (sometimes this happens not every time) and goes in somewhere and only stays a few minutes(5-30) then comes out the car turns over but won’t start. After it sits for a while(30 minutes or more) it starts right up and runs fine with no problem. This is an intermittent problem. I have driven it for a month at a time and it not failed to start even one time.

There was a similar problem a while back. I’d check the things that were suggested to that poster or ask a mechanic to look the car over. If it’s a problem with the starter or wiring it may not be apparent, but you could narrow the problem down a bit to what’s not wrong.

My guess is a problem with the starter.

This is a common problem with these gear-reduction starters. The problem will become more frequent and worse. The answer is a replacement starter.

Could you describe exactly what happens and does not happen when someone tries to start it and it does not start?

The easiest and cheapest fix and most common problem is the following:

Civic DX? LX? EX? This makes a difference. The main relay which runs the fuel pump is a good possibility . . . can you hear the pump run when you turn the key? By saying “the car turns over but won’t start” . . . I believe that the starter motor is turning. I have a simple fix if the car is a DX with a carb. This era Honda with carbs have a funky no-start issue after warm-up which goes away as soon as the car cools down, even just a bit. So you can either wait for the engine to cool down or read the owners manual . . . which states “starting a warm engine requires one pump of the pedal and then holding the pedal down half way while creanking”. It works. This won’t start a F/I car. Rocketman

That’s a pretty cool piece of trivia, rocketman. I wonder if that might solve the OP’s problem.

Guess I didn’t make it clear that it always turns over, so it’s not a starter. I’ll check the next time it happens and listen for the fuel pump. This is a F/I engine w/ california emissions equip.

Works for my 89 Accord (carb’d DX). I tried almost everything . . . and then one day read the owners manual on starting procedures . . . and VOILA! Reminded me of Marty McFly banging his head on the steering wheel of the Delorean in “Back to the Future” ! Hey OP . . . give it a try. Rocketman