1999 Honda Civic-- difficulty starting, now stalling

Vehicle inconsistantly/occassionally taking multiple turns of key to start.
Then, multiple turns of key with pressing of gas pedal, which has now progress to staling (three times within one month) immediately after difficulty with starting and when stopped at a light.

Took vehicle to Honda dealership… dealership could not duplicate the problem so replaced…

  1. coil assembly, ignition
  2. head assembly, rotor
  3. cap assembly
  4. spark plugs

…at the cost of $425… and two days later the problem reoccured-- two turns to start-up and when placed the car in reverse to back out of my parking space and in the process of moving, the car stalled, but started on the first turn of the key and I drove straight to the dealership.

They now believe it may be the main fuel relay or the fuel pressure regular.

Thanks for any help, insight.

Sounds to me like they’re guessing, and you need someone who can diagnose, rather than just toss parts at it. Heck, I can do that from here.

Some basic tests to perform are compression and fuel pressure. This may be a problem with the IAC, too, but I’m guessing fuel pressure. Has the fuel filter ever been changed?

Thanks for responding.

No, the fuel filter hasn’t been change in the eight years I’ve owned the car.

Unforturnately, the problem is occurring more frequently. Today, it actually stalled in the middle of a four-way stop outside the dealership this afternoon. But, the mechanic was unable to “duplicate” the issue- it stated for him and didn’t stall as he drove around the parking lot. However, after work, it took me four quick turns of the key to start the engine.

I just read where there’s issue with water in ethanol gasoline… just purchasing Cheveron and Exxon regular gasoline since the O2 sensor was replaced six months ago.

~Thanks, again. For your help.

What happens on the dash when it dies? Does the dash go dead? What about all the electrical things in the car…is everything still working, or does it die, too?

Based on what you said, I doubt it’s the main relay. Generally a MR failure symptoms involve it starting fine on the first drive, and then refusing to start when turned off for a short amount of time after the car’s warmed up.

Call the Honda dealer and see if your car is one of those affected by an ignition switch Recall. I’m pretty sure it is.

This problem can cause all of the symptoms your car is having. Best of all, if your car is covered and the Recall has not been performed in the past you can have this done free of charge as to both parts and labor.

In the event your car is not covered, the only difference is that you would pay out of pocket for this.

My old civic was similar before I tried upgrading with a 15 Ex-l. Unfortunately my new car takes forever to start too. Although my old civic only was weird when I was below 1/4 tank. My car doesn’t care, it doesn’t start whenever it feels like, it’s pissing me off

Try the key dance: turn key to Run (not all the way to Start) and let the fuel pump run for a couple seconds. You may hear it. It will then turn off. Turn key back to Off, then to Run and wait a couple seconds for the fuel pump to cycle on and off again. After a few of these Run-Off cycles, turn the key all the way to Start. If it fires up and runs, it’s because you have brought fuel and fuel pressure up to the engine. A leaking anti-drainback valve in the fuel pump assembly, or leaking injector, are among the causes of this problem. If you do the key dance you probably won’t have to actually repair anything.