2000 Honda Odyssey won't start in the morning

We have a 2000 honda odyssey with 100k+ miles on it that has a worsening conditioning trying to start and drive it in the morning. This was a minor annoyance this summer and fall, but now that winter
has arrived, its gotten worse. Heres the deal:
In the morning I start the van up, it starts for a moment, then stalls out. It will not start after this, it cranks, but never turns over. Not until I open the gas lid and unscrew the gas cap for about 5-10 minutes. Then, I put it back on, and try starting it again. Now it will start, but there a lot of dashboard lights on(engine, brake, traction control, etc.). If you try and drive it, it will go only about 10-20 mph like it has no power. You can floor the gas pedal and get nothing. From here just shut it off, and wait another 10-20 minutes. Now it will start, and everything is fine! no lights, no problems, you're good to go for the day. You can drive it work, and that night it still starts fine. The next morning the problem starts all over again.
We have taken it to three area mechanics and none have been able to diagnose the problem yet. So far in our troubleshooting we know theres a link with the cold weather. If its stays in a garage overnight it seems to start ok in the morning. and there wasn't much problem this summer. This winter its much worse however. Also, there seems to be something with the gas cap/tank as well. One mechnic said he found a faulty code to the gas cap, so we got a new one, but it hasn't helped. Taking the gas cap off though seems to have some interaction with starting it anyway. We've tried dry gas, with no change, and had all the filters possible changed with no improvement.
I am hoping there is some Honda guru who can point me in the right direction where to take this problem. Before this problem the Odyssey has had a history with Transmission trouble, and we were never satisfied with the repairs attempted by the honda dealer(it still doesn't shift right(hard downshifts) in normal driving, and seems to bolt in gear from a stop sometimes), and also had the timing belt replaced which was reccomended given the mileage. Other than that its been relatively trouble free before the starting problems.
any help is appreciated....
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mrsure wrote:

check the plug coils, plugs, etc. and run injector cleaner through it for a couple of tanks. leaky injectors dump gas into the manifold and give problems like you describe.
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mrsure wrote:

=============================================== I'm with Jim . . . Read what your Owner's Manual says about how to start a flooded Honda. You probably have a dribbling injector that's flooding it overnight. Injector cleaner three times a year will probably solve it.
'Curly'
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mrsure wrote:

Are these mechanics Honda specialists? With this kind of strange-ish problem you want someone who works on your kind of car all the time. They are much more likely to have been there and done that.
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Odyssey's of that generation have transmission problems. Talk to your dealer. I agree with checking the injectors for flooding. Also review some of the posts at www.ODYCLUB.com . Practically every Ody problem has been discussed there by the 40,000 participants.

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Thanks everyone, I bought some injector cleaner and will give it go. It started well this weekend, but it was super warm here for January, so I have to wait for some colder weather to test. I will let you know how it turns out.....
mrsure wrote:

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Ok after a couple of cans of fuel injector cleaner heres whats happening:
It still won't start in cold weather. When you first start it, it catches, but will die right away unless you keep your foot on the gas pedal-half way pressed as the manual states. What I have been doing is keeping the pedal pressed so that the engine continually revs at about 2000 RPM's, and in about 5-10 minutes, when the engine warms up as noted on the temp gauge, I let it go, and the van is ok to go. If you let go any time before its warmed up, its gonna die, and be difficult to start again.
I also noted that once warmed up, idle is at about 500-700 rpm which feels a bit low to me. Even after warm up, if you rev the engine in park, it will sometimes stall after you let go when the rpm goes down to near zero. It seems to have a problem idling steady. So I am wondering if you guys still think the problem lies in the fuel injection, or something else like engine tuning, etc?
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mrsure wrote:

==================================== When it's cold out, it should start with a high idle, and you should wait a few seconds and drive away. Lets hope somebody else here has some good ideas. Did you sign in and SEARCH at www.Odyclub.com ? There's some good answers there too. 'Curly'
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mrsure wrote:

some general suggestions:
1. make sure the valve lash is set right. 2. make sure the idle is set right - per factory procedure. 3. make sure the grade of motor oil is correct - you may not think this relevant, but oil gets more viscous when cold. if the grade is incorrect to start with, it can be too viscous when cold and choke the motor. try it with a lawn mower some time if you want to prove it. 4. make sure all the ignition componentry is new and in top condition. aged plugs don't fire as efficiently and weak spark won't yield complete combustion.
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