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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 14 May 2004, 09:45 am
OS
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Default 1990 Civic Wagon with Periodic Starting Problem

I have a 1990 Honda Civic station wagon with 226,000 miles. I have
maintained it well (plugs, wires, coil a few years ago, distributor,
fuel filter, etc.). It runs great and gets 31,000 mpg in town. Here
is my problem, which has gone on periodically for several years:
sometimes the car won't start. The engine will turn over, but won't
catch (the check engine light does come on while it cranks). This
usually happens during hotter weather. It gives me no problem in the
winter, but now that the weather's warmer here (I'm in GA), the
problem is recurring. It's especially bad when I turn off the car
briefly (to buy gas)then try to restart it. I just have to sit there
and wait a few minutes, try again, wait, try again, and when it's
ready, it will start as soon as I turn the key. The car either starts
immediately or cranks and cranks and does not start at all. Once it
starts, it runs great. If I wait long enough, it will start (sometimes
as long as 30 minutes). Then, the problem may not happen again for
several days. There is no pattern. I've noticed that if I wait until
later in the day to start my car, and the windows have not been
lowered to help cool the inside, it will not start.

My mechanic had it hooked up to diagnosis for half a day, turning it
off and restarting it, but of course it functioned perfectly with
them. They said that they could find nothing obviously wrong, and
unless the car could produce the problem while hooked up to the
machine, they couldn't find the cause. They said they didn't think it
was the ignition, but I wonder. If the inside of the car is really
hot, it seems not to start. Any suggestions for me or my mechanic will
be greatly appreciated.

OS
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 14 May 2004, 10:00 am
Jim Yanik
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Default Re: 1990 Civic Wagon with Periodic Starting Problem

bs243@hotmail.com (OS) wrote in
news:ab0db417.0405140645.1b515a40@posting.google.c om:

> I have a 1990 Honda Civic station wagon with 226,000 miles. I have
> maintained it well (plugs, wires, coil a few years ago, distributor,
> fuel filter, etc.). It runs great and gets 31,000 mpg in town. Here
> is my problem, which has gone on periodically for several years:
> sometimes the car won't start. The engine will turn over, but won't
> catch (the check engine light does come on while it cranks). This
> usually happens during hotter weather. It gives me no problem in the
> winter, but now that the weather's warmer here (I'm in GA), the
> problem is recurring. It's especially bad when I turn off the car
> briefly (to buy gas)then try to restart it. I just have to sit there
> and wait a few minutes, try again, wait, try again, and when it's
> ready, it will start as soon as I turn the key. The car either starts
> immediately or cranks and cranks and does not start at all. Once it
> starts, it runs great. If I wait long enough, it will start (sometimes
> as long as 30 minutes). Then, the problem may not happen again for
> several days. There is no pattern. I've noticed that if I wait until
> later in the day to start my car, and the windows have not been
> lowered to help cool the inside, it will not start.
>
> My mechanic had it hooked up to diagnosis for half a day, turning it
> off and restarting it, but of course it functioned perfectly with
> them. They said that they could find nothing obviously wrong, and
> unless the car could produce the problem while hooked up to the
> machine, they couldn't find the cause. They said they didn't think it
> was the ignition, but I wonder. If the inside of the car is really
> hot, it seems not to start. Any suggestions for me or my mechanic will
> be greatly appreciated.
>
> OS
>


Main relay!!
http://www.markl.f9.co.uk/howto/elec...main-relay.htm

--
Jim Yanik
jyanik-at-kua.net
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 14 May 2004, 10:32 am
Caroline
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: 1990 Civic Wagon with Periodic Starting Problem

"Jim Yanik" <jyanik@abuse.gov> wrote
> bs243@hotmail.com (OS) wrote in


> > I have a 1990 Honda Civic station wagon with 226,000 miles. I have
> > maintained it well (plugs, wires, coil a few years ago, distributor,
> > fuel filter, etc.). It runs great and gets 31,000 mpg in town. Here
> > is my problem, which has gone on periodically for several years:
> > sometimes the car won't start. The engine will turn over, but won't
> > catch (the check engine light does come on while it cranks). This
> > usually happens during hotter weather. It gives me no problem in the
> > winter, but now that the weather's warmer here (I'm in GA), the
> > problem is recurring. It's especially bad when I turn off the car
> > briefly (to buy gas)then try to restart it. I just have to sit there
> > and wait a few minutes, try again, wait, try again, and when it's
> > ready, it will start as soon as I turn the key. The car either starts
> > immediately or cranks and cranks and does not start at all. Once it
> > starts, it runs great. If I wait long enough, it will start (sometimes
> > as long as 30 minutes). Then, the problem may not happen again for
> > several days. There is no pattern. I've noticed that if I wait until
> > later in the day to start my car, and the windows have not been
> > lowered to help cool the inside, it will not start.
> >
> > My mechanic had it hooked up to diagnosis for half a day, turning it
> > off and restarting it, but of course it functioned perfectly with
> > them. They said that they could find nothing obviously wrong, and
> > unless the car could produce the problem while hooked up to the
> > machine, they couldn't find the cause. They said they didn't think it
> > was the ignition, but I wonder. If the inside of the car is really
> > hot, it seems not to start. Any suggestions for me or my mechanic will
> > be greatly appreciated.

>
> Main relay!!
> http://www.markl.f9.co.uk/howto/elec...main-relay.htm


Agreed. Many reports of this exact problem (including the symptoms you describe
above) occur here at the newsgroup for early 1990s Hondas. I myself had this
problem with my 1991 Civic. I replaced the relay in 1999, 105k miles. No
problems 47k miles and five years since.

I'll just add that the site above and others advocate repairing the main (fuel)
relay. But it's fine just to replace the thing altogether. The relay should cost
you under $50 from an online site such as
http://www.hondaautomotiveparts.com/...catdisplay.jsp . If you have
trouble finding the part at the site, e-mail: hondaparts@majestichonda.com, or
call toll free 1.800.341.4113.

Getting the relay out can be annoying but it's doable, even by an amateur.


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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 14 May 2004, 11:05 am
Kelsen
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: 1990 Civic Wagon with Periodic Starting Problem

On 5/14/2004 9:45 AM OS spake these words of knowledge:

> I have a 1990 Honda Civic station wagon with 226,000 miles. I have
> maintained it well (plugs, wires, coil a few years ago, distributor,
> fuel filter, etc.). It runs great and gets 31,000 mpg in town. Here


<snip>

By my calculations, you've only used 7.29 gallons of gas in this car;
way to go!

--
RFT!!!
Dave Kelsen
I'm going to tell you something now and I want you to listen very
carefully: The fact of the matter is, and there's no getting around
it... I like prefatory remarks.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 14 May 2004, 05:12 pm
Zomaar
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: 1990 Civic Wagon with Periodic Starting Problem


"Caroline" <caroline10027remove@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:EE5pc.222$SZ4.161@newsread2.news.pas.earthlin k.net...
> "Jim Yanik" <jyanik@abuse.gov> wrote
> > bs243@hotmail.com (OS) wrote in

>
> > Main relay!!
> > http://www.markl.f9.co.uk/howto/elec...main-relay.htm

>
> Agreed. Many reports of this exact problem (including the symptoms you

describe
> above) occur here at the newsgroup for early 1990s Hondas.


The old main relay problem...Is it that time of the year again?

It amazes (and really annoys) me that authorized Honda garages don't know
about this...I had the same problem myself 4 years ago with my 89 Prelude. I
took it to 3 garages, and none of them could fix it...this NG sorted it,
though - thanks guys...

Ali


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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 14 May 2004, 08:14 pm
Jim Yanik
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: 1990 Civic Wagon with Periodic Starting Problem

"Caroline" <caroline10027remove@earthlink.net> wrote in
news:EE5pc.222$SZ4.161@newsread2.news.pas.earthlin k.net:

> "Jim Yanik" <jyanik@abuse.gov> wrote
>> bs243@hotmail.com (OS) wrote in

>
>> > I have a 1990 Honda Civic station wagon with 226,000 miles. I have
>> > maintained it well (plugs, wires, coil a few years ago,
>> > distributor, fuel filter, etc.). It runs great and gets 31,000 mpg
>> > in town. Here is my problem, which has gone on periodically for
>> > several years: sometimes the car won't start. The engine will turn
>> > over, but won't catch (the check engine light does come on while it
>> > cranks). This usually happens during hotter weather. It gives me no
>> > problem in the winter, but now that the weather's warmer here (I'm
>> > in GA), the problem is recurring. It's especially bad when I turn
>> > off the car briefly (to buy gas)then try to restart it. I just have
>> > to sit there and wait a few minutes, try again, wait, try again,
>> > and when it's ready, it will start as soon as I turn the key. The
>> > car either starts immediately or cranks and cranks and does not
>> > start at all. Once it starts, it runs great. If I wait long enough,
>> > it will start (sometimes as long as 30 minutes). Then, the problem
>> > may not happen again for several days. There is no pattern. I've
>> > noticed that if I wait until later in the day to start my car, and
>> > the windows have not been lowered to help cool the inside, it will
>> > not start.
>> >
>> > My mechanic had it hooked up to diagnosis for half a day, turning
>> > it off and restarting it, but of course it functioned perfectly
>> > with them. They said that they could find nothing obviously wrong,
>> > and unless the car could produce the problem while hooked up to the
>> > machine, they couldn't find the cause. They said they didn't think
>> > it was the ignition, but I wonder. If the inside of the car is
>> > really hot, it seems not to start. Any suggestions for me or my
>> > mechanic will be greatly appreciated.

>>
>> Main relay!!
>> http://www.markl.f9.co.uk/howto/elec...main-relay.htm

>
> Agreed. Many reports of this exact problem (including the symptoms you
> describe above) occur here at the newsgroup for early 1990s Hondas. I
> myself had this problem with my 1991 Civic. I replaced the relay in
> 1999, 105k miles. No problems 47k miles and five years since.
>
> I'll just add that the site above and others advocate repairing the
> main (fuel) relay. But it's fine just to replace the thing altogether.
> The relay should cost you under $50 from an online site such as
> http://www.hondaautomotiveparts.com/...catdisplay.jsp . If
> you have trouble finding the part at the site, e-mail:
> hondaparts@majestichonda.com, or call toll free 1.800.341.4113.
>
> Getting the relay out can be annoying but it's doable, even by an
> amateur.
>
>


I'd have the relay fixed by the time you received your new relay in the
mail,or by the time you got back from the dealership.

Re-soldering the relay is EASY,and you don't have to give someone $50 for
another relay that could develop (or already have)the same problem.

--
Jim Yanik
jyanik-at-kua.net
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 14 May 2004, 09:29 pm
Caroline
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: 1990 Civic Wagon with Periodic Starting Problem

"Jim Yanik" <jyanik@abuse.gov> wrote
> I'd have the relay fixed by the time you received your new relay in the
> mail,or by the time you got back from the dealership.


Considering how hard the thing is to get out of many (all?) Hondas, I am not
confident of the second.

> Re-soldering the relay is EASY,and you don't have to give someone $50 for
> another relay that could develop (or already have)the same problem.


Maybe you have other information, but I have not heard of this problem repeating
once a completely new relay is installed.

I am less confident of the problem not repeating following a re-solder job.

Still, if you or others say you've re-soldered once and only once and never had
a recurrence, and on many cars' main fuel relays, then of course your point is
well-taken.


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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 14 May 2004, 11:30 pm
OS
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Default Re: 1990 Civic Wagon with Periodic Starting Problem

bs243@hotmail.com (OS) wrote in message news:<ab0db417.0405140645.1b515a40@posting.google. com>...

Thank you all for your responses. I went to the website provided by
Jim Yanik on main relays, read the symptoms, and could not believe it!
It gave exactly the same symptoms that I'm having, except in more
detail, including buying gas, then not being able to restart the car!
I'm going to print it out and take it to the mechanic, along with a
main relay (I hope they know how to solder--that's the only reason I
won't do it myself). I'll look for one locally at Autozone or online,
possibly. What a great newsgroup--I really did not expect any
responses, since that has been the case with my limited newsgroup
usage. I'll let you know what happens. Thanks again!
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 15 May 2004, 01:42 am
tomb
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: 1990 Civic Wagon with Periodic Starting Problem

Caroline wrote:
| "Jim Yanik" <jyanik@abuse.gov> wrote
|| I'd have the relay fixed by the time you received your new relay in
|| the mail,or by the time you got back from the dealership.
|
| Considering how hard the thing is to get out of many (all?) Hondas,
| I am not confident of the second.

Taking it out/putting it back: took me about an hour and several attempts,
ended up with somewhat scratched hands.

Resoldering it: took me about a minute

|| Re-soldering the relay is EASY,and you don't have to give someone
|| $50 for another relay that could develop (or already have)the same
|| problem.
|
| Maybe you have other information, but I have not heard of this
| problem repeating once a completely new relay is installed.
|
| I am less confident of the problem not repeating following a
| re-solder job.

Soldering in an environment like a car can be iffy. There's lots of
temperature changes, and *lots* of vibrations; both are things that solder
joints don't like. They do tend to develop cracks, especially if you have
large weights (like a relays on a PCB) attached to them. Resoldering, if
done correctly, should give you the same life as the original solder joint,
i.e., another 10 or 15 years. And if you still have the car and it breaks
again, you know how to get it out and do it again for another 10 years

|| Still, if you or others say you've re-soldered once and only once
|| and never had a recurrence, and on many cars' main fuel relays, then
|| of course your point is well-taken.

No problems so far, but it's only been about half a year since.
--
to send e-mail, remove the socks from the address
shpongloidsock@hotmail.comsock


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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 15 May 2004, 06:57 am
N.E.Ohio Bob
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Default Re: 1990 Civic Wagon with Periodic Starting Problem

I've had a soft spot in my head for them ole Civic Wagons since I had
one years ago that my neighbor sold me. Wish I could find one of the
last ones made, with fuel injection and the 5 speed, and no rust! bob

OS wrote:
>What a great newsgroup--I really did not expect any
> responses, since that has been the case with my limited newsgroup
> usage. I'll let you know what happens. Thanks again!

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