Honda and Acura Car Forums banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 65 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started up the car and drove to the grocery store just fine, maybe a 7 minute trip total, car was half warmed up. Was in the grocery store for maybe 40 minutes, came out to the car, then this happened...

1. Started the car fine, waited maybe 5 seconds, and put it in reverse.
2. I stalled it for the 3rd time ever
3. It wouldn't start back up!

The car cranks so it has juice, and I smell fuel after cranking it for a while. What could be wrong???

I'm assuming either its flooded and needs to sit for a little while then it will be fine, or maybe I blew a fuse? The car is at the grocery store right now sitting so I can't immediately check anything, but when I go back for it tonight, what should I check for? Any specific fuses?

Any help at all is appreciated guys!!! And I need my car back ASAP so quick responses are greatly appreciated.

Z
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,086 Posts
fuel pump maybe, instead of just holding the key in "cranking" position. try starting the car, if it doesn't start turn key all the way into off position and remove key then re-insert and try again, this will give fuel pump chance to get power.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
782 Posts
Also, could be spark related.
Turn the key to the on position but don't try to crank the engine. Just flip the key over. If you listen closely you will hear the fuel pump priming. It is a noticeable sound. If that happens then it is likely you have fuel. And since you say you smell gas that sort of means you are getting it to flow to the engine.
If you can hear the motor trying to turn over then it isn't likely that its the starter.
But if all those things happen like they should then you may have an issue with your distributor cap, rotor, plugs, plug wires, or ignition coil. All those things are spark related.
Usually, most of those spark related items don't simply fail one random day with the exception of the ignition coil. That thing can go at any time and it causes the car to simply stop. After the coil is blown you can turn the key all you want and nothing will happen except fuel flowing to the cylinders.
I would check that the distributor cap was fastened correctly, the plug wires are all attached and seated properly, the plugs haven't blown out top of the motor, and that everything looks right. If it does then check the ignition coil.
To check that the coil is working will require either a shop to look at your engine or you pull the distributor apart and replace it yourself.

Also, if you are literally not hear the starter running and trying to start the motor you could have blown a fuse or the ignition relay. What really matters are the exact sounds and things your engine IS doing so we can eliminate what it can do. Then we can figure out what it ISN'T doing.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I can hear the fuel pump priming, and I can smell fuel so it is not fuel related.

I took off the distributor cap and there is no spark at the spring at the top, which leads me to believe that the ignition coil has gone. Does this sound right? The cap was dry on the inside and there wasn't any carbon buildup either.

How much does a coil run? Everything else appears to be fine...
Z
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,077 Posts
Shop manuals are in the stickeys(links to them) Check it out and troubleshot it. All wires are attached firmly? No loose connections? No blown fuses? Get a multimeter and measure the resistance of your primary and secondary coils.

Check to make sure the coils have voltage as well.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm most likely going to order a new ignition coil since a shop will cost an arm and a leg and it seems very easy to fix. But, is there a way to test if the one in there now is working or not? Step by step instructions would be nice.

Thanks
Z
 

· Registered
Joined
·
10,346 Posts
Ive had several distributors fail on me. I never had it suddenly quit working. was it misfiring or making a lot less power previous to this?

If its flooded, turn the key on, dont start the car. you want it to light the dash up. push the gas pedal all the way down, hold it for a few seconds, then let go and only slightly push it down, start it up. if it starts, keep holding the throttle down a little bit, say 1500 revs. then let it go, if it idles nice, take it for a quick spin. dont shut it off again unless your in your driveway or whatever. shut it off, wait a minute, try turning it back on.

keep us updated
 

· Registered
Joined
·
10,346 Posts
Check the spark plugs as well, thats the only time ive ever had a car suddenly quit starting. prior to that it was starting rough but smoothed out after the car was warmed up
 

· Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well I'm not sure what you want me to check with the spark plugs because they aren't getting any spark. The distributor rotor is not getting any spark either. That's why I'm thinking its the ignition coil, especially since it went out so suddenly. The car was running perfect up to this.

Do you agree? If so, how can I test the ignition coil?
Z
 

· Registered
Joined
·
782 Posts
I'm most likely going to order a new ignition coil since a shop will cost an arm and a leg and it seems very easy to fix. But, is there a way to test if the one in there now is working or not? Step by step instructions would be nice.

Thanks
Z
The best place for step-by-step instruction on how to do anything on your Honda is to get the Haynes manual at your local auto parts store. Or you can look around on the forum and online to find a printable version of the Honda shop manual.

There are ways to test your ignition coil and distributor but outlining all of that here would take two pages...if it were a step-by-step instruction. So, buy the Haynes manual or get the online printable version.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
782 Posts
I can hear the fuel pump priming, and I can smell fuel so it is not fuel related.

I took off the distributor cap and there is no spark at the spring at the top, which leads me to believe that the ignition coil has gone. Does this sound right? The cap was dry on the inside and there wasn't any carbon buildup either.

How much does a coil run? Everything else appears to be fine...
Z
No spark at the cap could also be the ignition rotor. But it definitely sounds like you have found the location of the problem. The only way to be 100% sure that you have fixed everything is to due a basic tune-up. Replace the distributor cap, rotor, plug wires, plugs, and in your case maybe the ignition coil. Most of those things are pretty cheap to replace....and easy....and it is good to do when you are already mucking around with your spark related stuff....and you may already need it depending on how long ago you did all of it.

I posted in my previous post that your coil replacement would need a couple of pages to explain. If you buy a new one....they very in price...you can replace it while you replace the cap and rotor. Just make sure to keep track of which order your plug wires connect to the distributor and to the engine. Otherwise you would fix the problem and possibly not know it because the distribution of spark would not reach the engine in correct sequence. :bash

And just because it takes a couple of pages to explain IN DETAIL doesn't mean it is hard to do. If you can take the distributor cap apart...two or three screws...and 3 bolts...then you likely can pull the coil off...another couple of screws...and put a new one on. Just keep track of your screws and NUTS (HA) and maybe snap a picture or two while you do it so you can compare what you end up with with what you started with....
 

· Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Drawing pics of where each plug wire goes to on the distributor and the cylinder has helped me in the past, also extremely important to put them with the right cylinders otherwise you'll have some super ultra deluxe misfiring! Good luck. :)
 

· Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I assumed it might be flooded at first but I let it sit for 4 hours yesturday and it still had the same problem, BUT HAS NO SPARK ;) As for replacing it, it appears very easy as long as you take it step by step. But I don't want to spend $ on something that isn't broken...

The ignition coil will run be a little under $100 for an OEM and roughly $60 for aftermarket. I'd hate to replace this though if it's just a blown fuse...Everything else works though, lights, radio, dash lights, etc.

Z
 

· Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Before you go replacing all of these parts, get a multimeter and a manual and check the resistance of your coil windings and voltage at ignitor. 5 minutes of troubleshooting could save you a fortune in parts. Parts are cheaper in the states, but in Canada a coil is like $45 and an ignitor is like $70. In my experience, throwing new parts at cars is not the best fix. Its usually the one you don't replace thats the problem!
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
29,824 Posts
I assumed it might be flooded at first but I let it sit for 4 hours yesturday and it still had the same problem, BUT HAS NO SPARK ;) As for replacing it, it appears very easy as long as you take it step by step. But I don't want to spend $ on something that isn't broken...

The ignition coil will run be a little under $100 for an OEM and roughly $60 for aftermarket. I'd hate to replace this though if it's just a blown fuse...Everything else works though, lights, radio, dash lights, etc.

Z
disconnect your fuel injectors and turn it over for a bit reconnect them after you do that for a bit and then try and start it up
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,077 Posts
You did know enough to check spark with the spark plugs grounded against the block right? lol I have to ask, just incase, you never know what people try and do these days.

There are links to the manuals here on SHO in the stickeys. If you cant find them at all PM me.

The service manuals will teach you everything you need to know about your car.

You said you would hate to replace parts when its a fuse... Haven't you checked all the fuses yet? Also if the fuse blew theres a reason they blow, so just replacing the fuse may not help you at all.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
782 Posts
Before you go replacing all of these parts, get a multimeter and a manual and check the resistance of your coil windings and voltage at ignitor. 5 minutes of troubleshooting could save you a fortune in parts. Parts are cheaper in the states, but in Canada a coil is like $45 and an ignitor is like $70. In my experience, throwing new parts at cars is not the best fix. Its usually the one you don't replace thats the problem!
I personally don't advocate random replacement of parts. I wanted to let the OP know that if all these things are in need of replacement because they are old already then he could kill 2 birds with 1 stone by doing a tune-up and fixing the problem.

He should also make sure that he is using a proper grounding point while testing the ignition coil, spark plugs, wires, and distributor. Wrong technique can lead to misinformation.

If it is a fuse or a relay it is VERY important to figure out what caused them to blow. Obviously, if you just replace the fuse or relay without any further diagnostics it could blow again and you are right back where you started from. With that said fuses do blow...sometimes randomly. Relays, on the other hand, don't usually blow unless something else down the way is shorting.

But, in my opinion, it is likely that the ignition coil is the culprit. I would test it with a multimeter to make certain it was not producing the voltage necessary before replacing it. A multimeter and the ten minutes necessary to test the coil pack would cost about $15 or so. A new coil could be $40-$100 depending on if it was purchased online or at a local store.

Also, you could look into getting a used coil from a junked car. That would likely be significantly less expensive than a new one. The only down side is that it too could become problematic within a short while where as a new coil isn't likely to go bad for a long time.
 
1 - 20 of 65 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top