Question about 1991 Honda Civic

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Engine stalls, check engine light, not fuel filter.

Engine stalls and check engine light comes on. Started as an intermittent problem two weeks ago then suddenly it goes from running great to not running. I changed the fuel filter and it still only starts then stalls white smoke comes out of tail pipe upon stalling. Check engine light comes on just before it stalls. I can no longer drive it. What is the problem, and what do I check next.

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  • certainlight Jan 10, 2009

    My 91 Civic RT also shuts off engine unpredictably...all arrows point in the direction of ignition coil/ ignition module...have you tried replacing that?

  • parkman009 Feb 22, 2009

    It has only done the white smoke once. Seems more like unburnt fuel.
    Checked the ignition control module-it is fine, put new plugs, distributor cap, rotor cap. Put in new fuel filter, checked the fuel pump and ruled out the catalytic converter. I can start it and it runs fine for a few seconds then it starts running rough and stalls. I can keep it running by revving the engine slightly but it does not smooth out. Would a coil that is failing act like this? If it were compression why does it run fine then start acting up?


  • Anonymous Mar 25, 2014

    replace the head gasket white smoke come from tailpipe when running

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The white smoke as it stalls could be steam in the exhaust. This is caused by coolant leaking into cylinders from a leaking head gasket. You should check cylinder compression next with a compression tester.

Posted on Jan 11, 2009

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SOURCE: car is hard to start, keeps stalling, white smoke coming out of tail pipe

It sounds to me like you have a head gasket leaking. See if you can get a gauge and check each cylinder. Are you using alot of anti freeze?

Posted on May 28, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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