I have a Honda Civic 1995 that suddenly didn't start after a day or two of not being used. I managed to start it with starter cables and drive but when I turned it off I did not start again. I didn't have time to look into what the problem was then.

A few days later I tried to start it again with jumper cables but absolutely nothing happened. I tried another battery that I'm sure is good and it didn't work.

I think it might be the alternator or the starter that causes this problem but when I asked on a few forums some guy told me it probably was the distributor and now I'm very confused and not really sure what I can and should do.

  • 1
    Do the lights come on if you turn them on? Is the replacement battery a known good battery? Are you sure you had a good connection with the jumpers the time you tried and it wouldn't start? How good are the cables? If low amperage cables (thin gauge), it might not have provided you with enough power to get it started. When you turn the key, does the car click at all? Oct 18, 2015 at 23:24
  • Nothing happends at all when i turn the key, I tried today with a completly new battery and an other battery that I currently use in a different car. The lights do not come on.
    – Jonathan
    Oct 19, 2015 at 13:13

3 Answers 3


as mach1shotgun suggested check your wires. I too have seen bad batteries from the store (I was a manager at a large parts store for a few years). I would personally start with making sure you can't twist the battery cables when they are installed on the car. If they are loose you will find that you experience exactly what you are talking about. Options are to get new battery cables and replace the old ones (if memory serves me I think replacing both will be around $30). You could get the generic replacement ones for I think 5$. This requires you to cut the old, strip your wires back and clamp... Or if you are in a pinch (and I highly don't recommend it as it can split your clamp) use some small skinny piece of metal to make the connection snug. Once you can't twist the cables side to side it is tight enough.

after those are tightened up continue to monitor it. For sanity check you can have Advance Auto parts, Auto zone, and a few others check your battery. If your battery checks out and the cables are tight then yes it would be your starter.

as for the distributor being the problem... No.


It sounds like a starter problem by what I've read. Make sure your cable going to the starter is tight, and the ground going to the block. Like Paulster suggests, make sure the battery is good. Even a new battery can be bad, I know this from my own experience. good luck

  • a starter wouldn't keep lights from turning on.
    – 3Dave
    Oct 20, 2015 at 2:33

There is not enough info to answer definitively. However since you have no electricity powering anything, it's a connection somewhere. Often this is the ground wire - a very simple fix. It's the wire that goes from the body of the car to the battery, which on your car is the negative terminal. The fact that you were able to get the car started once, supports this, as the other car was the ground then (but again not the only possible cause). Other than that, the short could be lots of other places. The Distributer is not at all likely - this would not affect the rest of the electrics as you describe.

  • As long as the number of possible scenarios is reasonable, it's not a problem to list them. The "no-start" symptoms described have a well-known list of suspects
    – Zaid
    Dec 18, 2015 at 18:45

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