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1998 Honda CR-V will not start

I am helping a friend get her CR-V started. The problem I have found is that it is not getting fuel to the injectors. My question is…Is it the fuel pump or the fuel filter? Where to start?!

Are you saying that fuel isn’t showing up at the fuel rail? How do you know? Did you just poke the valve stem at the test port?

Turn the key to the run position - not all the way until it cranks. Just to where all of the dash lights come on. As you do this listen closely for a 2-3 second hum - everything needs to be real quiet for this. If you don’t hear it then the pump is probably not running and you start by troubleshooting its power supply. Check the owner’s manual for a safety reset - sort of like a little circuit breaker that will pop and cut power to the pump under certain conditions (like an accident). Check the fuse boxes and relays - both at the interior fuse box and under hood junction boxes for all things fuel pump related.

If the pump runs but no fuel shows up then you probably need to replace it, though you can replace the fuel filter and see what happens. Ideally you are operating with a fuel pressure gauge during all of this.

Thanks for your reply. I can hear the pump but the lines are dry. I have pulled fuel lines to see if anything is coming out and if they are wet. Nothing on both accounts.

Well, of you can get the one right before the filter and still have nothing then you’re likely looking at a new pump. Either way, put on a new filter with a new pump (a bad filter is one thing that will kill a pump.)

However - I hate to ask. But is there fuel in the tank? Do not trust the gas gauge. They only usually work…which means they sometimes are bonkers.

Thanks, Mr. Obvious! You’re a lifesaver! :stuck_out_tongue: People actually do have their cars towed to repair shops for the fuel tank being empty. Fuel gauges don’t always work, which is a good reason to track your gas mileage. If it suddenly seems as though you are getting fantastic fuel mileage, and that last quarter tank is lasting an awfully long time, you probably ought to put gas in the tank anyway.

To the OP: My next step would be to get a can of gas and pour it into the tank and try to start the car. It really truly sounds like the car is out of gas to me.

I certainly agree - but only dump in a gallon or two to start with - just in case that tank has to come down.

HOnda’s have a main relay that is responsible for powering the fuel pump and other electronics. This is THE most common item that goes on HOndas. The main relay should be to the lef tof your steering column behind the cover at your knees… In your vehicle you may be able to peer up there and find a rather large rectangular box…HIT IT…see if it starts. Many X it is the contact points on the relay that get dirty. If you find it unplug it and put it back in tap on it…you may be running in no time… This is extremely common in Hondas… IF your CRV has one of these relays…I will look it up…fairly certain it does.

Here is the procedure for swapping your main relay…Looks like they relocated it to the passenger side of the car…YOu dont have to follow all of these instructions…but here they are…

Listen to the noises your Honda CR-V makes. If you can’t hear the PGM-FI main relay clicking when you try to start up your vehicle, then your problem likely stems from the main relay.

Disconnect the battery before working on any part of your Honda CR-V’s electrical system. Electrical surges not only can damage surrounding parts, wires and systems and melt nearby plastic, but they also can cause serious shock or burns.

Remove the glove box and passenger’s dashboard lower cover. Pull on the right and left glove box stops that keep the box from falling all the way out of the dashboard, remove the bolts and then gently slide the box out of the dash. Remove the screws that hold the lower cover in place and push the top and bottom tabs to unclick the panel from the side.

Locate the main relay toward the back of the dash and push aside or disconnect any wires, devices or other relays that block the main relay from view. Remember to note or diagram the original connections for future reference on a piece of paper.

Unbolt any bolts that may hold the Honda CR-V’s PGM-FI main relay in place and pull it gently from the relay socket without tugging on any wires.

Replace the PGM-FI main relay, reconnect any disconnected devices, wiring and the battery. Test the ignition. If Honda CRV starts, reverse the order of Step 3 to put the glove box and dashboard cover back together.

Read more: How to Replace the Main Relay in a Honda CR-V |

Thank you for your suggestions. First off: I do hear clicking and the fuel pump when turning the key so I don’t think it’s the relay.

From what I have read the fuel filter and pump are in the gas tank and it is best to replace them both if replacing the fuel pump. Am I reading that correctly?

That may be correct. Did you try just dumping a couple of gallons of gas in there first?

There is about 5 gal in the tank as it is. So no I haven’t.

How do you know there are 5 gallons in there?

Cigroller has a good point…I have had many many fuel level gauges LIE to me…and I went about my troubleshooting like an idiot with a car that was out of fuel…

A failed crank position sensor will fool the injectors into not spraying…then again…Hondas may have an injector pulse that comes from the distributor…but it would have to use the crank angle sensor in conjunction then wouldnt it…?