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A bad starting problem, please help

 
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Old 10-08-2011, 10:06 AM
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Icon5 [SOLVED] A bad starting problem, please help

So, I have a problem starting the engine.

There were a few times when it wouldn't start at first but it would start when trying many times enough. Now it wont start no matter what. But when it got running, there were absolutely no problems with ignition or anything else while driving.

The starter cranks nicely and I can definitely smell fuel. But there's no spark coming into the spark plugs. I checked the distributor and there's no moisture there. The rotor looked a bit bad so I sanded it a little bit but didn't help. It does turn when cranking so timing belt is intact.

I read that main relay failures are very common. But there are no signs of that when turning the key to ignition on. I hear a click when turning it there, and then the CEL comes on with humming for about two seconds indicating that fuel pump is working. After that there's another click and the CEL goes off. And the CEL doesn't blink any code when the connector is shorted out. I have reseted the ECU several times by disconnecting battery cables. All fuses are intact (well, actually I checked only the ECU fuse in the under-dash fusebox since it's quite hard to check all of them with some wiring going through there ).

Anyway, I have a spare parts car so I took off the main relay and tried to start with it. No changes at all. The distributor bolt pattern is different (F20 vs H23) so I can't try changing the whole part. There is 12V coming to the coil and the grounds are good. The coil resistances are a bit off from the values given in Helm's, but I'm certain it's not the cause of the problem since the car ran perfectly when it chose to start.


So, I'm not sure if I wrote everything I've done but at least there are the main points. If ANYBODY has ANY clue about this, please post it here. I'm out of ideas. And I prefer not to buy for an example a new ECU just to try out .

Last edited by PyromaniacB; 10-19-2011 at 05:12 PM. Reason: Problem solved!
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Old 10-13-2011, 09:57 AM
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Re: A bad starting problem, please help

Any help here?

I'd really like (and need) to get the 'lude running, but I don't know what to do next.
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Old 10-13-2011, 10:16 AM
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Re: A bad starting problem, please help

you have no spark at all to the plugs?
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Old 10-13-2011, 10:31 AM
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Re: A bad starting problem, please help

Well, I actually tried with one plug only and not even a weak spark. I'm pretty sure there's no spark coming to any plugs because the sound is consistent when starting so no fuel is igniting in any of the cylinders. I guess I could go and try all the spark plugs and wires though.

It just sounds crazy to me that all plugs would go at the same time, when the car isn't running since it acted up before not starting easily but running great when started.

Could it be in the wiring that goes to and from the main relay? Because I think it's the only component besides the ignition switch that acts differently when starting and when running, or are there other components that change?

I pulled the ignition unit out of my spare parts car and I might try it tonight. I just don't think it's broken because the car was running great when it decided to start. I really hope it's not the ECU.. but any error in it should make the CEL go on, right?

Last edited by PyromaniacB; 10-13-2011 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 10-19-2011, 01:37 PM
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Re: A bad starting problem, please help

sounds like main relay
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Old 10-19-2011, 01:51 PM
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Re: A bad starting problem, please help

yes it could be your ignition wires or it could be your ignition coil or ignitor inside the distributor. dont worry about the main relay. if youre getting fuel the main relay is fine.
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Old 10-19-2011, 02:08 PM
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Re: A bad starting problem, please help

^^ What he said. Ignition system shuold be thorougly checked, Starting problems can be many little variables but for honda specific id go with
Honda-specific
Igniter
Coil
PGM-FI Main Relay
Distributor rotor resistor blown
Dirty/worn distributor cap

Check all those out.
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Old 10-19-2011, 05:11 PM
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[SOLVED] A bad starting problem, please help

Well yeah, I got her running again a few days ago.

I'm not 100% sure what was the problem since I changed everything in the distributor and the wires and spark plugs, I thought it wont do bad to change those even if they are working because they seemed to be quite old.So the 'lude is working better than ever! I almost freaked out when I turned the key and the car started in ~1/4 second!

My best guess is that it was the ignition unit I changed from the spare parts car. I'm still wondering why the problem started with car not starting properly. Well, let's hope it doesn't reappear. Thanks for your contribution.
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Old 10-19-2011, 05:19 PM
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Re: A bad starting problem, please help

Cool man good to know shes running.
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