Car won't start in hot weather

I have a 2001 Honda Accord EX V6 with automatic transmission and about 61,000 miles on it. I live in the south where it gets very hot in the summertime. As soon as the daytime highs start reaching the 80’s I can count on the car failing to start (fires briefly, stumbles, and dies) if it has been sitting on the parking lot or over other heat-gathering surfaces for several hours. I can sometimes prevent this by holding the gas pedal to the floor until it revs out for a couple of seconds, but this doesn’t always work. Once it dies, it will not fire again, no latter how long it’s cranked, with foot on the gas pedal or off. I have to wait at least 30 minutes, then it will usually start with no problem. There is no problem with starting early in the morning while it is still relatively cool, and I have no problems any time during the winter, but I can count on it every day of the late Spring through early Fall. This started in the Spring of 2008. I have had the car since January, 2001, when I purchased it new. The dealer doesn’t seem to know what it could be, and I would like to avoid paying them their hourly service rates to go on a fishing expedition. Anyone know what might be causing this?

Most likely the main fuel pump relay is the problem.

These relays have a history on Honda’s that if the interior of the vehicle gets hot, the engine won’t start. If the interior cools down, the engine starts.

The relay is located under the dash, above the drivers left knee.


man car talk should have a questionaire before letting honda accord ppl post. is your car in the 2000 to 2004 range does it not start when hot? bingo look above your left knee

As usual, Tester is correct.

This syndrome (and its cause) is such a known quantity with Hondas that this makes me wonder whether the service department at the OP’s dealership is merely incompetent or if they are just trying to milk a lot of money out of the OP for diagnosing a problem that they are already familiar with.
When I read the title of this post, my first thoughts were, “will this be an '00 Honda, or an '01, or an '02, or…”?

Any Honda service department that claims to be unfamiliar with this problem on Hondas of that era is…NOT to be trusted, IMHO.