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Need 9th Gen Help - Long Crank Issue

Shifting_Gears

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Hi everyone,

I am trying to troubleshoot an issue with my lady’s 2014 Civic EX, 1.8L. I tried the 9th gen forums but they are super dead. I am sure there’s a lot of former 9th gen owners here and it seems like there’s a lot of activity and knowledge on this board.

I have a 2016 Mustang GT, formerly a Focus ST so I have dabbled in the hot hatch world and ALMOST ended up with an SI before the ST was purchased.

Here is what I posted on the 9g forum, any help would be appreciated:

Every few starts, it turns over for longer than normal. It’s not a WEAK start like a bad battery (battery was replaced +/- 6mo ago). The speed of which the engine turns over is fine. It just takes about 1.5-2x as long before the engine actually fires. It tends to do this after it’s been sitting long enough to partially or fully cool down.

It has 174k (approx). I’ve read the fuel pump/filter are non serviceable. I can hear the pump prime when the ignition is on accessory mode. Regular maintenance has been kept up.

In browsing, it seems like people are pointing at the battery, alternator, starter or fuel pump.. possibly fuel regulator.

Pretty confident I can rule out the battery and alternator. The starter doesn’t run slow or have issues engaging. The fuel pump primes and the car doesn’t miss and doesn’t appear to be down on power (although, it’s not exactly a race car). No check engine light.



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Gotch

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My 8th gen 1.8 did that once and awhile also. I found that leaving the key in run position until the pump stopped fixed the issue. If I went to crank the engine right away it would take longer.
 

charleswrivers

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Hi everyone,

I am trying to troubleshoot an issue with my lady’s 2014 Civic EX, 1.8L. I tried the 9th gen forums but they are super dead. I am sure there’s a lot of former 9th gen owners here and it seems like there’s a lot of activity and knowledge on this board.

I have a 2016 Mustang GT, formerly a Focus ST so I have dabbled in the hot hatch world and ALMOST ended up with an SI before the ST was purchased.

Here is what I posted on the 9g forum, any help would be appreciated:

Every few starts, it turns over for longer than normal. It’s not a WEAK start like a bad battery (battery was replaced +/- 6mo ago). The speed of which the engine turns over is fine. It just takes about 1.5-2x as long before the engine actually fires. It tends to do this after it’s been sitting long enough to partially or fully cool down.

It has 174k (approx). I’ve read the fuel pump/filter are non serviceable. I can hear the pump prime when the ignition is on accessory mode. Regular maintenance has been kept up.

In browsing, it seems like people are pointing at the battery, alternator, starter or fuel pump.. possibly fuel regulator.

Pretty confident I can rule out the battery and alternator. The starter doesn’t run slow or have issues engaging. The fuel pump primes and the car doesn’t miss and doesn’t appear to be down on power (although, it’s not exactly a race car). No check engine light.
First/free/easiest thing is to verify the battery isn't the issue... and have the battery load tested at an autoparts store. I know it shouldn't be bad... but, again... easiest/free. Since the battery was changed recently... I'd verify the battery cables are on *tight*. Even if they seem tight... put a wrench of them to be sure. Sometimes they don't get tightened super great on a reinstall and can work themselves loose enough to still be on seemingly well... but not well enough to conduct for the starting surge on startup... but plenty fine once the car is running.

At 174,000 miles... I'd verify the plugs were changed at ~105,000 miles when I expect they were due. If they are not... it is your next most likely issue IMO. When you pull the plugs, based on the mileage on the engine, I'd do a compression check. Low compression in one or more cylinders will also cause hard starting. Hopefully the engine is worn in and not getting to be worn out. Iridium plugs are supposed to be good for ~100k miles but I've ran into a couple vehicles where their gaps opened in the ~60-75k mile range where they got a little hard starting, an occasional miss on idle and a hesitation going from idle to accelerating to where changing them early solved the problem. While they could have been gently regapped… I just assume change them if I'm going to take the time to pull them and be done with it for another 4-5 years. I don't recall if the R18s had a tank-based fuel filter... but I wouldn't doubt it. I'm not sure if there's a fuel pressure sensor you can use a OBD2 reader to check and see if it's proper... though I'd assume there is.

The last thing to check that'd be free... take a pair of jumper cables and use them to add an extra ground on the car. Sometimes, the ground wires can get bad... and if you can't make a complete circuit to get back to the - terminal... again... weak starting.

Good luck.
 
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Shifting_Gears

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My 8th gen 1.8 did that once and awhile also. I found that leaving the key in run position until the pump stopped fixed the issue. If I went to crank the engine right away it would take longer.
Did you ever have issues with the fuel pump failing or any other adverse effects?

First/free/easiest thing is to verify the battery isn't the issue... and have the battery load tested at an autoparts store. I know it shouldn't be bad... but, again... easiest/free. Since the battery was changed recently... I'd verify the battery cables are on *tight*. Even if they seem tight... put a wrench of them to be sure. Sometimes they don't get tightened super great on a reinstall and can work themselves loose enough to still be on seemingly well... but not well enough to conduct for the starting surge on startup... but plenty fine once the car is running.

At 174,000 miles... I'd verify the plugs were changed at ~105,000 miles when I expect they were due. If they are not... it is your next most likely issue IMO. When you pull the plugs, based on the mileage on the engine, I'd do a compression check. Low compression in one or more cylinders will also cause hard starting. Hopefully the engine is worn in and not getting to be worn out. Iridium plugs are supposed to be good for ~100k miles but I've ran into a couple vehicles where their gaps opened in the ~60-75k mile range where they got a little hard starting, an occasional miss on idle and a hesitation going from idle to accelerating to where changing them early solved the problem. While they could have been gently regapped… I just assume change them if I'm going to take the time to pull them and be done with it for another 4-5 years. I don't recall if the R18s had a tank-based fuel filter... but I wouldn't doubt it. I'm not sure if there's a fuel pressure sensor you can use a OBD2 reader to check and see if it's proper... though I'd assume there is.

The last thing to check that'd be free... take a pair of jumper cables and use them to add an extra ground on the car. Sometimes, the ground wires can get bad... and if you can't make a complete circuit to get back to the - terminal... again... weak starting.

Good luck.
Good info. Grounds are a good idea. I did pull the battery box to replace the CVT filter and the ground came off during that time. I cleaned the mating surface but you never know.

Plugs have less than 100k on them but would be an easy thing to cross off.

Engine runs fine and uses no discernible oil between changes. Fuel psi would be a good point to check as well.


Thanks both for the feedback.
 

DRUSA

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Most likely a bleed off of fuel pressure when the key is off. If you notice it only when the car is parked for long periods of time, usually the issue. If you run into the store and it fires right up, another sign its a fuel pressure regulator bleeding off pressure. Pressure regulator is located inside the pump assembly iirc.

Cheap fix would be to allow the fuel pump to do its 3 sec prime in the KEY ON position before you start the car. This allows the fuel system to build pressure before you start the car. Otherwise you are starting the car with no or weak pressure in the fuel lines, the pump will build pressure while you are cranking endlessly and finally start when pressure builds, this is your extended cranking time. So turn the key to KEY ON, all lights on the dash fire up, give it like 3 seconds, then crank engine.

If the engine cranks over with good effort and speed, you can rule out the battery/starter. Deeper diagnosis would be an ignition switch (super rare on 9th gen), main pgmfi relay (fuel pump relay, rare failure) or immobilizer failure (green key icon will illuminate on dash if this is an issue, also rare failure).

Best of luck dude.
 

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