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Old 24 Feb 2012, 12:17 am
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Default Honda Civic Hard Start/Misfire?

I have a 1998 Civic LX. Only on a cold morning, the car will crank fine but when it starts, it starts hard.

It usually idles rough for a minute or two then goes to normal, however, this morning I didn't give it a chance to go back to normal RPMs after starting it. I started it and stepped on the gas and my CEL started blinking and I could hear the misfiring.

I got a head gasket done last this still coolant leaking or what?

Any help is appreciated!
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Old 24 Feb 2012, 12:31 am
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my toyota had that problem and it was a coolant temperature sensor, I don't know if Honda works the same way
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Old 24 Feb 2012, 12:47 am
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 92

Yes, it could be the temp sensor for the ECM. But this is also the time of year when weak ignition systems start playing havoc with cold starts. Parts that motorist seem to have forgotten wear out- spark plug wires, caps and rotors. Also if a cheaper brand of gasoline has been used, moisture from condensation can come into play.

Back when I got my first road worthy car, I learned about the yearly tune up. Spark plugs only lasted a year so we got in the habit of servicing the ignition system at least yearly. Now many of these part last longer then the first owner has a car and this falls on the second owner to fix them.

So replace the consumables in the ignition system and put some gasoline antifreeze in the tank. Between those two the odds are the problem will go away.
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Old 24 Feb 2012, 01:04 am
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The problem sounds ignition related. If your engine to chassis ground wire has corrosion you should replace it. It is located going from your rad support area to the front drivers side part of your engines cylinder head. I recently replaced mine on my 97 civic and it only had minor corrosion. i was having hard starts, chugging at idle, low idle, poor gas mileage, misfires, increased need for throttle input, and it all went away when i replaced the engine ground wire. its worth a try becuase its just a simple wire with eyelet ends so its not really expensive. i made mine out of heavy duty welding cable and soldered two eyelet ends on it. attached it to the cylinder head with the oem bolt and to the chassis of the car.

The engine ground wire inusres that your spark plugs have a completed circuit and will fire strongly. So it basically grounds the spark plugs by ground the cylinder head that they are screwed into. Putting a new one on my 97 civic made a big difference. feels like a new car. and there was a measureable mpg increase on my car.
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Old 24 Feb 2012, 01:17 am
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 118

You need to have a compression test done on the engine it sounds like it is getting coolant it the cylinder , that would make it skip when you first start it up then as it runs a little it will clear up that will b a bl owed head gasket. with a bl owed head gasket coolant get on top of the piston and cont fire .good luck
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Old 24 Feb 2012, 01:32 am
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new plugs/wires and possibly valve lash adjust. youre misfining
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Old 24 Feb 2012, 01:48 am
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 84

compression test and tune up but it sounds like the cold start air bypass is malfunctioning
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Old 24 Feb 2012, 02:02 am
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 61

There are lots of possibilities.

But the most common cause of cold start misfiring is bad spark plug wires.

Check the plugs to see if one or more are dirtier than the rest.

Watch the engine at night to see any blue sparking.

Use dielectric paste on both ends of the spark plug wires.

Reduce the spark plug gap to .030".

But you could also have a bad temp sensor, PCV foam on the mass air sensor, a leaky vacuum hose, low fuel pressure from a clogged filter, etc.

Have the engine code read, and it may help you pin down which bank is misfiring.
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