Have to crank it several times to get it to start?

Tiny
CHRIS DUNFORD
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 HONDA ACCORD
  • 2.2L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 300,000 MILES
I have to crank it several times to get it to start. Once that starts, it runs good. It used to start right off. I have put a fuel pressure regulator, fuel injectors, fuel pump, two-way vent valve, fuel filter on it. It seems to me to be a fuel problem. Would a failing crankshaft sensor cause this issue? If so, how do I test it? I really don’t know what else to try. It sputters when you’re trying to start it then after several tries it will finally take off. It’s never done that before.
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Tuesday, January 24th, 2023 AT 5:53 PM

16 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

It sounds like you replaced a lot of the fuel system. At first, I was thinking fuel pressure would drop off. Will it start right away if you cycle the key a few times before actually trying to start it?

Try this:

1) Turn the key from off to the run position (engine off) and count to 3.

2) Turn the key off and repeat step 1 a total of five times.

3) On the sixth time, see if it starts normally.

If that doesn't change it, my next thought is the engine compression may be getting low. Once the engine runs, things expand and can improve compression allowing it to start right away. Since you have already done so much work, that is the next thing I would try.

Here is a link that explains how to test compression:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-test-engine-compression

Also, if you have a live data scan tool, check to see if the engine coolant temperature sensor is sending a good signal. Do this cold so you can compare the signal to the ambient temperature.

Let me know,

Joe

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Tuesday, January 24th, 2023 AT 7:33 PM
Tiny
CHRIS DUNFORD
  • MEMBER
I have tried cycling the key a few times but not as many as 6. I will try that tomorrow. (You can hear the fuel pump working for about 5 seconds or so.) I do have a live scan tool but only have used it to check codes. I will read up on how to use the live data feed. Thanks.
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Tuesday, January 24th, 2023 AT 7:40 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

That sounds like a plan. Let me know what you find or if you have other questions.

Take care,

Joe
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Wednesday, January 25th, 2023 AT 6:37 PM
Tiny
CHRIS DUNFORD
  • MEMBER
Cycling the key does not seem to make a difference. The longer it sits between starts, the harder it is to start. Makes me think it could be a fuel problem caused by an electrical issue. Would a failing crank shaft sensor do this? Is there a way to test it? They are expensive (OE) so I would like to know if that is the issue before purchasing.
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Monday, January 30th, 2023 AT 1:00 PM
Tiny
CHRIS DUNFORD
  • MEMBER
One thing, when I am trying to start it, it almost acts like it has jumped time, then suddenly, it will crank up and run fine.
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Monday, January 30th, 2023 AT 1:02 PM
Tiny
CHRIS DUNFORD
  • MEMBER
Could it be the distributor (the ICM is in the dizzy).
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Monday, January 30th, 2023 AT 6:01 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

Anything is possible. Is it possible for you to record it cranking and upload it for me to hear? As far as the delayed start, I feel it is fuel related. If you want to see if it is the CKP, see if it starts immediately with starting fluid. If the CKP is failing, it will create an ignition spark issue.

Let me know.

Joe
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Monday, January 30th, 2023 AT 7:52 PM
Tiny
CHRIS DUNFORD
  • MEMBER
Okay. It will probably be the weekend before I can experiment any. I have 2 other vehicles that I can drive, and I am working 12 hours a day at the moment. As soon as I can, I will do that. Thank you.
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Tuesday, January 31st, 2023 AT 10:09 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi Chris,

No problem whatsoever. When you have a chance, let me know what you find. Also, you should consider checking the engine compression. With 300K on it, the compression may be low and that will cause a hard start. I attached a link above explaining how it is done.

Take care,

Joe
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Tuesday, January 31st, 2023 AT 6:30 PM
Tiny
CHRIS DUNFORD
  • MEMBER
I had a valve spring break at about 250,000. Had the head checked then and I replaced the 2 exhaust valves and springs and head gasket myself, but anything is possible. Thanks.
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Wednesday, February 1st, 2023 AT 6:12 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

That is correct. At 300K, the rings have a lot of wear on them. I would check the compression.

Let me know.

Joe
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Wednesday, February 1st, 2023 AT 1:48 PM
Tiny
CHRIS DUNFORD
  • MEMBER
I decided to check my ECT sensor. Not running but with the key on, using a scanner, it shows my engine coolant is -40! After finally getting it running and letting it warm up, it still shows -40. Hopefully that is my issue. From what I have read that sensor, when not working properly, can cause similar problems to what I am experiencing because it is sending false info to the ECU. I didn’t have time to do a resistance check yesterday.
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Thursday, February 2nd, 2023 AT 6:54 AM
Tiny
CHRIS DUNFORD
  • MEMBER
I checked it with a scanner using the live data mode.
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Thursday, February 2nd, 2023 AT 6:55 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Chris,

Yep, I mentioned checking that a few posts up. That is the problem. The computer is trying to compensate for the extreme cold by making the fuel mixture very rich. It is basically flooding the engine.

Let me know if the new sensor takes care of the issue. I'm interested in knowing.

Take care,

Joe
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Thursday, February 2nd, 2023 AT 6:48 PM
Tiny
CHRIS DUNFORD
  • MEMBER
It looks like the ECT sensor fixed it. It’s been starting up good so far. Thank you.
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Monday, February 6th, 2023 AT 7:08 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi:

Chris, that is good news. It was a simple fix. You would be surprised how often this happens.

Regardless, I'm glad to know it's working properly, and I appreciate your update.

Take good care of yourself and feel free to come back anytime in the future. Also, if anything changes, let me know.

Joe
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Monday, February 6th, 2023 AT 9:01 PM

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