95 Honda Car Starting Problem Mystery

I have a 95 Honda Accord Wagon with 101K miles. I drive it to/from work, about 5 miles from home, and park it in a multi-story parking garage at work. Last week Wednesday evening, wanting to return home from work, the car did not start; I had parked it on the 5th floor of the garage. The battery was OK; all lights / radio came on. No sound of engine cranking when I turn the ignition key. Nothing.

Had to leave my car. Got a ride home. Got an appointment with my local mechanic for Wednesday this week. I left the car in the parking garage until then, occasionally checking if it will start, but no such luck.

This Tuesday got AAA to tow the car to the mechanic - less than a mile from work; just before getting it towed, checked to see if the car would start - no luck. Left the car at the mechanic. Next day my mechanic calls saying the car starts without a problem; that he tried about 50 times and each time it started without a problem. I asked him to keep the car another day, drive around and test what could be usual suspects - starter, loose connections, etc. He still could not reproduce the problem, so nothing to fix.

Finally, I picked up the car yesterday evening at 4:30pm. As the mechanic said, it started. I drove it back to work but this time parked in a lot (not my usual multi-story structure). I had to be at work until 10pm. Got to my car at 10:30pm, it started (thankfully) and I reached home. This morning again it started fine for me to get to work. I parked it in my usual parking structure (4th floor) at 9:30am. Returning at 6pm, I get into the car and it would not start. Again - battery is fine, no cranking, nothing. I got a ride home puzzled. What could be wrong?

I am afraid that when I get it towed again to the mechanic, the problem may go away. What should ask the mechanic to look for? Would appreciate your thoughts.



With the vintage of this Honda? My first suspect is the main fuel pump relay.

These relays have a history with solder joints cracking. And when this happens with these relays, you can never tell if the vehicle is going to start or not.


A bad fuel pump relay will prevent the engine from starting, but will not prevent the starter from cranking the engine. You have a bad electrical connection somewhere. I’d start with the connections at the battery cable. Make sure they’re clean and tight. Then check the other end of both cables. All connections should be corrosion-free and tight.

This is not a fuel issue. It’s electrical. There is a problem in the starting circuit.