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Thread: 92 Accord, won't start when it's cold.

  1. #1
    Shake n Bake! DarkStarr's Avatar
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    92 Accord, won't start when it's cold.

    92 Accord EX automatic, 195k miles, won't start in cold weather, usually around freezing. Starts fine when its warm out. Got the battery/alt checked out, they're fine. I'm basically looking for any leads. Is it possible the fuel lines are freezing and it's not getting the gas to start? The engine cranks, and sometimes almost starts, will buck a bit, then that's it.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks guys,
    Dark
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    v-card member alpha A-series's Avatar
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    First I'd probably try a fuel additive and then topping up the tank with what you're confident is good gas.

    I've actually read that the main relay can act up in cold weather also - unlike the usual symptoms where the car won't get fuel (whether b/c fuel pump doesn't run or injectors) in hot weather, often shortly after being driven. Can't say for sure on that, my civic's relay only acts up when it's warm out.

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    Shake n Bake! DarkStarr's Avatar
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    Maybe I should try something like Iso-Heet or something? The car has a full tank, and I'm pretty sure it's clean gas. I was told by at Advance that it's possible the fuel filter might be clogged up or something as well?
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    v-card member alpha A-series's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'd try some sort of additive like that just to help rule that out as the cause, and b/c it's cheap and easy. Since the tank is full you could just top it off after adding Iso-Heet or whatever w/ a small amount of gas (what will fit) to help it mix quicker.

    I'm not sure if the filter would be the cause, but I suppose even w/out water in the gas, a clogged filter could give more of a problem in the cold. If it's as easy to replace as my civic (of same year) you might just want to give it a try if you don't know when it was last replaced.

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    clogging a fuel filter is hard to do. If you had a dirty filter, you would have noticed this ongoing problem a long time ago. I suggest you look under the drivers dash to the left, there is the Cruise control box, remove it from its location and you will see the MAIN RELAY. this is problematic in hondas due to weather.
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    Member Joshatdot's Avatar
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    I would check Main Relay. Turn your key to On, but do not try to start the engine. Do you hear a *click* when the Check Engine Light goes off? Buckle you lap belt too so you can hear the click better, as the car will BEEP like 6 times if you don't. If you don't hear any clicks you need to get a new Main Relay, or save your self about $65 and reflow the solder on your "broken" one.
    Last edited by Joshatdot; 03-08-08 at 06:09 AM.
    1991 Accord LX, 4 Door, 5 Speed

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    v-card member alpha A-series's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshatdot View Post
    I would check Main Relay. Turn your key to On, but do not try to start the engine. Do you hear a *click* when the Check Engine Light goes off? Buckle you lap belt too so you can hear the click better, as the car will BEEP like 6 times if you don't. If you don't hear any clicks you need to get a new Main Relay, or save your self about $65 and reflow the solder on your "broken" one.
    I was actually planning on doing the re-flow method to mine this weekend if it's nice enough, some say you should always remove the old and re-solder, but for what they cost I'd rather try the $5 (for soldering iron) method or get a new one.

    One good thing about it being an Accord that he's dealing with is that on those cars, if the main relay acts up, it usually (some would say always, can't confirm) prevents the fuel pump from priming, whereas on my civic it can supposedly allow the pump to prime (so you hear it and think everything's fine) but not allow the injectors to fire.

  8. #8
    Shake n Bake! DarkStarr's Avatar
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    I'll head out and check it soon! I love soldering
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    Shake n Bake! DarkStarr's Avatar
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    I do hear the click.
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    Member Joshatdot's Avatar
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    Wait till the car wont start...see if you hear the click or not.

    My car had random intermittent non-starts on warm days. Most of the time it clicked & started fine.
    1991 Accord LX, 4 Door, 5 Speed

  11. #11
    Shake n Bake! DarkStarr's Avatar
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    It clicks every time, but does not start.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkStarr View Post
    It clicks every time, but does not start.
    Must not be the main relay then. It was sort of a long shot anyway, since your issue is with cold weather.

    I know that the coil and the ignitor can be affected by warmth if they're on their way out, not sure if that can also be the case in the cold

    If I were you, next time you try to start it, I'd follow Honda's directions for cold non-starts in your owner's manual. If you don't have the one for the Accord, it should be virtually identical to those given in the Prelude's manual.

    From what I remember it's first make sure everything electrical is off (yours is turning over fine so that shouldn't be the issue)and if it won't start, pump the pedal and try it again. If it still won't start, apply some gas while cranking, and if that fails, floor it while cranking - making sure to quickly remove your foot from the gas pedal if that works. I believe you're supposed to make it like a 3 step process, waiting 15 seconds or so between tries, not just continually cranking it while giving it progressively more gas.

    I've never had to do that with a Honda myself, but a friend's '93 Accord wouldn't start in the cold recently, but was fine later in the day. He didn't try any of those steps though.

  13. #13
    Shake n Bake! DarkStarr's Avatar
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    Coincidentally enough, I've tried that before you mentioned it. I was getting frustrated so I was like.. Imma make you start, whether you like it or not. Did not work.

    The sun is out now, so I'm gonna go inspect everything that might be even closely related to it not starting, and hope I find the cause. It's pissing me off, it's a winter beater car, and it doesn't even start.
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    v-card member alpha A-series's Avatar
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    That sucks, good luck man.

    Just how cold is it there anyway, last few days?

  15. #15
    Shake n Bake! DarkStarr's Avatar
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    only 25*

    No reason for it to not be starting.
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    HOLY CRAP. Pulled out the plug wires cause I was gonna see if the plugs were fouled out or something.. and there's a freaking sea of oil in each one!

    This is gonna be fun.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkStarr View Post
    HOLY CRAP. Pulled out the plug wires cause I was gonna see if the plugs were fouled out or something.. and there's a freaking sea of oil in each one!

    This is gonna be fun.
    I have a feeling that may be related

    and being SOHC, it's a PITA to replace those tube seals That sucks man, but at least you're on the trail.
    Last edited by A-series; 03-09-08 at 03:19 PM.

  18. #18
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    I need to run down to Advance and get a longer ratchet ext and the plugs, anything else I should grab while I'm down there aside from a valve cover seal? I think I can just clean off the wires and they'll be fine..
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  19. #19
    v-card member alpha A-series's Avatar
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    Fairly sure the prob. is with the individual spark plug tube seals unfortunately, but here's hoping your car is the exception.
    Wait, I think I confused that a bit. I believe a valve cover gasket kit will have those seals, what I first thought of was the ones below those, where you have to remove the cam, etc., but that's not what your problem is. The bad seals you need are super easy to replace, my bad.
    Last edited by A-series; 03-09-08 at 03:24 PM.

  20. #20
    Shake n Bake! DarkStarr's Avatar
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    :ninja edited for your edit:

    Okay, thanks

    I'll update later!
    Last edited by DarkStarr; 03-09-08 at 03:26 PM.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkStarr View Post
    Dang.. how do I change those out? Take off the valve cover and play with it or is there a more intricate process?

    After doing this to it, I may as well sell the Prelude since the Accord will once again become reliable

    ( i hope )
    If I remember, once the cover is off it's easy to replace those tube seals. What I had been thinking of aren't called tube seals, but o-rings, that would only leak onto the threads.

    edit: damnit, I'm hoping it's the server that's making things crawl so badly Anyway, I know the gasket kit comes with those seals, maybe they come with the gasket automatically, though I don't think so, but you'll find out.
    Last edited by A-series; 03-09-08 at 03:30 PM.

  22. #22
    Shake n Bake! DarkStarr's Avatar
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    Done!

    Total tool time = 1hr.
    Parts replaced =

    + Plugs
    + Valve Cover Gasket
    + Plug Well Seals (?)

    Spoiler for large images:
    Ewwww



    Ewwww



    Ewwww



    Ewwww



    Spoiler for :cool::
    YAAAY!




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  23. #23
    v-card member alpha A-series's Avatar
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    Way to go man

    I'm so glad my engine's spark plug tubes aren't part of the valve cover.
    Last edited by A-series; 03-09-08 at 07:54 PM.

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    Member Joshatdot's Avatar
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    So valve cover gasket kit comes with the plug seals? I think I need to do this to my car some time soon. Last summer when I had random no starts, I checked the plugs & wires. One or Two of them had some oil in the tube, but no where swamped as yours!
    1991 Accord LX, 4 Door, 5 Speed

  25. #25
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    Gaskets can be bought with or without the spark plug tube seals. Just check to be sure they're included, wherever you buy it.
    JimBlake
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  26. #26
    v-card member alpha A-series's Avatar
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    BTW, forgot to mention this, but I'd take a look at the PCV valve on that Accord, or just replace it since they're cheap... just because there was so much oil getting by those seals.

  27. #27
    Member Joshatdot's Avatar
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    good point, I just got my timing belt other stuff done..didnt think of a new PCV valve
    1991 Accord LX, 4 Door, 5 Speed

  28. #28
    Senior Member nspec_Cd5's Avatar
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    u can just clean those w/ carb cleaner.

    as long as u can hear a little ball in there when u shake them, thye're good.

  29. #29
    Senior Member nspec_Cd5's Avatar
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    on the "cold starting" part, i dont konw if this is related, but i had problems starting my car everynow and then. i cleaned up the connection b/w my starter and the positive plug and it worked fine aftre that.

  30. #29
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