While the Honda Civic is a reliable and durable vehicle for a compact, it can have issues with starting. Given all the ways a car that won’t start can impact you, it is important to find out why your Civic won’t start and how to fix it.
The most likely reason a Honda Civic won’t start is because there is a problem with the electrical or starter systems. This can mean a dead battery, a faulty ignition, a bad alternator, or bad spark plugs. Most of these issues will require a professional mechanic to solve, but some can be handled at home.
If you have a Honda Civic that no longer starts, take a look at the following components to figure out what the problem might be and how to fix it.
- 1 Why your Honda Civic Won’t Start and How to Fix It
- 2 How to Jump Start a Battery
- 3 How Cold Weather can Stop your Car from Starting
- 4 Wrap Up
Why your Honda Civic Won’t Start and How to Fix It
While having a car that won’t start is a major problem, there are ways to find out what the source of this problem is and how to fix it.
The Most Common Causes
There are many reasons why a car might not start, which range from not having the fuel or energy needed to a mechanical issue. Some of these include:
- An empty gas tank
- A drained or broken car battery
- Broken spark plugs
- Clogged air filters
- A broken ignition system
- A broken alternator
One or more of these problems can make it impossible to start your car, and most can be fixed at home with a few simple steps. Some of the more complicated electrical systems like alternators and wiring, however, will need to be repaired by a professional mechanic.
Fill your Gas Tank
If your vehicle doesn’t have enough fuel to run, then you won’t be able to start it even if you have a full battery and a working engine. In this case you will need to find a way to get more fuel without a working car.
- Have your car towed to a gas station.
- Ask a friend or call a driving service to drive you to a gas station with a gas can.
- Ask someone to bring you a full gas can.
Once you have fuel for your vehicle, be sure to check for any leaks, puddles, or stains under your car just in case your gas tank is damaged. If it is not damaged, load up your vehicle and start the engine. If the gas tank is leaking or your car will not start with gasoline in it, you will need to call a mechanic for help.
Check your Battery
A battery that is either broken or drained can also prevent your car from starting, since the battery ignites the engine. There are a few ways to tell if your battery is the problem:
- You had battery warning lights on your dashboard recently
- Your car’s headlights stopped working properly
- You turn the ignition and hear clicking
- You open the hood and the battery looks corroded or rusted
These are all signs that your battery is either dead or broken, and in either case should be replaced with a new battery. Be careful when taking out your old battery, especially if it might be damaged. Make sure the vehicle is completely off and you don’t touch any conductive or leaking parts of the battery.
Replace your Spark Plugs
If your vehicle has fuel and power but still won’t start you may have a problem with your spark plugs, which help ignite and run your engine. Any spark plugs with a worn or broken electrode tip should be replaced as soon as possible, using the following tools.
- Cleaning rags
- Needle nose pliers
- A socket/ratchet set
Once you have your tools you can start:
- Step 1: Remove the air hoses from your engine and the top vanity cap
- Step 2: Clean the top of the ignition coil and remove it
- Step 3: Unscrew the old spark plug and install the new one
- Step 4: Reassemble and reinsert the ignition coil. Also reattach all the engine hoses and refit the vanity top.
Replacing old or damaged spark plugs will not only help your engine start, but make it more efficient and reliable.
Unclog your Air Filters
Problems with your air filters can make it difficult, if not impossible, to start your car since your air filter helps your engine ignite. Unblocking an air filter is a simple process requiring the following tools:
- A screwdriver
- Microfiber cloths
After finding your tools the process of cleaning your engine air filter is fairly simple.
- Step 1: Find and open the air filter housing on your engine.
- Step 2: Remove the air filter from the housing and gently wipe it down with a microfiber cloth.
- Step 3: Wipe out the inside of the housing clean.
- Step 4: Reinstall the clean air filter.
Even if your car is working, you should change your air filters regularly to ensure that your engine runs smoothly.
Get Professional Help
While there are ways to repair your car if you are having trouble starting it, some issues with a vehicle can’t be solved at home and will need a professional mechanic’s help to solve. These issues include:
- A faulty electrical system
- A broken starter
- A broken alternator
- A damaged engine
Generally speaking, any issue involving the fuel, electrical, or hose systems that can’t be solved by simply replacing a part should be handled by a mechanic. If you are having trouble finding a reliable or reputable mechanic, consider looking at the following sources:
- Ask a friend or family member if they know someone
- Look for online reviews of local stores and locations
- Go to an online business rating site like the Better Business Bureau
- Check local businesses for certifications and awards
Once you find a good location you can take your car in for a diagnostic to figure out what is wrong, and repairs to fix the issue and get you driving again.
By following these simple steps and tips, you can diagnose why your car won’t start and either how to fix the issue or how to find someone who can fix it.
How to Jump Start a Battery
If you have lost power in your battery and need to drive somewhere, you can still start your car by asking for someone’s help to jumpstart your vehicle. The only tools you will need are a set of jumper cables, either from you or whoever helps you, and another car with a working battery.
- Step 1: Check your owner’s manual for any special instructions or concerns about jumpstarting. Also make sure your ignition is off.
- Step 2: Get a set of jumper cables and make sure that the other vehicle helping you is also off. Always be careful when handling jumper cables, never touch any metal parts of the cables or allow them to touch a conductive surface.
- Step 3: Connect the positive red cable and the negative black cable to their respective terminals. If you have good contact then the cables should spark slightly when touched together.
- Step 4: Turn your ignition and start your car using the other vehicle’s battery. Once your car is started, be sure to leave it on as you carefully remove the jumper cables.
If your car still won’t start then your battery or the wires connecting it to the rest of your vehicle must be broken and you will need someone to tow your vehicle.
How Cold Weather can Stop your Car from Starting
Cold weather can strain your battery and your engine, making it more difficult for your car to consistently start. If you are having trouble with your car starting in winter and have gone through all of the usual causes, consider some of these potential issues.
Cold weather can impact your car battery. In cold weather, car batteries can rapidly lose not only power but overall charge capacity, especially if you only use them for short trips. Be sure to use your car repeatedly and for long intervals if you want to get the most out of your battery, and if your battery loses all power replace it as soon as possible.
Diesel fuel builds up contaminants in cold weather. Diesel fuel, when exposed to cold temperatures, will begin to build up flakes of material that can clog the engine and fuel lines. If you are worried about a potential clog, then look for gas stations that have winterized fuels. If you think you already have a clog, however, you will need to see a professional mechanic.
Fuel can become thicker in cold weather. All fuels, not just diesels, can become thicker in the cold, making it harder for your engine to get the fuel it needs to run. The best way to combat this is to use winterized fuels, store your car somewhere warm when not in use, and drive your car regularly.
As dependable as Honda Civics are, they are known to have problems starting regularly for a variety of reasons. Some of these problems can be easily diagnosed and solved at home, while others will need professional work. If you have any questions about why a car might not start, comment with them below.
Hi, I am Brad. Car Independent is your source for independent views on cars and car accessories. Whether you looking to buy a new car or something cool for your car, you have many options. My aim to help you make the best-informed choices.