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98 Accord Won't Start - Help validate mechanic's recommendation
I have a 98 Accord EX V6 that has intermittent problems starting. I thought I had it narrowed down to a fuel delivery problem. The starter cranks but the engine won't turn over. If I sprayed starter fluid in the air intake it would turn over briefly then die. I replaced the main relay in November but either the new one is now bad or that wasn't it.
It was happening more frequently until finally Tuesday it wouldn't start for 2 whole days. I towed it to a shop to have them diagnose the problem, thinking they would be better equipped and faster at it. Naturally it started right away the next morning when the mechanic went to diagnose it. After another day he was finally able to reproduce the problem. He's telling me that his diagnostics indicate the crank sensor, and that I need to replace the distributor.
First of all, from what I have found, on my car the crank sensor is part of the oil pump and not the distributor. Second, the distributor is part of the ignition system and not fuel delivery, right?
Could it be the distributor if starter fluid gets it to turn over? Could a faulty crank sensor possibly cause this?
Happy to provide more information if needed.
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The crank angle sensor should cause a code to be stored on the ECU. Have the code(s) read using an OBD2 scanner. Autozone will scan codes for you. Just make sure that you get the code (P####). The check engine light should be on as well.
If you have a timing light, see if the light flashes when you try to start your car.
Are the maintenance items up to date, like spark plugs, dist. cap/rotor, etc?
The Check Engine Light codes are P0141 and P0453. Nothing indicating the crank sensor.
Cap and Rotor are new, spark plugs and wires are old. Timing belt is due. Never had the fuel filter replaced but I thought I read that it was a "lifetime filter". Though I don't know what that means in practical terms.
I haven't tried the timing light yet. I haven't had any trouble starting since I got it back from the shop. (I did have trouble starting it AT the shop, so the problem hasn't gone away, I just didn't have a timing light handy then).
If the engine starts w/ starter fluid when no-start occurs, this strongly suggests fuel delivery; either the main fuel relay or fuel pump.
I had an intermittent fuel pump which could be temporarily overcome for starting and running until next shutdown by "hammering" the ignition repeatedly until it would kick over. If you hear main fuel relay click under the dash and no fuel pump run for 2-3 secs in fuel tank, then sticking fuel pump is likely. New fuel pump is only permanent fix.
See you down the ROW
1994 Accord EX
2003 Acura MDX
2006 Acura TSX
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