Q: My car has crank and no start issues.

asked by on November 07, 2016

I'm in need of help with my 1995 Honda Civic ex 1.6L vtec I have a crank/ no start problem which started when my tie rod came off so I had to order a new one and they sent me the wrong one so it took longer for me to get the car driving again. And once I got the tie rod back on I went to turn on my car and it didn't start so right then and there I started researching. I have been doing everything possible for me to get my car started and yet can't get it starting. I have spark,compression, and fuel I have changed the main relay, change the spark plugs, checked my fuses, and changed out the ECU thinking it was the ECU but wasn't I checked my engine codes which gave me code 15, and code 22. I have done a compression test checked my ground wires and also have checked my distributor. I have done the timing on engine more than 5 times and yet my ideas are running out. And I know I am doing the timing right because I have my own mechanic that has been helping me get my car started and yet

My car has 164995 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

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There is one thing I don’t think you have listed or have checked. That would be injector pulse. You can have fuel pressure but without injector pulse from the ECU, the injectors will not open and the cylinders will not receive fuel. The most common reason for a lack of injector pulse is a bad crank sensor. Your particular year make and model distributor has three such sensors inside it. Distributors on these Civics are the most common failure item. Way to common for the reputation of Honda.

Checking for injector pulse is quite easy. But you need a noid light kit for testing. Noid light You plug it in to the injector harness in place of the injector and crank the motor. The light should flash rapidly. If it does not, check for power to the injector connector. One wire should have power and the other is grounded by the ECM to open the injector.

Code 15 is an ignition output code which originates with the distributor. There is a chance that both codes could have been set because of the ECU replacement. If they appeared after you replaced the ECU, I would disregard these codes and install the original ECU. If the old ECU register the same codes, I would probably replace the distributor.

If you have injector pulse, spark, fuel pressure and good camshaft timing, I would next suspect the cylinders have been washed with fuel. This is a fairly common issue with many four cylinder motors. The minimum pressure for each cylinder should be 135 psi. The expected is 185-220 psi, depending on which version of 1.6l you have in your car. The cylinders can become washed with fuel causing the compression to drop below the minimum and the motor will not run. To alleviate this, squirt a few squirts of oil into the cylinder and start the motor. It will not run well at first and it will smoke badly out the tail pipe. So position the car appropriately and keep the car running by feathering the throttle until the motor begins to run well. The rings around the pistons are designed to build pressure with the help of oil being sprayed onto them. If they become washed, I have seen cylinder compression drop to as low as 30 psi. This is a common issue I have run into many times.

To avoid any unnecessary repairs, I recommend having a certified technician, like one from YourMechanic, diagnose your starting issue firsthand at your own location.

Good luck!

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