Might be getting 2012 Civic LX 1.8l, What all should I check before putting money into it?

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I just went to look at the car my mother is going to give me after mine old Buick bit the dust. Me and my stepfather put a battery in it, but it wouldn't start. I ended up flooding the engine trying to get it to turn over before realzing I might burn the starter out.

It sat a few minutes and it finally started up, but once it falls down below 2k rpms it dies out. I also noticed a lot of white smoke from the tailpipe and a gasoline smell coming from the car. I pulled a spark plug and was black as night, but otherwise almost brand new NGK plugs. It did sit for many months. I hoping my uncle will come over and check the fuel pressure regulator and injectors seeing as I don't have any fuel system tools. I'm also hoping all it needs is fresh gas and a can of carb cleaner and a wire brush for the plugs. I noticed no CEL illuminated so thats looking good.

Any ideas of what all I should check before putting some money into this thing?
 

3800Fan

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I should also add that the coolant is as full as it can get, so I don't think the white smoke is a blown head gasket.
 
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I just went to look at the car my mother is going to give me

It did sit for many months.

Cars don't usually sit for many months for no reason. People don't just give cars away for no reason. Why don't you ask mother what has been done to it and why it has been sitting that long? That would save a lot of time.
 

3800Fan

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Cars don't usually sit for many months for no reason. People don't just give cars away for no reason. Why don't you ask mother what has been done to it and why it has been sitting that long? That would save a lot of time.
Her husband has heart failure and shouldn't be driving, and he couldn't afford a new battery for the vehicle. My buick went caput after putting all sorts of money into it, and she's been wanting to give it to me since last year.
 
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white smoke can be moisture/steam a byproduct of sitting and also burning gas produces water.
Gasoline smell because you flooded it somehow.
 
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Get the fuel drained/siphoned and start fresh. Maybe a bottle of heet to help with any moisture issues. This gen Civic is generally pretty bulletproof so it's likely something simple.

Also replace the plugs, don't wire brush them. Iridium plugs don't like to be cleaned, it can damage the electrodes.

(You can use cheap copper plugs for the sake of getting it running/fuel system cleaned out, I run coppers in my 1.8 Honda they just have to be changed more often, doesn't bother me since they take less than 5 minutes to swap on these engines)
 
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How do you flood a modern, fuel-injected car ?

Otherwise, dump a bottle or two of something like Techron fuel system cleaner in it, then put fresh gas in it. Don't clean the plugs. If they're the proper plugs, they're Iridium and either leave them alone or replace them. Check/clean/change the air filter.
 
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Your ole Buick probably rode like a boat, yeah ? This Civic will be quite different ! You'll probably like putting gas in it though. It will take a lot less and last a lot longer.
 

3800Fan

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Update: my uncle took a look and will confer with a friend that is a retired Honda tech.

Here's what I found after they tried to start it and the engine flooded.

All 4 plugs are black as can be, but the #4 cylinder is got the worst carbon deposits on it.

Cylinder 3 smells like gas days after it was last started.

I'm thinking fuel pressure regulator. What about you guys?
 

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1. those plugs are oily. Bad. Very un-Honda. At least they are consistent
2. Is it consuming any oil. You mentioned white puff on start
3. DID THEY EVER CHANGE THE OIL??
4. was this a short-tripped car?
5. did it ever see more than 2000 rpm?

it needs to be driven for a good long distance to let this stuff burn out. It probably needs a gentle diet of seafoam in all the places for 10,000 miles.

how’s the pcv system? It may be gummed up. If this has EGR, I’d be checking that too.

it’s hard to flood a fuel injected car. It’s more likely not developing fuel pressure. Go rent a fuel pressure gauge and check it.
 
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