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97 accord starting issues

10-11-2011, 09:10 AM
Hi, need some help for my daughter who's trying to get her car to last her through 2 more years of college, neither of us can afford another car but we're dumping tons into this one. Anyway, as much info as I can remember: she was going to work last week, car just cut off at a stop light, no such problems previously. Started after 3 tries, got her to work and back home later. I went out the next morning, car would not start, turns over like normal, dash lights and everything works, hear the fuel pump when you first turn the key on, click afterwards, CEL light comes on and goes off like normal, car just wouldnt even try to start. Did this for 2 days til I could get under the hood. I figured since I could hear the fuel pump, and a faint smell of fuel when continually trying to start it, that I'd check the spark. Actually, I took the cap and rotor off first, they looked used but not bad, still no start. So, I pulled a plug wire and inserted my spark tester (the fake spark plug type), clipped it to ground so I could see it through the windshield, hit the key and the car started right up! Put the wire back in place, car started every time, no hesitation. So, I figured I'd do the general tune-up, put in new plugs, wires, cap, rotor AND coil. Car started fine. Daughter drove it to lunch, car wouldnt start after lunch but finally started and she drove it home. She went to school, car wouldnt start when she came back out. After about 15 minutes it started and she drove it home. During this whole ordeal, there are NO codes in the computer, CEL light is off. ANY ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

10-12-2011, 01:12 PM
Does it make any sounds when no start conditions occur?

Fuel smell eliminates problems with main relay or ignition switch. What are the conditions of the battery connections?

I would also check the starter.

Good luck,

10-15-2011, 06:32 PM
It turns over as normal but wont start, this could take several tries or several days of trying. Right now it starts fine, first try, but if she drives it, it may not start when she gets back in, or it may cut off at a redlight then not start. Kinda hard to diagnose when it's starting, thats whats so frustrating and why i'm looking for any ideas. Battery terminals look fine, battery isnt very old, when it WONT start, it turns over like normal as long as i'll try it, just wont start.

10-17-2011, 09:21 AM
i'm going to take a guess that it is the crank sensor failing... it should cause a code, but it may not. Now that does not mean go buy a crank sensor and "try it" but there should be a way to see if that is the problem, do you have a repair manual? I'll see if I have any info on it and get back to you.

10-18-2011, 09:04 AM
I do have a manual but havent checked on the CPS, but I will. A post on Honda-Tech suggested the main relay does more than supply power to the fuel, so that it still suspect. The ignitor was also suggested, just wanting to research all options before I start dive-bombing parts, like you said. Just worried it'll strand her if I dont come up with something before she heads out of town next semester. Thanks.

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