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Q: Warm engine, long starting and feels like it isn't getting gas, 10 sec, then takes off like nothing wrong. Doesn't happen all time

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After car is driven and engine warm, shut off for 10 mins or more, the car is turning over a long time before starting but it does start. Switching from 1st to 2nd gear it feels as though it is dying, like it isn't getting any gas and no power at all to go forward. Push in the clutch and rev the engine and there is nothing for about 10 seconds, feels like it isn't getting gas. Then all of a sudden it will "get gas" and takes off like nothing is wrong and may or may not do it again that day. This doesn't happen every time and when I have had my mechanic for a drive, it didn't happen. Never know when it will happen and I don't give it a chance to stall so I am not sure if it would. Seems to be worse when the weather is warm.

My car has 120000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

A: The biggest challenge with your symptoms is...

The biggest challenge with your symptoms is they are intermittent. Intermittent symptoms are often difficult to duplicate and we can’t diagnose something that is working. The biggest challenge here is recreating the symptoms. While attempting to recreate the symptoms, I would have a scanner connected and recording all the data. If the problem arises, it will be recorded and I would most likely be able to see what happened in the scan data.

It is good you are taking notice of the conditions that the symptoms cause. This information will be valuable for a technician to pinpoint the problem. As for what the problem could be, it could be many things. The fuel pump could be binding and not delivering enough fuel, the TPS (throttle position sensor) may be glitching or a crank or camshaft sensor maybe sending false information. Camshaft and crankshaft sensors are common failures on Civics. So these two sensors would be suspect, as well as the wiring harnesses that feed them. Poor electrical connections are notorious for symptoms such as these.

The long story short is someone will need to catch the culprit sensor in action, which is the biggest challenge with intermittent problems. With my own vehicles, I often wait until the failure becomes more regular to diagnose them. It saves a lot of time.

I recommend the loss of power inspection to help you figure this out.

Good luck!

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