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How do I determine the most probable cause of a starting problem? on 2002 Honda Civic

I have a problem starting only rarely. The engine always turns over so it is not the battery but once in a while the engine does not catch. When it does start, everything appears normal. Because each spark coil is directly over each spark plug, I cannot use my timing light. What is the most probable defect and how should I check?

Asked by for the 2002 Honda Civic
when the car is in a crank-but no-start condition , turn the key to 'run' position and watch the check engine light and listen very carefully for a light click when the light goes out. try several times to verify. IF you do NOT here a click when the light goes out , then it's a good chance you have a failing 'main' relay. IF you do here a click , then you need to check further. Vehicle mileage and maint. history would be good info for us , to start.
3 more answers
agree with #2 also
agree with ziptie
This is a very open situation. Feed us some more. However, you can have the the starter checked at the parts store for free.
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