My 1998 Honda Accord has always been completely reliable. It adjusted well to a move from the shores of Lake Erie to Chapel Hill North Carolina for four years. I take good care of it and it takes good care of me. BUT - This year it has developed a frequent failure to start problem. It turns over and over and over but the engine does not start. The battery is only 6 months old and has been checked. Problem usually occurs when it is very hot out (the car sits outside all the time) and seems to happen when I have about half a tank of gas. If I leave it alone and go back in half an hour, it starts just fine. It’s been checked by two mechanics and neither can find anything wrong with it…other than to say that they’ve see a lot of strange battery problems during this long hot dry spell we’ve had.
It sounds like a main fuel pump relay problem.
Above the driver’s left knee, under the dash is the fuel pump relay. These have a history of failing to provide power to the fuel pump if the interior of the vehicle gets hot. So there’s no power to the fuel pump when you try to start the engine. Some will say to re-flow the solder joints in the relay to see if that works. But I prefer to replace them. That way you get a new part with the latest updates that prevent this from ocurring again.
You could give those mechanics some learnin’ if you read this article to them: http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq/faq.html Click on the particular problem your car suffers. [PGM-FI Relay].
Honda also has a recall out on the ignition switches and I think it applies to your particular model. I’m also leaning towards the main relay problem here but just pointing out the switch recall because it can also cause a fail to start condition.
As a recall, you can have this done for free at the Honda dealer.
JMHO here, but I think that some main relay problems can also be caused by a dragging (meaning worn) fuel pump or a pump that is straining against a partially clogged filter. Either one can cause the current draw (amount of electricity used) of the fuel pump to increase a lot and this means more heat in various connections back through the elec. system.
VW even had this problem many years ago in which worn pumps, etc. would burn fuse block connections, in-line wiring spade connectors, etc.