1990 EF Coil Not Firing


Asked by Jun 11, 2016 at 05:31 PM about the 1990 Honda Civic Hatchback

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I've got a 1990 Honda Civic EF Hatch (Either
DX or base model, don't know the difference
really) D15B1 motor and stock 4 Speed manual
transmission. My timing belt ripped and
fortunately caused no problems to the motor.
After replacing and retiming, I tried to start
it. I cranked it over and over for about 10
minutes or so and it wouldn't start. There
were a few times when it almost started or
started for a few seconds then stalled. I
assmed it was because the car hadn't been
running for about a month. But eventually it
did start and so I called it a day. Two days
later I drove it to my nearest Wal-Mart (5-10
minutes away) and while leaving the parking
lot it stalled and had some trouble starting
again. So I continued on my way to school
(another 5-10 minutes) and if it hit low RPMs
the CEL would come on as the car died like it
would if the car was off. So I would put the
pedal to the metal until my rpms slowly rose.
Finally right outside of school it died and
wouldn't start again. I discovered I wasn't
getting spark and a friend who is also a
mechanic double checked the timing, tested
the plugs for spark, put a plug wire next to
the coil itself to see if that was sparking, and
concluded that the coil wasn't firing. Mind
you the coil, rotor, cap, and ICM were brand
new. So I bought a new ICM cause that had
been my problem when first buying the car,
then bought a new PGM-FI Main Relay, and
eventually replaced the whole distributor.
Checked all the grounds I can think of unless
anyone has a diagram for specific grounds
that would cause my problem. Double checked
ECU fuse and it appears fine even put in a
new one to double check. I've run out of
ideas and money. CEL stays on but I assumed
it's because the car isn't on. ECU does not
flash code, even put a different ECU in to be
sure. Please help. I bought this car 6 months
ago, got it running 2-3 months later and it
ran for 1 and the cycle has started again.

3 Answers


Timings wrong! Have it read for codes, even if the check engine light is NOT on the computer will have stored information and codes. Discount auto stores will read codes for no fee. write them down.

Best Answer

My ECU has the LED to flash code and neither ECUs were flashing. The rotor in the distributor turns also but if you're positive I'll ask to have it retimed again.


If the vehicle has a computer Doesn't matter what manufacture it is...IT can be read! I've timed engines incorrectly myself, so I say always consider..everything... MY, or your own work, at least double if not triple check timing belts rotate then engine through a few times by hand look again and surprise! NOT lined up correctly? your mechanic friend might have read / checked incorrectly. Regards

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