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Old 01-17-2008, 01:30 PM   #1
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VX warm start issue...

Hi, Great forum, I've been here a while but this is my first post.

I've had my VX (all stock except the radio--lucky find) for about five months. When I bought it, the seller told me about a warm start problem. He described it as something that had only happened a couple of times at the hottest part of the year.

Well, it's happened to me several times, and it happened last night when it was below freezing. The problems is that when the car is warmed up, and I stop for just a minute or two, like to fuel up for instance, it won't start up again (intermittently). But after waiting five or ten, it starts up and runs fine.

I had a similar issue with a mazda years ago and it turned out there was an electronic module in the distributor which was an easy replacement of a part (the module) that could be bought by itself.

I know, or at least think, these "modules" are often built into the coil nowadays, so I'm not sure where to start (distributor, coil, can it be bought separately).

Has anyone had this problem with their VX? If not, anyone think I'm on the right track or have any other ideas?

Thanks,
Chris

oh, incidentally, the p/u is on ebay right now, just in case!
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Old 01-17-2008, 02:42 PM   #2
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Could be the main relay that is under the dash near the fuse block. These tend to go bad after years of use. And - these go bad usually in hot weather. If you don't have the Helm manual for the 92-95 Civic already, then download it (for free) after googling "92-95 Honda Civic helm service manual pdf". Then go to the Fuel chapter and you will find out where and how to replace it. Not too difficult and it's probably the first place you should start.
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Old 01-17-2008, 03:02 PM   #3
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I would guess it is either the fuel relay or your fuel pump. When you normally start your car, as soon as you turn the key to the on position you should be able to hear a click from the left dash, under the dash. You should then be able to hear the electric fuel pump, located in the tank, turn on for about 2 - 3 seconds.

The cheapest and easiest thing to repair/check is the fuel relay and it is known to get intermittent. Typically the solder connections inside the relay get cracked and then it starts working in a funky, temperature related way. Either deep cold or very hot temperatures or temperature changes cause it to become highly intermittent.

The distributor electronics are located in the distributor housing, but typically these either work, or they don't. They don't seem to generally be in the nature of intermittent, although it is possible. The distributor as a whole starts to acquire some issues at 150,000 miles, or so, but on the Honda's I am associated with, they have ultimately either worked or not.
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Old 01-17-2008, 07:25 PM   #4
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Thanks guys, for your speedy replies. I'll definitely download the service manual and I'll be listening for the relay and pump from now on. Perhaps I'll just go ahead and buy a new relay if it's not expensive. I came across a relay involved in the cooling system on a Eurovan that was over a hundred bucks!!

Does it make sense that the (admittedly intermittent) problem should only happen when starting up after being stopped only briefly? Wouldn't an intermittently malfunctioning relay act up at other times too (starting a cold engine)? Or is the relay itself getting hot and acting funny after the car's been running?

By the way, I didn't explain well, but it sounds like you both assumed rightly that the starter turns the engine over just fine--just no bang.

thanks again,
Chris
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:31 PM   #5
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From what you've described, the likely culprit is the main relay. If you have soldering skills you can repair it for the cost of some solder. Otherwise getting a new relay is the way to go.

There is a main relay replacement how-to on this board...if you're unable to find it here, Honda-tech.com has some DIYs on how to repair/replace it.
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Old 01-22-2008, 07:01 AM   #6
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Very easy install. One bolt, and one wire-plug.

Sounds like the problem to me too.
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Old 01-25-2008, 03:46 PM   #7
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I had this exact problem. I pulled the main relay, popped the cover off and examined the solder joints under magnification. Since they all looked fine to me, I re-flowed the solder on all joints. It;s been a couple of months since, with no problems.

doug
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Old 01-25-2008, 05:03 PM   #8
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Also check out your battery connections since sometimes they get loose and cause the same thing to happen.
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Old 01-25-2008, 05:32 PM   #9
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+1 for the main relay diagnosis. Sounds like the typical solder joint failure symptoms. As has been said, re-solder the PCB joints if you feel confident about it. If not, a new OEM part should run you $40-60 depending on you get it from.

Just FYI, the main relay is actually two relays, along with a few diodes and resistors in one housing. The first relay is controlled by the ignition switch - it simply switches on power to the ECU (Engine Control Unit) and fuel injectors. The second relay is controlled by the ECU, supplying power to the fuel pump.
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