1989 Honda Accord Car cranks but won't start

Tiny
ANDREWW
  • MEMBER
  • 1989 HONDA ACCORD
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 196,763 MILES
OK, I'll try to give as much info as I can because this is confusing the hell out of me.

When I turn the key to position two, the dashboard lights come on but the fuel pump doesn't sound like it's coming on. There's plenty of cranking power when I turn the key, but the engine doesn't sound like it's getting any fuel.

I don't know if this is relevant, but:

This problem seemed to develop slowly during the last two weeks or so. The first start up on any given day (or after several hours of sitting in a parking garage) would be fine, but if I tried to start it in the middle of the day after driving for a while, I would get a spotty ignition--sometimes needing to pump the gas pedal to get the car to idle.

Usually, I would start the car first thing in the morning or the late evening, these "troubled starts" were usually during the middle of the day in 110 degree heat (I live in Arizona).

The ignition switch is fine--it was replaced by a mechanic a few months ago.

I replaced the fuel filter and things seemed ok for a day or so--then it wouldn't start again.

The fuel filter was replaced inside of two years ago, and while I think it *could* be the problem, I'm not sure how to confirm that.

The Haynes manual also suggests that the F/I "main relay" might be the problem.

Any advice?
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Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 AT 11:07 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi andreww,

Thanks for the donation.

Yes, your symptom seems to describe a fault with the main relay.

Test, with a grounded test lamp, for power supply from the main relay yellow wire at No 7 terminal when ignition is turned, it will last for 2 seconds. Crank engine and it should continue to provide power supply. If there is power, the fuel pump might be faulty or its wire connections are bad.
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Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 AT 11:28 AM
Tiny
ANDREWW
  • MEMBER
I'm kind of a dummy when it comes to electricity in cars, so I hope you will answer this follow-up.

The Haynes manual recommends testing the relay itself and concludes that any fault requires a replacement. I already pulled the relay to get a part number, so does it need to be attached to the connectors to test the wiring? Moreover, having already pulled it, should I go ahead and get a new one?
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Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 AT 12:58 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi andreww,

Since you have already pulled it out, do a visual check.

Pull the circuit board out of the cover and see if there are any cracked soldered points, especially the 2 central points on either end. Resolder all the points and most probably the realy would be as good as new, if not better.

Testing the relay off the car is possible but it might work when you test it as there is intermittent contact with bad connections.
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Thursday, July 17th, 2008 AT 8:39 AM

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