Even with the bolster out, in the 94 civic there are other parts that
prevent me from using my normal wrench. The main relay (I assume this is it,
looks like the pictures on the page above) is to the left of the fusebox,
wedged up against the left above the hood latch in a tight spot.
There is a trick to it; Don't try to unbolt the relay. Rather, pull the
guts out of it while the housing is still in place. Then you can
resolder and re-install, or you can put the guts from a new replacement
relay into the old housing.
A very modest collection of Honda tech info can be found at:
(I don't know how technical you are - please pardon anything here
that's blatantly obvious to you.)
Have you checked for moisture in the distributor cap? That's the
classic rainy-day ignition problem. (It's even been immortalized in
song, by Ed's Redeeming Qualities: "And if your car won't start in
the rain / New distributor cap".) Easy to check - label the plug
wires (so you can be sure to put them back correctly!) and disconnect
them from the distributor, remove the cap, and wipe the inside with a
tissue or something similar to see if there's moisture inside. Cheap
to fix, if it's just the cap - you can get a replacement cap and
rotor for many cars from places like Carquest for under $20. (I don't
know how much a '94 Civic's is, but it doesn't seem like something
that'd be unusually expensive.)
My '93 Civic EX (manual) had that problem, and also occasional
stalling. Initially thought it was the alternator because when the
car would start, alternator output often would be fine initially but
Turned out that the ignition switch was bad, and some of the contacts
were failing intermittently. Moisture seemed to aggravate the
problem. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to diagnose this one
myself - it was my shop that finally tracked it down, after I'd
looked at the alternator and various other things - so I'm not sure
what the best way to test for it would be. If removing the switch
isn't difficult, I'd probably try checking it with an ohm meter for
a reliable connection between the appropriate points at the various
Michael Wojcik firstname.lastname@example.org
Is it any wonder the world's gone insane, with information come to be
The problem is fixed. After finding the ignition coil was bad, but after
having subjected the rotor and assembly to lots of abuse removing the seized
rotor screw, I decided to replace the entire distributor.
Against some people's advice, I've purchased a $185 non-OEM distributor
(plus new cap and rotor) at the AutoZone down the street. I made this
cost/convenience decision based on my short time horizon for this car and
low mileage. The new distrbutor fixed the problem. If it fails in the future
I will send an update.
Thanks again to everyone for all the feedback.
Yes, it included both a coil and ignitor, and has a lifetime guarantee. It
did not include a rotor or cap.
I should also put a good word in for AutoZone. Those guys were a big help
getting the seized rotor screw out.
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