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Takes multiple tried to start in the morning.


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sona1111
Novice

Jan 11, 2013, 10:39 PM

Post #1 of 16 (1346 views)
Takes multiple tried to start in the morning. Sign In

Vehicle: 1996 Honda Accord 4 cly non-vtec DX 5-spd
has 140k miles.

Problem: In the mornings their is a chance that the car will not start the first time, it does not always happen, but it happens enough that i care. Today it happened both in the morning and after work. The second time i try it usually works, it has never refused to start at all. I bought the car in the summer and did not notice this problem until it began getting cold, so it may be temperature related.

here is a video of what happens:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyZxO360a2k&feature=youtu.be

what i have tried:
-turning the key and waiting for the cel to go off, then starting.
-starting right away
-checked coolent temp sensor, has correct resistances in ice water and boiling water.
-used lucas fuel injector cleaner at most fill ups

replaced parts:
-battery
-battery ground cable
-radiator and hoses
-ECM/igniter
-fuel filter
-air filter
-oil and oil filter
-cap and rotor
-wireset
-spark plugs new ngk and gapped.
-vss

previous owner also stated new clutch and timing belt at 100k miles.

after many things tried on other forums, i ended up taking it to the mechanic. He could not reproduce the problem but said it was not the fuel pump which i suspected. He said it might be a leaky injector but returned me the car at no charge.

at this point i am still unsure fuel or spark because the problem is intermittent and thus next to impossible to test. My next though lean to the injectors or the ignition coils, as they are basically the last parts of the fuel or ignition systems i have not tested/replaced yet.

any ideas? i really want to nail this as an educational opportunity if nothing else. and also its really embarrassing.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jan 12, 2013, 4:28 AM

Post #2 of 16 (1303 views)
Re: Takes multiple tried to start in the morning. Sign In


Quote
He could not reproduce the problem but said it was not the fuel pump which i suspected.


If he couldn't duplicate the problem, then he has no idea what it is or isn't.

I didn't hear much of a problem at all in that video. The car still started with less than 5 seconds of cranking time which may not be completely normal but certainly not a big issue. You still need to monitor the fuel pressure during the failure.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



sona1111
Novice

Jan 12, 2013, 9:53 AM

Post #3 of 16 (1274 views)
Re: Takes multiple tried to start in the morning. Sign In

i assume (though i may be wrong because i dropped it off), that he rules out the fuel pump by cracking the bolt on the fuel rail and seeing the pressure is ok or something along those lines. I suppose you are implying that sometimes the fuel pump does not work and other times it does, which i guess could make sense...

The video is not explicit enough. The first time the key is held, i could sit there for over 15 seconds and it keeps cranking, then the second time it works.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jan 12, 2013, 10:07 AM

Post #4 of 16 (1273 views)
Re: Takes multiple tried to start in the morning. Sign In

That does not even begin to rule out the fuel pump. The pressure needs to be monitored as the problem occurs to know if it had the correct pressure at that time. Of course it has fuel pressure once the car is running. It wouldn't be running otherwise.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



sona1111
Novice

Jan 12, 2013, 10:11 AM

Post #5 of 16 (1269 views)
Re: Takes multiple tried to start in the morning. Sign In

so...what was your suggestion?


Sidom
Veteran / Moderator
Sidom profile image

Jan 12, 2013, 10:24 AM

Post #6 of 16 (1268 views)
Re: Takes multiple tried to start in the morning. Sign In

I think I see what you are talking about.....I'm guessing the engine usually starts pretty quick and on the video there was a slight extended crank period before the 2nd try....

This is a common problem on these cars but usually it will last for extended periods of time making it easier to diagnosis.......5 seconds makes it a little tough to track down...

You've got a pretty long list there but there somethings on the list that I'm sure weren't replaced for a no start.

Honda fuel pumps from that time period are pretty much bullet proof....You just don't see them go bad, it's very rare..

The 2 main problems I see on those for no starts is the Main relay or ign module/coil.....

Theres not much you can do on the ign side without a scope, you can do a visual inspection of the coil, see it there are any small spots on it where it has been arching to ground. This year has had a problem with the bushing in the dist so any problems related to that area & it's better to replace the whole as$embly...

The main relay powers the fuel system & ign and it a common failure problem in those....Its easy enough to check when it's failing, just see which area is losing power and go from there.....5 seconds makes it tougher......On this one if it wouldn't fail for me in the shop I would be tempted to put in a tester (known good relay) and see what it did for the problem..

You're in a tough spot here (unless you have a 4ch scope) I'm guessing you don't have the proper equipment to find this problem.

These parts aren't cheap so you have to weigh the cost of a diag at a shop or throwing more parts at it....You've already exceeded the cost of a diag already......

Some problems, DIYers just aren't equipped to find on there own........Stuff starts getting real expensive from here on out and being wrong will empty your wallet very fast & leave you with the same problem.....


sona1111
Novice

Jan 12, 2013, 10:36 AM

Post #7 of 16 (1262 views)
Re: Takes multiple tried to start in the morning. Sign In

ok, thank you for the suggestion. I know i have spent more then i should, but i actually really enjoy completing an install and i hope that sometime i will finally get it and feel really good lol.

Another thing i forgot to mention until you brought it up, i re soldered every joint on the main relay. (new solder, vacuumed, complete new flux core solder) I did this even though i did not expect it to begin with because i could hear the pump running from the outside of the vehicle. But possibly thats one thing off the list?

About your other suggestion, i have not replaced the coil yet. I did replace the ign module with a new one (and brand new arctic silver 5), but when you say "its better to replace the whole assembly" , do you mean the whole distributor? is their any way to check the brushing you were talking about?

from your view, should i look at the distributor or coil first? (ive been replacing these parts like one every two weeks lol)


Sidom
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Sidom profile image

Jan 12, 2013, 11:01 AM

Post #8 of 16 (1258 views)
Re: Takes multiple tried to start in the morning. Sign In

Well....a bad solder joint is just one of a few problems that could cause the problem to go bad.....

What you can do and really need to do.....Is find out what you're missing when it doesn't start......Spark or fuel????

I know you'll comeback & say that's impossible to do, it only does it for a few seconds.....but that's the diag world......Some problems are like that, they aren't easy to track down but not impossible...

With a 4ch scope you would have the benifit of monitering 4 different circuits at the same time but I'm guessing you don't have one......

You could try to check power the fuel pump with a voltmeter......get a noid light and see if you have injector pulse during the failure, check for spark......but the main thing is.....you have to find out what you are losing or it's just a wild goose chase......


sona1111
Novice

Jan 12, 2013, 2:07 PM

Post #9 of 16 (1241 views)
Re: Takes multiple tried to start in the morning. Sign In

ok. I just got someone someone to help me. I pulled off all of the plug wires and stuck the screw drier in and tested for spark. It sparked good this time. I will try for every morning this week if i can get someone and if it sparks every time i guess we can rule out the ignition coils?!?


Sidom
Veteran / Moderator
Sidom profile image

Jan 12, 2013, 2:28 PM

Post #10 of 16 (1239 views)
Re: Takes multiple tried to start in the morning. Sign In

It would be better to get a spark tester, you can pick up one up fairly cheaply at a parts store.

The problem you are running into, is time. With any diag problem, you need to test the systems while the failure is happeing. Once the system starts working normally then of course all the tests you run will pas$, because the system is working the way it should.

On this problem (at least it seems like from your posts) you only have a few seconds before it starts working ok.....That's your time frame to test the systems.....
So if are pretty sure when you go out to start it that the problem is going to happen, you need to hook up your spark tester, noid light, voltmeter, whatever to the system you want to test and then try to start the car. If the car starts right up, then it was a waste of time.....If you get the extended crank time, this is when you want to see if you have spark, if you have injector pulse, if you are getting power to the pump.....This will tell you what system is dropping out and now you know where to look


sona1111
Novice

Jan 12, 2013, 11:46 PM

Post #11 of 16 (1211 views)
Re: Takes multiple tried to start in the morning. Sign In

i think i understand what you are saying. What i am doing is testing one of the systems when it is cold at the time it is most likely to produce the problem. My figuring (though point out if i am wrong) is that if the ign coil was the problem that i would not see any spark during the first start in at least one day out of the week...right? and if i saw it all of the days then i could test something else.

Also a side question, if it was one leaky injector that was losing pressure, does that mean the injector is actually bad or just the seals? maybe i could get away with just using a seal kit instead of brand new injectors.


Sidom
Veteran / Moderator
Sidom profile image

Jan 13, 2013, 1:18 AM

Post #12 of 16 (1209 views)
Re: Takes multiple tried to start in the morning. Sign In

Yea pretty much....You need to test the systems when the problem is happening.....When the problem is happening then something is "broken" causing the car to either not start or run bad......right?
So if the car is starting fine or running fine then nothing is "broken" at that time so anything you test would pas$ the test at that point because nothing is "broken"......right?

With diags whether it's a no start or drivabilitly problem (runs bad) they fall into 1 of 2 areas......
Hard faults..This is something that happens all the time....won't start no matter what or runs bad all the time....or
Intermittent faults....These only happen some of the time.....Sometimes they start or run perfect and other times they don't.
Between the 2 of them, intermittents are the hardest to work on for the simple reason the fault (something "broken") isn't present all the time. So when it's not broken you can't find the fault because nothing is "broken" to find.
Hard fault are easier to find for the simple reason whatever is "broken" is always there and you have all day long to take your time, run your tests and try to find the fault.

So if you aren't confuse enough yet there is 2 more areas.....With Intermittent faults, these fall into 2 areas as well.
There is the intermittent faults with a pattern... Even though the fault isn't always present, there is a pattern to when it happens.....Every morning it won't start, Only when its hot doing 70 mphs, Every Tuesday night going down 4th ST when its 40°, etc.....Whatever the intermittent fault is ....you know how to make the car "broken" so you can try to find the fault.

Then there is the random intermittent fault.....and it's just what it implies......It's totally random, you can't duplicate it and this is the hardest one to find.....

So with yours....its a..... Intermittent no start.....because it will start, just not all the time and then it runs fine. Now you have to find the pattern and yes....that is when you test it......

So you can see it would do no good to test it all day long if the no start is only for 5 seconds in the morning...Your time frame for testing would be 5 seconds a day, in the morning......Or.......maybe if it sits for 2, 3 or 4 hours it will have the problem.....If that is the case then you have a few more times a day you can look for the problem but since the fault (broken) only happens for a few seconds, you need to have all your equipment set up to moniter what ever system you are going to look at and then have a helper try to start it because once it starts.......There is nothing "broken" anymore to find.......

With injectors.....there is nothing servicable on them....If an outside O ring is leaking, those can be changed......but 1st you need to find what is "broken".....Guessing at this part or that part can get time consuming & exspensive....


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jan 13, 2013, 6:10 AM

Post #13 of 16 (1201 views)
Re: Takes multiple tried to start in the morning. Sign In

I think the poster is under the mistaken idea that 4 or 5 good tests would indicate a good component, ............. wrong

You need to monitor all of these functions indefinitely until a failure occurs that you can simultaneously see your test results and find out which function dropped out at that exact moment.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



sona1111
Novice

Jan 13, 2013, 1:01 PM

Post #14 of 16 (1185 views)
Re: Takes multiple tried to start in the morning. Sign In

@sidom thank you for the large detailed definition. I almost feel bad typing such a short reply. I think i can say that is it intermittent with a pattern. Two factors affect this pattern:

1) Temperature outside. When it was the summer i did not get this at all, though i will really have to wait until next summer to confirm.
2) Temperature...inside! When the car has been used in the last hour and the engine has heat, this never happens.

Basically only happens when cold, but not every single time.

I know it makes it harder, but making educated guesses with help from knowledgeable people is really the only option i have. I am guessing the problem may be the ignition system or the fuel injectors, for example, but i am only guessing parts which i can check, not just replace.

For example, if i get this problem starting maybe 25% of the time (low estimate) and i test for 4 days, and the problem is spark, their is a good chance i should see no spark upon a cold crank one of the days, testing for a week should narrow that further, even if i test this for a year and see spark every time, it may still be the ign coil, but the chance is very low, i am just doing what i can. I am just starting out in life attempting to get a reliable ride for school and work.

@Hammer time
Sir, i understand that many people including myself are stupid at this work and trying to help i suppose can be frustrating. I really do take and accept your warnings, but if you could be a little more specific it would be of great help to me.


Quote
I think the poster is under the mistaken idea that 4 or 5 good tests would indicate a good component, ............. wrong


I accept this. From the work you have done, though, perhaps you could point out how many times a component should be tested before it can be ruled out?


Quote
You need to monitor all of these functions indefinitely until a failure occurs that you can simultaneously see your test results and find out which function dropped out at that exact moment.


Being a professional, this may seem like nothing to you, but for newbies it is very difficult to understand exactly what you are suggesting to do. What can i physically do (hook up, measure, test, etc.) to proceed with the action that you are suggesting i take? Can you articulate a bit more, please?

Thank you very much and have a good day.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jan 13, 2013, 1:23 PM

Post #15 of 16 (1179 views)
Re: Takes multiple tried to start in the morning. Sign In

What I am saying is that you need to already have equipment hooked up for monitoring spark, fuel pressure and injector pulse before starting the engine and you have to repeat this procedure as many times as it takes for the problem to occur while you are observing all of these monitors so you will see which one shows a glitch at that moment. This may sound outrageously hard to do but, welcome to our world.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Sidom
Veteran / Moderator
Sidom profile image

Jan 13, 2013, 2:03 PM

Post #16 of 16 (1176 views)
Re: Takes multiple tried to start in the morning. Sign In

Well, that's part of the problem and any good diag tech will do it.....They talk in tech, this comes from training and talking with other tech. There are common terms that can be confusing to regular DIYers...It helps to speak in "english" instead of tech.....So for say an a/c problem, instead of saying "go into the HVAC module and see if there is an a/c request, it the request is there, use the scanners bi directional controls & command the compessor on"....you could say "use your tool to see if you can make the a/c pump turn on".

What HT is saying....Is say you had a bad ign coil that was making the engine run rough when it was hot after you've been driving for a while and you wanted to use your ohm meter to check the coil. Everytime you check this coil with your meter, you will get good reading because by the time you can get to the coil, it has cooled down enough where the readings come back into the good range.......It there was a way you could have you ohm meter hooked up to the coil when the engine was running & the problem was there, you would see different reading and they would be out of range but you can't use an ohm meter that way and would need a scope to find the problem....Now if the coil was a hard fault (causing the problem to happen all the time no matter what) then by the time you got to the coil, it would have bad readings...

I'll give you an example of where I screwed up on my own car......An 07 Cobalt......It had a miss on #3.....When you started it cold it ran fine, after it warmed up #3 would start to miss constantly but when you took it up to 1500, the miss would go away. After checking the usual suspects the 1s day everything check out so I brought my scope, smoker & compression gauge home....So the next morning I go out and the very 1st thing I do is check the compression and it's good across the board...160 lbs....(was this a good time to check compression???? when it was stone cold & runs good?)......Then I fire it up run it and start chasing ghosts.....After some wasted time,,,I think you know I should really do a hot & wet test on this cyl........check #3 and..................75lbs.....it had a valve sticking only after it got hot........I could've done compression & leakdown tests on that car everyday for a year when it was stone cold and probably never would of found that valve..

So when you are looking for these problems.....you have to have your meter, gauge, test light, scope, whatever hooked up to the electrical connecter, wire, fuel line, whatever so you can see the readings while the engine is running........Intermittents are usually a "running" test" while the engine is "alive" ....Hard faults can be an "autopsy" because it's alway there, its not going anywhere so you can disect the frog....

So yes....that is what we are saying......If you have your spark tester hooked up and are cranking the engine over and it's not starting....if there is no spark, then that is the area you need to look at....If its not starting and you have a stong spark,,,,then it's time to look at a different area....






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