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Honda Starting Problems

I have a 2001 Honda Accord, V6, with 120,000 miles. Until very recently, it has always started on the first crank. About 2 weeks ago, it cranked several times, but did not start, or even “almost” start, or even catch. No weak battery. I repeated this cranking operation about 5 times, with no hint of a start. The 6th time, it started immediately. It started without problems for the next 2 weeks, and then it did the same thing again. Eventually, on the 6th try, it started with no problem or hesitation. It’s OK for now, but it’s only been a few days.

Anybody know what’s causing this and what should be done to fix it?

Any help would be appreciated.



You may have a faulty immobilizer.

Thanks. Not sure what that is, but I’ll look into it.

The immobilizer is a device that reduces car theft. There is a “chip?” imbedded in your key that is “read” by your cars “immobilizer”. If the key does not match what the immobilizer is programmed to accept, the car will not start.

Do you have several keys for your car? If so, try a different key next time this happens.

Do you have several keys for different cars on your key ring? Your car’s immobilizer may be reading the key for a different car that doesn’t match. Remove the other keys from the ring so that they are not near the ignition switch when you start your car.

On a whole different track, you may have a fault in your fuel pump. Sometimes a bad pump will work intermittently before it fails completely. Usually when a fuel pump fails the car ran great, and then the next time you go to start it the starting motor cranks and nothing happens. Sound familiar?

I’m not sure how soon it’ll happen again, but I’ll try a different key as soon as it does. Hope it’s not the fuel pump … I just had it replaced along with the timing belt a few thousand miles ago. Big labor charge on that. I’ll check these out. Thanks for the help.

Oops! My bad. It was the water pump that was replaced, not the fuel pump. That’s never been replaced as far as I know. Don’t hire me to work on your car. Phil

It could be the fuel pump relay. Normally the fuel pump runs for a few seconds when you turn on the ignition (to run). Listen for the fuel pump sound from the fuel tank when it refuses to start.

Yeah, I was thinking fuel pressure too. Relay, pump itself. Every time you turn the key off and then on again, it attempts to run the pump.

handas had problems with their fuel pump relays for several years, usually occuring in cars leftin hot sun etc…the electronic contacts would crack and warp. Easy plug in repaair under the dash…two plugs . Listen for fuel pump to kick in (when you turn ignition just to on) and run, if you can’t hear that, the relay is probably at fault.

I had the exact same issue with my '00 Acura. I also thought it was the infamous fuel pump relay but that tends to be a hot weather phenomenon. I kept taking the car to my local Honda/Acura shop and they replaced the relay 3 times and still couldn’t fix the problem. One day when the car wouldn’t start, I had them take the car on a flat bed to a nearby Honda dealership. The eagle-eyed service manager noticed the green key indicator light blink when she put the key in. We tried one of the spare keys and the light didn’t blink. BINGO! We located the problem. The immobilizer wasn’t recognizing my regular key intermittently and I was getting exactly the starting problem you described. They replaced the immobilizer and now my car starts everytime, hot or cold.

The weather has not been hot at all during these episodes, so perhaps the fuel pump relay isn’t the culprit. Your immobilize suggestion is the second one I’ve received. I will definitely try that, but cannot until I experience the starting failure again. When I eventually figure this out, I post the solution. Many thanks for your thoughtful suggestions.

Your are about a decade off.

The very early 90’s had the problem with Honda.

It continued later than that in the Acuras I had…