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Distributor Problems in a Honda Civic

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    • 1). Use a 10 mm socket to remove the retaining bolts on the distributor cap. Pull the cap horizontally off the engine block and inspect the inside of the distributor. Check the terminal posts for corrosion and look for moisture; water disrupts electrical connections and can short the charge running from the distributor to the spark plugs.

    • 2). Inspect the rotor inside the distributor while the distributor cap is removed. Make sure the rotor is secured firmly to its post and is free of corrosion. Replace a corroded or faulty rotor.

    • 3). Inspect the rubber seals and O-rings in between the distributor and engine block. These components can wear out and will cause oil leaks. Inspect for wear or oil seepage, and replace any worn rings.

    • 4). Replace the distributor cap onto the engine block and over the new O-rings. Tighten the two retaining bolts with a 10 millimeter socket wrench. Turn the distributor drive gear with your hand until the distributor seats into the cylinder head.

    • 5). Turn the car on and run the engine until it is as operating temperature before turning off the vehicle. Remove the kick panel underneath the dash on the front passenger side of the car. Locate a green and brown wire running into a connector at the top of the kick panel, place a jumper cable end onto the connector and override the computerized timing of the distributor.

    • 6). Attach one end of a timing light onto the positive battery terminal and the other end over the front-most spark plug wire. Turn the engine on and point the light at the timing cover in the engine. The scored mark on the timing cover should line up with the middle mark on the pulley.

    • 7). Loosen the 10 mm bolts on the distributor with a socket wrench and turn the distributor until the marks described above line up with the timing light. The distributor must be timed properly to function correctly.

    • 8). Use your fingers to pinch the spark plug wire ends on the outside of the distributor cap and pull them off their terminals. Check the terminals for corrosion, rust or contamination that may be disrupting the charge through the spark plug wire terminals. Clean any corrosion with a wire brush and seal the terminal with water repellent spark plug wire sealing compound.

    • 9). Ensure that the distributor is flush against the engine block. The grooves on the back of the distributor must mesh with the grooves on the engine block for proper function.

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