Honda Civic Won’t Start

Honda Civic Won’t Start: Reasons And How To Fix Them

Honda Civics is unarguably one of the most dependable cars on the market even today. They are some of the most commonly driven and owned vehicles in the United States. This car which has been around since the early ‘70s is one of the best-selling cars from the brand. Similar to any other car, however, the Honda Civic suffers from many mechanical shortcomings. A big problem with these cars is the engine that won’t start. What should you do when your Honda Civic won’t start? Find out here.

If your Honda Civic won’t start, what should you do? Most of the time the culprit is a bad alternator, starter, or batter. If the engine won’t turn over even though you cranked the engine, know that there might be something wrong with the battery. Try to get a fellow driver to jump-start your car if you own jumper cables (once you’ve learned how to put on jumper cables).

A car that doesn’t work has to be taken to a certified mechanic as soon as possible. Your local dealer or mechanic can run troubleshooting tests on your car and confirm or deny your doubts. There are many possible issues for a Honda Civic to not start. Keep reading as we discover more reasons behind a car not starting and what to do in each circumstance.

Know About The Engine

While it might seem redundant, having some basic knowledge about your car is essential. After all, your car is an important part of your daily life. Sure, a car comes with various alert lights for your convenience so you can know your car’s computer has sensed an issue. However, we recommend having basic information about the parts of a car.

Car vehicle problems reliability diagnose troubleshooting engine electrical

When a Honda Civic won’t start, these are the factors to consider:

The Battery

Your car should respond when you crank it. If it doesn’t, you are dealing with a dead battery. To check it, attach jumper cables to it and try to jump-start it. Let your Civic charger for a few minutes if it starts up and head to the mechanic. The problem is probably a dying battery. Roadside assistance can help with the jump-start or even attach a new battery (or, you can learn how to charge a completely dead car battery).

The Alternator

If you hear a growl or click when you turn the key in the ignition but it is not followed up by a response from the engine, it means the issue is a bad alternator. Attempt to jump-start the battery and check if your Civic starts. If it does, perhaps the battery wasn’t being properly charged by the alternator. If your car can hold a charge, get a mechanic or dealership to conduct further evaluation.

The Starter

The starter may be faulty if a clicking noise comes when you fail to crank the engine. Chances are when there is no response after you try to jump the battery, the problem is with the starter. Then, you have to get your Civic towed to a local mechanic or dealership.

Honda Civic Won’t Start: Possible Situations And Possible Solutions

Honda Civic Won’t Start But Battery Is Fine

What to do if the battery is good but your Honda Civic won’t start? Of course, that means that there is nothing wrong with the battery and you have to look for a problem elsewhere. The most common reasons could be a faulty starter, alternator, or corroded wires somewhere in the system.

In case the culprit is a bad alternator that has failed to properly recharge the battery, getting a jump from a different car’s battery should do the trick. For this, connect the positive-negative ends of jumper cables to the end of the two batteries. Turn on the engine of the host car and turn the ignition switch over.

There are many detailed guides on the Internet on how to jump a car and we will provide one later on for your convenience. If a starter fails, try tapping it with a screwdriver or hammer. Sometimes, that helps make enough contact for a connection to form and the engine starts.

On the other hand, if you suspect loose, corroded, or loose wires, move the terminals around. If needed, detach the terminals and dust off the corrosion or rust off them before reattaching. Change them if there is excessive wear.

Honda Civic Won’t Start But There Is Power

You can strike off a dead battery from the list of possible reasons if there is power in your Honda Civic but it won’t start. How to know there is power? The lights, radio, and heater/AC will run. Again, the problem may come down to a poor alternator, starter, spark plug, or a block or clog in the fuel line.

Even if the ignition electronics and ignition lock are defective, the radio and interior lighting work as usual. There is no response from the engine bay when the key is twisted, the start button is hit, or the chip card is damaged. Get the help of a locksmith specializing (make sure you check out our guide on how much does a auto locksmith cost) in your Honda model if you have lost Honda key replacement Locksmith no spare. Know that the fuel pump or spark plugs are the problems if you can hear the general noises made by a starter during an ignition process.

When these pieces are broken, the engine cannot start as there is no combustion. The fuel pump is unable to pump fuel (as you understand how to pump gas) into the combustion chamber so there is no scope for the explosion. You must bring your vehicle to a mechanic immediately. You can fix the damages yourself but will need specialist knowledge along with the right tools.

As mentioned earlier, if the problem is an alternator failure, it can be solved by a battery jump from another vehicle’s battery. In some instances, however, you may be able to get away by simply cleaning or replacing the fuel filter. When a fuel filter isn’t serviced for a long time, it tends to clog, preventing adequate amounts of fuel to move through the car’s system and allow engine ignition.

Honda Civic Won’t Start Yet Lights Are On

Let’s assume that your Honda Civic won’t start but you can still toggle the lights. Once again, the battery isn’t dead and the potential perpetrators are a bad starter (you can troubleshoot it further by learning how to tell if your starter is bad), fuel injection system, alternator, ignition switch, or terminal connection. Tap the starter using a hammer and it may solve the problem.

Also, examine the wires connecting to the battery to ensure they are all secured in place.

Symptoms Of A Faulty Starter

A battery powers a car’s starter and is responsible for getting the vehicle up and running. Your car simply won’t start if the starter isn’t good. A list of bad starter symptoms includes:

  • Clicking noise: By this point, you should know what sounds your car makes when it starts. There are normal sounds and then there are the abnormal ones. If you can hear a whirring, grinding, or clicking sounds when you push the start button or turn the key, and the engine doesn’t turn over, a failed starter can be the reason.
  • No lights but the engine should technically start and the dashboard lights should illuminate when you crank the car. If the lights are on but the engine doesn’t start, the starter can be dead.
  • Jumpstart doesn’t help: Jumping an engine should be enough to start an engine. If you have tried jumping the engine but it doesn’t help, your starter may need a replacement.
  • Smoke coming from engine: Vehicles are powered by complex electrical systems that could overheat from time to time. Numerous failed attempts at starting your car may make the starter get excessively hot. If you see any sort of smoke, it’s time to call for help.
  • Oil leak: If oil manages a way to get into the starter, the component can fail. You should get a mechanic to check out the situation.

Honda Civic Won’t Start But Can Turn Over

Car vehicle problems reliability diagnose troubleshooting engine electrical

You Civic can turn over but still refuse to start. This can be owed to either an issue with the vehicle’s ignition system or the fuel system. Inspect for blockage in the fuel filter and clean it if necessary.

Honda Civic Won’t Start: Check ABS System

Your car is filled with alerts and lights everywhere to warn when your vehicle isn’t operating in perfect condition. The ABS (anti-locking brake) system is a crucial part of any vehicle.

If there is a light illuminating the dashboard asking you to examine the ABS while your Honda Civic refuses to start, this may indicate a problem of a partially dead battery. The battery might not be dead entirely but it does not have enough charge stored in it to turn the engine over. The solution is pretty simple: All you have to do is give a jump to the battery using a booster or host vehicle while engaging the ignition switch.

Honda Civic Won’t Start, Only Clicks

Let’s say you tried starting your Civic but instead of turning it on, the vehicle gives a clicking noise. Either the battery is partially or fully dead, or you are dealing with a malfunctioned alternator on hand which is incapable of recharging a battery perfectly to run a car.

If you tried to start your Civic and instead of turning it on, all you got was a clicking sound, this either means that the battery itself is fully or partially dead.

Is Your Honda Civic’s Battery Empty?

The easiest way to recognize a dead battery would be multifunctional interior lighting and a faulty radio. A battery that stays under 12 V even after being charged for an appropriate amount of time has to be renewed. You can easily check the voltage with a commercially available multimeter. Try looking for help to get you started and head straight to the mechanic to replace the batteries.

In many modern-day cars, the new battery needs time to settle in or you may get an error message from the car’s computer. A battery can also be drained if you haven’t started the car for weeks, sometimes months. The starter turns poorly for a battery with low voltage. Here, too, the driver may require assistance.

Again, let’s say you forgot to turn off a power consumer during parking. There is no connection between the electrical lines – rather damage to them. You cannot jump-start here. Disconnect the battery and clean the contacts. The negative cable has to be removed first and connected last. Drive to a dealership if this doesn’t work either.

Honda Civic Won’t Start

A defective alternator will no longer charge a battery. If you have a jump start, there should be sufficient charge in the battery after several miles. That is the case for intact batteries; older batteries will need a bit longer. The battery does not charge if the alternator is bad; instead, the remaining voltage is consumed by all electrical consumers. Whether you can get to a mechanic on time is simply a matter of luck.

It is easy to spot a problem in the charging process through the charging indicator light found in the cockpit. You should see this light up for a few seconds upon start and go out afterward. In other cases, the alternator might be faulty to the extent where the engine cannot retain power in the spark plugs even if it somehow started.

We recommend boosting your engine in these circumstances.

Honda Civic Won’t Start And Light Flashes

The dashboard lights are flashing but your Honda Civic isn’t starting – this is a tell-tale sign of an issue with the ignition system of your car. It might have a loose or weak connection to the battery. You must replace the car’s ignition switch if this is the case.

If the headlights are the ones flickering and not the dash lights, this generally means that the battery is halfway dead or the connection is bad. Check for loose terminals and if necessary, boost your car.

Honda Civic Won’t Start And Won’t Click

Suppose your Honda Civic won’t start and there is a clicking sound coming from under the hood when you try to turn the ignition. This time, the problem is more than likely a drained battery. Check if you can still turn on the lights, radio, or any of the other electronic components of your vehicle. If you cannot, your doubts should be confirmed.

Honda Civic Won’t Start

A temporary fix should be jumping the battery. You just need enough power to get to a mechanic. Remember that simply because you could get your car to start by jumping the battery, it does not guarantee that it will not display the same problem the next time you try to turn it on and off.

This is why it’s best to always leave your vehicle running until you get to a repair shop to avoid further complications.

Honda Civic Won’t Start And Won’t Crank

Does your Civic produce no cranking sound even after you turn the key to activate the engine? Why? There are a few possible answers to this but the most probable is a dead battery. Check the battery. Make sure all the terminal connectors are secured and have a smooth connection. From there, start externally jumping the battery with a booster pack. Alternatively, you can get a fellow driver to help.

Honda Civic Won’t Start While Inclining

Your Civic may not start when parked on an incline while the battery is fully functional. In this position, you will be able to crank the engine. This is indicative of a defective or clogged fuel pump system. First of all, understand if it is safe to roll your Civic down the hill while having it in Neutral gear. When it is on flat land, try to start the engine.

At this point, if you can start the engine, this will confirm the speculation mentioned above. Replace the fuel pump system as soon as possible.

Honda Civic Won’t Start When It Has Fuel and Spark

Your Civic might have fuel and a spark is forming on the ignition but it still doesn’t make the engine crank. If you want to narrow down the causes, the most probable one would be a problem with the airflow. In addition to fuel and spark, a car requires air to start properly. These are some of the potential problems:

  • Fuel filter: A blocked fuel filter can stop your engine from the proper volume of fuel. The engine would crank without starting. You should replace the fuel filter every 20,000 miles. Make sure you have a word with the mechanic when you bring your car in and ask for a replacement if needed.
  • Fuel pump: Get the fuel pump checked. A blocked fuel pump has similar effects to that of a clogged fuel filter. Without the right fuel pressure, your car may crank but it will refuse to start.
  • Timing belt: The job of a timing belt is to ensure the engine valves and components are in sync. A worn-out or broken timing belt is the most common reason for air escaping in the engine, causing an air leak. A deteriorated broken timing belt prevents your car from starting. Interestingly enough, this component can fail while you are driving.

Get the timing belt inspected by a mechanic. A few automakers recommend changing the timing belt every 5 years.

How To Jump-Start A Battery

We have mentioned jump-starting a battery multiple times throughout this article, so it’s an important element of batteries. Here’s how you can jump-start a battery without fail:

  • Have a look at the operating instructions before getting to the actual procedure to see if there are any special considerations to be mindful of. For starters, the jump start cable has to have a proper cross-section and satisfy the ISO 6722 (DIN 72553) standard.
  • Turn off the ignition in both cars.
  • Connect the red positive cable to the positive terminal once the battery is full and to the positive terminal of the car battery that has been drained empty. Make sure the connection is stable.
  • Connect the black negative cable to the battery when it is full at the negative pole to the other car’s earth point (battery has to be empty). The ground point has to be mentioned in the owner’s manual, otherwise, a bare metal point has to be located on the engine block.
  • The vehicle should now start with an intact battery. Allow the empty battery to charge for a while.
  • All things done right, the other car should have started by now. If the problem persists after several attempts, some internal issues cannot be solved with one jump start.
  • Lastly, take out the starter cable in the right sequence: Black negative – full battery first and then the empty one’s. Same order with the positive cable – full battery first.

To recharge the battery properly, we suggest running a lap on the country road or highway. Detach and reattach the cables in the same order. As you are handling electricity, you must be careful or you can end up damaging the sensitive electronics on-board.

Check this video out too!

Can The Main Relay Cause No Spark?

The main relay on a Honda is tasked with transmitting power to the computer of the engine. It also regulates the fuel pump, delivering power to the fuel injector. For a Civic engine that turns over but also dies quickly, a relay issue can be the reason. A bad main relay can stop cranking in an engine.

Honda Civic Won’t Start

Moreover, it can make the fuel pressure drop, leading to a failed start. The primary relay controls fuel but not the spark. Without a spark or prime in the fuel pump, your car can be signaling a problem with the main relay. However, if a spark is the only thing lacking, there is likely another issue cooking up under the hood. You should get the distributor or timing belt inspected.

Honda Civic No-Start Diagnosis Facts:

  • The most common reasons a Honda Civic won’t start are a dead battery, an alternator problem, or a failed starter.
  • In 38% of cases, a dead battery is the culprit, while 27% of cases involve an alternator problem, 20% involve a failed starter, and 15% involve something else.
  • Common repairs for a no-start issue in a Honda Civic include battery replacement, fuel pump replacement, ignition switch replacement, ignition lock cylinder replacement, starter replacement, camshaft position sensor replacement, and crankshaft position sensor replacement.
  • The estimated cost for battery replacement is $343-$354, while the estimated cost for fuel pump replacement is $892-$1,030. Ignition switch replacement costs an estimated $183-$224, while ignition lock cylinder replacement costs $231-$279, and starter replacement costs $426-$580. Camshaft position sensor replacement costs an estimated $185-$239, and crankshaft position sensor replacement costs $175-$231.
  • To diagnose a no-start issue, a professional diagnostic test is recommended to avoid replacing unneeded parts.
  • Correcting most no-start problems usually involves replacing the alternator, starter, or battery, cleaning connections, ignition system repairs, or fuel system repairs.
  • Diagnosing modern automotive systems without proper knowledge and training can be difficult, and changing parts on a hunch is not recommended.
  • Most vehicles have a communication network that allows all of the systems to communicate, which is a blessing for the trained technician, and a curse for the DIYer who would rather save money on the repair.
  • The diagnosis is key to understanding how expensive the repair will be because there are so many potential causes for a no-start issue.
  • If the fuel pump leaks or begins making a lot of noise, it should be looked at right away, as a failing fuel pump can cause a loss of pressure in the fuel system, possibly causing a no-start issue.


In this article, we tried to diagnose the common answers to why a Honda Civic won’t start. Some of the reasons and solutions are very similar – mainly because they all originate from a weak or dead battery, faulty alternator, ignition switch, the battery terminals, connection wires, or the fuel pump system.

If any sort of power is present, the issue is not the battery. In contrast, if you cannot detect any power at all, the battery is most likely dead and needs a boost.

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