Honda cranks, won't start in heat


Would my car crank if the problem was the main relay?

I have a 1993 Honda Accord that sometimes doesn’t start in the heat, although it cranks vigorously. Also, sometimes doesn’t start after short trips. Any ideas? Thanks.

Yes, the engine may crank over with a defective main relay. That should be the first suspect.
The starter is separate from the main relay, which powers the ECM (engine computer) and the fuel pump.

I’ll second that. Especially in that generation, if a Honda won’t start when it’s warm it’s a very safe bet that it’s the main relay.

What if the relay doesn’t fix the problem? I have an 88 Accord with the same problem. Starts great in the morning, but after about 20 min of city driving it starts to run rough and even stall at stoplights. I’ll try to start it again, but it just turns over and won’t catch. I’ll let it sit for a couple of hours and it will start again. It runs ok on highway driving, but the mileage is lousy.

I’ve replaced the relay, spark plugs, & fuel injectors. The fuel pumps works, as I can hear the hum of the pump when I try to start the car again.

I’m out of ideas.

Engine won’t start when the inside of the car is hot (especially)? Prime suspect: PGM-FI main relay. Location: under the hot, hot, dash! /// Engine stalls when driving? Prime suspect: inside the distributor. Location: under the hood, in the distributor. This web site deals specifically with Honda’s; but, can be applied to any car/truck: Click on it. Then, take a scroll.

The electrical part of the ignition switch has also been a problem at times for many Honda models. Some later models were even under recall for this, but off the top of my head I don’t think the recall applies to your car.

To check this, you need to connect a test light to the black/yellow wire at the ignition coil. There should be power in both the START and the RUN positions. If not, the switch is bad.

It’s also possible that you could have a failing fuel pump. These can be a hit and miss affair also.

my 1998 honda accord coupe is having the same problem, have heard there was a recall on mine… any idea about it?

I’m pretty sure that your '98 model is covered by the ignition switch recall.
JMHO, but what causes a lot of these kinds of problems is routing high current use items (especially the fuel pump) through the switch. High current means more heat and heat can really do some damage to plastic switches.

I would advise getting this recall performed as soon as possible. There are also several other recalls out on your car that should be done at the same time if it has not been performed already.
One is lower ball joints I believe, and this is a real serious safety issue.

Since it falls into the recall category this means it does not cost you one dime.

I’ve gotta pass this along to you Hondaphiles. My old 89 accord has 438,000 miles on it. I’ve had starting problems now and again, but solved them by simply following the starting instructions for a warm car. Look in your owners manual. No kidding. For carb’d engines, when cold . . . you have to pump it a few times (mine is 4 ) hold the pedal down 1/2 way, then turn the key and viola! For warm or hot engines, no pumping . . just hold the pedal down 1/2 way and crank it. Try it. It works. If not, I’d suspect the relay under the dash, then pump pressure, then timing might’ve jumped a degree or two, then plugs/wires/cap/rotor, then maybe choke adjustment. The choke varies on different models, but mine malfunction due to corrosion of the wiring to the electric choke (hard to diagnose for me). Good luck! Rocketman