Last night I went out and the car started fine. I drove through a bank drive-tru and then to a red light. When I took off from the light the car sputtered and almost stalled. I was able to get the car going and went to the store. When I came out the car started and I went to back out and the car sputtered and stalled. I rolled back into my spot and the car would now not start. The check engine light comes on for a second when you go to start the car and then you here a click on the left hand side of the dash and the check engine light goes off. I had to sit in the car for about 30 minutes to keep trying to start it. While I was sitting there I notices that there was a constant cliking sound in the left hand side of the dash board. That clicking stopped and then the car eventually started. The car starts now ok, but that engine light still comes on when I turn on the key and then I hear that click and it goes off. What's going on here?
Could not start on 1991 Honda Civic
by jstevens11 in Torrington, CT on October 25, 2009
1 answer 3 comments
ANSWER by patrick mannion on October 25, 2009
Its hard to guess without being able to experience the problem first hand. The early 1990's Honda had some problems with ignition coil failure, distributor sensors failing or the distributor its self seizing. The main relay/fuel pump relay in your car is on the left side of the dash which could be a relay issue but I suspect there may be a problem with the electrical portion of the ignition switch, it will give a bad or intermittent connection causing stalling and or hard starting. It is a common enough problem, would be interested to hear what you find as it may help someone else in the future.
What could something like this cost me to fix?
It was raining pretty hard last night when this happened. Would the rain cause any of this to happen. The car seems ok today. I really have not gone too far with it as I don't want to get stuck.
COMMENT by patrick mannion on October 25, 2009
If its moisture related try putting water in a spray bottle (like a Windex bottle or some other household product). With the engine running spray water on the ignition distributor and spark plug wires, if the insulation is good the engine's running characteristics should not change.
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