'92 Civic VX Cannot start on hot days - Fuelly Forums

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Old 04-16-2011, 08:09 AM   #1
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'92 Civic VX Cannot start on hot days

Hi There,
I have a '93 Civic Vx. Great car and I get great mileage.
If it's a hot day and I'm idling waiting for gas, then turn off the car. After filling up, I will have a hard time starting the car. This happens periodically. I got stuck a few times with people getting pissed at me not being able to move the car.

The car will crank and crank, but the engine will die. Eventually, the car will sputter and start.

When I turn the engine on, I cannot hear the fuel pump prime. Usually, you can hear the fuel pump run a few seconds.

Any ideas what's happening?
Thanks,
Gary
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Old 04-16-2011, 10:21 AM   #2
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Re: '92 Civic VX Cannot start on hot days

I knew 2 people in college who had older Hondas ('88, '90) that would not start when it was hot or humid out. In both cases, it was a cracked distributer cap that was the culprit.
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Old 04-16-2011, 12:10 PM   #3
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Re: '92 Civic VX Cannot start on hot days

It might be the main relay. The circuit board has soldered connections that crack over time. The relay is easy to reach and remove.

That's what was wrong with my VX one time when I couldn't start it one hot day.
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Old 04-16-2011, 12:15 PM   #4
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Re: '92 Civic VX Cannot start on hot days

I'm aware of a 1990 Honda Civic service bulletin providing free replacement of the igniter. Seems many had cracks whose gaps were worsened by expansion at high temps. If the car was running it would continue but if you shut it you'd be forced to wait for cooling before it would fire again.

My '94 VX (49 state) exhibited this very behavior when her O2 sensor was preparing for retirement. No CEL, no diagnostic code reporting, but unplugging the sensor would remedy the issue every time. Next time you arrive at your destination attempt to restart the car. No luck? Pop the hood, unplug the O2 sensor (there's a connector just six or so inches from device) and try again.

Ignition coils on their way out can cause such difficulties as well. Generally they'll make their unhappiness known in other ways as well. Any other signs or symptoms?
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Old 05-14-2011, 09:26 AM   #5
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Re: '92 Civic VX Cannot start on hot days

Mine does the same thing. But it seems random. Not related to heat. One day it will start (and can hear fuel pump prime) next day nothing. Took fuel pump relay out and reflowed solder joints. Seemed to work awhile. Then happened again yesterday. Bummer starting to wonder if it's o2sensor. Also when I drive it seems to hesitate right after acceleration in that spot where your just maintaining speed? Almost like very small bucking feeling? Did unhook o2 sensor and bucking stopped. Just really trying to avoid spending so much.
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Old 05-14-2011, 09:52 AM   #6
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Re: '92 Civic VX Cannot start on hot days

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDay View Post
Mine does the same thing.
Is your VX also a '92? Is it a (built for) California model or a "49 state"? How long have you owned/driven the car? Mileage? Maintenance history?
Your cold start problems are not related to your O2 sensor, the ECU does not reference that sensor in "open loop". Only after the proper engine temperature is reached (and the engine enters "closed loop") does the computer consider it's input. I believe it was chance that you experienced a correction with the sensor unplugged.
As for the "slight bucking", these cars are infamous for that when acclimating to lean burn mode. Is this new? Was your check engine light on prior to unplugging your O2 sensor?
Perhaps somone can help us with the fuel pump's failure to prime, I've never experienced this. I'm not certain what the ECU takes into account before sending voltage to it. Goodness knows we have enough VX owners among us.
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:37 AM   #7
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Thumbs up Re: '92 Civic VX Cannot start on hot days

230000 miles. It's been in Cincinnati it's whole life. I aquired the car 5-6 years ago as a project. It had been sitting for at least 2 years. Tires flat, barley any oil in it. Really didn't know what I was getting into. Hooked up to battery cart and started right up. Threw about a grand into it. Tires, front axle, all bushings , upfront. Installed glow shift gauges (oil temp, oil press, water temp, vacuum, & volt) I think my first tank was 45 mpg. Been running ok. Couple years ago was sitting at stop light and car just died. Only happened once. Didn't think any thing except couldn't hear fuel pump prime when that happened. That doesn't happen all the time Now it just won't start. Let it sit and it starts? Read a couple forums that said try resoldering relay helps. Seems to have helped a little. But problem still there. The bucking does happen from the start when cold and stays the same hot or cold doesn't seem to make a dif. Every one was making fun of my little red car till gas hit 4$ last time, then guess who drove. Ha really appreciate this web site and everyones help.
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:38 AM   #8
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Re: '92 Civic VX Cannot start on hot days

Sorry yes it's a 92
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