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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I have a 2009 1.8 petrol auto and it suffers with a pretty noticeable rough start fault, sometimes not even starting first time. It's not as bad as this North American spec car, but you get the idea: 2009 honda civic rough cold start problem - Page 2 - 8th Generation Honda Civic Forum

I thought it was related to the cold, but seems to occur randomly now and sometimes on quite warm mornings.

Anyway, to cut a long story short i have not found fault with all the obvious parts, and was getting to the point where i was about to try changing spark plugs and/or buying one new coil pack and trying at all four locations. I then tried a few tank fulls with fuel system cleaner, which did not help. Finally i thought why not try running on higher octane fuel, and after a few tank fulls this seems to have made a real improvement.

I'm not saying it is definitely the higher octane that helps, but in the UK the higher octane fuels definitely have a better package of additives for cleaning/etc. I am therefore really starting to suspect this issue is fueling related rather than sparking related.

Still pretty disappointing for a Honda. I'll prbly be likely not to keep it very long for this reason.

Anyone else seen this issue, and more importantly had it fixed?

Cheers
 

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I have a 2006 1.8 manual that suffers like this. Can reproduce it fairly frequently by changing from shell to sainsburys or morrisons fuel and doing very short runs in any weather. Does it less after a few tanks so I'd guess its perhaps the electronics learning the properties of the fuel? Absolutely NOT turning this into another fuel debate :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have a 2006 1.8 manual that suffers like this. Can reproduce it fairly frequently by changing from shell to sainsburys or morrisons fuel and doing very short runs in any weather. Does it less after a few tanks so I'd guess its perhaps the electronics learning the properties of the fuel? Absolutely NOT turning this into another fuel debate :cool:
Interesting yours is a 2006. Nearly all the reading Ive done is about US/Canadian cars and those most affected seem to be 2009 with some 2010. Most US cars will be auto too.
 

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I had problems similar to those described in the US forum. The engine seems really sensitive in regards to fuel, especially in winter. After changing to a different petrol station, the problem went away. I also noticed it's better to give the pump a few seconds after the first key step.
 

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My 2007 1.8 has covered around 63000 km and this start problem has only happened twice to mine. First time i thought, oh oh, but it fired up just fine the second attempt. Never really looked in to the problem. The car is mostly used for short runs and i run on the cheapest fuel i can get.
After 53000-ish km i found starts very rough, almost diesel-like so i put in a can of wynn's petrol system cleaner and after a good drive (so that the product could do its work) the rough starts were gone. I'm getting the impression it is getting worse and worse again but its nowhere near as what it used to be.
Hope something usefull can be found as to what is causing this.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks MikePL. I too have tried waiting longer for fuel system to pressurise before starting, but with mine it could still be just as bad.

I'm going to try and run on fuel from various garages, but proabably stick with super for a few more tanks to see how it goes.

Shame there doesn't appear to be a "real" fix for this. I would have thought if Honda had enough complaints there would be some re-tuning of starting parameters in the ECU that could improve this. I've never driven another modern fuel injected car with this problem before.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Woette - i might try the wynns product next. I didn't have much success with two lots of redeX though.

Mine does mainly motorway miles by the way. About 40/day. First owner, had it 3yrs and it had only done 17000miles, so i'm guessing a lot of city driving. Its now on about 24000miles.
 

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I might add, that even after changing the petrol station, I once had a, let's call it, a slow start issue: the starter motor turned but there was little response from the engine, and when I thought it wouldn't start (I had already let go the key) it rather slowly increased the revs and then worked normally. It happened only around and below 0 celsius. The battery is strong and the car new.
 

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The one thing I've found over the years to help starting is not to do it all in one go.

I turn the key to position 2, wait for the fuel gauge needle to settle, then activate the starter motor.

If I put the key in and turn it immediately through all positions to starter motor stage it rarely fires first time. I reckon it takes a second or two for the auto choke mechanism to activate?
 

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The one thing I've found over the years to help starting is not to do it all in one go.

I turn the key to position 2, wait for the fuel gauge needle to settle, then activate the starter motor.

If I put the key in and turn it immediately through all positions to starter motor stage it rarely fires first time. I reckon it takes a second or two for the auto choke mechanism to activate?
+1 thats how i would describe my starting routine aswell.
 

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Wow thats realy complicated. All 1.8 petrol engines seems to have this issue over the world but nobody knows what it is and Honda does not fix it, too. :facepalm:

But why only 1.8? Not on 1.4 and not on 2.0!?!? Where is the huge difference which cause this?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I find it really disappointing. Especially having worked in the auto industry for 15yrs. In body structures, not powertrain though.

I don't know what the issue could be, but if it is so wide spread i would have thought Honda would have fixed it by now. When i first posted, i was under the impression it was only 2009/10 1.8's, but it seems to show up on a few other years too, and including 9gen cars.

For me, my latest preferred fuel is the new Shell V-max (nitro?). Could be the placebo effect, i dunno, but seems to be starting easiest with this fuel.

Let me know if you guys find out any more about this issue.
 

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I didn't had starting issues with mine for 3-4 months. The best solution is to wait a few seconds before hitting the start button after turning the ignition on.
Seems to work in spring,summer,autumn but not always in winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Just thought i'd update this old thread.

Still got our Civic. It managed until the end of last year without any poor starting, running on Shell Vpower Nitro. Costs us about an extra £60/yr, but proabably does ever so slightly better mpg.

Anyway, at the end of last year, as the temps dropped and we got more damp weather it started to develop the poor start again. Not as frequent as before, but still noticeable.

One thing that actually helps is to make sure the HVAC is fully off. When i do this the engine cooling fan does not run as soon as i turn the ignition on. I don't think the fact the cooling fan runs is a fault, i suspect it is something to do with the requirements of the air-con. Anyway, seems to help, but the issue is defintely still there.

Anyone else found any more remedies/solutions?
 

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Have you considered changing the battery?

I had intermittent starting issues for a couple of months and believed my alternator had given up and wasn't charging the battery under load, only when idling. Turned out that the battery was almost completely incapable of holding charge and the alternator is fine. I've had no starting issues since the change.

One thing I observed is that if I let the car idle for 10-20 seconds before turning off after a drive it tends to start easier the next time I start the engine when compared to turning off the engine within a few seconds of stopping. I have no idea why this seems to be the case so perhaps a resident expert can speculate.
 

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Try this in the morning(Least likely cause).

Turn the key to POS II
Wait 5 seconds
Turn the Key to POS 0
Then
Turn the key to POS II
Wait 5 seconds
Turn the Key to POS 0
Then
Turn the key to POS II


If this solves it, it may be that the fuel pump is on its way out.


It also could be the battery(most likely cause)
Get a test done at an auto store or test it your self with a multimeter.

Connect mutlimeter to battery first thing in the morning and look at voltage.
Try starting the car and look at the voltage while cranking.
The voltage should not drop below 9v


It also could be the Coolant Temp Sensor(unlikely)
 
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