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88 Honda Civic Wagon Won't Start but Turns Over

Since I bought my 1988 honda civic wagon 6 months ago, every once in awhile it wouldn't start but would turn over, always after driving it for awhile, and I could always get it started if I waited 5-10 minutes and kept trying. Until now: Now the car won't start at all but continues to turn over normally and it's been several weeks. I changed the spark plugs to be safe, changed the main relay since I read about them commonly failing in Hondas, to no avail. I also checked the fuel pressure with a gauge and got 41 psi which seems normal but it seemed weird because it held pressure before I turned the key to the "on" position and remained at 41 psi regardless of what state it was in. I'm not 100% sure I was testing the correct schrader valve since there are two of them (it seems) on the fuel rail. The one I tested was pointing up, and the other one that sprayed some sort of liquid out when I tried to test it (didn't smell like gas) was facing towards the drivers side. I'm not sure what the problem is but after trying a couple of things I need some help trying to diagnose this problem. Any help would be greatly appreciated thanks!!

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  • Cars & Trucks Master
  • 2,431 Answers

The most popular is the ignition module that is located in the distributor,this is popular for failure, crank over no start fuel pressure is good,88 Honda Civic Wagon Won't Start but Turns Ove - 12_3_2012_7_43_05_am.jpg

Posted on Dec 03, 2012

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6 Suggested Answers

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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  • 108 Answers

SOURCE: 1994 Honda Civic not starting

you need to check all fuses one by one for loose contact.leave the igtion key to on position and try to tap the fuse box, shake wires from battery going to inside the car.A testlight is effective in diagnosting this trouble.Probing the wires on the ignition switch while turning on the key.Need somebody to observe the cluster while performing the troubleshooting.

Posted on Jan 20, 2010

  • 27 Answers

SOURCE: 92 honda civic turns over fine but doesnt start

ok, this is a commom problem with this 92 hondas,

it may be the pump fuel relay, which is under the dash on the driver side by the fuse panel.

here is a way to determine that.

when you turn the key on the on position

do you hear the fuel pump running while the engine light is on, and does the pump stop running afteer the engine light goes off?

if you do hear the pump running then it means that fuel pump is working fine ( since it way just replaced), but if you don't hear it running while the check engine light is on ( about 2 seconds) chances are the fuel pump relay is not working as it should.


also there are clicks that have to be heard on the starting process.

1 when you turn key to on possition

2 when the check engine light goes off( a click has to be heard just after it goes off)

3 after the car starts

If you don't hear this clicks, try to get your ear close the location of the fuel pump relay( near the fuse panel under the dash).


the fuse relay is just a bunch of circuits soldered, so you can get it to someone who knows how to solder and fix it.

or just get a replacement one at any junkyard. ( cheapp)

Posted on Jan 10, 2009

  • 3 Answers

SOURCE: 1991 Honda Civic DX starting problem

normally that happens with a fuel pump going bad or your ignition coil gets to hot n shuts down. when it happens again, take your spark plug wire off, have someone to help you start the car if no spark its gotta be your fuel pump

Posted on Jan 14, 2009

godspeed808
  • 125 Answers

SOURCE: 98 Honda Accord Wont Start

either have a shop scan it for trouble codes or buy a scanner your self at local parts store have OBDII scanner and find out for your self it could be a number of things.

Posted on Feb 26, 2009

blueextc3221
  • 15935 Answers

SOURCE: 2001 Chevy Malibu, 89,000 miles, 3.1 engine, won't start

CLICK HERE for the injector schematic.
CLICK HERE for the Ignition schematic.

Since the PCM uses info gatheres from the crank and cam sensors to calculate ignition - and there are no OBD codes - in all likelihood, the PCM itself is bad.

The Ignition Module, also transmits to the PCM.

It appears after all your testing - that the PCM is at fault.

It does not error report on itself (unfortunately).

The ignition timing is controlled by the Powertrain Control Module (PCM). No adjustment is necessary (distributorless ignition) or possible.

Please see the following....

The ignition timing is controlled by the Powertrain Control Module (PCM). No adjustment is necessary or possible.
The engines covered by this manual are equipped with distributorless ignitions, ignition timing is controlled by the Powertrain Control Module (PCM), as applicable. No adjustments are possible. If ignition timing is not within specification, there is a fault in the engine control system. Diagnose and repair the problem as necessary.
Ignition timing is the measurement, in degrees of crankshaft rotation, of the point at which the spark plugs fire in each of the cylinders. It is measured in degrees before or after Top Dead Center (TDC) of the compression stroke.
Ideally, the air/fuel mixture in the cylinder will be ignited by the spark plug just as the piston passes TDC of the compression stroke. If this happens, the piston will be at the beginning of the power stroke just as the compressed and ignited air/fuel mixture forces the piston down and turns the crankshaft. Because it takes a fraction of a second for the spark plug to ignite the mixture in the cylinder, the spark plug must fire a little before the piston reaches TDC. Otherwise, the mixture will not be completely ignited as the piston passes TDC and the full power of the explosion will not be used by the engine.
The timing measurement is given in degrees of crankshaft rotation before the piston reaches TDC (BTDC). If the setting for the ignition timing is 10 BTDC, each spark plug must fire 10 degrees before each piston reaches TDC. This only holds true, however, when the engine is at idle speed. The combustion process must be complete by 23° ATDC to maintain proper engine performance, fuel mileage, and low emissions.
As the engine speed increases, the pistons go faster. The spark plugs have to ignite the fuel even sooner if it is to be completely ignited when the piston reaches TDC. Spark timing changes are accomplished electronically by the engine and ignition control computers.
If the ignition is set too far advanced (BTDC), the ignition and expansion of the fuel in the cylinder will occur too soon and tend to force the piston down while it is still traveling up. This causes pre ignition or -knocking and pinging-. If the ignition spark is set too far retarded, or after TDC (ATDC), the piston will have already started on its way down when the fuel is ignited. The piston will be forced down for only a portion of its travel, resulting in poor engine performance and lack of power.
Timing marks or scales can be found on the rim of the crankshaft pulley and the timing cover. The marks on the pulley correspond to the position of the piston in the No. 1 cylinder. A stroboscopic (dynamic) timing light is hooked onto the No. 1 cylinder spark plug wire (2.2L engine only, on the 2.4L engines, special adapters are needed) . Every time the spark plug fires, the timing light flashes. By aiming the light at the timing marks while the engine is running, the exact position of the piston within the cylinder can be easily read (the flash of light makes the mark on the pulley appear to be standing still). Proper timing is indicated when the mark and scale are in specified alignment.


WARNING When checking timing with the engine running, take care not to get the timing light wires tangled in the fan blades and/or drive belts.

The engines covered by this manual are equipped with distributorless ignitions, ignition timing is controlled by the Powertrain Control Module (PCM), as applicable. No adjustments are possible. If ignition timing is not within specification, there is a fault in the engine control system. Diagnose and repair the problem as necessary.




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Posted on Aug 18, 2009

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