How to Set the Ignition Timing in a 99 Honda Civic

Written by aram khayatpour
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How to Set the Ignition Timing in a 99 Honda Civic
The timing belt, along with the distributor cap, controls your pistons' ignition. (timing belt image by Albert Lozano from

The ignition timing of your 1999 Honda Civic controls when the spark plugs in the engine fire. The order and speed at which your spark plugs fire have a profound effect on the efficiency and ride-quality of your Civic's engine. When the ignition timing is off, the engine will shake and unburned fuel will enter your exhaust system, causing the car to produce excess smoke. To remedy these problems you must set the ignition timing so that it ensures a clean, full burn.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Jumper wire
  • Timing light
  • Socket wrench
  • 10mm socket

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  1. 1

    Turn on the Civic and allow the engine to run for 10 minutes. Then turn off the car.

  2. 2

    Pry off the side panel in the front passenger footwell in the interior of the car.

  3. 3

    Place a jumper wire into the two-wire connector that is underneath the panel. This will override the computerised timing of the vehicle and allow you to adjust the ignition timing.

  4. 4

    Open the bonnet and attach the timing light to the Civic's battery. Attach the black timing light cable to the black battery terminal and attach the red timing light cable to the red battery terminal.

  5. 5

    Attach the third timing light cable to the spark plug one cable, so that the arrow on the timing light is facing the number one spark plug.

  6. 6

    Turn on the engine and point the timing light at the timing cover.

  7. 7

    Loosen the two 10mm bolts on the distributor cap.

  8. 8

    Turn the distributor cap slowly as you look at the timing cover with the timing light flashing onto it. When the middle mark on the pulley lines up with the mark on the timing cover, stop turning the distributor cap.

  9. 9

    Turn off the engine.

  10. 10

    Tighten the bolts on the distributor cap, then remove the timing light and the jump wire. Replace the panel in the passenger footwell.

Tips and warnings

  • In very cold temperatures, you may want to leave your engine running for 20 minutes during step one.

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