Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

99 Honda Accord won't start cold

My 99 Accord Coupe will not start when cold (we’re talking San Diego, i.e. 60 or below). Once the sun hits the hood for 15 minutes, it starts and runs perfectly most of the time. Occasionally (1-2 x) it will die abruptly, i.e. it is idling perfectly but then the fuel supply seems to be cut off and it just stops running. Every time I take it to the mechanic, it works fine for him. I have replaced the fuel pump, the relay, the distributor, the spark plugs and wires, the catalytic converter and 02 sensors (due to code pointing to the cat). I have seen plenty of similar probs on forums, but no clear answers. Any suggestions? Could it be the ECT (engine coolant temperature thingy)? The fuel damper? Any ideas? Very inconvenient in the mornings to not have transportation, and annoying to be bringing it repeatedly to my mechanic.

Not surprised no one has replied to this question. I have brought it to two different highly reputable mechanics, six times in total, and no one seems to have anything to offer. I even left a voicemail for click and clack, but no bites to get on the show. Seems like a small problem, whatever it is. Should be tempting to SOMEBODY!!! Help!!!

If the procedure has not been performed already get the ignition switch Recall done and see if that cures the problem. It’s a common fault and best of all, it will cost you nothing at the Honda dealer.

There are several outstanding Recalls on your car so make sure they all get done at once.
Here’s the sordid details and hope it helps you out.

What happens when you try to start the car and it does not start: when you turn the key to Start the engine does not turn over [starter does not engage], or you turn the key to Start, the starter turns over the engine [spins the crankshaft, etc.], but the engine does not “fire up” and run? This distinction, plus the sounds you hear or do not hear, the dashboard lights you see or do not see, are important facts.

My 1999 Civic, when the fuel level in the tank is low, sometimes cranks for a long time but does not “fire up” and run. If I turn the key from Off to Run several times, making the fuel pump run each time, and then turn the key to Start, it fires up and runs fine.

I don’t believe I have had any of these recalls done - I’ll definitely do them and report back, thanks! I really appreciate the input.

shanonia - thanks for your reply. When I turn the key to start the engine, it turns over beautifully, but simply won’t fire up and run. There is no green key icon on the dash to suggest that the collision shut off is the problem. It seems oddly temperature related, like to the point where just minutes of sunlight on the motor cause it to then start just fine. Furthermore, it has been at the mechanic for the last few days, which have been unusually hot in San Diego, and so it has started fine for them each morning. Frustrating! What is the deal with your Civic? I like the idea of tricking the fuel pump to spray enough into the motor by turning it off and on a few times…in a pinch I’ll try that, although I would really like to solve the problem as well.