1999 Honda Accord wont start

Tiny
MYSTICALM
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 HONDA ACCORD
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 150,000 MILES
My 1999 Honda accord ran perfect until I went out to start it one day. It would crank but not start. The repair shop I took it to talked with Honda and they agreed that it probably needed a new distributor. That fixed it for about a week. They installed another distributor and the car still wouldn't start. They towed the car to a Honda dealer, and they're saying now that the motor is bad. This car was very well taken care of, and there were no signs of anything going bad. I don't know what to do now, and I'm wondering if the distributor wasn't hooked up right could this be the cause? After they installed the first replacement I (and they) noticed a green light I'd never seen before on the dash. It was very dim and really only noticeable at night. What do you think? Thank you so much for your time and knowledge. :)
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Thursday, January 13th, 2011 AT 2:18 AM

4 Replies

Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Best have the ignition switch checked and tested -BTDT same problem Lx
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, January 13th, 2011 AT 2:55 AM
Tiny
DRCRANKNWRENCH
  • EXPERT
It sounds like there is something the shop is missing.
As far as the dim dash light. Is it an indicator bulb? This is usually from a ground that is not connected correctly and the ground, "Backfeeds" into the dash. This is becasue the dash frame is well ground to the chassis and the path of least resistance if something is not grounded properly under the hood.

Hondas are pretty tough and If you maintained it well, it should at least be starting. Also, if the motor was bad, it would have given you signs before it quit running like;
low power, grinding noises, smoke from the exhaust, etc.

It is not out of the question, but it seem s like they are trying to, "amputate a foot where a band aid would do".

Did they give you any insight as to why they think the motor is bad and why they were wrong about the distributor?
I also wonder about them calling Honda. Unless you have an extended warranty or something equivalent, I would be concerned about a repair shop that had to call for advice to fix your car.

Let me know if you have any other questions as I will keep an eye on this post for your reply.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, January 13th, 2011 AT 2:55 AM
Tiny
MYSTICALM
  • MEMBER
Thank you so much for your replies. :)

This is actually my Mothers car and we were sharing it at the time. I got the car info wrong too. It's actually a '99 Civic 4 cylinder.
Yeah, I wasn't buying the new motor deal either. No signs at all. Forgot to mention that the second time it died, I was driving the car. There were no noises or hesitation at all. It was like someone just pulled a plug or something. Maybe the distributor wasn't grounded right? The green light in the dash is a service light. I was reading in the manual that you should be able to put the ignition key in and it should go out after a repair?

The mechanics we had the car towed to were diesel mechanics and the only mechanics the tow truck driver knew of in the area. (So if you're ever in Carrollton, KY. Lol) They said they didn't have the testing tools for Honda's, and was the reason they were going to call Honda. They even drained all of the gas out thinking it might of been bad.

I'm now wondering if they even took the the car to Honda for the testing.

Either way, I hope they have all of the paper work and some names from Honda when I can go to get the car. Now searching for a real mechanic in the La Grange / Carrollton KY area also. :)

Thank you so much! :)
I feel much better now, hoping that the "band aid" will work instead of an amputation. Lmao Not only the pain, but the cost also!
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, January 14th, 2011 AT 12:37 AM
Tiny
DRCRANKNWRENCH
  • EXPERT
This sounds suspicious to me. But, before you decide what you are going to do, we can work on some other possibilities, check out some things and then you can decide which path to take. Electrical repairs are tough, so don't get frustrated. It will work out.

Let me in on a couple of details so I can help as much as I can;

How much gas was in your car? Unless the gas was over 3 months old, that is not something that would stall a car out. Especially if the car had not been sitting for an extended period of time, Was this a suggestion from Honda? There is not a fuel tank drain plug as far as I know so they would have to pump it out. Then they would have to evacuate the residual gas in the pump, lines and probably have suggested cleaning the injectors. Don' hit them with questions about that first though, get a case file going so you can, interrogate them if you find enough evidence to warrant such action. I am only going with my experience and instinct. You will have to verify some things as well before really seeing if you have been swindled.

Did they take the car to a Honda dealership? Which one? First take the phone numbers they gave you and do a reverse phone number check which you can find on the internet.
The diagnostic tools to determine if the distributor is bad can be done with a multi-meter and visual inspection. However they would need the specifications to do that. There is a diagnostic tool called an OBD tester. Your car is OBD-2, which is the second generation of, "On-Board Diagnostic" testers in almost every car made and the testers are universal and generally less than $200. The codes would tell them what was wrong with the car, with some very small room for error, and the codes have to be looked up but they are very accessible. Most repair shops would have a higher quality OBD-2 tester which actually translates the code and actually describes the problem. In several languages:)

I am also concerned about the dash light that you see that is staying on after starting the car. Double check and make sure it is not the ABS light. They could have damaged it during, "whatever" they did to it and make sure that it is not the ABS light as that is something that is easily damaged if the battery is not disconnected during any electrical repairs.

Rasmataz is correct about the Crank Position Sensor, (CPS). They do have issues that could lead to ignition problems, which will keep the engine from running. It is also possible that the mechanics who worked on it might have mis-diagnosed the distributor as a failed CPS and were really trying to fix the problem. Keep these things in mind as you work through this since there are a lot of possibilities and diagnosing the electrical system in a car is very tough. So, make sure that you look and consider as many possibilities before we jump to any conclusions.

As far as replacing the engine goes, I would hold off and do some research, consider other possibilities. Since you have done a good job maintaining the car, I think it is highly unlikely that it needs replacement. Also, ask the repair shop how long they will keep the car without going forward with repairs until they start charging you any storage fees. Take this time too look for a repair shop, There are links to reputable repairs shops on this site in your area. Also, consider taking it to a dealership.

Yes, there are some, "suspect" things about the entire scenario, but hold off before making any judgments.

Keep me informed as I will keep this post on the top of my list and get back to you ASAP.

Take care
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, January 15th, 2011 AT 12:34 AM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides