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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi - I have a 59 plate 2.2 diesel, and it's poorly.
The car has 135k on it. We bought it 3 years ago with 78k on.
It's been great, until 10k ago. It was beginning to crank for longer to get the engine to start. As far as I know, the garage that serviced it had put a 'compatible' fuel filter in. It always started, so we kept running it for the 10k until the latest service.
Last service was at 135k, just before Xmas. Genuine Honda fuel and air filters put in. The starting issues got worse - the engine management light came on.
The garage worked on it - the codes said the Cam sensor was faulty, and also the coolant sensor.
The theory was that the coolant sensor was telling the engine it was running at about 37 degrees (I think) even when the engine was cold, so it was telling the glow plugs not to bother.
So - new cam sensor, and coolant sensor.
The car runs smoother (due to the new cam sensor I assume), but sadly after about 4 days, the starting issues reappear. Starting from cold, it would fire, run for 1 second, then stop. Then, it'd take about 35 seconds cranking over to finally start. Once the engine was warm, it'd stop and start happily again for the rest of the day.
I then decided to do the next 'fix' myself. I bought a glow plug sensor from Honda (£195), and fitted it myself. Ok - this was an expensive bit of guess work, especially since there was no engine management light on this time.
Car runs beautifully, for a week.
Now, today, it wouldn't start again. It went eventually, and drove from Northampton to Kettering. When the engine is going, it runs without fault.
I probably should mention that the clutch slips too. It has done for over a year. It has got steadily slightly worse over that time, but it's still perfectly driveable, although the full power of the car can't always be used. Some weeks the clutch doesn't slip at all.
The car is now back with the garage. I think they're going to test the glow plugs next.
But, as you can probably gather, sadly I'm falling out of love with this car - which is actually one of the best cars we've ever bought.

If anyone out there has had starting issues, and actually fixed them, please do get in touch. Assuming I don't list this car on ebay for a penny (I've done it before!), I will update this thread and let everyone know what the remedy is!

All the best
Jon
 

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Bye bye Honda...
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Although it more often causes a problem with hot starting, I'd want to rule out a leaking fuel rail over pressure valve. I'd post a link to the thread, but I'm using my phone! Use the search to find that thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Many thanks - I'll pass the information on to the garage.
I'm pretty sure it's not a battery problem because my ctek charger has been keeping it regularly conditioned - it's worked really hard recently!
At present, there is no engine management light on.
 

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If that valve isn't leaking, then the next thing to check would be the injector leak-back flows. These leakages, when excessive, prevent the fuel rail reaching the required pressure ( 200 bar minimum) for operation of the injectors.

Your garage sounds a bit like its guessing? It might be better to take your car somewhere that has full Honda diagnostic capability.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi - no, the garage is trustworthy and intelligent. But I did say I would create a post here to acquire the experiences of others to make the job easier, quicker, and hopefully cheaper!
 

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I'd be looking to test or have the glow plugs tested as the first port of call. May be wrong but a simple resistance check with a multi meter I'd have thought would do the job.

With a very high miler a compression test would'nt be a bad idea. We all know diesels depend on adequate compression for fuel ignition.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi - the glow plugs have been tested. It seems only one of them was working properly, so a new set has been fitted. They're about £15 each, plus fitting. I've just got the car back, so if I don't add to this post, assume it's fixed, and many thanks for your time and help.
All the best,
Jon
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, one week on, and the car is fine - so, fingers crossed all is now ok.

To sum up, my starting problems were cured with:

A new camshaft sensor (about £40)
A new coolant sensor (about £40)
A new glow plug sensor (which was probably not needed) - £195 from Honda
4 new glow plugs - £15 each plus vat and fitting - £132 all in.

Many thanks for everyone's time and help.
I really hope this thread helps others get a quick, cheap and easy fix for their car.

Jon
: )
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Hello again.
Sadly there's an update.
2 weeks ago, with the spell of cold weather, the battery died, despite my fancy ctek charger.
Fair enough, it had taken a real 'battering', so that's done.
On Sunday, from cold, it started and idled for 3 seconds and stopped.
After that, it won't start. It eventually goes after cranking for about 30 seconds.
Once it's going, it will drive perfectly and start perfectly for the rest of the day.
Really upset with this car now. I wish something would just actually break so I can get it sorted. I also don't understand why each new part seems to put the car in a great mood for two weeks, and then it goes wrong again!
All help greatly appreciated. As usual, I promise to keep updating this, hopefully with details of the actual fix so we can all have happy Hondas!
Cheers
Jon
 

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It almost sounds like the fuel injectors have residual pressure pressure in so it fires but then there is not enough pressure to maintain running so it dies. Then cranking for 30 seconds is enough to build up the rail pressure.

Did the garage manage to look at the fuel rail over pressure valve or leak back on the injectors?
I have no ideas how easy it would be but looking at the fuel rail pressure might be easier and cheaper than a compression test.
I used to have a Vauxhall Vectra Di and it had a leaky seal in the low pressure fuel pump. It allowed the fuel to drain back to the tank if parked facing uphill over night. That used to take 30 sec cranking if I parked wrong way on our drive!!! Took me quite a while to work out the circumstances that caused the poor starting.

So my guess would be fuel pressure problem but might be worth documenting everything i.e. where you park, how much fuel in tank, how many miles you did, etc so when it has an issue you might be able to work out the circumstances that cause it?

Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hi - thanks for taking the time to reply.
The garage have plugged it in today, and there's no faults.
My thought was that it may be giving starting issues when the fuel tank is half full or less.
The garage suggested possibly fitting a non return valve to prevent any fuel draining back.
I've kept hold of the car for now. I've just filled it up with fuel, and will monitor its behaviour! For the record, it started badly on Sunday, when it was parked on a flat surface. It also started badly Monday and Tuesday, parked on a slight slope - boot slightly lower than the bonnet. Today it started ok (because it knew I was taking it to the garage!), possibly because I gave it a lot of right pedal when starting it. Hopefully that won't harm it - but at present I don't think I care!
 

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Just a quick thought. I am not sure non Honda computer systems can analyse the fuel rail pressure. So if the garage doesn't have Honda kit they might only get to see generic fault codes.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Hi. Me again.
It's up to its old tricks again, after being fine since my last message.
: (
This morning, it started and ran for about 2 seconds, and then the engine stopped. It took about 40 seconds of my finger on the starter button before it finally fired up again. Putting my right foot on the accelerator pedal seemed to make no difference. The diesel tank is above half full, so the amount of the fuel in the tank isn't making any difference.
Once it's going, it's fine.
Drove it for 15 minutes, then stopped for 10, then just drove another 15 minutes and it runs perfectly.
I just wish whatever it is would actually just break, so I can replace it!
There's no wanrning lights on the dash.
Any help greatly appreciated as usual. I really want to get the fix posted on here to save other people time, money and hassle.
All the best
Jon
 

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Hi. Me again.
It's up to its old tricks again.
: (
This morning, it started and ran for about 2 seconds, and then the engine stopped. It took about 40 seconds of my finger on the starter button before it finally fired up again. Putting my right foot on the accelerator pedal seemed to make no difference. The diesel tank is above half full, so the amount of the fuel in the tank isn't making any difference.
Once it's going, it's fine.
Drove it for 15 minutes, then stopped for 10, then just drove another 15 minutes and it runs perfectly.
I just wish whatever it is would actually just break, so I can replace it!
There's no wanrning lights on the dash.
Any help greatly appreciated as usual. I really want to get the fix posted on here to save other people time, money and hassle.
All the best
Jon
To be fair, you really shouldn't have to touch the accelerator pedal while starting on any modern car.... I'd say anything with an automatic choke should start at the turn of the key or push of the button in our instance.
 

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I'd really want to rule this out and - if no leak - then check the injector leakback volumes. These things would be free to test and are a simple DIY... so many times these issues have been proven to be the cause of poor starting!

Your garage has wasted your time and money by guessing and replacing that list of random items. Sorry, but I could tell they hadn't got a clue when they simply replaced the glowplugs without checking if they actually needed replacement... a more knowledgeable mechanic would have known how to use a multimeter to check out the glowplugs AND the control circuits.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Hi - thanks for spending the time to reply, but I have to set the record straight a little -
The garage have been great. They haven't guessed anything. Apologies if anything wasn't clear. I'll repeat the details briefly:
Camshaft and coolant sensors were replaced because the fault code reported them as faulty.
Glow plugs were tested - they were faulty and have been replaced.
The battery died as a result of the constant cranking and cold weather.
The only bit of guess work was actually me - I bought a glow plug relay.
Thanks for the suggestions of where to go with it next. It's a busy week this week but I'm aiming to keep making progress. I'm convinced it's something quite simple. Are there any more dodgy relays I can replace? It could be worth a try?
I just wish it would actually break so I'd have a better idea of what to replace!
Funny old planet - I'm actually hoping for an engine management light!
Best wishes all,
Jon
: )
 
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