94 integra turns over but wont start

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I have a manual 94 acura integra. This car has over 206000 miles but I'm pushing for another 100000. The cars been acting up recently and by that I mean I was driving it and without any warning, the tachometer read zero and the car just started to coast. I coasted into a parking lot and waited a few moments, and the car started back up on the second try. (It turned over but would not start at first) After putting some fuel injector cleaner in the tank and driving for another week, the same thing happened but would not start again. The guys at the garage ran it for a few days and couldn't find a single thing wrong with it. (they went so far as to call it the demon car) After picking it up there, I drove for another week without problem and again, after a thousand miles, the tachometer dropped to zero and the engine wound down. The engine seems to turn over when I turn the key, (it doesn't click) but it refuses to fire. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

posted by  mark

Well for starters, I'd suggest that if all the shop was able to do was to tell you it was a demon car, then you might want to go elsewhere, they obviously don't know much.

Intuitively, from the information that you have given, no one is going to be able to tell you what is wrong with your car. I can suggest two things that I guarantee within 99.9% certainty will be the problem. Fuel or Ignition, that simple. Now, figuring out which it is is relatively simple too, but sometimes determining the secondary cause that is the culprit behind the failure is not, particularly if you are not car literate. Not knowing how well you know cars, I am going to start with a simple proposal. Next time this happens where the car is cranking but not starting (or now if the thing is dead).....go out and crank the engine with one of the plug wires off and with a metal rod (screwdriver) or spare plug inserted in the end and shorted to a ground. While cranking, if there is no spark from the plug, you've got an ignition problem. If you do have spark you are "probably ok" as far as the ignition problem, but you still may have another type of ignition problem. Before I type anymore, this is the first thing you need to do in effort to narrow down between fuel or ignition system failure. Good Luck and report back. :thumbs:

When the tach drops to zero, do all the dash lights come on, power steering gets tight and engine is just completely dead? OR, does it sputter, choke a bit, cough a few times and then go out or is it more like you turned off the ignition key, completly dead, immediately? Let me know. You said this is a manual so even if it did die immediately, with the clutch still engaged, the engine will continue spinning because the drivetrain is locked till you press in the clutch to the floor or the compression of the engine stops the car eventually or you press the brake and stop it yourself. This would mean too that the power steering would be working because the pump is still being spun but it is due to inertia of the car rather than the engine powering itself. What you need to do is press in the clutch and then if she's DEAD, it will come to a stop. If it bucks and chokes and coughs, that may be something else. Let us know.

posted by  cmeseadoin

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