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camerontech, Auto Service Technician
Category: Honda
Satisfied Customers: 480
Experience:  diagnostic auto tech
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98 honda crv cranks but won't start after changing the

Customer Question

98 honda crv cranks but won't start after changing the timing belt and distributor. It did start after first reassembly but did not have the tensioner bolt tight and broke it down again to fix. reassembled and it would not start. check all timing marks
and it is lined up. checked spark - no spark then changed the distributor. have spark but no start
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Honda
Expert:  camerontech replied 1 year ago.

Hi there,

My name is ***** ***** I am a licenced diagnostic technician with over 20 years experience.

I will do my best to help you with your automotive problem. Please remember, I cannot see, hear or feel your vehicle which can make diagnosing very complicated and some vehicle require extensive diagnotics that require certain diagnostics computers that can not be done over a computer or phone.Please be patient as I am not online 24 hours a day, as I do work, but I do check my page every day.A positive rating is always appreciated for my time and knowledge to help you with your problem.

These are interference engines. Did you do a compression test after?

I am hoping you did not smack a valve.


Expert:  ronald-cssm replied 1 year ago.
We received your customer service inquiry, however, we are unable to respond to you because we do not have your email address. Please contact customer support at***@******.*** and provide us with your email address and a link to this question page so that we can help you. (
Thank you, ***** ***** Customer Support Team.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
no compression test and don't have anything to check it. as i mentioned, it did start prior to the no start. when it started, there was a piece of the lower cover hitting the upper pulleys on the cams. I removed it and then found the loose tensioner. corrected that and it has not started since. I tested for spark and did not have one at the distributor and replaced the whole distributor and now have a spark. it has 360,000 miles and had been doing great.
Expert:  camerontech replied 1 year ago.

hi there, sorry for the late reply, i was at training tonight.

This can be a little tricky to check without physically putting my hands on, but i will do my best to help you in the right direction.

As for what happened? it could be something was missed when you realigned the belt, you damaged something or we have a new problem. either way we will figure this out with a bit of patience.

im going to give you a list of things to check for me to eliminate some things. IF these things pass, than we have no choice but to find and borrow a compression tester.

1. do you have spark in every cylinder

2. do we have fuel pressure

3. do we have injector pulse.

If we have all three of these, than we move on. If one of these are missing, than we will hit that area.

These next steps are if we have those three things

1. when cranking the engine, does it sound like its cranking over faster than normal?

2. take the spark plugs out... are they wet or dry?

3.Align at tdc and recheck your timing marks, than pull the dirstributer cap off... Is the rotor pointing at the number 1 cylinder?

IF all of these steps are a pass, than we will have to do a compression test on the cylinders to eliminate engine damage.

Most larger parts store chains have a "loan a tool" program for free.

Check these things and let me know


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I ordered a cylinder gage that was to be delivered today. I am out but should check it tomorrow. Will get back to you then. Thank you.
Expert:  camerontech replied 1 year ago.

ok, sounds good.

ill be in and out tommorow but ill be online through the day and noght.

please check of the list of items in order, and mark them down for me so we dont miss anything and ill need all that info to see what the next the step is

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have not done the items above yet but did check compression. 145 - 130 - 147 - 145
Expert:  camerontech replied 1 year ago.

ok, compression is good

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am working the next 3 days (mon - wed) and will not be back at it till Friday. I will let you know as soon as I get the others done.
Expert:  camerontech replied 1 year ago.

good stuff


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was able to get back to it and based on your suggestions, I felt the timing was the problem. I set it to tdc and pulled the distributor cap and did not have it on the 1st cylinder. Pulled the distributor and the cam "plug" had on of the teeth broken. I took the one off the old distributor and set it to no 1 and installed it. IT STARTED! Now the valves are extremely loud as though they are hitting something. I have cut the casing back that was hitting the pulleys on the cams when it sounded like this before but it is still there. I am going to go back in this morning to verify that I did not drop something in there. Is there anything you might know it to be if that is not it. (I am thankful for your help on this and am going to pay you - don't know if this is another problem I need to pay you for or still part of the first.)
Expert:  camerontech replied 1 year ago.

hi there,

Im gald you got it stared!. no you dont need to pay for another question, i always do follow ups if needed after initial rating

Valves arent ussually noise, only a lifter can be noisy, it might be worth pulling the valve cover off and having a look.

Im at work today but will check in later.

I appreciate a positive review!


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
found the problem under the valve cover and removed it - my fault. Now it won't start again. it will try to start after 8 to 10 seconds of cranking but will not start. Checked the timing again and it is fine. what now? (we both thought this was over)
Expert:  camerontech replied 1 year ago.

It almost seems like a fuel issue. I'd check fuel pressure again. There is also a pgm relay which controls the fuel pump and can get sticky. Swap thus relay with another one of the same that's not as important. (Like the horn relay) and see if that works.

If it's not starting again, uou will have to start at step 1 again. I kniw it sucks , but you have to see what's missing. I hope it's not that distributer again. These are horrible units.

Id just try that pgm relay to eliminate it.

Its just weird that when you go near the distributer it acts up

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ithe will be maybe tomorrow. I had some errands. Thank you!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i don't see a fuel pump relay but there is a fuse. on the panel inside the vehicle. I turned the bolt on the fuel filter and fuel sprayed out - that's pressure - correct. Not sure how to check PULSE.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
All cylinders have spark
Expert:  camerontech replied 1 year ago.

ok thats good for the fuel spraying out. that means that at least the pump is working. we just dont know how mutch pressure.

to test the injectors you will need a noid light or just a test light.

Check for power at the 1 terminal while the other side will be a ground pulse from the computer.

to check the ground pulse, attach your test light connector to the positive side this time and touch a ground with the probe, this is to make sure you have a good connection on the battery. know backprobe the other terminal on the injector connector. you can also slice the wire a bit with a razor blade if you dont have backprobers, just make sure to tape them up really good so it doesnt become a problem in the future. Than crank the enging over. you should see flashing on the testlight. this means that we have injector pulse.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. At work again. Where is the 1st injector and wire. What color? Also do I need to unplug the plug from the injector?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do I need to unplug the plug at the injector?
Expert:  camerontech replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry I missed your previous question

uou do not need to unplug the injector. Only if you are checking wiring from the connector to the computer

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Will do it tomorrow and get the result
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Rechecked the timing and it was messed up at the distributor, cams and crank. All nit right. Reset all and it started but does not have a good sound when it turns over to start. I am attaching a recording. It is also hitting the plastic casing again with higher rpm'so it is quiet and returns as rpm'so decrease. It did start three times. It won't attach, sorry.
Expert:  camerontech replied 1 year ago.

im wondering if you should have a tech have a listen. I worried about you having some engine damage from it being off so many times.

Theres not much room for error with these engines, and it would suck if your overlooking something and it ends up costing you an engine


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
it is hitting the valve cover. when turning it to tdc, it seemed to get very loose and the pulleys would seem to shift like it was jumping time. all the teeth on the belt were intact. i will have to take it apart again.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i did loosen the tensioner and retighten prior to restart.
Expert:  camerontech replied 1 year ago.

did you replace the tensioner? when you did the belt?

these should be replaced as they can fail when changing the belt. i never trust the old one. if your belt is coming loose, this could be it. IF you did replace it , please make sure its not defective


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