2000 Civic wont start....please help
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  1. #1
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    2000 Civic wont start....please help

    My son has a 2000 Honda Civic and it started running rough then stalled and wont restart. I have tried the following and can not seem to solve the problem. Anyone out there have the same problem and can offer any suggestions?

    replaced cap and rotor
    checked compression (between 150 and 180 on all 4 cyl)
    checked timing belt for break or jumped time
    squirt some starting fluid in throttle body
    poured some fuel in cylinders
    checked for spark on all cylinders (yes)

    it was suggested to me to replace the distributor as this is a common problem, but my thinking is that it is either sparking or not. doesn't seem like there would be middle ground where it just wouldn't get enough and this is a pricey part if I am not sure.

    can anyone help me?

  2. #2
    Senior Member ChrisS's Avatar
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    Spark is failing.

    The ignitor and coil are built into the distributor.
    If you can correctly diagnose which one is toast, you can save some money doing your repair. (there's no telling how long the other will last)

    My 1991 CRX Si had the exact same problem (progressively running rougher and rougher).
    I replaced the distributor which fixed the problem.

    take care,
    ChrisS

  3. #3
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    Chris, even though I am seeing spark now, it may just not be enough?

  4. #4
    Senior Member ChrisS's Avatar
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    The spark is _not_ reliable which is the cause of your problem.

    Take care,
    ChrisS

  5. #5
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    I just bought an HEI spark tester and found step by step instructions on how to diagnose. Everything I have seen so far leads me to the distributor but I don't want to run out and have my son get one till I am reasonably sure that is what the problem is. I was just confused because I did see spark when I used a plug in the end of the wire. The instructions I read say that this HEI tester will require a stronger spark to make the arc and I will immediately see a no spark situation. I just never knew a coil would get weak. I thought they either worked or didn't work with no middle ground.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ChrisS's Avatar
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    One other question:
    does the distributor get hot when the car is running?
    (Meaning the distributor shaft has lost lube and is binding up. Some had that problem on this forum.)

    Take care,
    ChrisS

  7. #7
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    i cant get the car running so i cant answer that question. i did buy a spark tester and follow the instructions i found online for diagnosing the problem. spark apparently is not hot enough to register on the hei spark tester i bought. you can see it jump across a regular spark plug but not the tester. i am assuming at this point it is either the coil or igniter so i am going to pick up a used distributor this morning and see if that solves the problem. much cheaper than a new one expecially when i am not 100% sure that is the problem. i am reasonably sure but not willing to take that big a gamble with my son's money.

  8. #8
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    I swapped out the distributor and the car started right up. Yahoo..... now I just need to change the timing belt before it breaks. He has 155k on the car and by all rights, that timing belt should have been changed twice already. no point in pushing his luck now.

  9. #9
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    thanks for the help

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