Jim Grant's Tech Tips
'91 Honda Civic, Distributor Problem
I have periodic problems with the distributor on my 91 Honda 1.5
Civic. I use aftermarket distributors but none seem to last more than
6-9 months. I also wonder if the fuel relay switch could work periodically
without stopping completely.
I have a little difficulty tying the repeated distributor failures with
the fuel relay. Honda does use a relay (fuel/main) that if failing or
failed will cause the engine not to start. My experience has been that
once the relay starts failing the problem becomes very persistent not
a 6-9 months apart. Distributor problems- thats different. Generally
distributor failures are mechanical or electrical type failures. The mechanical
type failures are often the result of a loose timing belt. The slack in
the timing belt allows the camshaft that drives the distributor to jump/snap
back and forth. Over time the back and forth motion will loosen screws.
The result is a damaged distributor will no clear explanation why. The
other killer is a bad electrical connection. The most damaging problem
is a poor ground connection. A poor electrical ground will cause the ignition
module (ignitor) to eat itself up electrically. Once again this is a "takes
time" type failure. If repeated, distributor failures are killing
your Hondas engine you may want to look deeper. It s not the rebuilt
part thats the problem, its just the result of a problem.