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1997 Civic won't start | Out of oil

Engine Tech / Drivetrain


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Old 09-04-2008, 09:55 AM   #1
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Default 1997 Civic won't start | Out of oil

Hello all,

I am hoping someone here will know a little more about my car than I do. Here's the situation: My car won't start.

Ok, so that is vague, here are the facts that I know:

CAR: 1997 Honda Civic DX - no mods that I can tell
1) Car won't start.
2) After poking around, I noticed there was no oil. Yet there are no oil stains anywhere where I usually park.
3) Put in 5Qts of oil.
4) Car still won't start.
5) Unhooked battery for 10 min to see if it would reset any computer related items.
6) Car won't start.
5) Tested to see if gas was being pumped. I can confirm it is getting to the intake manifold.
6) Tested to see if the spark plugs work. From the timing belt, I was able to get the 2nd and 3rd spark plugs out. Both have a nice blue spark on them.
7) Tested to see if pressure was happening in where the spark plugs live. From the timing belt, spark plug #1 was untested; spark plug #2 had 140psi; spark plug #3 had 120psi; spark plug #4 was untested.

Other than that, the car tries to turn over, but never starts. I have noticed that all other electronic equipment in the car works fine (all lights, windows, etc.) I have heard rumors that if the oil gets to low, like in my case it was bone dry, there is a sensor that tells the car not to start. Has anyone heard of that before? I have also heard that perhaps the car's computer needs to be restarted or reset.

Does anyone know where I should go from here? I'm open to most ideas. However, I am trying desperately to not go to the mechanic.

Thanks!
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Old 09-04-2008, 10:21 AM   #2
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can you see the timing belt?...is it broke..?...any visible holes in the motor....i ask because 0 oil will result in blowage
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Old 09-04-2008, 10:59 AM   #3
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first of all you need to drain about 1-1.2 qts of oil out of your pan. you severely overfilled it. to reset your ecu, disconnect the negative battery terminal for 10 minutes (which apparently youve done already). and what do you mean you confirmed gas getting into the intake manifold? check all your injector clips and the injector wire harness
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Old 09-04-2008, 11:31 AM   #4
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The timing belt seems to be fine. And there are no holes in the motor.

I thought 5Qts was a little much as well, but it just kept taking it.

I unscrewed the screw that connects the gas to the intake manifold. I started the car, and gas squirted out. I screwed it back in when I was done.

How do I check the injector clips and wire harness? I made sure they were all connected but is there a way to test to make sure they are working?
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Old 09-04-2008, 12:42 PM   #5
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Does the car have the stock motor in it?
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Old 09-04-2008, 02:10 PM   #6
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how did it run out of oil in the first place?
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Old 09-04-2008, 02:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skigil View Post
The timing belt seems to be fine. And there are no holes in the motor.

I thought 5Qts was a little much as well, but it just kept taking it.

I unscrewed the screw that connects the gas to the intake manifold. I started the car, and gas squirted out. I screwed it back in when I was done.

How do I check the injector clips and wire harness? I made sure they were all connected but is there a way to test to make sure they are working?
your dipstick has 2 small holes at the bottom of it. get the oil level between those holes, closest to the top one.

your fuel line does not go into the intake manifold. it goes into the fuel rail. the injectors are directly under the fuel rail and connected to it. the clips are connected directly to the injectors

the wire harness is attached to the distributor cap. has like a half dozen different colored wires in it.

in this pic you'll see the silver fuel rail (vertical and parallel to the motor). the injectors and clips are under it (3 pictured, 1 is behind the valve cover breather line). the wire harness is directly up from the oil cap

hope that helps

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Old 09-04-2008, 02:29 PM   #8
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1) Yes it is the stock motor, there have been no mods to this car that I can see.
2) I don't know where the oil went :)
3) Yes, your picture does help. Just so you know, I unscrewed the screw-cap at the top end of your pictured, silver, fuel rail. That's how I knew the gas was getting to the motor.

I'll recheck all those wires when I get home tonight. If anyone else has suggestions as to what I can try tonight, that would be very helpful.

Thank you!
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Old 09-04-2008, 03:29 PM   #9
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well if you mysteriously lost all that oil id be wondering how the hell it all disappeared
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Old 09-04-2008, 06:02 PM   #10
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you also might try checking all of your grounds, my crx did the pretty much the same thing(except the mysterious missing oil) when we forgot to connect a ground wire.
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Old 09-04-2008, 06:24 PM   #11
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how do your plugs look ..... IE. clean ! ? you may be burning oil and ruined your plugs
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Old 09-04-2008, 07:08 PM   #12
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Sounds like seizure to me.
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Old 09-04-2008, 09:01 PM   #13
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if you have spark, and you have fuel...its gotta be a timing issue. put the crank at TDC then pull cap off dizzy. make sure the rotor is pointed at cylinder # 1.
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Old 09-04-2008, 09:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Sounds like seizure to me.
if it was froze up he wouldnt have spark
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Old 09-07-2008, 06:18 PM   #15
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I've checked the wires and they are all fine. We went a head an replaced the fuel filter out of curiosity, and that wasn't it. So we are going to try to get a fuel pressure gauge before and test to see if there is enough pressure getting to the engine. If there isn't enough pressure, then we are going to replace the fuel pump.

Hopefully that will solve all my problems. Thanks for all your suggestions.
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