Q: Car turns over, but won't run - 2004 Honda Civic

asked by on November 10, 2016

Vehicle turns over, but won't remain running. There was a whining noise, which became apparent about 2 weeks ago, that increased in volume with higher rpms. Sounded like a belt or pulley bearing (I'm guessing. It was louder near the belts) I parked it and went into a store, came back out, and can't get it going. Again, there's a turn over, but about two seconds after starting really rough, it sputters out. Any ideas of what this could be?

My car has 199246 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The whining noise near the belt area along with the crank no start and sputtering is a pretty good sign the timing belt has suffered a failure. It is very common for the failure to occur at start up. The timing belt and accessory belts all have pulleys that can fail. The timing belt and accessory belts are made of the same materials, but have a different designs.

The good news is replacing the timing belt on your Civic is on the easier side of timing belt repairs. On most cars, it is simpler to check compression to determine if there is a camshaft timing problem. The timing belt controls the camshaft timing. Your car is so simple, it is easier to remove the top timing belt cover to inspect the timing belt condition. The timing belt maintenance interval for your car is 110,000 miles, unless you live in a very hot climate. In which case, the interval is 65,000 miles. Your car has almost 200,000 miles which means it should have had at least two timing belt replacements. The second replacement period is 60,000 90,000 miles. It should be inspected beginning at 60,000 miles. Of course, there could be other reasons the your car wont’ start, and that list is as follows:

The above listed items are the most common failures for your Civic. With cars older than ten years, there can be other failures that are more obscure. If you would like an experienced technician to help you out with this, I recommend booking a car is not starting inspection. If you should take the time to inspect your timing belt and determine it has failed, I recommend moving forward with a timing belt replacement.

Good luck!

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