Question about 1991 Honda Civic

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1991 Honda Civic STILL won't start

We replaced the main relay, the rotor, the distributor cap, the battery & the solenoid. Checked the fuses-all okay. It cranks, doesn't turnover. The timing belt is okay, the starter is good, it's getting fuel & spark.
And it has a full tank of gas.(; We checked the ignition module in the distributor and it is good.
It was running well, then all of a sudden, would not start.

What is going on? Help! Is there anything ewlse we can do?

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  • actingup May 17, 2009

    For clarification:

    We are now NOT getting spark as we thought we were before. So, do we just replace the spark plugs?

    The rotor is going around and it is fuel injection and we hear the fuel pump..

    The above parts were replaced AFTER the problem started.

  • actingup May 18, 2009

    We replaced the spark plugs and it tried to turn over a couple of times , but didn't go. This is kind of silly, but we're not so used to working on this car---where is the ignition coil? There are all sorts of things that look like it but we're not sure and want to replace the correct one. Also, Haydn, if it's not the coil, where is the crank sensor?

  • actingup May 18, 2009

    Bizarre! There is no 5th wire leading from the distributor. There are only 4. There is a yellow/tannish cylinder next to the outside with a wire bundle leading under the distributor and the wires attached to screwed into the top. And there is a black square top screwed on with 4 screws on the top just above the rotor.The wires from the yellow/tannish cylinder are screwed on near that black square top.

  • actingup May 19, 2009

    We figured out where the coil is, will replace it & see if that works.It's unlike any coil we had ever seen. We're used to what you all described--a black cylinder going to the distributor.

  • actingup May 27, 2009

    YAY!!! Sucess! We replaced the coil and it strated right up and runs beautifully! I only wish we had checked it earlier...Before we got all the other stuf, but maybe we have prevented further problems.. There was a big chunk out of the coil where the rotor hit it.

    Thank you all for your help.

  • Ronald Mueller
    Ronald Mueller May 11, 2010

    with the distributer cap off is the rotor spinning? is it carburated or fuel injected? when you turn the key do you hear the fuel pump relay click and hear the pump run?

  • haydnm0 May 11, 2010

    Is the car fitted with an imobiliser. Also the parts you've listed where they replaced in trying to start the car or replaced before the non starting problem?


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If your not getting spark then your coil is the mostlikely cause it's obviously not a timing issue since you stated that the rotor is spinning. if the spark plugs are bad then replace them too . to be sure that your getting spark to all cylinders test each of the spark plugs after replacing the coil. just to besure it's not starving for fuel as well spray a little ether in the breather if it fires off right away that means the even though your fuel pump works it may not have a high enough pressure. let me know the results

Posted on May 17, 2009

  • Ronald Mueller
    Ronald Mueller May 18, 2009

    have you pulled each plug and checked each one for spark? or are you not getting any spark?

  • Ronald Mueller
    Ronald Mueller May 27, 2009

    could you rate my solution please it would be appreciated and i'm glad it all worked out for you


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If you are not getting spark then check the wires going to the coil and the ht lead going to the dizzy. If all the wires are good and the earth contacts are good then I would suggest the crank sensor has failed.

Posted on May 17, 2009

  • haydnm0 May 18, 2009

    From the centre of the distributor cap should be a ht lead that leads away from the other 4 that go to the spark plugs. Track back the one on its own and this will lead to the coil. The coil may be a cylindrical unit or a small square box i can't remember on yours. As for the crank sensor I don't know the exact whereabouts on the civic but it should be at the rear of the engine block toward the bottom end.


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