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90 Civic HB that won't start

Discussion in 'General Tech and Maintenance' started by starboy869, Dec 16, 2003.

  1. starboy869

    starboy869 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    I'm having some problems in starting my 90 Civic HB. The first start up after it's been sitting awhile (ie. overnight) no problems, cranks, starts, good to go. If I park it after it's been running 5/10 minutes sometimes it's doesn't want to start. No crank, clicking under my dash. Wtf!!

    Today first thing in the morning, start up, no problems. A couple short trips, without any problems. Now I parked my car for about an hour it doesn't want to start. No crank, clicking sound from a relay(?) just above my hood release, and it sounds like my starter motor is making a sound.

    I tried boosting it, thinking maybe my battery had a few dead cells.

    I replaced my starter about three months ago with a new unit.

    Any ideas?

    I'm going to the junkyard in couple of days, hopefully aquire a handfull of main relays, a starter motor, and whatever else I can think of on what the problem could be.

    I heard the main relay is a common problem for this era of Civics.
     
  2. mikesphat

    mikesphat Senior Member

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    sounds like the starter to me yo.
     
  3. Magik

    Magik Senior Member

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    Definately a problem with that year's Civic, I suffered through a whole summer trying to figure out what was wrong with my car...it would only do it when it was quite warm out...soon as fall hit...and things started to cool...no problems.

    I finally changed the main relay...last summer (mid summer 02) and up until I had an accident this November...it never did it again.

    Change that relay before you do anything else major and you may/likely will be pleasantly surprised.

    Keep us posted ... Good Luck :)


    Jason
     
  4. starboy869

    starboy869 Senior Member

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    Hi,


    A friend of mine said it sounds like the starter. My first thought would've have been it also, but I just replaced it three months ago with a new unit. Hmm defective?

    Main relay? I thought this could be my other problem. I know a couple rare times about four months ago that it wouldn't start when warm/hot. The engine would crank, and crank, nothing. Then when it would start it would idle like POOP for a few seconds then everything would be good.

    I know when I go to yard I'm pulling a starter, and getting a bunch main relays. If it's the main relay I'll be going to honda to buy a new one. I just don't want to drop a wad of cash on that part and find out that isn't my problem.

    Also I don't have repair manual handy, and I never changed a main relay before. Where about's is it located? Any web urls?
     
  5. Drenni

    Drenni Senior Member

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    It's located behind the dash on your right hand side, actually if you look under the dash you'll see it like a small black box with a piece of metal. I was trying to get a photo so you had an idea but did'nt find one. I had the same problem, same car, same year and only one solution and that is the main relay and Bingo problem fixed like someone wroke. It's pretty tricky to get out but when you open the door (driver side) you should be able to see on the dash side an area that you can take out two screws and it's in there. If you don't want to spend a lot of money on it buy it on ebay, but then again I got it new just in case, the cost was like $55 :( but that's the price for new parts, on ebay you can get it maybe for like $10 maybe a little more....

    If I was you I would buy it new B) but that's if I was you..... ;)
     
  6. Magik

    Magik Senior Member

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    Ummm...no, it's under the dash behind the little 'coin box' on the LEFT hand side of the steering wheel. You have to remove the coin box and perhaps the hood release handle to get at the relay fastening bolt(s).

    Here is a picture of the main relay:

    http://www.markl.f9.co.uk/howto/electrical...relay_small.jpg


    and here is a step by step to remove the main relay (this is for a rex but they are in exactly the same place):

    http://www.crx.org/southcal/tech/main_relay/main_relay.pdf

    The Main Relay can seem a little pricey...mine was about $80 CDN at Honda...but honestly, all the grief I went through with it not starting, and the unsure feeling I got every time I turned the key...when that went away...best $80 I ever spent on the car...Good Luck! :)

    Jason

    Oh...and PS> Your Main Relay controls your "starter"!!! (and fuel pump, and ignition switch and some stuff in your ECU!)
     
  7. starboy869

    starboy869 Senior Member

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    HI,

    Thanks for the info.

    I'm going to check out the main relay first. I was just going to get a handfull from the yard first to verify my relay was toast. Then off to to Honda to buy a new one. Which is ok because I have to get a couple other parts there also.

    Plus I'm going to check out the yard for some other 'parts' I could use ie. 92+ prelude seats, 90/91 SI guage cluster with tach, etc.
     
  8. Magik

    Magik Senior Member

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    No problem...that's why we all come here...

    Keep us posted on the results ok?!

    Good Luck :)

    Jason
     
  9. starboy869

    starboy869 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    I got a whole bunch of main relays from the yard today. WooHoo Too bad that wasn't the problem. I ended up pulling my starter which was a 5 minute job, and taking it to a auto store that offered free testing.

    Turned out my starter is toasted. WtF? Do starters just died?

    Anyway's I just have to find my receipt for it and I get a new one (5yr warranty).

    Anyone need a main relay? I have about 6 kicking around.
     
  10. E_SolSi

    E_SolSi Member of the 20 nut club Moderator VIP

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    :yes:

    some more violently than others
     
  11. starboy869

    starboy869 Senior Member

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    OK an update in situation.

    Changed out starters, no change. WtF!!

    What happens when I turn the key with my Civic is...

    When I turn my key, my starter clicks/tapping noise comes from it.

    I thought maybe my engine was hydro locked (correct term?). I pulled my plugs and tried cranking over the engine again. No change. I cranked the engine over with a wrench off the pully. No problems.. cranks. There's a load off my chest. I tried cranking it over with the starter.. nope same as before. WtF!???

    I checked my fuses, both under the dash and under the hood. All appears to be good.

    At this point the only thing I can what my problem could be is something with the flywheel. Hmm Pulling the engine in the new year won't be a problem. My local junk yard have a few D15 engine w/o the transaxle attached so getting a flywheel would be easy. Wait would a D15 flywheel work with a SOHC ZC?

    I'm clueless on what my problem could be.
     
  12. Jeef

    Jeef NO MA'AM Moderator VIP

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    The flywheel will botl up to the engine. A general rule is to get the flywheel for the year of the tranny, but its one that could be easily broken if you do your research.
    Are you battery connections clean? Check/clean your ground wire from the battery to the body and transmission. Is your battery fully charged?
     
  13. starboy869

    starboy869 Senior Member

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    Seems like I have lots of battery life. When the problem first happened I gave it a boost. Yes I'll be replacing my battery terminals (sp?) since they're just the stock ones.

    The starter seems like it wants to engage. I get a clicking/tapping sound from it.
    I not sure if it's just the solinoid clicking away or the starter motor itself.

    I was thinking I'm going to pull my starter, jury rig it with vehicle wiring still attached. Ground it to the car. Have a buddy turn the key and I'm going to watch what the starter does.

    If the starter does operate in the correct manner.

    What could be the reasons my starter doesn't want to align up/turn my flywheel.

    I already cranked the engine over to check to see if it was hydro locked. I still have to check the flywheel to see if the teeth are still good.
     
  14. mjfubar

    mjfubar Member

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    just a stupid question but are u getting spark to your plug wires
     
  15. mjfubar

    mjfubar Member

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    and do u have fuel pressure
     
  16. starboy869

    starboy869 Senior Member

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    Update!

    I think I found out what could my problem be.

    Here's what I done today:

    Swapped out starters. Looked at the teeth on the motor and yes it's engaging the flywheel. Good. Then I thought not enough torque to crank the vehicle over. Hmm for shits & giggles I tried boosting the car again. + to + and - to - I got the same results. Then I went + to + and - to transaxle on my car. She's alive. If cranked like poop for about 15/20 seconds. Then it started. :) So I assuming at this point either my battery has a few dead cells and a bad cables.

    Also I came across another problem. I have a oil leak. A bad oil leak. When I had my car idling for a few minutes I might lost aleast 1/8 of an Litre between my engine and transaxle. I didn't have time today to check more into it. I did change my oil pan gasket out 4 months ago. I'm thinking it's either my rear main, or oil pan seal, but the oil was cold to the touch (wtf!). I'm going to look into more in the new year.

    Ok.

    Since I'm going to replace my battery cables. What gauge should I upgrade my cables to? Also where are some good grounding points?
     
  17. starboy869

    starboy869 Senior Member

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    another UPDATE

    Ok.. I haven't touched my car in a while

    Checked the oil. Hmm lots of fuel in it. WtF?? OK it's time for an oil change anyway's Cranked the engine over for kicks. Starts right up! WTF? I didn't even need a boost this time.

    Now my major oil leak is 99% gone. I don't get it.

    I'm going to do a battery relocation found on homemadeturbo.com just for kicks.
     
  18. jamesA

    jamesA Well known pissed off telephone guy VIP

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    prolly a lot late...and I didn't read through every response so if it's been suggested, sorry. But have you looked at your ignition switch or starter relays? I dunno. I got lucky...it was my throw out gear that was acting up when my starter died last March. it'd jump out into the flywheel, and then stick there.
     
  19. starboy869

    starboy869 Senior Member

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    I don't know what's up with my car.

    Oil leak that was there appears to be gone.
    Need a boost to start, now it doesn't

    Rev the engine up pass 1000rpms it takes a bit to idle down. (vehicle stopped)
    After that I get a check engine light
    Now I'm getting code 17 (VSS correct?)
    My speed-o sticks a bit which would explain the code.

    Also sometimes it idles like sh!t. 300rpm ish

    I'm going to be changing out my plugs (almost 30K old NGK)
    Maybe a new set of Honda Plug wires won't hurt.
    Also I thinking it might be a good time to change out my O2 sensor

    New parts:
    Fuel filter
    Air Filter
    Oil Pan gasket
    Starter

    When I relocate my battery I'm going upgrade to a little larger one.

    Note: I'm running my DPFI instead of my MPFI on my Sohc ZC.

    Chris
     
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