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1992 Acura Hot Weather Starting Problem

My 1992 Acura Integra runs like a champ except for one problem: In warm weather, it occasionally refuses to start after being driven a short distance or, even more rarely, after sitting in the hot sun for a few hours. My regular mechanic thinks it is an ignition problem, but replacing the igniter did not help, nor did replacing the spark sensor in the distributor. Because the problem is intermittent, it seems to be very difficult to diagnose. I can’t afford to keep taking the car in for repairs that may or may not fix the problem. Help!

I assume that it has already been proven that spark isn’t getting to the plugs when the trouble occurs. If you haven’t made sure power to the ignition system is good while the trouble is occuring then you need to verify that.

Has your mechanic ruled out the classic Honda/Acura Main Relay problem?

Hondas and Acuras of that era frequently will not start in hot weather because the Main Relay (located under the dashboard, in the area above the driver’s left foot) will not allow the fuel pump to run. After the car cools down it starts normally, only to give problems again on the next hot day.

If it turns out that the problem is the Main Relay, you really need to get a new mechanic. This problem is so widely-known that a mechanic who is not familiar with it is not much of a mechanic, or at least is not good at diagnosing problems.

My mechanic did not mention the Main Relay to me, but if this is the source of the problem, he certainly should have known what you just told me. Many thanks for taking the time to write!