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I have some mechanical trouble in my civic that the shop can't seem to figure out, so I figured I'd post it here and maybe some of you mechanically inclined people would have an answer.

My '92 civic has a problem with stalling. It only happens when the car is warm, and only when it has been shut off for a short period of time - if it has been off for more than 10 minutes this problem does not occur. It basically goes like this: I shut off the car, run into a store, come back out and when I go to start the car, it turns over quickly then stalls, and it cannot be started for 2-3 minutes. If you try to start right away, it acts as if its getting no fuel. You have to let it set 2, 3, or 4 minutes, then it starts and runs fine. The car runs perfectly the rest of the time, and this only happens once every week or two. Any ideas?

The reason I'm posting this is because I feel I'm currently being screwed by the shop that my car is at (this is another matter entirely). I brought it over there yesterday, explained the problem and went back to work to wait for an answer. I got a call saying that it was the distributor that needed to be replaced. I told them that I'd had the distributor go bad on several other cars (including a civic), and that the cars had check engine lights, idled irratically and had no power - basically I told them that I respectfully disagreed that the distributor was the problem. So I went to pick the car up - and it would not start, and the battery was close to dead from them trying. I asked what they did to the car - I brought it there with the problem of stalling once a week or two and having to wait 2 or 3 minutes, and now it didn't run at all??

So they claimed that it just died on them, and the distributor was definitely the problem. I figured they might have done something, and now the distributor was the problem, so I agreed to let them replace it just so I could have a working car to take it somewhere else and find out what the stalling problem was (if it wasn't the distributor that they claimed). Anyway, I call them back this morning and they said it was not ready, and they asked me if there had been an engine swap because they have tried 4 distributors and none of them are working!! I had trusted this place in the past, but I'm losing trust very quickly at this point because I'm starting to think they sabotaged my car, and now are trying to replace the distributor when that's not the real problem (I'm guessing on this, since 4 distributors haven't worked). Right now I really don't know what to do, especially since I expect they are going to come back to me saying the car is dead and they don't know what to do.

My questions are this:
What do you think the original problem was?
Are there general car message boards that I can post a problem on and get an answer to?
Do you think this place is trying to screw me over or not, and what recourses are there?

Thanks for any help on this, I'm kind of in a bind right now. :(
 

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Main Relay on early 90s Hondas. They did not work right when warm.

Back up choices would be O2 and MAF sensors and indeed the distributor. But I don't think so. Edit to add Speed Sensor.

P.S. Try to see if removing the gas cap helps when this happens. if it does, then there is a problem with the return or vent line or gas cap.
 

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Reminds me of a problem I had with a VW Scirocco, that turned out to be the fuel pump relay.

Your problem sounds a lot like vapor lock, though that's something that doesn't seem to happen on any modern cars.
 
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