Go Back   Honda Accord Forum - Honda Accord Enthusiast Forums > General > General Tech Help
Sign in using an external account
Register Forgot Password?
Search

Welcome to the Honda Accord Forum - Honda Accord Enthusiast Forums.
If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Reply
 
 
 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 03-22-2012, 10:22 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: North Texas
Posts: 3
Default 1996 Accord EX won't start. Sometimes.

I'm new to Hondas so I might give more information than necessary. It's a 96 Accord EX with a 4 cylinder 2.2 VTEC. Sometimes it won't start. Engine turns over fast, there's usually spark verified with a timing light. A couple of times I found no spark. One constant is that when it won't start there's no 2nd click from the main relay (fuel pump relay) and no whirr from the fuel pump. At first we thought the problem was moisture related. We've since determined that it doesn't seem to be related to humidity or temperature. We found that separating the spark plug wires got it to start initially and the timing light showed a double flash when it wouldn't start like there was bleed from another wire. I replaced the cap and wires. No change. This was before I knew about the main relay and the click that signaled the fuel pump turning on.

1. Turns over but won't start.
2. Has spark. Replaced plug wires and distributor cap.
3. Fuel pump doesn't run when it won't start.
4. Only one click from the main relay.
5. Re-soldered main relay. Didn't fix the problem so I replaced the relay. No change.
6. Checked for codes by jumping the service connector under the glovebox. This was interesting. Nothing from the check engine light but the ABS light blinked what I think was a 13 and a 21.
7. When it won't start the check engine light stays on.
8. When it's going to start the check engine light goes out, fuel pump whirrs and the D4 light comes on.
9. Tonight I found if it won't start I can leave the key in the ON position and after 10-20 seconds the relay clicks, fuel pump whirrs, D4 light comes on. Turn the key and it starts. This may be an anomaly and might not work tomorrow.
10. Sometimes it just starts like there's nothing wrong. Rain or shine. 45-80 degrees.

I used to work on cars all the time. It was easy and fun. Then came computerized systems and imports. Not so easy but still fun. I'm not completely without a clue but this has me baffled. Any ideas?
This ad is not displayed to registered members.
Register your free account today and become a member on Honda Accord Forum!
__________________
1996 Accord 2.2L EX AT
It's the girl friend's car
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 03-22-2012, 10:31 PM
Super Moderator
2005 Acura TSX
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 10,591
Default

Check the fuses for the ECU. There is a backup/radio fuse in the engine bay fuse box that is 7.5 amp. This resets the ECU and the radio, so have the code for your radio to work.

There is another ECU fuse and I can't remember if it is in the engine bay fuse box or the one under the drivers dash.

When the car is having trouble starting, pull that backup/radio fuse for a minute. Plug in the fuse. Then see if the car starts.

The possible causes are the ECU, ignition switch, or the wiring. To me, this sounds like an ECU problem, but diagnose first.

I would go to car-part.com to search for engine computers. This site search for items in junkyards by price or distance. This will give you an idea of what the ECU will cost you. It shouldn't be too expensive. You will need an ECU from a 96 or 97 EX accord that has the same transmission as your accord (manual or automatic).
__________________
2005 Acura TSX MT
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-23-2012, 05:30 PM
poorman212's Avatar
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Youngsville, NC
Posts: 9,520
Default

There is a link in the Common DIY Threads sticky at the top of this section where you can download a pretty good service manual that will help you through the testing PA is talking about.
__________________
66 Chevelle...89 LXi 5 spd...97 SE Auto...01 Saab 9-3...07 Pilot EX-L

My child arrived just the other day, he came to the world in the usual way

Heaven is in the palm of my hand and it is waiting here for you, what I am I suppose to do with a childhood tragedy
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-23-2012, 09:00 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: North Texas
Posts: 3
Default

Thanks for the responses. The car started at 10:00 last night (after cranking it once without a start and then turning the key to ON and waiting a few seconds for the relay to click and the fuel pump to run, 7:00 this morning (after cranking it 3 times) and again this afternoon it started on the first try for a trip to the grocery store and back. High humidity, temps from 50 to 78. It never stalls or stutters. Once it starts it runs quite well. The non-start condition doesn't seem to be affected by the engine being home or cold.

It started 4 times over 24 hours which is out of the ordinary. I'll try pulling the backup fuse under the hood next time it acts up. I did find some ECUs nearby for a good price. I'm not a fan of buying parts as a form of testing but I might go that route if I can't nail this down soon.
__________________
1996 Accord 2.2L EX AT
It's the girl friend's car
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-23-2012, 10:09 PM
Super Moderator
2005 Acura TSX
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 10,591
Default

Probably the easiest way to catch the problem while it is happening is by wiring a test light to see if the distributor is losing power when the car is not starting.

If you go to the common diy thread on top of the gen tech help forum, there is a link to online shop manuals. Get the 94 shop manual in one of the links provided.

In the electrical section, there is a wire harness and ground location. Try to find and clean all the grounds in your car. I would use a wire brush or some sandpaper to clean the eyelet and the ground bolt. G101 on the firewall on the driver's side of your car is an important one.

I would also disconnect the battery and clean all ends of both battery cables.
__________________
2005 Acura TSX MT
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-23-2012, 10:40 PM
Been Around A Long Time Member
1997 Honda Accord
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 1,653
Default

If you want to try a new ECU I have a 97 non-vtech auto trans ECU I will sell for $20
PM me if interested.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-01-2012, 05:00 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: North Texas
Posts: 3
Default

The girlfriend (and the car) left a few weeks ago. Prior to that she found that it would start *every* time if she turned the key to ON and waited for the green D light to come on which coincided with the second click. This meant she had to wait 1 to 30 seconds before she could start it. But it would eventually start every time.

3 weeks prior to leaving she rear ended a stopped car which pushed in the grill (and everything behind it). The driver side headlight was destroyed, a power steering tank hose got cut by the PS pulley and the PS tank was cracked and the hood was folded up. I looped a rope in various places around the cross member that goes side-to-side across the radiator and used a 2x4 for leverage to pull the cross member back into place and jumped on the hood a few times to flatten it. It's not pretty but the hood latch/release works. I bent a few other parts back (roughly) where they belonged and installed the new tank, hoses and headlight.

Parts were $102 including shipping. The complete headlight assy was $33 before shipping & handling. I was amazed at how good it was and so cheap! So thanks for the helpful tips.
__________________
1996 Accord 2.2L EX AT
It's the girl friend's car
Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2012, 05:00 PM
 
 
 
Reply

Tags
1996, 94, 96, accord, automatic, d4, ground, honda, manual, spark, start, starting, transmission, trouble, turn, wire, wont


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Advertising

Featured Sponsors
Vendor Directory
Our Sponsors
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:42 PM.

Internet Brands, Inc.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO ©2010, Crawlability, Inc.


Honda and the Honda marquee are registered trademarks of the American Honda Motor Company, Inc. Neither American Honda Motor Company nor its subsidiaries or affiliates shall bear any responsibility for HondaAccordforum.com content, comments, or advertising. HondaAccordforum.com is not affiliated with American Honda Motor Company in any way. American Honda Motor Company does not sponsor, support, or endorse HondaAccordforum.com in any way. Copyright/trademark/sales mark infringements are not intended or implied.

Emails Backup