1999 civic lx. Long story short, I wanted to adjust the timing, since I was
hearing some pinging. After jumping the service connector, which gave me t
he check engine light and eventually a blinking check engine light, I did t
he adjustment and removed the jumper.
The engine light stopped blinking but didn't turn off. I stopped and restar
ted the engine a couple times. Still the light is on. I took it for a drive
. And still the light is on.
Any ideas what could be wrong?
Do you have an OBD-II scan tool? If so, check that for the codes.
If you do not have a scan tool, pull the Backup fuse in the undehood fuse
box for 10 econds, then put it in again. See if the light comes back on.
WARNING: This procedure will lock the radio, and you'll need to re-enter
the security code to get it working again!!!
except for after a distributor replacement, you should never have to
adjust the timing on a 1999, The light is probably on because the ECM
can't control the timing where it wants to since you moved the distributor.
it needs to be set when the distributor is installed, not periodically
adjusted like a car from the 1970's. The PCM/ECU switches the Ignition
From "Description and Operation, Ignition Timing Control"
- The ECM/PCM contains memories for basic ignition timing at various
engine speeds and manifold air flow rates. Ignition timing is also
adjusted for engine coolant temperature.
- A knock control system was adopted which sets the ideal ignition
timing for the octane rating of the gasoline used."
I presume that even the 1999 "distributor" is all electronic and
doesn't have mechanical points, but then what do you have when you
"don't have a distributor", it no longer needs a mechanical gear
linkage to the engine? I mean, it's STILL a distributor even if it
gets electronic timing signals?
A Honda distributor of ANY kind is ALWAYS adjusted by hand, using a timing
Distributorless systems have the crank position sensor (CKP) attached to
the crankshaft's nose, where adjustment is neither possible nor provided
for. Provided the CKP is not damaged or dislodged during servicing, the ECM
assumes the CKP is returning a valid and accurate signal, and makes its
adjustments from there.
The reasoning behind a distributorless system is that the possibility of
misadjustment by the owner or other servicing personnel is just about non-
existent; it is thus more likely that mandated emissions levels will not be
Sorry, but the '99 Civic's ignition timing IS controlled by distributor
You're referring to the CKF sensor, or Crankshaft Speed Fluctuation sensor.
The CKF sensor is used to fine-tune fuel delivery and for misfire codes; it
has nothing to do with ignition timing.
All true, BUT...
All of the above depends on the BASE TIMING being set correctly, because
all the ECU/ECM/PCM's subsequent adjustments are relative to the BASE
TIMING. "Base timing" is NOT the same as "basic timing".
The crank position sensor (CKP) is contained within the distributor. The
ECM makes its on-the-fly adjustments depending on the signals it receives
from the CKP sensor.
When the Service Check Connector is jumped, this disables the ECM's ability
to adjust the ignition timing for the factors you list above. Timing is
thus locked down to BASE TIMING, so that it may be set correctly.
It is true that base timing should not change on its own, but it is wise to
do periodic checks, and it is necessary to check (and adjust if needed)
after any work is done to the distributor or the timing belt.
One issue with distributor adjustments is that they are made using a timing
light. It is possible for somebody to make a mistake when adjusting tne
timing, especially 1) when the crank pulley marks are obscured by rust, 2)
the light is held on an angle that appears to make the timing belt cover
mark out of alignment with the crank pulley, or if the timing belt cover is
distorted by age or damage. For these reasons it is always wise to double-
check the timing from time to time (pun not intended).
Distributorless systems have the CKP relocated to the crankshaft nose,
where adjustment is not possible; the ECM assumes that the crank-nose CKP
is correctly set.
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.