99 Civic DX, crank, no spark

#1
First: This is not my car. It is my daughter's. =)
1999 Civic DX 1.6L
She was at a traffic light stopped. Light turned green and she went to accelerate and it died. Would crank but no start.
I arrived and did the best I could with the limited tools in my car. I determined first, that there was no spark to the plugs (pull plug boot, short to ground with screwdriver, no spark) so determined the distributor cap was bad and we replaced it. (The center carbon "rod" to the rotor was missing.)
Still no spark at any of the plugs with new cap.
She then told me that from "time to time" it would be running and just die. No lights on the instrument cluster. Key off, restart and it would run fine for a few days until it would exhibit the same problem.
I'm guessing there is an issue with the ignition switch in any case. But why no spark at any time after this break down?
I'd think there would be some kind of intermittent spark even with a bad ignition switch.
I've checked all fuses and they test good.
If more information is required let me know.

Any pointers at this time would be greatly appreciated. She is a college student. Single mom, etc. She needs this vehicle to run LOL
I'm a half way decent shade tree mechanic. Not afraid to tear it apart if need be.

If something like this has been covered already, please point me to the right thread.
Thanks in advance.

- Mike
 

XpL0d3r

I had a Civic once.
Staff member
Registered VIP
Registered OG
5+ Year Member
10+ Year Member
#2
:welcome:

Is the check engine light on? It does sound to me like it could be the ignition switch. Grab a multimeter and check the voltage at the starter solenoid when trying to crank. If you get voltage but the car still doesn't start, it's likely not it. Alternatively you can jump 12V to the starter bolt and bypass the ignition switch. If it starts then -- ignition switch is likely bad.

You can also test the ignition switch:
http://my.prostreetonline.com/2015/10/26/how-to-test-a-honda-civic-ignition-switch/
 


#3
:welcome:

Is the check engine light on? It does sound to me like it could be the ignition switch. Grab a multimeter and check the voltage at the starter solenoid when trying to crank. If you get voltage but the car still doesn't start, it's likely not it. Alternatively you can jump 12V to the starter bolt and bypass the ignition switch. If it starts then -- ignition switch is likely bad.

You can also test the ignition switch:
http://my.prostreetonline.com/2015/10/26/how-to-test-a-honda-civic-ignition-switch/
XpL0d3r,
Thanks for the reply.
No check engine light.
The engine cranks just fine. There is no spark at the plugs, so that's my main concern at this point.
Having dug into the archives of my brain, lol, I tested the coil and igniter and have determined the coil is bad.
Probably due to the issue with the old distributor cap.
But the intermittent issue with the key cylinder will be addressed as well at some later date.
Focus right now is to get it running. =)

Thanks for the link to the ignition switch troubleshooting guide. That's going to help immensely.

- Mike
 

ctag

fill it with wires!
Registered VIP
5+ Year Member
#4
and have determined the coil is bad.
Ugh, the Civic ignition coil strikes again! That's happened twice to my car, but always after parking overnight. I wouldn't have imagined it crapping out while the car is running :???:
 


#5
Ugh, the Civic ignition coil strikes again! That's happened twice to my car, but always after parking overnight. I wouldn't have imagined it crapping out while the car is running :???:
I'm only guessing, but since the carbon center post disintegrated in the distributor cap, the coil may have "overloaded" and crapped out.
Still haven't gotten to replace it yet. But I'll definitely let y'all know the outcome.
 




VigLink badge