I took my 2019 Honda Civic to the dealership in May to get a new fuel pump for a factory recall. The mechanic accidentally broke the fuel pump that was in there and then installed a new one a few days later. A week later, I started having difficulty starting the car – i.e. once a week when I turned the key, the dashboard and A/C would come on, but the engine wouldn’t start or even click. Just nothing. When I turned the key a second time, however, it would start up. At first, this was just once a week. Then it started to happen every other day.
A month later, they diagnosed the problem as a faulty fuel pump. Yes, that’s right – the new fuel pump they put in was apparently “also” faulty. So they install another new one. 4 days later, after driving 30 some odd miles and parking for about an hour in the sun, the car wouldn’t start at all no matter how many times I turned the key. I got it towed to Honda and they installed a new starter.
A week later, same initial problem as above – every other day, it would take 2 turns of the key to start the engine. A month later, it started fine early in the morning, and then every other time that day I tried to start the car, it took 7-10 turns of the key before the engine would engage and go on.
I took the car to a local mechanic who said that it’s either a bad key (since my back-up key seemed to start the car without any problem) or that it’s the ECM (engine control module) and that’s something that only can be fixed at Honda. I just went to a new Honda dealership today for repairs. They couldn’t find anything wrong at all. The car had no trouble starting today and so they could not emulate the issue. I showed them a video I took of it and they said that doesn’t help them because they need to hook up their instruments to the engine to diagnose what error code comes up.
To be clear, I should add that it doesn’t seem to matter whether it’s hot or cold out, or if I’ve been driving that day or not, or if the engine is hot or cold when I turn the key. It both starts and doesn’t start under any condition. Most of the time it does start up without a problem. But then there’s the rare day when it just won’t go at all.
So what can I do here? Is this fixable or is this a lemon and I need to buy a new car?