I have a 1998 Honda Accord with 158k miles on it. This problem started over a month ago now. After parking my car over night, I get to my car only to find out that it won't start. After 2 days, it usually starts with a slight struggle. Any ideas as to what it could be? Here's a link to how it sounds.

  • Could you please add the link you mentioned? It'll be pretty important to hear what's going on, unless you can give us more information to go off of. Thanks! – Poisson Fish Oct 6 '15 at 17:52
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    So the car will turn over and over but won't start? When it does start, how long will it crank before it will start? Can you hear the fuel pump prime when you first turn the key over to run (not to start)? When it finally does startup, is there any black smoke from the tail pipe? After it starts, how does it run? Does it want to die at that point? After you have it started for the first time, will it continue to start throughout the day without issues? – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Oct 6 '15 at 18:07
  • Your right, it turns over but won't start. I'm not sure how the fuel pump would sound when priming. When it finally starts, the rpm is very low unless I press on the gas for a few seconds. No black smoke from what I saw. After it starts it will work fine for a few days, sometimes over a week. – Jesus Oct 6 '15 at 20:53

When you first turn your car to the run position, you should hear a slight whirring noise coming from the back end of the car. Make sure your radio is off or you won't hear it. This is before you start the car.

I would have your fuel pressure checked when it doesn't want to run ... It could be that the fuel pump is dieing. From your description it sounds like this is the most likely scenario. Fuel pumps have a habit of being intermittent when they start to die.

If there was black smoke when you first get it started, I'd think you might have an issue with a stuck open injector which was flooding the engine, especially if it sits for a long time.

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    On this model if the fuel pump wont run the most likely failed part is the fuel pump relay. Called the PGMFI relay by Honda. Pump failure is rare. – Fred Wilson Oct 7 '15 at 2:58
  • How sure are you about this? I'm considering replacing the fuel pump relay today. I'll update if I do and if it worked. – Jesus Oct 7 '15 at 13:18
  • What @FredWilson stated sounds like a winner. Replacing a relay is a much better way to go than is a fuel pump. I was speaking generically about what I believe is going on, but would lead me to believe it is definitely fuel related. Whether pump or relay could give you the same symptoms. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Oct 7 '15 at 20:56
  • @Jesus, I do not often replace parts based on what I think is broken. I use that knowledge to choose what to test first. I would test for voltage, or not, on the fuel pump wire at the connector on the relay. That said, we have replaced hundreds of these relays on Honda's of the age. – Fred Wilson Oct 8 '15 at 3:23

This seems like a sticking injector. When you turn the car off an injector is staying open a bit and 'bleeding' off the pressure in the fuel rail until there is no more. This fuel sits in the intake manifold/cylinder and the engine acts like it is 'flooded' when trying to start.

Performing a fuel pressure test after shutting the car off would confirm this diagnosis, but I know not everyone has a gauge laying around to do this.

This takes a bit of a trained nose, but worth a try; Remove your oil dipstick and smell the oil. If it smells a like gasoline this is a good indicator of a sticking injector. This is because some of the fuel sitting in the cylinder will find its way past the piston rings and fall directly into the oil.

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