2000 Honda Accord will crank but won't start sometimes

Hi everyone, I’m hoping to get some help with a 2000 Honda Accord V6 EX Coupe

I change the oil regularly in this car and I replaced the battery in August 2014. I’d never had a problem with this car until back in June 2015 on a very hot day when I went to start it and the engine would not start. It was cranking and cranking and the starter was smooth, there were no knocks or anything out of the ordinary, the car just wouldn’t start. I started checking various things on the car, not really knowing what to do. After around 30 minutes I tried to start the car and it started up and ran completely fine. I didn’t change anything or mess with anything on the car. It just started.

This happened around twice a month until September and then I didn’t have the problem for a couple of months. It’s now December 2015, and the problem has returned. But now it is more common and happens almost every time I try to start the engine. But so far, it always starts if I wait 30 minutes or maybe a bit longer.

Important info:

I work from home and drive this car twice a week at the most. It sits for days at a time without being started. But this has been the case for the past 4 years and this probelm didn’t start happening until June 2015.

There is no movement on the tachometer when the car cranks but won’t start.

The green key light doesn’t constantly blink when they key is turned. It blinks a few times then stops blinking.

The check engine light isn’t on and there are no other lights on.

When the car runs, it runs smoothly and I’ve never had a problem with it cutting off or acting strange.

Once the car starts and I drive it for even around 5 minutes, I can turn it off and then start it again immediately without a problem. I’ve never tried to start the car, then immediatley turn it off, then start it again so I don’t know if it would start in that situation.

It’s been kind of warm for this time of year where I live (North Carolina). It’s been around 70 degrees outside this week.

I removed the cover over the fuel pump in the trunk. I don’t think there’s any sound coming from the fuel pump when I turn the key on. I can’t hear it priming (if that’s the correct term). But when I let the car sit for 30 minutes and turn the key to on, I can’t hear anything then either, and the car still starts right up.

I took the car to a garage, but the car was starting then. I let it sit there for around two hours maybe three and went back, but the car started right up, so the mechanic told me he couldn’t do anything if the car was starting. I mean he said he would try some stuff, but he seemed kind of stumped himself. I didn’t want to start paying him money to just “try some stuff.” But I might have to do that.

Anyone have any advice? I really appreciate you taking the time to read this. Thanks.

The first thing I would suspect is the PGM-FI relay.

The PGM-FI relay supplies power to the computer and fuel pump.

Common problem with Honda’s of your vintage when there’s an intermittent no-start problem.


Other than agreeing with Tester, if the problem turns out to not be the main relay you might consider the electrical part of the ignition switch.

This has been a sore point with Hondas and some years were covered under a Recall. I do not believe your car is covered for that reason but there is a Recall on it for the switch interlock mechanism.
That being said, even cars not covered under a Recall suffer the same issues as the ones that are.

I’d change the main relay and go from there.

Sometimes a heat-sensitive crankshaft position sensor can cause this. But it doesn’t make sense to replace parts to fix this kind of a problem. It’s much less expensive to diagnose what’s causing it first. First step is determining if it is a no-spark or a no-gas or fuel/air mixture problem.

Thanks for the quick advice guys. I wanted to follow up with this in case anyone else has the same issue. So, I did some more research on the pgm-fi relay. Thanks for that info Tester. I went out to the car and tried to start it after letting it sit for another hour and it wouldn’t start. I got underneath the dash and found the relay enclosure and tapped on it a few times with a screwdriver, reached up, turned the key, and the car immediately started.

I used Tester’s link to find the pgm-fi relay enclosure:

It’s really easy to spot. I will update this post once I repair/replace the relay, but I’m pretty sure that was the problem. Once again, thanks for the help.

If anyone else is having this problem, I changed the pgm-fi main relay a few days ago. My car hasn’t had a problem starting since. Again, thanks for the advice Tester. If my car starts acting up again with the same problem, I’ll be sure to come here and update, but I’m pretty sure the problem has been solved.

As usual…Tester probably nailed the issue. The PGM/Fi relay is the number 2 cause of Hondas having trouble starting. The Ignitor in the Distributor being the #1 cause. Those Relays are SUPER Common failure