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I own a 1998 Honda Accord EX 4cyl. sedan that I have owned since new. I now have over 180,000 mostly trouble free miles on it. I am hoping for another 100,000 miles or so since it is still in very good shape, body excellent, and most of the mileage is highway driving. Recently a new wrinkle has developed that is a bit troubling and difficult to figure out. After leaving the car parked for about 5 days while on vacation. I went to start it on a cool morning. Vehicle has a new battery, and the starter motor was whirring like crazy; however no start. After trying about all the superstitious things I could figure out including incantations, the car finally started after furiously pumping the gas pedal. I drove it up the street and it died again, this time in front of a service station where I left it for them to diagnose. They came towork onthe car later in the afternoon and it started right up. I have left the car at the garage several times and they have not yet been able to reproduce the problem. Long story short... Sometimes on cold damp mornings car won't start. Sometimes when you pump the gas it will start, sometimes it won't. Later in the day the car starts, and runs and starts fine all day. We have checked a number of things including fuel pressure, spark etc, but of course this is later when the car is running. Everything seems OK then. Today the mechanic checked the distributor and said that a mechanic in the past had broken the bolt at the bottom of the distributor and left it this way. He said there is some corrosion due to this and it could be the problem. He also said that there have been some problems with distributors and it may need to be replaced. I am baffled by this problem due especially to the intermittent nature of it. Any ideas guys and gals? I am totally vexed, and it seems I am also about to head down that road where you spend lots of $$$$$ without knowing really what the problem is.
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The cold & humid condition does not seem to fit the most common cause of intermittant starting problems, the Main Fuel Relay. With the MFR the most common condition is that the car will not start when its HOT inside the passenger compartment. It is, however,something to consider since the MFR must function every time the ingnition is turned on. Every time the key is turned is a fresh chance for the MFR to turn on the fuel pump (or not!). I had the MFR go bad on one of my Accords and it had me going crazy until the guys on HAF told me about the MFR.
The humid portion of your problem says there is a secondary spark leak, either in the cap and rotor area or the spark plug wires themselves, spray down the inside of the distributor with a parts cleaner that evaperates quickly and do a secondary tune up as a minimum.
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Thank you for your suggestions. I should add that you can hear the fuel pump and the relay so I don't believe that is the problem. The distributor is starting to seem like the culprit. Perhaps it is just condensation and crap that is getting into the distributor because the bolt underneath was broken off by some mechanic at some point and they never bothered to tell me about it.This may havecreated an entry point for moisture etc. I think that I have to decide whether or not to get a new distributor since it will have to be removed and replaced to fix the bolt anyway. At 180,000 miles on it, and who knows how much corrosion etc. it might be the least expensive fix in the long run, and might be the most expensive in the short haul. There are no check engine lights, nothing that points to anything in particular. I just hope to get the darn car to do this at the garage tomorrow morning so they can get some diagnostic equipment on it while it is refusing to start. I will keep youposted on this frustrating situation.
Sounds to me like a moisture issuelike 2pointauto said.Check the distributor cap for cracks like chio suggested above. It sounds like the distributor cap, rotor, spark plugs(NGK),and spark plug wires should all be checked and possibly replaced. A new distributor should be your last resort. Check out: http://www.hondaaccordforum.com/Gene...m_64674/tm.htm
For a DIY. Cap, rotor, plugs, and plug wires is a pretty easy DIY and requires only minimal tools/mechanical knowledge.
2000 Accord LX Sedan F23A1 5spd
2009 Ford Edge SEL (wife's car)
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