09 Civic EX starting problem

Discussion in 'Civic' started by PE, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. PE

    PE Guest

    Hi all: I have a 2009 Civ EX that was purchased new about 18 mos. ago and
    now has approx 18000 miles. Car has had all recommended service, including
    the 15K service about a month ago. The car has run flawlessly the whole
    time I've had it, up until this morning when I had a starting problem. When
    I turned the key, the engine caught on as usual but then immediately
    stumbled and died. I made a number of additional attempts without success,
    each time the starter cranked the engine but either it wouldn't catch at
    all, or it would catch on but then immediately stumble and die. Then, about
    the 8th or 9th try, the engine caught on immediately and idled smoothly in
    normal fashion. And I have since driven the car around town and it has been
    running and starting normally.

    If anyone has any suggestion(s) re. likely cause of symptom described above
    I'd love to hear it/them. Is this a symptom of a known intermittent problem
    with this model? How can I get the dealer to diagnose and fix whatever is
    wrong if the problem won't recur in the dealership? If it happens again, is
    there anything I should try to do or notice in an attempt to identify the
    cause? Any other thoughts/suggestions? Thanks for your replies!
    PE, Feb 7, 2011
  2. PE

    Jim Yanik Guest

    could be the "main relay",the one that energizes the fuel pump.
    It's been a common Honda/Acura problem for many years.
    but unusual for such a new vehicle,though.
    your engine starts,then runs out of fuel.
    the relay is usually located under the dash on the driver's side;if you
    give it a kick,it often gets your car going again.

    It could also be a bad ignition switch.
    do you have a lot of junk on your key ring? that can ruin a ignition

    try jiggling the key in the switch.

    Jim Yanik
    dot com
    Jim Yanik, Feb 7, 2011
  3. In which case, you don't pass Go, you don't collect $200, you go
    *immediately* to the dealer and ask him these questions.

    It doesn't matter right now. What matters is that if you can't
    duplicate the problem, you still have the dealer look at the car for
    this--pull codes, etc.

    This may be a known problem. Make sure he checks for any TSBs. If you
    want to go forearmed, Honda offers their online service system for you
    to use; ten bucks for three days, and you can download any recalls and
    bulletins and see whatever other service information you like for your

    Number one is to register your concern with the dealer, right now. Your
    car is under warranty. Make him fix it.
    Elmo P. Shagnasty, Feb 7, 2011
  4. PE

    Tegger Guest

    This is not a known problem.

    Is the Check Engine light on?
    Are there any stored codes?

    If the car was purchased NEW 18 months ago, then you have a valid warranty
    in effect; let the dealer sort this one out. Posting an update would be
    nice, and that way you'd be educating me and others.

    If there are no codes stored, this may be a tough one for the dealer to
    solve. Intermittents that leave no traces are the kinds of problems that
    keep techs awake at night.

    The dealer should check for codes and note the OBD-II parameters. If all
    appears normal, you should let the problem happen again in the hopes that
    more evidence may help the dealer solve this.

    And if it ends up being a one-time thing -- not uncommon with today's
    complex engine-controls -- then forget about it.
    Tegger, Feb 8, 2011
  5. PE

    Tegger Guest

    As of about 2001, Honda broke the old Main Relay into 2 separate relays.
    The new design is very reliable.
    Tegger, Feb 8, 2011
  6. PE

    PE Guest

    "Not a known problem"??????????????? Are you sure about that? Try doing a
    Google search using the search string "2009 Honda Civic Starting Problem"
    and see what you get.
    PE, Feb 8, 2011
  7. PE

    Tegger Guest

    I tried the search using other model-years, and I get similar results.
    These reports are basically meaningless.

    Honda has no TSBs or other documentation, and they're not at all shy about
    admitting problems. Maybe this is a new issue, and they haven't put out a
    TSB on it yet, I don't know.

    Answer these questions, please:
    Is the Check Engine light on?
    Are there any stored codes?
    Tegger, Feb 8, 2011
  8. PE

    PE Guest

    The check engine light is not on, and I don't have the diagnostic equipment
    needed to query the computer for stored trouble codes. Note that most of
    the many who posted about a similar problem in the Honda on-line discussion
    forums also reported that the dealers couldn't find any stored trouble

    And why do you conclude that all those reports in the Honda forums are
    "basically meaningless"? Do you believe that absence of stored trouble
    codes guarantys that there's no problem?
    PE, Feb 8, 2011
  9. PE

    Tegger Guest

    And as I said, occasional no-starts are present across all model years.
    From what I see, these days it appears to be the computer refusing to
    fire the injectors, for whatever logical reason it had.

    See above. Anybody can complain on the Internet, and anybody does. It
    does not follow that there are any actual, findable problems behind
    those complaints.

    That's why the NHSTA, for one, does not normally act until it receives
    at least a thousand complaints on a specific issue with a specific
    model. Numbers below that fall into the "white noise" category.

    Not "guarantee", no, but there's a very good chance that there's nothing
    wrong with the car.

    Engine controls are extremly complex these days. It does occasionally
    happen that the computer gets randomly confused and shuts off the
    injectors, preventing a start.

    If this issue happens only the once, then it's a random shutdown. If it
    happens more times after this, then you may have an actual issue. For
    now, forget about it. It will probably never happen again.
    Tegger, Feb 8, 2011
  10. PE

    Jim Yanik Guest

    After Googling "2009 Honda civic starting problem",I saw a post on the 2nd
    page where a guy had a "Mitsuba" fuel relay problem causing his 2009 Civic
    SI to not start. replacing the relay solved it.

    Jim Yanik
    dot com
    Jim Yanik, Feb 8, 2011
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