Loaned my 1990 Honda to my son and it wasn't a matter of an hour or so
and I received a phone call announcing it had died. Frustrating
considering it had run fine for 240,000 miles until he took it. Oh
well.... Towed it home and checked for spark and found none as expected
based on his description of how it died. Got out the Haynes manual and
did the diagnostic checks in Chapter 5.8. After disconnecting the wires
to the ignitor, I turned on the ignition switch and measured voltage at
the black/yellow and white/blue wires. Haynes said their should be
battery voltage at both wires. The black/yellow wire was OK, but the
white/blue wire had none. I was then instructed to "check the circuit
between the corresponding wire ad the igition coil." It became
confusing at that point because it appears the wire does not directly
go to the coil. Reading this discussion thread, I am lead to believe
the problem is the ignitor or coil. The ignitor makes sense considering
the recall Honda had on the part. I don't want to spend the money if I
can't troubleshoot the problem properly. The Haynes manual is sketchy.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
If this happened all of a sudden, then it's more likely the igniter rather
than the coil. The coil tends to fail slowly. With a dying coil, the car
starts to display bad running symptoms after it is warmed up. Then the car
will die at idle at stoplights or while cruising. Wait an hour, and with a
dying coil, it will start up again.
With a dying igniter, the car tends not to start again, no way no how.
How old are the igniter and coil, anyway?
www.autozone.com has a complete Chilton's manual for this Civic. It has a
resistance check one can do on the coil. But ISTM the Haynes manual should
have this check, too. The autozone manual's check on the igniter there isn't
quite the same as the one you describe. I'd try it.
See also http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq/faq.html , igniter and coil sections
It has some tests that are different but many here endorse.
Lastly, if it is the coil, there is an argument to be made that it's
malfunction will tend to foul up the igniter, as well. If both are very
old, I would strongly consider replacing both.
Use only an OEM igniter and OEM coil, whatever you do. www.slhonda.com and
www.hondaautomotiveparts.com have great prices.
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