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Wacky starting issue in San Francisco

I have a fuel-injected Honda '91 Civic Wagon (4wd) that is having inttermittent starting problems. When it won’t start, it turns over but won’t catch. When this issue first started it would start after a few minutes of waiting, now it won’t start w/o help. I take off the air cleaner and spray starter spray into the tube and it will catch, sputter and if I keep it floored it will even out (white smoke comes out of the tail pipe)and run just fine. Once started it runs fine, no hesitations, no sputtering, no stalling, even under a load going up steep hills. Soetimes after I srpay the staring spray it’ll start up pretty quick. I took it to a mechanic but it didn’t start once for him then it started up so he wasn’t able to find the problem. He seemed to think it was either the fuel pump or the relay. It seems odd to me if it is a fuel pump issue that I do not have any problems while the car is moving or in idle. Help!

There is a known problem with main fuel relays in the early 90’s Hondas. Search the board for Honda fuel relay. You’ll find what you need I’m sure.

Thank you very much. I was going to search for issues but didn’t see a search box… Hmmm I’ll look about and see if I can find it.

Thanks again!

Take the car to an entirely different shop. Every car has either computer controlled choke or mechanical. The mechanic you took your car to should have known this, and kept the car overnight so that he could evaluate and adjust the choke after the car has cooled down totally. Your Honda probably has a computerised choke system, meaning that some kind of sensor combination adjust the amount of air coming into the cylinders on cold start. Stop useing the starting fluid. It will damage the engine.

I suspect your car cannot maintain its fuel pressure during down time. I’m not sure how the '91 Civic does it, either by a separate fuel pressure regulator or by a valve integrated with the fuel pump unit. Have a mechanic test fuel pressure after the car has sat overnight. If too low or nonexistent, go after that pressure regulator.