civic with no spark

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T2urtle

Diamond Member
Oct 18, 2004
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A buddy of mines has a stock 99 civic coupe automatic. He told me, he drove it home one night all fine and next morning it doesn't start. stated it sounds like it wants to start but doesn't. I told him to start with the simple stuff and try to jump the car. I gave him my battery charger/jump box and that didn't work.

He said one of his buddies looked at took out the plug to check for spark and there was no spark.


I'm going with that but i haven't seen the car for myself yet. Its pretty simple to tell if there is spark or not, so i'm going in thinking i need a distributor. Looking up the pricing its about $160-350.

Is there a way to just replace/test smaller parts on the distributor. I'm going there pulling the cap off and checking out the rotor. But i'm leaning on it being an issue with the whole distributor.


Any other things to look at. Obviously i know 3 things to needed to start, air fuel and spark, well that and battery power. Its a civic, things should be simple to fix RIGHT?
 

NutBucket

Lifer
Aug 30, 2000
27,034
546
126
99% chance it's the coil. Appears to be located under the cap and is a very common failure.
 

SJP0tato

Senior member
Aug 19, 2004
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I went through this with my brother's Integra a few months ago. There's a few items in the distributor that can cause there to be no spark; most common is the coil, second most common is the ignitor.

If you have a test light (or maybe an analog multimeter) test the voltage between the two wire terminals on the coil. It should pulse 12v when trying to start the engine. If it stays at 0, or 12v then there's a problem before the coil (probably the ignitor). If you do see the voltage spikes with the starter cranking then it's most likely the coil itself that's bad.
 

NutBucket

Lifer
Aug 30, 2000
27,034
546
126
And, as my coworker found out, unless you have a high quality calibrated multimeter don't bother measuring the resistance of the coil. His cheapo multimeter gave a reading that was in spec while a calibrated Fluke 187 showed it was out of spec. Replacing it solved the problem.
 

T2urtle

Diamond Member
Oct 18, 2004
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The coil is outside of the distributor right? And the igniter is internal, flat like

Sent from my Nexus One
 

NutBucket

Lifer
Aug 30, 2000
27,034
546
126
I'm not 100% sure. The coil on that model may be under the distributor cap itself.
 

T2urtle

Diamond Member
Oct 18, 2004
3,432
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coil was inside.

i removed the screw holding the rotor but it did not want to slide off. I was able to ohm out the coil and it was bad. 1.2 ohms when it was suppose to be .45- .55 and on the 2ndary it was way too low.

Since i couldn't slide the rotor off, i called up local honda shops and they had a rebuild/reman distributor for $110. I was going to pay $35 for the coil, $10 for new rotor and $15 for new cap. They had the reman with new parts so it was all good.
 
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