Hard starting

Guys, my 2005 Honda Accord EX V6 with 118,000 miles cranks a bit too long. The issue was due to corroded battery terminals. I cleaned the positive terminal of its snow but it seemed to be the same. Yesterday I also cleaned the negative side. It starts better, but I had hoped that after a day of driving, it would have returned to normal. How long should I drive it before I pull the battery and get it tested? There seems to be plenty of cranking going on. It just hesitates and eventually starts. I drove about 40 minutes to work this morning and the same coming home, all on the highway. If I restart shortly after shutting down, it starts just as quickly as it used to.

If this were my car, first thing I’d do is have the battery load tested. Not because that is the most likely problem, but b/c it is very easy to do. Next, if the battery is ok, I’d measure the fuel pressure at the rail. It might be leaking down a bit. When that happens, it takes a while of cranking for the fuel pressure to build up, before it will start. The rail pressure can leak down for two reasons: first, the leak is back into the fuel tank, caused by a faulty check valve. second, an injector could be on the fritz and leaks into the intake manifold.

If this long cranking happens after the vehicle sits for a long period of time, the residual fuel pressure could be bleeding off over that time.

The next time you go to start the engine, turn the ignition switch to run position for two seconds and then turn the ignition switch off. Repeat this a half dozen times and then try starting the engine. If the engine starts right up there’s a problem with the fuel pump anti-drainback valve.


I’ll test the fuel pump anti drain back valve tomorrow morning and let you know what happened tomorrow night. Thanks.

I have sometimes had a similar issue with my 1999 Honda Civic. When it happens, Tester’s procedure always works to start the car. I have not replaced any parts (fuel pump, fuel pressure regulator, leaking injector, etc.) that could account for the syndrome.

It does seem to start quicker when I prime the pump. It’s not too bad at this point. I guess that the only way to fix it is replace the fuel pump, right? The Haynes book says that I can pull the pump out through the trunk. Assuming that is correct, I’ll do the job myself. Any recommendations on replacement parts? I saw a Delphi fuel pump that was billed as OEM. I guess that’s possible since the Accord is built in Ohio. I didn’t price it at the Honda parts counter yet.

Delphi is fine. They also make OEM parts for GM. That may or may not be a good thing . . .

Buy online to save big bucks

Rock Auto has them in a kit w/ gaskets and strainer for $105. I’ll still look around though.

The fuel pump, if as some say it has an included check valve, could be the problem, but there could be a problem with the fuel presure regulator, or leaking injector(s) up at the engine. All three could present the same symptoms.

I have lived with this problem for years without replacing parts. If you do replace something, please report the results.

If there’s a problem with a fuel injector leaking, the engine will start but the cylinder with a leaking injector will misfire. And this would be felt on start-up.

If there’s a problem with a fuel pressure regulator leaking where the gas leaks into the intake manifold, it could cause a long cranking time. But once the engine starts, there would be black smoke out of the exhaust because the catalytic converter isn’t up to temperature to burn the excess fuel.

All fuel pumps have an anti-drainback valve of some sort.


Update: it was the battery. I was out of town for the last week. At least I got home from the airport before the battery stopped working.