1998 Honda Civic 1.4 cranks, but won't start!!


New Member
Our 1998 Honda Civic (D14A4 engine) has only done 65k miles and was running smoothly until... One day while waiting at the stop lights, the engine hesitated, the odometer went up and down and I turned it off. When I tried to start it, it would crank, but not start. It hasn't started since then.

We towed it to our mechanic and he did a couple of tests, changed the distributor and cables but it still wouldn't start. There are no Check Engine Lights on the dashboard. Here are the FACTS:

1. Fuel - the fuel pump is priming, but no fuel is coming out of the injectors

2. Air - no obvious issues. However, several months ago some hairlike stuff started coming out of the exhaust. It turned out it's the back box wadding. This didn't prevent the car passing its MOT with flying colours months later.

3. Combustion - Cylinders 1 & 2 have normal pressure, while the pressure in 3 & 4 is low... Could this be a blown headgasket? It ran really well up till the day it stopped.

4. Timing - we bought the car 10 years ago when it had done 40k miles. We've had it for 10 years and done nearly 25k in it. We have no record of the timing belt ever being changed...

5. Spark - tested and all ok. The battery is nearly new and fully charged.

Any suggestions what might be the most obvious cause of the problem? The car is not worth spending lots of money on and has only been a second car. But it's a shame to just scrap it... with such low mileage and otherwise in good mechanical condition, etc.


fill it with wires!
Registered VIP
5+ Year Member
Hi stams, welcome to CC :hi:

Do you have numbers for the cylinder compression?

1. Fuel - the fuel pump is priming, but no fuel is coming out of the injectors

i would say since the engine has under 100,000 miles your compression on all four cylinders should be within range the d16y8 engine should last atleast 200,000 miles before youd have to worry about new piston rings. the valve lash could be really worn out and out of spec and could lose some compression. blown headgasket your car would still start just smoke alot since itd be burning coolant. if the car has the original timing i suspect the timing is still in spec. but if a mechanic has changed the belt, it is possible he may have advance or retard the timing you say he replace the distributor cap rotor and coil pack? when u do that you alter the timing of the ignition. IMO to me this all sounds like a fuel/air problem. you said fuel was not coming out the injectors i would suggest they may be the culprit. when you do replace the injectors i would suggest then checking the fuel pressure from the fuel pump. you should check out my honda rebuild video on utube good luck