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Someone gave this car ...1991 AWD HONDA CV4 WAGON...

Discussion in 'General Tech and Maintenance' started by TaosGurrl, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. TaosGurrl

    TaosGurrl New Member

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    Hey there! I am brand new to this site so I hope this is the right place to post this...


    Someone gave me this car last March (1 year ago). The people who gave it to me said it had been sitting "for awhile" as another woman owned it and just left it with them and it did not have a battery. Last summer, I put a new battery in it and it started right up on the first try. I was very imprerssed to say the least. I am totally unfamiliar with these fuel-injected cars and have never owned a manual transmission ....my dad always had automatics. I missed 'auto shop for girls' by about one generation and my dad always just wanted me to "watch" when I was a kid and asked to help him fix his cars. (He was an engineer, by the way, and not an auto mechanic.)

    So ...I am a complete dummy when it comes to auto mechanics other than checking the radiator/coolant and oil changing and routine minor things like windshield wipers and fuses, etc. I am a pro at changing a tire though. I am however a quick-study and am capable of learning new things and a very very resourceful person.

    I had not driven it at all really 'cept round the block (I got it into second gear and also reverse) as I had not had it registered yet so it just sort of sat out back. I washed the car up inside and out last November thinking to try and trade it for a larger vehicle and as soon as I did, it just quite running .....it still turns over and almost catches but doesn't completely start up. I had to learn not to 'pump the fuel peddle' as I guess you don't do that with a fuel-injected vehicle ...oops! I opened the hood and don't recognize anything ...no carburetor that I can identify ( looks like an alien spacecraft to me!). It just does not look like the cars my dad owned as he only would own the big 'ole old seventies throwback 'carburetor engine' models; the ones he could easily work on himself ....all automatic transmission Chysler and Dodge, etc. I had an old Chevy years ago and when I opened the hood the engine just looked so much simpler and my dfad used to joke you could "smuggle half a dozen Irishmen into the country under the hood"; the space around the simple little engine being so vast!

    I cannot afford a mechanic and cannot afford to get it towed down to the pricey auto shop (I live in a small mountain resort town; very expensive repairs). I think I could learn to repair it myself and was wondering if anyone had any advice or tips on a good repair book for dummies for this model car or should I go with trying to get the owner's manual ...or both? I am thinking just based on an intuitive guess that it might be the fuel pump ...if it has a fuel pump??? (...just not sure because the fuel injection is such a mystery to me ...). Hope I don't sound too stupid, but I would really like to ghet this car running ...'specially after reading just how great these cars are ....people really seem to love them and they appear to have a long half-life mileage-wise ....This one has 268, 383 miles on it. I hope that I get some helpful repsonses and look forward to learning how to get my little Honda Wagon running again. Also, I imagine I will need to buy a bunch of metric-sized tools as this is a Japanese car ....is that right?


    Thanks so much in advance. :)


    -TaosGurrl
     
  2. Briansol

    Briansol Admins Admin VIP

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    Hello,

    The car is injected, not carbed. :) All tools will be metric sizes.

    Yes, there is a fuel pump. it is in the tank. When you turn the key to 'on', but don't start the car (2nd key position) you should hear the pump turn on (under the back seat) and prime for about 2-3 seconds. If you hear this, it is probably ok.

    If it's been sitting for a long time, it may just need some simple maintenance.
    top it off with new gas
    change the spark plugs

    then try to start it again.
     
  3. Jeef

    Jeef NO MA'AM Moderator VIP

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    Try to get a hold of a helms manual. Its the factory service manual. Also A Haynes would do the trick but not as good as the Helms. Try to google Helms to find out where to get it.
     
  4. TaosGurrl

    TaosGurrl New Member

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    Yes okay ...thanks, I will try that with the key and listening. The thing is, it ran right up to the time I washed it off ...then, after I washed it, in one hour's time, I could not start it again. I thought it was cause I got something wet or had pumped the peddle ...but, after letting it sit for an hour the another one and then for days, hoping that if it was flooded it would be okay or if something had gotten wet, it would dry. I had put 'new gas" in it and did not think anything about the spark plugs because it always started right up on the first try ...right up until I washed it off ...suppose it could be a coincidence about the car-wash and then it not starting, but if it needed new spark plugs after sitting so long, would it had started so well as it did prior to being washed off? It makes these kinds of almost-catching sputtering sounds and it does turn over every time I turn the key all the way ....I could not find a choke inside the cab to open so I just guessed at the fuel pump....but who knows?

    I will try the key turn you suggested and see if I hear the fuel pump, thanks.Wow, if I have to change the fuel pump, that sounds like it may be hard to get to if it is inside the gas tank. That sounds like a big task; getting at it.

    Thanks much for tips. :)



    -TaosGurrl
     
  5. TaosGurrl

    TaosGurrl New Member

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    Helms? Okay ...maybe Ebay ...or is there a better place online for this kind of car manual/book ...another site that might be likely to have them ...maybe Amazon or???


    ?


    Thanks...:)


    -TaosGurrl
     
  6. Briansol

    Briansol Admins Admin VIP

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    Did you wash in the engine bay?
     
  7. TaosGurrl

    TaosGurrl New Member

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    No, I did not wash the "engine bay" ..if that means did I lift the hood and wash the engine area ....I did wash the front windshield and hood area ....I washed it really well as it had been sitting presumably for years and all I can say is that it started up perfectly every time I turned the key until right after that washing ...I probably should have left it dirty ..lol. I started it right up and drove it around the side of the house and stopped it with no problems. Then, as I said, it would never start up again correctly. I guess I can change all the spark pugs and everything, I just am hoping to pinpoint the probem as best I can without having to spend a lot of money doing things that are not necessary at this point to get it going ...I thought the people who had brought it over said they had done that ...but it has been over a year now, so I am not sure. If I can get it running, then I can take it down to the auto shop for a simple tune-up and all that kind of simple routine maintanence, which is not as costly as towing in a car that does not start and having diagnostics and guessing games played out at an hourly rate.


    I tried the key turn and listening for a sound of a fuel pump as you said ...but I could hear nothing from inside the car and when I got out to listen under the hood ...still nothing ...is there a whirring sound or some other kind of sound I should be clearly hearing if the fule pump is working? Am I supposed to push gas peddle down to hear it or have someone else stand outside and listen under hood while I turn key?

    Sorry 'bout the minutiae of questions, but I have no idea what kind of sound I should hear this fuel make or if it is continuous or monentary when I turn the key like you said to turn it.

    I wondered if the fuel injection system can ever get plugged up from old gas that might have been left sitting in there....I did put some new gas in, but I wondered about something sitting in it that may have just coincidently clogged it right af before I parked it to wash it. Is that a possibility with the fuel injection system? If so, how would I find out? Is there some relatively easy way to check this out aside from taking it completly apart?


    Thanks again for taking time to respond! :)



    -TaosGurrl
     
  8. Briansol

    Briansol Admins Admin VIP

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    You should be able to hear it from the drivers seat. it is directly under the rear seats. it sounds like a 2-3 second 'whine'. It's hard to explain in words. mmmmmmmmmph maybe? lol kinda like the muffled sound of a pool filter, but just for a couple seconds.
    No gas pedal is nedded
     
  9. phunky.buddha

    phunky.buddha Admin with a big stick Admin VIP

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    :wave:

    It turns on with a slight high pitched whine. You'll hear it- the sound comes on with the check engine light and stops priming when the light goes out.

    If the car has been sitting for a while, I would recommend that you purge the fuel lines and the gas tank. Your tank should have a drain plug in the bottom rear- lift the car, unbolt the plug, dump it all into something you can take away and dispose of later. Just remember that you'll have several gallons' worth, not quarts.

    Fill up the tank with a bit of new gas, and if you feel up to it- you can unbolt the fuel line going into the fuel rail and prime the pump a few times to dump the rest of the old junk into a bucket.

    Or you can just use the fuel pump to purge your whole tank... that's fun too.

    Oh wait, re-read... your main relay could be bad. It's up under the dash on the left side of your driver's foot well. Grey-ish box thing with a red (maybe) bottom, about 3x2 inches. Should be attached with one bolt that has a 10mm head on it, and has a large plug going into the bottom.

    And for the service manual:

    1991 Civic 2 And 4 Wheel Drive Wagon Shop Manual - Helm Incorporated
     
  10. hondafreak513

    hondafreak513 New Member

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    Welcome to HS...

    You can get to the fuel pump by removing the bottom part of the back seat.. There will be a plate you can take off with three phillips screws holding it down..
     
  11. dc4dude

    dc4dude Member

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    my best guess... is that maybe the distributor cap is either cracked or the rubber seal that goes around the base has dry rotted, and that when the car was washed, it might have picked up moisture, preventing it from starting... especially since it sat for so long, and god only knows how long ago any of that stuff was replaced...
     
  12. hondafreak513

    hondafreak513 New Member

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    Yeah do a complete tune-up on it...
     
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