91 civic quit

Car is basic civic. California 1300 fuel injected. No frills Ran fine yesterday today quit dead in the road. Low miles no oil leaks, solid motor. Has fresh gas
Seems to have weak spark I have a factory manual for an 87 version of the same car so I have been reading that. There are so many things it could be. I don't want to just keep trying parts. Any help would be excellent. I can't afford to miss work Thanks
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How old are the distributor igniter and the distributor coil?
Same question for the plugs, ignition wires, distributor cap and rotor.
It's very common for Civics of this vintage to have a distributor problem (or problem a bit downstream or upstream of it the distributor) of some kind. Freshen up all these parts, and everything often goes back to normal.
Also, how old are the air filter and fuel filter?
There's an online manual for 91 Civics under the free repair guides at www.autozone.com .
www.tegger.com/hondafaq has a section on no start conditions that might be helpful.
Elle Original owner, 1991 Civic, 172k miles and running well.

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Thanks to all who responded so fast. The FAQ site is terrific. I'll let you know what I find out in the next dayor two. Merry Xmas to all Dan
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It appears that there is a small screw that holds the rotor to the distributor shaft and it some worked itselfout and when I took of the cap it disappeared. I hope its that simple
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Careful. I would call this a known problem with circa 1990 Hondas. The threads for this screw, and in the distributor shaft, are likely stripped. The screw is likely to keep working itself free. Carry tools to re-attach it in the back of your car. You can try Loc-tite but my recollection is this won't be enough.
This happened on my 91 Civic in 2002. The screw kept coming loose over roughly a year long period. The dealer wasn't clear about what was happening, hence it went on longer than it should.
Ultimately, on the advice of another here who had had this happen, I drilled a hole through rotor and shaft and used a cotter pin. That worked fine. Post if you want more info on this fix.
The alternative is to buy a new distributor housing, which of course will have a new shaft. Probably a good idea to replace the housing at least once in the life of the car, since bearings, wire harnesses, etc. wear. I bought a new housing in 2003.

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Elle wrote:

You're talking about Vibratite, not just plain Locktite, right? There's a big difference between the two when it comes to dealing with shock and vibe.
You may want to see if you can get away with a slightly longer machine screw; every thread turn helps.
Remco
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You are all very sharp The threads didn't seem to be stripped but I understand. I used a slightly too long screw that would dig into the soft metal part of the rotor. Car runs great and I drove for about an hour. I will carry some tools that I know at least will get me home should it happen again. Thanx so much ya'll. I regained some of my faith in the kindness of strangers Happy Holidays
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No idea. I defer to your experience and what's written on the package labels for each.

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Elle wrote:

found that Vibratite is the stuff to use to make sure machine screws don't walk out. Here's a link describing the stuff: http://www.rmoreau.com/ProductCategoryItemResults.asp?prodName=Vibratite%20Threadsealing%20Compound
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On Thu, 8 Dec 2005 09:10:30 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (daniel peterman) wrote:

Had that happen to me too, i was in the middle of overtaking a truck+camper trailer when it suddenly died. I just retapped the whole for a slightly bigger screw, and used loctite to hold it in (can't remmeber which loctite though, was part of a big grab bag of small tubes a rep gave me years ago, all empty and thrown out now) Been running fine ever since.
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (daniel peterman) wrote in

does the motor sound different when cranking it? Like a faster "whirr" than the normal slower cranking? If so,it could be a broken timing belt.
My Civic CVCC died suddenly that way. Just died as if I switched the ignition off. Fortunately,it was not a "no-clearance" valve train where the pistons damage the valves.
Then there's fuel supply problems like the infamous "main relay" that is easily fixed by resoldering it's PCB. Then there's ignition problems like the "ignitor" or ignition coil failures.
www.tegger.com is a good site to check,lots of good info.
And a Haynes manual only costs about $20.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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Jim Yanik wrote:

The belt might have skipped a tooth, but could not have broken if he's getting spark.
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daniel peterman wrote:

Go to www.tegger.com and go to the no start condition. Here are some questions to get us in the ball park:
You've indeed tested for spark, I take it? I ask because, If you're just assuming weak spark, we're just guessing and you'll get suggestions with a dozen things to replace. How do you know it is weak? (if weak, check wires, cap, rotor or coil)
Are you getting gas? Measure across the fuel tank with a voltmeter. You should see 12V appear and then disappear (maybe 1 sec) when you turn the key to 'on'. You should see 12V with the car starting. If not, check the supply voltage to the main relay. (could be your main relay or ignition switch)
Remco
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daniel peterman wrote:

The '87 Civic is a very different animal than the '91 Civic. It would be best to get a manual for the correct model and year. http://www.helminc.com sells factory service manuals. They're a bit on the expensive side but are an excellent source of information (one thing to note though is that they're written for the professional tech with the expectation that you already know how to work on your car).
Eric
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