WON'T START

2001 Honda Prelude

Tiny

slb1974

September, 30, 2010 AT 1:44 PM

Engine Mechanical problem
2001 Honda Prelude 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Manual 160, 00 miles

About 2 months ago my car was only starting on about the 3rd try. Mechanic replaced the main relay and it started fine afterwords and to work the next day until after work. Took about 10 attempts to get it started. I then replaced the distributor cap, rotor, spark plugs, wires then it was fine for a while (but I did notice that it didn't start as quickly as before.)
So last night it started and immediately shut off and I started it again with no problems. Earlier today it started on my way to work but 8 hours later it did the same thing as last night - started for a second and then shut off. Now it won't start at all.
I definitely don't think it's the alternator as I have mo power loss/lights aren't dim etc. It almost seems like it could be a fuel issue? Help please!

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7 Answers

Tiny

KHLow2008

September, 30, 2010 AT 2:34 PM

Hi slb1974,

Thank you for the donation.

This seems more like a fuel pump issue. Get the fuel pressure tested.

It could also be due to a faulty ignition switch. Are the dash indicators light showing when ignition is turned on and while cranking?

Tiny

slb1974

September, 30, 2010 AT 3:20 PM

Yeah, all the dash lights come on normal. I'm thinking it's the fuel pump too but when I suggested that to my mechanic he said that the Honda prelude's fuel pump should last the lifetime of the car. I read on another forum that there is a way to test the fuel pump (not sure how easy that is though!)
Thanks for the speedy response!

Tiny

KHLow2008

September, 30, 2010 AT 3:33 PM

Fuel pumps do give way though it seldom does.

Was the PGM-FI main relay replaced new or used?
At the relay, there is a wire going to the fuel pump. The terminal is # 7. Apply battery voltage to the terminal and the fuel pump should come on, try starting if the fuel pump works.

Fuel pressure could drop and not allow the engine to start if the intank filter is bad.

Tiny

slb1974

September, 30, 2010 AT 4:05 PM

The main relay was new from the honda dealer.

Thanks for the advice.I'll ask my mechanic to do just that : )

Tiny

KHLow2008

October, 1, 2010 AT 8:03 AM

Get your mechanic to test the fuel pressure to ensure it is correct.

You need to confirm that sparks are available to avoid going in the wrong direction.

Tiny

slb1974

October, 4, 2010 AT 3:24 PM

Bad news, I didn't get a chance to tell my mechanic your suggestions but he told me he replaced the igniter unit and it ran then about a half hour later he sent another text saying when he tried moving it that it wouldn't start again. He thinks I need a new distributor ($250-$350) or a new computer ($600-$1000). I'm so frustrated I don't know what to do. Should I still ask him to do a fuel pressure check?

Tiny

KHLow2008

October, 4, 2010 AT 3:57 PM

No, you need to confirm if it is fuel or ignition sparks that is missing.

From what your mechanic had done, I believe it is igntiion sparks that is the cause and the most likely cause would be the igntion coil. Get your mechanic to test the ignition coil resistance. The distributor does not need to be replaced as an assembly unless the sensors coils are bad. Ignitor and igniton coil can be replaced separately.

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