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Go Back   REVscene Automotive Forum > Technical Discussion > Maintenance, Engine & Driveline Tech

Maintenance, Engine & Driveline Tech This forum is brought to you by The Speed Syndicate (TSS) in Burnaby.
Discussion of maintaining your engine, transmission, differentails, rear ends, and mods associated with "driveline" parts..

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Old 05-04-2012, 11:06 PM   #1
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Need help: EG won't start

The car has been working at starting perfectly fine, until suddenly one day I was sitting in the car waiting for someone. I had the key in the ignition but the engine off, and the radio was on for around 15 minutes before I realized it and took the key out of the ignition. I started playing around with the gears, putting it in first, second, third, etcetc with clutch and without the clutch in. When I tried to start the car after that it wouldn't start, and the radio would not turn on. I thought it was the battery issue, so I had a couple of friends come and try to help me jump start the car with cables but that didn't work. The only way I got it started that day was with someone pushing the car and then putting it into first and starting the engine while the car was rolling. I drove it home from Richmond to Burnaby, and it started easily after that time.

Two days later, I shut the car off again while waiting for someone and made sure to take the keys out of the ignition to not drain the battery. I started shifting it from 1st to 3rd again playing around, and then when I tried to start the car again right after doing that (the car had only been off for a minute or so), it wouldn't start again. Exact same as last time, and I had to start it the exact same way by getting someone to push it, putting it into first and starting the engine with the car rolling. I drove it the 20 minute drive home but when I got home, it still wouldn't start up.

This is what happens everytime when I try to start the car (this is the exact same as the first time this happened):
Key in the ignition, clutch in, when I turn it I hear one single click but no cranking whatsoever.

I heard that if it's the battery that's at fault, then if you turn on a dome light and try to start the car the dome light will dim. My light dims very slightly, but it also dims that slightly when I start the car normally (when everything was fine). The radio turns on fine, and the battery is only a few years old.

Recently I have heard squeaking right when I start the car for a few seconds (I assume it's one of the belts?) and then it dies off and is quiet again. Just today though when I put it into first or second, the squeaking comes back as I let go of the clutch for a few seconds. Only in first and second gear though. I'm not sure if this has anything to do with the car not starting.

All help is appreciated! Does anyone know or have an idea of what's wrong with the car? It's a completely stock 1993 civic si hatch with a d16z6 if it helps..
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Old 05-05-2012, 06:23 AM   #2
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Dying battery?
93 civic's use a smaller battery and I find they only last around 4 years. YMMV.

Take the battery to a shop and have them test it.
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:02 AM   #3
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Thanks, I'll check up on that today. The battery's almost 2 years old, and it's motomaster iirc. It's still under warranty so hopefully that'll be an easy fix, I hope that's what's causing it
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:12 AM   #4
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Negative, if you hear a click but nothing happens, its either your battery terminals are corroded and need cleaning, your your grounds are corroded and need cleaning. Id put money on your grounds
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Old 05-05-2012, 09:28 AM   #5
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I can't tell from your description, but what do the lights on the dash look like?
I assume the motor isn't turning over. How old is the starter?

Squeaky belt should not affect the car's starting.
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:40 AM   #6
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1.Disconnect the battery and check the voltage. If it's over 12V (should be 12.6V), it should have enough to start the car.

2.Check that the wires are clean, secured to the clamp and not broken. Also make sure their connection to the body, engine and starter are good.

3.Make sure the clamps are in good condition, not cracked and can be tightened securely to the battery (sometimes the crack or stretch)

4.If the wires and battery are good, I'd test that the solenoid is getting power when you're trying to crank.

5.If that's good, I'd pull the starter and bench test it.


edit: If it's clicking, then the IGN switch and wiring to the solenoid are probably good. After 1-3, I'd pull the started and test it.


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Old 05-06-2012, 10:22 PM   #7
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So I put a battery from my other 09 civic in there which is surprisingly a lot smaller than the battery in my EG.. and it wouldn't start :/ Looked exactly the same, all dash lights are fine and do not dim or anything when trying to start the car. The clamps are in good condition, and so are the wires. I found a wire grounding it and it seems to be in pretty rough condition, there isn't rubber around the ends and the wire is exposed about a cm or so on both sides of the wire. I took the bolt off and the edges (like 0.1mm of the edge) has a tiny bit of rust on it, as for the exposed wire I'm not sure if it's supposed to look like what it does now but it looks pretty old and seems to be.. blue?

I had someone push it and started it today, drove it for a bit over an hour but when I got home it still wouldn't start Unlike the first time it happened
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:49 PM   #8
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Sounds like your starter is toast.
To test this, look for the starter and try hitting it with a hammer or something heavy.
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:00 PM   #9
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I'm guessing it's the wire that goes from the valve cover to the rad support? (you didn't say where). If you think it's an issue, just use a jumper cable (neg. terminal to anything on the engine).

It's starting to sound like the starter's pooched. I'd bypass the solenoid and put 12v right to the motor. Or like I wrote earlier, just pull the starter and bench test it.
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:10 PM   #10
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I know close to nothing about cars mechanically :s Looking it up on google... seems like a pretty simple task to replace it if I can find it. Pretty much just disconnect the battery, find the starter, unbolt and disconnect the wiring then reconnect and bolt in the new one? I looked on a few sites and have also read that hitting it with a hammer will test if it's dead or not, though I have no idea how that works O_O Will be trying that tomorrow... hopefully I don't wack the wrong thing in the engine bay lol. Thanks for all the help so far!

I'm not too sure how to bypass anything, I'll try looking that up as well. Is that method also testing the starter, or is that testing to see if something else is the issue?
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:31 PM   #11
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lol...it's so funny how scared this guy is:


You can actually do it still mounted to the car, without the extra wire.

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Old 05-07-2012, 01:58 AM   #12
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! I will be trying this soon Thanks a lot for that video, hopefully the last one will fix my problem without having to shell out another bill or two for another starter
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:05 AM   #13
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I'm at work right now and can't see youtube so I'm not sure what Flip's video's are saying, but the starter should be very easy to pull out. Just remember that they are pretty heavy so when you go to pull it out, keep that in mind.
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:39 PM   #14
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I found the starter today and tried wacking it a few times with a hammer but nothing happened The space there is very limited since I didnt want to take anything out this morning, I movd a few tubes around and had a bit of room to give it a couple light-medium taps. I guess next thing to do would be to take it out and test it by connecting it straight to the battery?

Thank you very much sumaznguy, good to know I'll keep that in mind

Another question: If I were to buy a new starter, should I buy one brand new or would it be okay to buy a used one? I see one for sale on craigslist that's been used for approx. 115k km I believe, going for around $100. I'm looking to save money and don't plan on driving this car for more than another 10,000 or 20,000km, but I do want it to be reliable during those kms. Would the starter from a 1.5L 1993 civic engine fit my 1.6L engine?

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Old 05-07-2012, 07:39 PM   #15
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According to Honda's parts list, the Denso starter in your 93 SI is also the same as one from a 1.5L motor with a 5sp manual transmission.

But I think $100 is a little too much to pay for a used starter.
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:18 AM   #16
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There's 2 wires going into the starter.

-1 thin one (from ign switch) and 1 thick one (from batt)

-put the car in neutral, with the ebrake up
-disconnect the thin wire and put it aside
-take a short peice of wire (3") and bend it into a "U"
-bridge it between the two terminals
-----it WILL spark, don't worry
-----if it just clicks but the starter doesn't turn, the starter motor is toast

My offer stands, even if you want to DIY. Come on over, you can use my tools and I'll show you how to test it and how everything's supposed to work. If it needs replacement and you don't want a used one, Lordco is 10 minutes away and I can walk you through re/re.

Oh and I also have the tap and die set you were looking for and a short shifter for your car that I decided not to use (red, bnib, cheap).
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Old 05-28-2012, 02:34 AM   #17
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hey man, i'm betting 99.9% on the starter. I had an EF civic, it would randomly just not want to start..... like your situation.
I would roll the car and it would start.
It just kept getting worse and worse I had it looked at and they said it was my starter, and it didn't even cost to much to fix it with a brand new one.
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:48 AM   #18
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I'm inclined to believe its a bad starter. $100 is way to much for a used one with that kind of mileage. I get fresh rebuilds for not much more then that.
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:13 AM   #19
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I replaced his starter already.

Old one had a lot of resistance in the wiring and some parts of the armature were shorting. Solenoid was also intermitant. Took it apart to inspect after replacing.
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