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The FINAL "problem starting engine" thread!!!!!

 
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Old 06-03-2010, 05:16 PM
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The FINAL "problem starting engine" thread!!!!!

Jesus I've seen way too many of these threads in the past month. Hopefully this'll crush all of them.

I'll try to add pics to this later.

FIRST AND FOREMOST!!!!! IS THERE A CHECK ENGINE LIGHT (CEL)!??!?!?!?!?!?


If you're OBD1....
How To: Diagnosing Your Check Engine Light (OBD I)

If you're OBD2, either get a scan tool or take it to autozone/advanced auto parts/etc....




Step 1: Check the battery!
The battery needs to be providing enough juice to the starter in order to crank the engine over.
There's 2 ways to do this;
1; Turn the key to the II position. All the dash lights and radio should come on.
2; With a Digital Multimeter(DMM), check the voltage across the positive (+) and negative (-) terminals. It should be around 12 volts, and 14.7 volts when the engine is running.


Ok, we've figured out the battery is okay. Lets move on...

Step 2: Check the starter!
If the starter isn't working properly, it's not gonna start your engine, duhh. Plus that's why it's CALLED a starter. See kids, working on a car is pretty self-explanatory aint it??
To check the starter;
-Unplug the 4pin connector on the ignition coil, and try to start the engine like normal. If the starter is cranking the engine like normal, than you know it's good.
But if the starter either ISN'T cranking, or is cranking very slowly, you know something isn't right. Check the ground cable and other wires on the starter, and replace if necessary.
You can also have the starter tested at any auto parts store.


Ok, so now we know the engine is cranking/turning over fine! Lets move on..


All engines, gasoline or diesel, rely on 4 major factors to run properly;
  1. SPARK (we're NOT going to get into auto-ignition!!!!!!)
  2. FUEL
  3. COMPRESSION
  4. TIMING



First, lets start with the easiest, checking for spark.
Pull out (hehehehe, i said pull-out ) the #1 spark plug wire, and hold the tip (hehehe, this is getting dirty now ) of the wire about 1 inch (2.54cm for you metric foolss) away from any bare metal in the engine bay. Have someone else crank the engine, and you should see a spark jumping to the metal. Repeat for all 4 cylinders.

If you do NOT see a spark coming out......(I'm leaving this one open-ended, cuz I'm not too good at diagnosing spark problems)


Second, we're going to check for fuel.
We're going to check for fuel at the fuel rail, because chances are if its getting to the rail, it's most likely getting to the injectors, and into the engine.
Undo the 17mm nut that's on top of a banjo bolt that is on top of the fuel rail (pass side for USDM motors, drivers side for JDM engines), and the line off the banjo bolt is going to the fuel filter located on the firewall. Hold a rag around the end of the banjo bolt, since fuel will be coming out here. Have someone turn the key to II which primes the fuel system, and you should see fuel shooting out.
If not, your fuel pump is either shot, you HAVE no fuel, you have a fuel leak, or some other problem.
To check if your fuel pump is working, you should hear a loud/noticeable "humm" coming from under the rear seats/in the trunk when you turn the key to II.


Ok, the engine is cranking over, and we're getting spark and fuel. NEXTTTTT!!!!


Third, checking for compression.
DIY Cylinder Compression Test
(Thanks to chuckbret )

"That was easy"


Fourth, checking the timing!
There's two types, cam timing and ignition timing. We'll check both.

Cam timing: The most thorough way (albeit more of a bitchhhh) is to take off the crank pulley just to confirm the crank is @ TDC when the cams are as well.
To take the crank pulley bolt off:
Help Please!!!! Crank Pulley Nut

You'll also need to take the valve cover off so you can see the cam gear(s).

Once both of them are off, you'll need to rotate the engine COUNTER CLOCKWISE!!!!!!!!!! by hand, so that the keyway on the crank is pointing directly UP (aka the crank is at Top Dead Center (TDC)! The cam gear(s) should ALSO be pointing directly up, meaning #1 cylinder is also @ TDC!
If these aren't lined up..... you have problems. Will get to later.


Ignition timing;
If your engine is OBD1, your distributor is adjustable so you can either advance or retard the ign timing. If it's OBD2, it isn't adjustable.

You'll need a timing gun, hook it up to the #1 cyl spark plug wire, and check the timing on the flywheel.











I'm done for now, will add more to it later. Feel free to add some other/more useful info/link/write-ups.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brash View Post
But you need that scoop on the hood. Is it true that they're big enough to fit your lunch box and all your camera gear in it?

Last edited by twokexlv6coupe; 06-03-2012 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:19 PM
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Re: The FINAL "problem starting engine" thread!!!!!

Hey nick That's a great way of putting it down ,i think that's should do it .
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:25 PM
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Re: The FINAL "problem starting engine" thread!!!!!

that is very well done men .Hope they read the posting properly .
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Old 06-03-2010, 10:02 PM
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Re: The FINAL "problem starting engine" thread!!!!!

i thought the battery was 12v. and around 14.7 when the car is running.
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Old 06-03-2010, 10:05 PM
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Re: The FINAL "problem starting engine" thread!!!!!

everyone should know this before buying a prelude lol

nice write up neck.
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Old 06-03-2010, 10:14 PM
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Re: The FINAL "problem starting engine" thread!!!!!

Quote:
Hopefully this'll crush all of them.
High hopes eh? lol.
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Old 06-03-2010, 10:25 PM
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Re: The FINAL "problem starting engine" thread!!!!!

Sweet. Another "FINAL" thread by Neck. You need to make "the FINAL "way to do rocket science" thread."

/pwned
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Old 06-03-2010, 10:28 PM
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Re: The FINAL "problem starting engine" thread!!!!!

Should we make a "The FINAL 'How to Search Thread'" too?
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Old 06-04-2010, 12:15 AM
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Re: The FINAL "problem starting engine" thread!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnL114 View Post
Hey nick That's a great way of putting it down ,i think that's should do it .
lets hope so!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaker View Post
i thought the battery was 12v. and around 14.7 when the car is running.
it may in fact could be, which is why i was asking for confirmation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbd6604 View Post
High hopes eh? lol.
dude you have NO idea! after i wrote the sentence you quoted, i started writing some seriously sarcastic comment like "even tho i know it's not gonna work " but then deleted it cuz i didn't wanna sound like a dick in a post where i'm tryna help ppl

Quote:
Originally Posted by RandallSharp View Post
Sweet. Another "FINAL" thread by Neck. You need to make "the FINAL "way to do rocket science" thread."

/pwned

i'd gladly do a "FINAL engineering" thread, but i have a feeling that would bore alotta ppl here


Quote:
Originally Posted by dbd6604 View Post
Should we make a "The FINAL 'How to Search Thread'" too?
i'm recruiting you to do it since i've done enough of them. do it, or i'll ban you
oh congratz on getting the license back too!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brash View Post
But you need that scoop on the hood. Is it true that they're big enough to fit your lunch box and all your camera gear in it?
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Old 06-04-2010, 12:56 AM
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Re: The FINAL "problem starting engine" thread!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by abelsgotspeed View Post
everyone should know this before buying a prelude lol

nice write up neck.
or a car that matter, I'm still working on the family van!. gotta rechange the alternator.!
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Old 06-04-2010, 03:39 AM
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Re: The FINAL "problem starting engine" thread!!!!!

check fuses?
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Old 06-04-2010, 12:01 PM
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Re: The FINAL "problem starting engine" thread!!!!!

Quote:
i'm recruiting you to do it since i've done enough of them. do it, or i'll ban you
I'll do it tonight after work. lol
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Old 06-04-2010, 12:14 PM
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Re: The FINAL "problem starting engine" thread!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by twokexlv6coupe View Post
Pull out (hehehehe, i said pull-out ) the #1 spark plug wire, and hold the tip (hehehe, this is getting dirty now )

Getting me so sidetracked.
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Old 06-05-2010, 06:51 AM
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Re: The FINAL "problem starting engine" thread!!!!!

***Battery, Starter, Alternator Testing Procedures taken down until further notice. Available upon request only.***
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You're such a whiny little douche sometimes, but posts like these make me love you.

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Old 06-06-2010, 01:37 PM
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Re: The FINAL "problem starting engine" thread!!!!!

I have an h22a4 swap. Is this my coil that I have unplugged here?

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Old 06-06-2010, 10:17 PM
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Re: The FINAL "problem starting engine" thread!!!!!

^^^ yezzirrr that is!! ^^^


good shizzz havik
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Quote:
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But you need that scoop on the hood. Is it true that they're big enough to fit your lunch box and all your camera gear in it?
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Old 06-06-2010, 11:16 PM
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Re: The FINAL "problem starting engine" thread!!!!!

Why thank you lol, at least someone noticed

The chainsaw bear might've been a bit much, but I needed an excuse to use it lol
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Old 06-11-2010, 01:19 PM
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Re: The FINAL "problem starting engine" thread!!!!!

thanks to this! i figured out my fuel pump isnt working, I hear no sound when in the II and it struggles to start, what i usually do is try to primer it up to get it to start. fuel pump will be replaced soon by my walboro
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Old 07-09-2010, 02:07 PM
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Icon8 Re: The FINAL "problem starting engine" thread!!!!!

Hello everyone,

I am a newbie on here and have a severe situation with my Honda Prelude 1991 Si ALB that I just purchases with 99,500 miles. While driving on 294 south bound toward chicago at 80mph the car literally just stopped accelerating and I pulled over right away. My gut feeling was the either the timing belt or another belt busted but that wasn't the case I found out later on. The car wouldn't start no matter what and once I towed the car home and had it in my garage I took the valve cover off to see what is going on.

1) Timing belt/all belts were on tight and no signs of damage
2) I started the car to make sure the cams would rotate and they did so no bent valve so the engine is good
3) I have seen on these forums a couple of common problems like: MAIN RELAY SWITCH,FUEL PUMP, COOLANT TEMPERATURE SENSOR, & THROTTLE BODY BUILD UP.

Can anyone tell me please what the heck is the problem probably? I do have the service manual from the Honda dealership so I hope that will help in this situation.

Thanks everyone
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Old 08-17-2010, 02:16 PM
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Re: The FINAL "problem starting engine" thread!!!!!

Great thread, sure to help people out :)
Wish I would have seen this when I was diagnosing my problems :/
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Old 08-27-2010, 12:58 PM
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Re: The FINAL "problem starting engine" thread!!!!!

It's around 12.6 volts for battery, around 13-14 volts when running if the alternator is good.


I'm going to add a few things here regarding spark issues.

usually its going to be one of a few possibilities:
ECU
Coil
Ignition Control Module/Igniter

At this moment I'm at work and dont have my manuals with me, however testing all of these things are very simple processes. The ECU is a simple voltage check on a wire. The coil and igniter both are a simple reading of the resistance between terminals on the coil/igniter.

Also, one really good givaway is if the tach had been acting erradically, this is usually a sign of the igniter going out.

Basically, the signal (and order of testing) goes ECU, Igniter, then coil. If one is broken first in line, nothing else will work lol.

Aside from those, there is also a possibility of the Main Relay. There are threads about this, but just to throw it in, It's also a simple test, and if you happen to be decent with a soldering iron, you can resolder the points on the cicuit board inside and not have to pay $50 for a new one.

ONE last thing, a bad diode in the alternator can cause a very quick drain on the battery, also causing a no start. always something to check.

I hope that helps a little.
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Old 11-14-2010, 02:13 AM
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Icon1 Re: The FINAL "problem starting engine" thread!!!!!

If your starter isnt cranking the engine, it's a good idea to check your inhibitor switch located right under the dash over your clutch(in a manual of course) before you assume the worst for your starter. To be more specific, there are two little white tabs attached to the clutch that activate the switches (you might have to move the clutch a little to see both of them) and if they break off, your switches won’t be activated and your car will not start. I recently had a problem with several of these tabs rotting off my pedals one by one. A simple way to replace them is to tape a penny where the tabs used to be and that should act as a sufficient replacement. In the case of the inhibitor, since I couldn’t find a way to get a penny and some tape all the way up into the clutch assembly, I simply unscrewed it and taped the switch itself down. The only problem with that is your car will now start even if your foot is not on the clutch. Just be careful and you shouldn’t send your lude into your garage wall.
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Old 12-17-2010, 11:46 AM
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Re: The FINAL "problem starting engine" thread!!!!!

hey i got a question. whenever it is cold outside is the only times i have trouble starting my car. it starts but i have to let it turn over for a while. any suggestions?
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Old 12-18-2010, 11:26 PM
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Re: The FINAL "problem starting engine" thread!!!!!

get a block heater
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Old 02-01-2011, 03:17 PM
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Re: The FINAL "problem starting engine" thread!!!!!

great thread
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Old 02-14-2011, 07:00 PM
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Re: The FINAL "problem starting engine" thread!!!!!

Since when do diesel engines have spark plugs? (they ignite on compression, no plugs) oh and a battery cant put out 14.7 if the car is not on and alternator isnt going.......please dont try to sound so cocky. Not everybodys a super mechanic
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:28 PM
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Re: The FINAL "problem starting engine" thread!!!!!

my engine is turning over very slow and i have a brand new battery and brand new starter both tested and are fine. also all the wires on the starter are tight. my engine just turns over very slow and then the starter gets warm and wont try to start it. all my grounds are tight, clean, and dry.... any ideas??
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Old 03-22-2011, 06:14 PM
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Re: The FINAL "problem starting engine" thread!!!!!

Thank you, that helped alot.
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Old 03-24-2011, 11:42 AM
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Icon9 Re: The FINAL "problem starting engine" thread!!!!!

Thanks for the advise but any of this thing seem to work. I have done lots already for my prelude i have bought new motor, new sparks plugs and cables, move the timing, new gas pump and filters, battery is working fine, and the starter i just change it yesturday and it still wont wanna turn on with the key only with a little starter fluid.We check everything was on place and we can seem to fine the problem and once it turns on the RPMs seem to go from under 1 up to 2 and and it seems like it wants to turn off but it wont. It runs great once you step on it but only on a stop, parking, and even neutral seems to make this. This is all i need plz i need pronto if any one can give a suggestion plz replay back!!!!
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Old 03-24-2011, 01:29 PM
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Re: The FINAL "problem starting engine" thread!!!!!

@ marbie sounds like your Idle Air Control Valve (IACV) is bad that would cause it to rev up and down like that mine does the same thing.. what year is your prelude and do you have a cold air intake on it?
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