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I have 1997 Honda CRV. It was doing fine but after I serviced the car it had this rough idle and after some days I took a drive and when I parked and restart it again it just cranked. My mechanic told me it was a distributor problem after making some tests. I installed a new one and it started with the 1st key but still having that rough idle. I drove about a kilometre and stopped, it began to crank only and won't start. Please help馃槶
 

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Do you have spark? Take a Phillip's screwdriver and insert in the sparkplug end of any plug wire. Space roughly 1/8-1/4" from any metal on engine and have someone crank engine. You should have a pulsed primarily blue spark. Blue indicates strength of discharge. If no spark, remove distributor and inspect coil body on back side by removing metal plate. I've seen many coils fail and start grounding through body and backing plate. You'll see bluing on the plate and many times damage to coil body. Rough idle could have been from weak spark. If you get running and still there, look for vacuum leaks.
 

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Said vehicle ran fine prior to some work he did
Many times it's just happenstance that you do something and think you were the problem. But, new plugs could have set a weak coil over the top and made it fail. This is, (as well as ignitors on earlier 90's Honda's) a common failure on Honda's, not just CRV's. When they had internal coils in distributor. What really drew me to that,was that he changed the distributor and drove barely a mile and it failed again. When you change distributors you take coil and ignitor and install in new body. Just a slight jostling could allow coil to work momentarily and when starts warming fail straight away again. They also need to start somewhere in figuring out how to get it back on the road. Spark, is a main issue and the easiest to test for.馃槈
 

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Many times it's just happenstance that you do something and think you were the problem. But, new plugs could have set a weak coil over the top and made it fail. This is, (as well as ignitors on earlier 90's Honda's) a common failure on Honda's, not just CRV's. When they had internal coils in distributor. What really drew me to that,was that he changed the distributor and drove barely a mile and it failed again. When you change distributors you take coil and ignitor and install in new body. Just a slight jostling could allow coil to work momentarily and when starts warming fail straight away again. They also need to start somewhere in figuring out how to get it back on the road. Spark, is a main issue and the easiest to test for.馃槈
Anything possible, but best to check over one's work and area worked in as that is more probably what happened. Ran fine, worked on car, run bad. Check work and area.
Many examples on this forum alone recently, let alone other forums too.
 

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Anything possible, but best to check over one's work and area worked in as that is more probably what happened. Ran fine, worked on car, run bad. Check work and area.
Many examples on this forum alone recently, let alone other forums too.
I left the totally obvious out and aimed for what I saw as a possible fix.
 

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Definitely check for spark and measure the spark plug gap.

Is the computer throwing misfire codes? If so I'd start rearranging the spark plugs to see if the code changes from one cylinder to another.

If the ignition system checks out you might have a fuel flow or fuel pressure issue. Possibly a different brand of fuel filter that us more restrictive than the (possibly weak) fuel pump can handle.
 

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New spark plugs put less stain on an ignition coil, not more.
When it won't start, pull a spark plug or two and take a look.
If they are wet,it is an ignition problem, and if they are dry, it is usually a fuel delivery problem.
Good advice in the above link.
Buffalo4
 

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New spark plugs put less stain on an ignition coil, not more.
When it won't start, pull a spark plug or two and take a look.
If they are wet,it is an ignition problem, and if they are dry, it is usually a fuel delivery problem.
Good advice in the above link.
Buffalo4
Poorly worded on my part surely. But over the years, doing all this daily you find that all these parts fall into a groove in their respective placements. So you can have an engine running great, you change plugs and that can sometimes expose weak cylinders etc.That hadn't shown before you started. Each part wearing and adjusting to its role for each cylinder. As far as plugs are concerned, they put no load on the coil. Only if they are a resister plug they do a little. The load comes down to what they call " the dominant gap" in the ignition system for each cylinder. Nowadays, with coil over plug setups it is only the gap setting in the plug that controls this. Back in the day,racing with richer mixtures and wanting to have hotter spark so as not to foul plugs in off throttle or idle conditions you would file the distributor rotor down so the gap was dominant in the distributor. While still maintaining the same temperature plugs.
 

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Nebby1 said:
" But, new plugs could have set a weak coil over the top and made it fail." I don't believe that is true, but just the opposite.
"As far as plugs are concerned, they put no load on the coil" . If you make the gap too large for the coil to compensate for, you can burn out the coil on a Gen 1 CRV. New plugs stress the coil less than old worn out plugs.
Testing the spark with a screwdriver, etc can easily cause the ignition coil to short itself out if the gap is too great, (too wide for the spark to jump) and sometimes, almost instantly on a Gen 1 CRV. Same with rotating the engine with the starter with the distributor cap off or any spark plug wire(s) disconnected and not grounded, without first removing the proper fuse or not disconnecting the low voltage connector that feeds the distributor coil.
Shaving down the rotor a bit could possibly result in a stronger spark (pre-spark jump in the distributor could cause a stronger spark at the plug) but it would also slightly affect the timing of the spark.
But, overall, in the long run, your Honda vehicle experience and experience on other vehicles is very valuable to this group.
Welcome, Nebby1
Buffalo4
 

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Nebby1 said:
" But, new plugs could have set a weak coil over the top and made it fail." I don't believe that is true, but just the opposite.
"As far as plugs are concerned, they put no load on the coil" . If you make the gap too large for the coil to compensate for, you can burn out the coil on a Gen 1 CRV. New plugs stress the coil less than old worn out plugs.
Testing the spark with a screwdriver, etc can easily cause the ignition coil to short itself out if the gap is too great, (too wide for the spark to jump) and sometimes, almost instantly on a Gen 1 CRV. Same with rotating the engine with the starter with the distributor cap off or any spark plug wire(s) disconnected and not grounded, without first removing the proper fuse or not disconnecting the low voltage connector that feeds the distributor coil.
Shaving down the rotor a bit could possibly result in a stronger spark (pre-spark jump in the distributor could cause a stronger spark at the plug) but it would also slightly affect the timing of the spark.
But, overall, in the long run, your Honda vehicle experience and experience on other vehicles is very valuable to this group.
Welcome, Nebby1
Buffalo4
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