1990 Honda Civic LX Will not even turn over


Asked by Apr 11, 2012 at 06:34 PM about the 1990 Honda Civic LX

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

It ill not turn over. We have replaced the starter, we replaced the ignition switch, we have had the alternator tested and it was good! We have replaced the battery. The starter clicks when you turn the key but that is all.

Here is the mystery ... it has been doing this for weeks and my husband has been troubleshooting everything. Yesterday we removed the alternator to bring it in to be tested, it tested fine ... my husband put it all back together and it started right up. He let it run a bit and then when he shut it off it would not even turn over again. It clicks but that is all! Even when we try to jump it!

He has tested all fuses, the main relay and everything that we can think of. We are now at a loss, ANY THOUGHTS????

19 Answers


its probably dead id replace the car

1 people found this helpful.

Spark Plugs?

1 people found this helpful.

maybe they r not getting a spark

1 people found this helpful.

try jump starting the car. my mother inlaw had a similar issue with her hyundai it ended up being a bad battery. so have the battery load tested


whoops just re-read what you wrote lol... so the starter solenoid is good?


almost guarantee that it is a bad ground look at the ground that goes to the bottom right of your valve cover and then look off to the left and see there should be a big ground wire above the tranny and make sure that those are good and you should have no problem. if the starter is clicking that means that it can get some electricity to the starter but you need a better ground or that the battery is dead

3 people found this helpful.
Best Answer Mark helpful

We brought the starter solenoid in and had it tested and it tested good!


ok but check the grounds im sure that is what it is


My husband is laying on it right now because he is so exasperated with this vehicle ... and he is finding it to be quite good!!! But seriously ... it is dark tonight but my husband will be checking them in the morning!


distributor? maybe not sure


Agree sounds like a grounding issue. Could also be a positive or negative cable issue.


IT STARTED! IT STARTED!!!!!! He redid all the grounds and fiddled with a bunch of stuff, fixed some connectors and it started! Thanks so much for your ideas!


Hay, I guess this is a really old post I could really get some help around here. It turns out that I am having the exact same issue. I have a limited Edition 1991 Honda Civic EX. The starter clicks but doesn't turn. The alternator is working fine even the starter and all other electronics. If I connect both positive and negatives on the starter, the alternator comes to life, but it doesn't spin when I turn the ignition. I have fiddled with the ground terminal on the battery. But it is just too unpredictable. It works 50% of the time, while the other 50%, its just a click. and that's it. Can any one guide me on this as this is getting totally frustrating.

1 people found this helpful.

SUBMIT THIS MORE AS A QUESTION PLEASE..... I have a 1990 Honda civic lx sedan 5 speed sedan 1.5l sohc dual port fi 16v 4cyl d15b series have New motor trans radiator fuel pump and assembly axles brakes distributor heads cam gear short ram intake relays ecu plus wires battery and terminals alternator port polished blueprinted balance shaved n honed many more New parts but starter bolt frozen solide used special sockets won't come loose but also had shut off at gas station had it towed home plus after mods to engine red limiter restriction 3200rpm @ 75mph help as for clicking and starter test checks out try main relay under dash lower driver side kick panel or fuel pump relay both available at local auto parts store but cheaper online


Can post part numbers tomorrow if needed but AutoZone o reillys has photos and part numbers also crank position sensor turned out to be my red line rev limiter issue but as for removing this fkn bolt pissed me off so much I whacked off the solenoid upper bolt removed lower bolt stripped and won't effen budge that lol motha f er won't fkn come loose I used stripped bolt sockets no dice please help I don't wanna torch the bolt


This is for anyone having grounding issues the factory grounds are ok but to get the best possible ground is a grounding kit ....right well those can be expensive on a budget build so here is my quick and easy tip first any local auto parts store has a section of grounding wires purchase three lawn mower pre terminal grounding wires attach them to three areas one body to valve cover driver side second starter to battery terminal third body to rear of valve cover behind distributor complete but summit racing and jegs has cheap stainless braided ground straps for about five bucks each that was my additional grounding upgrade helps with audio media also stronger signals with am fm lol hahaha


This screams of a bad ground wire. Id almost bet my right arm on it.

1 people found this helpful.

Basic electric always the 1st to check I have had that problem so start here even if its what you already done because something may have been over looked spark plugs wires distributor coil pack ignite fuses including in the engine bay fuse panel alternator starter ground wires and positive wires including auxiliary leads that attach to the positive starter cable battery and relays check switches also clutch switches if manual shift neutral back up switch if automatic brake switches because if any sensor or switch is bad this can be something shorting out the charging system by draining power in some sort of way check all connections especially to the on board ecu electronic computer unit one last thing or 2 if an aftermarket alarm system is installed and malfunctioning it may also be something over looked as well as lose connection or faulty ignition switch before replacing anything do a detailed inspection of all these items use electrical cleaner where needed because a dirty plug connector can cause a bad connection then make a lists of good and bad items found if narrowed 1 or more items and purchase what is needed from the cheapest to the most expensive and most important priority part needed replacing always keep a realistic budget because buying car parts can break your bank when just going wild and buying parts not needed.


My answer posted up above for anyone with these issues hopefully it helps thank you and keep it running yall lol

Your Answer


Looking for a Used Civic in your area?

CarGurus has 52,335 nationwide Civic listings starting at $1,200.


Honda Civic Experts

  • #1
    Tom Demyan
  • #2
    Takoda Fraser
  • #3
    Jonathan Ford
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Honda Accord
428 Great Deals out of 101,606 listings starting at $1,200
Used Toyota Corolla
554 Great Deals out of 66,959 listings starting at $900
Used Toyota Camry
789 Great Deals out of 70,436 listings starting at $1,000
Used Honda Accord Coupe
98 Great Deals out of 4,055 listings starting at $1,495
Used Ford Mustang
251 Great Deals out of 36,714 listings starting at $2,500
Used Hyundai Sonata
359 Great Deals out of 49,228 listings starting at $1,250

Used Cars For Sale

2018 Honda Civic LX For Sale
12,525 listings starting at $16,491
2017 Honda Civic LX For Sale
11 Great Deals out of 1,069 listings starting at $14,426
2016 Honda Civic LX For Sale
11 Great Deals out of 1,217 listings starting at $10,991
2015 Honda Civic LX For Sale
69 Great Deals out of 4,411 listings starting at $8,950
2014 Honda Civic LX For Sale
10 Great Deals out of 892 listings starting at $7,000

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.