So I hadn't been driving Ol' Roy (my 1994 civic I bought) because it's manual and I had a bum knee. It sat for over a month until I went to drive it up to the parts store to get new headlight bulbs so I could start driving it again.
I anticipated that it would probably be a rough start because it sat so long and it has so many miles on it (375,xxx). Of course it did, but a few pumps of the pedal and a few more cranks and it fired up. We got about 1.5 miles away and it died, pushed it into the McDonald's.
Okay so time to diagnose...Air/Spark/Fuel? My first guess is fuel. This thing is old and has the original fuel pump on it, and it seemed like it just wasn't getting fuel. I call the previous owner (a mechanic) and run it by him. He says try ignition coil first, those pumps rarely go out on these cars.
Ok, so I pull a plug, test for spark, yada yada..no spark. Ok, good guess my man...let's go buy and ignition coil.
Now the fun part:
Of course the guys at Advanced Auto think they know everything..and I try to give them the benefit of the doubt because they usually know more than I do. So i go up and ask for an ignition coil and 4 new spark plugs.
"Well do you need wires/distributor cap/rotor today sir?"
"No thanks, just trying this first"
I explain my issue and two guys in the store go "Oh man, that sounds like fuel. You need a fuel pump for sure. If it was ignition coil going bad...it would RUN, just run rough. Uhh if it's not working at all...then it won't start at all..NO SPARK = no ignition at all. So for a second..they convinced me. Damn...maybe it is fuel...that sucks. I can't readily fix that in the McDonalds parking lot.
I leave and go smell the plugs to see if they smell like fuel, sure enough they do. The friggin car IS getting fuel. I go to buy an ignition coil from Auto Zone. I slap it in, new plugs as well while I'm at it. And Ol' Roy fires RIGHT up.
I made it a point to go BACK to Advanced and tell them it was in fact the ignition coil. They were dumbfounded. They still couldn't let it go "well, something is causing the igniton coil to fail" blah blah. They were so offended I went to auto zone and bought my IG coil. Those guys didn't ask questions and told me if it coil didn't work I could bring it back for full refund.
Needless to say, Ol' Roy is back up and running. Ram gets to sit pretty in the drive.