99 honda civic cranks won't start

Asked by Aug 24, 2016 at 04:44 PM about the 1999 Honda Civic LX

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Our 99 Honda Civic 4 door sedan (200,000 miles)
just quit running while pulling out of a parking lot.
Almost as if it had run out of gas (plenty of gas).
There was NO warning of any kind that there was a
problem. It had been running fine as we ran
errands, sat idling for 10 or so mins (not long) at
the store before we got on our way. It just suddenly
putt putted & died, as we were pulling inot the
street from the lot exit. We were at a stop,
accelerated to pull into the street & it just acted
like it had run out of gas & died. All lights working
fine, it cranks well but just won't start - hasn't since
it died. Now (a week later) it still cranks, tries to
start & still wont. Had it towed home &
neighbor/mechanic friend checked: fuel pump,
main relay, fuses, spark plugs (car IS getting
spark), filters, distributor = all check out as fine.
The battery doesn't hold (never did) a charge that
well (we cant leave the dome light on too long) but
its still works fine & has never caused trouble more
than needing a jump once. Our neighbor also
charged it for us.We've had the car for about 14
mos. I know about the ignition switch recall &
wonder if thats the culprit - altho this has never
happened before & will check to see if previous
owners had it replaced. Still cranks just fine just
won't turn over. No lights show a problem on the
dash but they all work fine. So - could it BE the
ignition switch? Could it be the TIMING? The darn
thing wants to start but just won't complete it. It is
HOT here now but I don't know that has anything to
do with it. We are trying to eliminate what it ISN'T  
as much as possible (without dropping $$ into the
car AIMLESSLY) because what the actual problem
IS, isn't clear at all! Any help, advise, or ideas would
be appreciated.

10 Answers

1,345

the chances are the automobile has come to the end of it natural life. this could be a range of problems but I would bet my last cent that its electrical, plug your automobile into a diagnostics machine and any error codes found will prove its electrical, a specialist should charge around $50 for the diagnostics,

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thanks but upon scanning no error codes come up.

17,820

Yep check the timing with that many miles on it unless you just recently had the timing belt done.

Thanks firebird338, we checked it yesterday & the belt is perfect. So we'very eliminated the timing, the fuel pump, distributor, fuses, relay & spark plugs so we are getting a spark & no error codes appear. We still don't know if it's the ignition switch or whether it was replaced by a previous owner. If it's not that (how do I check that?) I guess we will have to tow it to a shop. I can't just give it up as dead forever. Any more suggestions from anyone out there? Thanks!

17,820

Did you try spraying some starting fluid into throttle to see if vehicle starts for a few seconds if it does will let you know it is not getting fuel.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thanks firebird338 - I will mention it to our mechanic neighbor & get him to check that. Much appreciated!

We finally took it to a Honda specialist - turns out it needed 1 new ignition coil & new spark plugs - total cost, parts & labor = $219. Thanks all

1,125

97-99 civic's have this problem with the coil and it is very common. When I worked for Honda I replaced what seemed like a hundred of these. Glad you got it fixed.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Now the damn radio needs a code - since it's a 99 apparently I need to take the radio out to find the stereo serial # - I am at least 3rd owner so don't have the card with the # or code. Any way around this?

1,125

No no there is no way around it unfortunately you have to take the radio out get the serial number and model number and take that to the dealership and they can retrieve your code. This is the only part on a Honda that is the biggest pain in the butt. I would write the code down and leave it in your glove box

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

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