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1989 Civic Hatchback DX General Concerns

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1989 Civic Hatchback DX General Concerns

Postby Prince_Urg » Tue May 10, 2016 6:53 am

I just bought an awesome 1989 HB for my first ever car and I love it to pieces, however, I also have some concerns. Overall with 240,000 miles it runs great but at times it seems a little iffy.

To start off, if I am driving for lets say 0-30 min or so and turn the car off, it does not want to turn back on whatsoever until it has sat for maybe 10 minutes (not to mention starting the car in the first place takes a couple seconds but no big deal). I dont believe overheating or anything to be the issue because 1. it hasn't been going for long and 2. the temperature gauge is less than half way up the dial.

Also, whenever I go to refuel, it is really difficult to unscrew the cap due to some sort of suction or vacuum like pressure that has built up in the tank which is obvious because when i do get it to open there is a big rush of air inwards into the tank. Im not sure if this is what is impacting the above point in anyway but I just had the idea that it might be.

Rattling seems to be an issue as well but that is most likely because it is just worn down. I understand that it could be low oil, etc but this rattling seems directly metal to metal so it is possibly the exhaust/muffler bumping into something. Would it be worth to have a mechanic look at or do you guys think I could just solve it myself?

The drivers side window is also quite droopy and so it does not seal completely with the rubber insert on the top of the door and because I am pretty new to the whole things I'm not exactly sure where to start to fix that.

The car also pulls pretty strong to the right when I dont have my hands on the wheel but I would assume an alignment would fix that. Th suspension is also quite squeaky and rough but that is not to big of an issue.

I realize that this is quite a bit but I am getting pretty desperate. Dont get me wrong I love this little car, but it has some issues and so I want to make it as perfect and stock as possible. Thank you guys for all your help.
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Re: 1989 Civic Hatchback DX General Concerns

Postby Sandman » Tue May 10, 2016 10:51 am

When it resuses to start, does the cel stay on?
I will get back to the rest of the issues later. Right now on my phone. ;)
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Re: 1989 Civic Hatchback DX General Concerns

Postby Prince_Urg » Tue May 10, 2016 3:22 pm

Sandman wrote:When it resuses to start, does the cel stay on?
I will get back to the rest of the issues later. Right now on my phone. ;)


No worries man. By cel I assume you are talking about the dashboard. As far as I know everything turns on and stays on fine other than the motor of course.
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Re: 1989 Civic Hatchback DX General Concerns

Postby 91hatchligon » Thu May 12, 2016 4:53 pm

CEL (Check Engine Light) If the check engine light is on then you can check what problem codes the computer has to help diagnose the problem. If its not you will have to do some troubleshooting. These are steps to follow when it refuses to start. First to listen for the main relay when you turn the key to the on position, at the same time you should here the fuel pump prime it sounds like a small humming noise from the back of the car. If you hear the relay click and can hear the pump prime then it should be getting fuel. You can also replace the fuel filter easily to rule out a clogged filter. once you are satisfied its getting fuel then you need to check that it is getting spark the best way to do this is pull one of the spark plugs and plug it back into the plug wire place it where it can ground and try to start the car you should see a nice blue arc. If I had to guess it sounds like it might be the ignition coil or the igniter. causing a no or low spark issue. heat causes these to act up and when cooled they will work again.

The vacuum effect that you have with the gas cap is normal most if not all fuel injected cars have a pressurized fuel system.

Rattling can be from many things. Is the rattle a constant? Does the rattle increase with higher RPMs? Does it rattle more when you hit bumps?

Droopy window. Does the wind handle feel sloppy? if so you may need to find a replacement window regulator (the winding gear mechanism in the door.

definitely get an alignment
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Re: 1989 Civic Hatchback DX General Concerns

Postby kspraker » Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:51 pm

Rattling - look underneath - if you have stock exhaust it came with a heat shield around the intermediate pipe which will rust - and begin to rattle. I'd look at it prior to taking to mechanic. But if rust is setting in on the exhaust you'll be replacing it soon either way.

Window - mine has a specific problem with the drivers window where it doesn't fall into the weather stripping correctly and I have to push out on it at the top when closing to get it tight - worth a try anyway - roll it up slowly. If not - probably regulator as previously stated.

Restart issues - I'd suspect main relay issues - fix it (search forum for how) and get a spare to keep on hand.
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