CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

2006 Honda CR-V - Random issue

I have a 2006 Honda CR-V with 126K miles. Recently, and randomly, I will go to start the car up, and it will falter when the key is turned in the ignition. I will try it a couple more times, and then, it will start up, and be fine for several weeks. The mechanic I go to says without being able to replicate the problem in the shop, there’s not much they can do. They say they don’t want to “throw parts at the car,” just to see if one part solves the issue. I’m hesitant to drive further than a few miles from home, in case I get stranded and need to get the vehicle towed. The car is in otherwise very good shape. I don’t want to start looking for another car and get into payments, just because of this one nagging issue. Thanks for any recommendations/suggestions!

It likely won’t leave you stranded. Your description sounds like a check valve in the fuel pump is leaking fuel pressure back into the tank when the car is shut off. It is designed to hold pressure so the car starts quickly.

You can test this by turning the key from OFF to ON but not start, repeat 2 or 3 more times. If the engine starts right up, then the check valve is the problem. You can drive a car a long time like this or you can choose to replace the fuel pump now. It has 13 years and 126K on it, it won’t last forever, it would not be money wasted.

And it is no reason to trade in the car for a new one.