Drive Accord Honda Forums banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1998 EX 4D
116000 miles

We were driving up I-71 about 65 miles so. of Columbus OH. As we passed a trooper's car who was helping a stranded motorist our car shuddered and the speedometer, tachometer, gas and temp gauges all fell to zero and then when back on/up again. It happened so fast I wasn't sure what really happened. About 10 miles later it did it again, but this time all the dials stayed at zero, all the warning lights flashed and power was lost. I pulled onto the shoulder and almost lost control -- this is during the ice storm tonight.

Once we came to a stop the dash and emergency lights were on, and the check engine and maintenance lights were on. The car would turn over but not start. We sat there for a minute or two. I tried to start it a couple of times but it would just turn over. After a few more moments the dashboard lights blinked and there was a chime. I tried to start it and it started.

We've made it to Columbus but aren't sure what to do other than try and get a mechanic. We were hoping to make it to New Hampshire tomorrow evening for Thanksgiving. Any help would be great!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,279 Posts
If the CEL light is still on, see what codes are stored. Most auto parts stores will usually help you get those free of charge.
If no CEL light, I would guess your ignition switch may be going bad. That is a somewhat common problem on these Accords and it can cause the symptoms you describe. Honda even did a safety recall on the problem (#02-031) for some 98 & 99 Accords. A Honda dealer would need to verify your Accord was part of that recall. Otherwise you will probably need to find a mechanic to replace it unless you are real handy with tools.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update:

We managed to get to NH and back to KY without another incident. The recall is not for the ignition but just for the interlock, which was replaced today.

For the past couple of days, and periodically before that, I've had trouble starting the car on wet days. A while back I had the car towed to my mechanics and it started once it got there without him having to do anything to it. About 4 months ago it wouldn't start and I called AAA. The AAA guy convinced me to try and start it. After turning over for a minute or so with no luck it started to sputter and eventually started.

Recently it wouldn't start. I cleaned the battery connections and checked the fuel pump fuse and all were OK. It still wouldn't start. I thought about the time it was towed and then started, so I put the car in neutral and let it coast about 8 ft. When I tried to start it again it did just like it did with the AAA guy, sputtered for a while and then started. Same thing happened this morning when I needed to drive it to get the recalled part changed out.

I'll run this by my mechanic but thought it would be good to post this in this forum. Any advice would be great.

thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,279 Posts
The recall is for the ignition switch. Here it is straight from Honda. Your VIN may or may not be included.

The sputtering symptom does sound more like a fuel problem tho. Either too much or not enough fuel. If the problem persists try cycling the ignition key ON/OFF several times to make the fuel pump prime the injectors.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
I would also look at the main relay, which controls power to the fuel pump. There are many posts about it on the internet, and it doesn't even need to be replaced. In most cases a couple of solder joints just need to be re-soldered. I bet this is probably one of the most probable causes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,223 Posts
I would also look at the main relay, which controls power to the fuel pump. There are many posts about it on the internet, and it doesn't even need to be replaced. In most cases a couple of solder joints just need to be re-soldered. I bet this is probably one of the most probable causes.
I had the main relay replaced on my 2000 Accord Coupe a couple of years ago and the dealer gave me the old one. I couldn't possibly find the hairline crack in all of the connections on the printed circuit board. When these go intermittent there is a crack in the board itself that is so small that the changes in temperature cause the circuit to open and close. Good luck finding that crack. The part was about $200.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,849 Posts
Update:

For the past couple of days, and periodically before that, I've had trouble starting the car on wet days.
So do you have trouble starting only on wet days? If so, and given the vintage of your car, have you changed the spark plug wires or distributor cap? These are two primary items which are susceptible to moisture induced shorting/arcing to prevent the engine from starting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,651 Posts
The issue sounds like a bad ignition switch. I would check the Honda website to see if your car was part of the ignition switch recall, the site is recalls.honda.com and you can enter your VIN number.



Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Unfortunately I was only qualified to get the ignition interlock replaced, not the whole ignition.

No start happened again this morning. It was about 30 degrees outside. Tried turning the ignition on and off to prime the fuel injectors. That initially didn't help. Again what seemed to help is getting the car to roll about 5 or 10 feet while in neutral, then trying again. That seems odd to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,279 Posts
Just for the record, is your car a 4 cyl or V6, automatic or 5 speed?
I am still not clear on what the "interlock" replacement was. Was it the electrical switch behind the ignition key cylinder?
When the car fails to start, is the green key light on the dash flashing by chance? If so, then the immobilizer is not recognizing your key and it will not start.
Can you hear the fuel pump run when you turn the ignition ON but do not crank the engine? It should make a hum or buzz sound from the back of the car (fuel tank area) for a couple of seconds then stop each time you turn the ignition ON.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The car is an automatic and I'm pretty sure a V6.

My understanding if the interlock is that the problem was that you could remove the key while the car was out of park.

I don't think I noticed any lights flashing but I'll take a closer look next time.

I can hear the fuel pump when the key is turned.

Thanks for your response!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hadn't had any problems for the past week or so but this morning it wouldn't start. It had been raining all night and was misting when the car wouldn't start early this afternoon. Tried priming the injectors 4-5 times before starting, No luck. Tried letting it roll about 10' a couple times (this may have just been a coincidence that it worked previously). no luck. Let it sit for about 15 minutes and tried again. no luck.

I went to look under that dash on the driver's side since this is where the main relay is located, to my understanding. There was a gray box, about 2" x 3" x2" hanging by a braid of wires. I wonder if this is the main relay and if it should be dangling like that? Also, tried a couple more times and it finally started, but it chugged for about 5-10 seconds before finally starting. I decided to drive it to let it warm up and it stalled 3 times on me as I went around the block. It would start up each time. This is something new.

Any advice on the dangling main relay, if that's what it is, would be great.

thank!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,279 Posts
The main relay would not normally be dangling from the wires, but if someone worked on it before, who knows. You can check Youtube for videos of Honda main relays to see what they look like and how to fix them if the solder joints are bad.

If you can hear the fuel pump run when you cycle the ignition, the main relay is working correctly. Still, your fuel pump or fuel regulator may not be delivering the correct pressure. A fuel pressure gauge would be needed to determine that and it requires a special adaptor to connect to the Accord fuel rail.

Another fairly simple test you can do is verify if you have spark to the plugs when it will not start. Pull off one of the plug wires or COP if its a V6 and see if it sparks when the engine is cranking over. No spark means you have an ignition problem not a fuel problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It's been a while since anyone's worked on the car, but after going over a lot of posts both here and elsewhere in cyberspace I've come to the conclusion that the dangling piece is the main relay. I'm going to replace it tomorrow since the part is relatively inexpensive. My starting troubles also seem to match what others have experience who've had a faulty main relay. I'm certainly not going to try to re-solder the circuits though.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top