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MASTER TECH
MASTER TECH, Honda Service Technician
Category: Honda
Satisfied Customers: 5716
Experience:  28 years of Honda training and a master Honda tech
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Removed my number 3 spark plug wire in my 96 Honda Civic DX

Customer Question

Removed my number 3 spark plug wire in my 96 Honda Civic DX while engine was running. Engine immediately stop running. Now engine has no spark and wont start. I replace distributor, crank position sensor, check ECM voltage to distributor check ok. Check timing belt ok.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Honda
Expert:  Honda-Man replied 1 year ago.

Welcome to JustAnswer.

You did not mention the coil? I am assuming you did replace it with the distributor but I need to be sure. It's possible the new distributor igniter or coil is bad, not too likely but possible. Does your tester have a dwell or duty cycle setting?

Thanks!

Honda-Man

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The distributor is new complete with coil and igniter. Prior to purchasing the new distributor I bought a use one from the savage yard and the results were the same no spark no start.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My tester do not have dwell or duty cycle setting.
Expert:  Honda-Man replied 1 year ago.

OK, did you see if the rotor is spinning? what does the check engine light do? Do you have any fuel pressure? Sorry about all the questions.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Rotor is spinning. Timing belt has not been interrupted. Yes I have fuel pressure. No check engine light. No spark no start.
Expert:  Honda-Man replied 1 year ago.

OK, thanks. I have included a test for the coil and igniter. This will at least confirm the distributor components are working. Please check then let me know what you find.

Expert:  Honda-Man replied 1 year ago.

Here is the ignition system diagram.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Checked voltage to the coil is 11.87. Voltage to the ICM 0.03. The ICM becomes very hot after the ignition key is put into the on position.
Expert:  Honda-Man replied 1 year ago.

Are you on the black/yellow wire at the coil and igniter?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Correction on the ICM voltage reading earlier from 0.03 to 11.82V. Cranking voltage with wire between coil and ICM connected is 8.56V and disconnected 12.31V.
Expert:  Honda-Man replied 1 year ago.

According to the test the coil is bad.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I replaced the coil today with a new coil. No spark no start.
Expert:  Honda-Man replied 1 year ago.

That's why I try to use a dwell meter. The Honda test is sometimes wrong. Can you take it in and have the ICM tested? most auto parts stores can test the ICM.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have contact three auto parts store neither one could test the ICM. I have replace the coil three times, one time after receiving your expert opinion that it was bad. I have replace the ICM twice. At this time I do not believe it is the coil or the ICM. Most of the the trouble shooting advice you gave me was already preform by me prior to contacting this office. Please consult with your expert colleagues and let me know if this office can help me with my no spark no start problem.
Expert:  Honda-Man replied 1 year ago.

We are not in an office. The experts are all individuals working form home, their regular job etc. I will opt-out so another expert may help. Please wait for the next expert to respond.

Expert:  MASTER TECH replied 1 year ago.

Good morning I am master tech,

I have been reading all the info you and Honda-man have been talking about.

I want you to turn the key on and tell me if the check engine light comes on and stays on for a few seconds or goes out or stays on ?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello,After ignition key is turn the check engine check light goes off after about three seconds.
Expert:  MASTER TECH replied 1 year ago.

ok thank you.

now you said you checked the timing belt and was not broken but did you actually like the crank and cam up to check the cam timing ?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No. I thought since the belt had not been disrupted and it was within the 90,000 miles since it last maintenance this was not the issue.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
As I mention earlier the car was running when I removed the number three plug wire, which cause the engine too shut off.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The reason I removed number three spark plug wire while engine was running was to check a misfire code. Spark plug wire was corroded at the cap connection.
Expert:  MASTER TECH replied 1 year ago.

ok , why did you pull the #3 wire was their a issue that made you do this ? just trying to see if their is a root issue that you were chasing.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The reason I removed number three spark plug wire while engine was running was to check a misfire code in cylinder #3. Later I found that spark plug wire was corroded at the cap connection. All of this would have been avoided if I just replaced the distributor cap.
Expert:  MASTER TECH replied 1 year ago.

ok thank you. so for some odd reason this back fed into the system which I personally have never seen in my tenure of 27 plus years of Honda and acura.

have you scanned this for any codes?