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Amedee, Former ASE Master Technician
Category: Honda
Satisfied Customers: 24139
Experience:  ASE certified tech advanced level specialist. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
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Honda Civic my 98 honda civic wont start

Resolved Question:

my 98 honda civic won't start
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Honda
Expert:  Amedee replied 5 years ago.

Does the check engine light come on with the key on?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Expert:  Amedee replied 5 years ago.
ell this is your problem! Your computer is not even awake! Chances are you are missing a power or a ground to the computer causing it not to wake up. The only other possibility would either be a bad computer or the computer is being shorted out by another computer or a sensor. I would start by checking all powers and grounds going to the PCM. THis includes all powers from all fuses, fusible links and even from the ignition switch.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
the check engine light does come on for a few seconds then goes off when key is turned on
Expert:  Amedee replied 5 years ago.
Ok.. good!

Do you have power at the ignition coil while cranking the engine over?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Expert:  Amedee replied 5 years ago.
Ok.. it sounds to me like you just have a bad ignition coil or a bad distributor assembly. Just be sure that the timing belt is dead on the mark. If so, I would replace the entire distributor assembly from Honda.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
that seems rather expensive is there any way to check the icm or coil
Expert:  Amedee replied 5 years ago.
You bet!

Here is the ignition coil test.

First thing to do is check to see if the coil has power with the key in the on position. You can use a test light or a voltmeter.

Next step would be to see if its getting a ground signal trigger. This is done with a test light. But only you would hook it up backwards. Hook the alligator clip of the test light and hook it to battery positive, and take the tip of the test light and touch it the signal wire of the coil. The test light should blink when cranking over the engine if its getting a signal. If you use a conventional test light, it will flicker very very dim (so look closely) if the coil is getting a signal to fire the spark.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
is the signal wire the spring that comes from the coil
Expert:  Amedee replied 5 years ago.
NO.. there is a wire that provides the ignition coil with a ground signal to fire the spark.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
there is a + and - screw connection
Expert:  Amedee replied 5 years ago.
That is correct. You will need to check them both for a signal like I have described.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
i will check it and get back to you
Expert:  Amedee replied 5 years ago.
You do not need to get back to me. Everything is in this post that you need ot diagnose this problem correctly. Just be sure the timing belt is dead on and the wiring is in good shape.

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