My wife's '04 Acura TSX began having issues starting towards the end of last summer. It would turn over just fine, but took 5-10 seconds to actually start running. The problem was intermittent - some days, it would start fine, other days were problems.
The problem went away for the winter, and came roaring back this week in the returning summer heat, leading us to conclude that the problem was heat-related. Several folks online suggested that Hondas and Acuras often have trouble with their fuel pump relays in the heat, and suggested that replacing the fuel pump relay might be a good start to diagnosing the issue.
After finding this, I've taken some diagnostic steps that have resulted in the car not starting at all. I'm wondering if anybody can shed some light. Here's what I've done:
- Removed the fuel pump relay, hooked it up to a 12V power source, and checked that the circuit was completed as it should have been. (This was the suggested method for checking that a relay was working.) The relay closed once, but I could not get it to close again.
- Put the original fuel pump relay back in (after testing). The car did not start at all at this point.
- Purchased an aftermarket relay, which turned out to be incorrect (auto parts store had wrong part in the box). I inserted this, and the car did not start.
- Discovered that the part was boxed improperly, went back to the parts store, and had them change it out for the correct part. Popped it in. Still no dice.
- Following this document from Acura http://www.tsxclub.com/forums/content/manual_gen1/Engine/Fuel%20Supply%20System.pdf I measured voltage between pin 3 of the fuel pump relay socket and ground. Did the same for pin 1. Got a solid 12v both times, suggesting there is no problem with the main relay, or the fuel pump fuse.
At this point, I'm struggling to think what might be going on. Perhaps I somehow burned out the original relay when testing it (not really sure how that's possible, but seems to fit what's going on). Perhaps the aftermarket fuel pump relay is not a good match and doesn't work well (I've got a used OEM on the way now). Perhaps inserting the incorrect relay that was boxed improperly fried something? Perhaps the fuel pump was the problem all along, was already on its last legs and just happened to die right as I was swapping out the relays (seems awfully coincidental...)?
Any suggestions would be very much appreciated. I'm at a loss for how unplugging a relay and plugging in an aftermarket replacement would leave my car failing to start.