04 Honda Civic Starts Hard After Head Gasket Job

90

Asked by Jan 14, 2017 at 03:48 PM about the 2004 Honda Civic EX

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Hello, I have a 04 honda civic 1.7 auto with about 240k miles on it. The car had a bad head gasket. I do all my own repair work and I am very mechanical. The car has always started right up every time and ran great. I just did a head gasket job on the car, new timing belt and everything that goes along with it. I resurfaced the head and put it all back together by the manual. New spark plugs. Now that the car is back together it has been hard to start. It cranks for like 5-10 seconds before it starts. Sometimes it starts right up, but usually cranks alot before starting. I also put a new cam and crank sensor in because I thought that maybe that was causing the issue. The hard starting is the same before and after the new cam and crank sensor. It never did this before I did the head gasket job. I have checked 3 times to make sure all the timing marks are lined up. And once the car starts, it runs perfectly. I have put probably 100 miles on the car since I did the head gasket job. I got a check engine light on after about 50 miles for egr valve flow issue which I didnt have before, but its the original egr valve at 240k miles so could be getting stuck. I dont think that would cause this. I cleared the code and hasnt come back yet. No issues running at all just the hard starting. Now today I went to get gas. It started hard this morning and then after I got gas I couldn't get it started. Had to have it towed back to my house. I tried after it cooled down and still wont start. It just cranks.
Any thoughts on what might be going on?
Thanks for your help
Jon

6 Answers

74,715

Possible fuel issue. If it still don't start for you try squirting some starting fluid in and see if she fires right up. May have a fuel pump or regulator, or injector problem. Check fuel pressure.

I wouldn't resurfaced the head, I would have just replace the head, high mileage. After that mileage the head tends to get weaker if you resurfaced even you did like a pro, still would cause some problems like the one you have right now, because when resurfacing you are removing material from the head to make even surface that would affect timing, pistons, rings, etc.

79,695

Did you install the cam chain/belt one tooth off?

74,715

Resurfacing a head is what is recommended if it is not cracked. I never had, or heard of anyone having a problem after resurfacing a head.

74,715

He said he knows he got the timing correct. He checked it three times before putting it back together.

90

Thank you all for writing back and responses. I will check the fuel tomorrow and try some starting fluid. As for re surfacing the head, I barely took alot off at all. The head was in pretty good shape. If i took 5 thousands off it was alot. I had a large flat piece of granite with 320 grit sand paper that i used to clean and re surface the head. Once all the low spots were cut out, it was good to go and it did not take much at all. The timing is not off i know because i checked it man times and when it did run, it ran perfect with no check engine lights other than that one for the egr valve. its just weird that it happened when I did this job. The first time i went to start it after the job it didn't start for awhile i knew something was up.

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