1998 Honda Civic DX - will not start


Asked by Feb 23, 2012 at 08:23 PM about the 1998 Honda Civic DX

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

The car turns over when trying to start it but does not start.  Spark plugs look good, distributor looks good, what could it be?

10 Answers


It's either fuel or spark, OR BOTH! Get an assistant. Remove ONE of the spark plug wires off one of the plugs. Insert a STAR screwdriver into the wire end. Holding the insulated handle near the BOLT that holds the valve cover on, ask your helper to turn the key... A spark should jump from the screwdriver to the metal bolt. If not, you have a spark failure which could be coil, wires or something more serious. Do you smell fuel while cranking the engine? Can you HEAR the fuel pump turn on when the KEY is turned to the RUN position?

12 of 12 people found this helpful.

or a safer way is to buy a spark plug tester at the auto store...

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

and it wont spark unless the body of the spark plug is grounded.. get your buddy to crank the car over sometimes the fuel pump wont work but it will make a racket like it is, go to the exhaust and smell if there is gas coming out if not there is a fuel problem if you can then fuel system is all good. What i bet your problem is your coil in your distributor or possibly your ignitor module those are what do it the most if the fuel system is ok

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Ok - I pulled the boot out and attached the spark plug into the boot then had the assistant turn the car over there was no spark - it sounds from the above that I need to have it grounded too? There was gas smell on the tip of the spark plug and I can hear the fuel pump turn on just before I start it.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I did replace all the spark plugs just to be sure it was not a spark plug issue.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

yea it is most likely your coil but while your doing it might aswell do your rotor and cap mean while being that they are about 6 or 7 bucks new from a parts store and your car will run better

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
Best Answer

Thank You all - it was the ignition Coil. I replaced it and it took a few cranks but runs great now. I had recently replaced the cap and rotor so good to go there.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

where is the ign. coil

11 of 11 people found this helpful.

replaced cap rotor and wires. then a few days latter it would not start and i smelled what seamed like gas

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

What if fire is good and your getting good fuel

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions


Looking for a Used Civic in your area?

CarGurus has 88,604 nationwide Civic listings starting at $995.


Search Honda Civic Questions

Honda Civic Experts

#1 Tom Demyan
Tom Demyan
Reputation 980
#1 Jonathan Ford
Jonathan Ford
Reputation 980
#3 Takoda Fraser
Takoda Fraser
Reputation 970
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Honda Accord
812 Great Deals out of 84,287 listings starting at $1,050
Used Honda Civic Coupe
187 Great Deals out of 16,851 listings starting at $800
Used Toyota Corolla
785 Great Deals out of 73,830 listings starting at $1,995
Used Toyota Camry
1,002 Great Deals out of 90,919 listings starting at $650
Used Honda CR-V
894 Great Deals out of 61,171 listings starting at $988
Used Nissan Altima
1,030 Great Deals out of 81,564 listings starting at $1,200
Used Hyundai Elantra
571 Great Deals out of 52,575 listings starting at $1,499
Used Honda Accord Coupe
178 Great Deals out of 10,520 listings starting at $1,995
Used Ford Focus
539 Great Deals out of 57,171 listings starting at $1,095
Used Ford Mustang
470 Great Deals out of 45,735 listings starting at $1,999
Used Nissan Sentra
480 Great Deals out of 54,266 listings starting at $900
Used BMW 3 Series
972 Great Deals out of 31,729 listings starting at $1,000
Used Volkswagen Jetta
447 Great Deals out of 40,941 listings starting at $950

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Honda Civic For Sale
63,757 listings starting at $16,684
2016 Honda Civic For Sale
64 Great Deals out of 3,213 listings starting at $13,888
2015 Honda Civic For Sale
98 Great Deals out of 3,468 listings starting at $9,981
2014 Honda Civic For Sale
205 Great Deals out of 6,464 listings starting at $8,000
2013 Honda Civic For Sale
82 Great Deals out of 2,668 listings starting at $6,995

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.