92 Honda Accord station wagon with EFI start up problems

Hello everyone,
I'm resorting to asking for suggestions from cyberspace as I've asked everyone else I can, and no one seems to know what's wrong with my car,
including the mechanics. I've given up dealing with my local Honda dealership because I think they gouged me for yrs and performed many unnecessary "repairs" that weren't a problem when I went in. They couldn't find anything wrong with it, and now the honest mechanics around the corner are stumped as well.
As a recap, I have a 92 Honda Accord station wagon with 310,000km and an EFI system.
So here it goes:
--in warmer weather, there is a tendency for my Honda to have problems firing up. Frosty, as I've named my car, has an EFI system and not a carburetor.
--after starting up, the engine just won't catch, ie the tachometer goes up, stutters, and then drops down to 0 rpms, stalling. The engine simply fails to fully turn over, .
--this never happens on the first start up of the day. It could happen once or more during the day, or not at all. When the engine won't turn over, I might have to try 7 times before it finally fires up. Eventually it always starts up. If I don't let some time pass after it won't fire up, and try too soon afterwards, when I try again, I get a sound like it's flooded, so I need to wait at least 1 min between attempts.
--nothing comes up in diagnostics. And of course, Frosty never acts up when I take it in.
--the mechanics have looked at the wires, loose connections, coils, delay in the timing in the electronic ignition, adding fuel injector cleaner, etc. I wonder if there's a problem with the fuel injector or fuel pump. A number of yrs ago, my fuel tank was replaced, and the car has never been the same. Something makes me think, some other part near the tank was "injured" at that time, and needs to be replaced. My mechanics are so honest that they don't want to replace anything for fear it's not what's broken. How refreshing. I'm sure I would have had 2 new parts had I gone to my local Honda dealership...(just in case you think I'm bashing Honda, I'm not. I would buy a Honda again and again, but I don't trust the service division in the small city I live in, and it''s the only dealership we have. They couldn't find anything wrong with my car when they had the chance either).
--last week, the injector unit was replaced. After filming the start up problems with a digital camera so my mechanics could see it rather than imagine what I described, they felt this made the most sense. I ok'd the repair so I can't blame them. They seem really dejected at not being able to identify the problem.
--it seems to be related to engine temperature, which could be aggravated by the outside temps. I don't experience this in colder weather. It did flare up in Mar after hibernating over the winter months.
--oddly enough, in cold weather, I have just as weird a symptom of another problem. Instead of stalling after turning over, my engine revs and revs like the choke is stuck when in Park. Unfortunately the car has an EFI system. The engine justs vroom, vrooms, without my foot being on the pedal. Very odd. It happens sporadically just like when the car has problems firing up in warmer weather. The only way to stop this is to shift it into gear. Hitting the gas pedal with my foot does nothing.
So does anyone out there have any ideas what's going on with my car? I love it, and want to keep Frosty on the road. But unless I get this problem solved and sorted out, I won't be able to rely on my car.
Thanks for any suggestions you might have.
Please note that I've disguised my email address due to spam problems. If you post to this NG would you mind contacting me at my work address as well? I may not get a chance to check the NG each day, but I read every email that is sent to me at work. Thanks.
snipped-for-privacy@city.peterborough.on.ca
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kathleen williamson wrote:

The warm weather start-up problem most likely points to the main relay. This is a common (but fairly inexpensive) problem on late 80s/early 90s Hondas. I am surprised that your dealer never considered it.
As for the cold weather revs, my first guess is a faulty thermostat. My '93 Accord exhibited the same symptom at times, and replacing the thermostat cured it. However, it could also be the idle air control valve or some abnormality in the cooling system.
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High Tech Misfit wrote:

didnt that vintage also have distributor, ignitor, and ignition switch problems as well? those are 3 possible weak links in the chain as well.

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SoCalMike wrote:

Yeah, although the OP said that the problem is not there when she starts the car for the first time on a given day--only on subsequent starts, and in warm weather. The warm weather factor typically suggests the main relay.
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kathleen williamson wrote:......................................
go to this site: http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq/startproblems.html#mainrelay
I had the same problem (very common for 90-93 Accord) with mine. I actually just resoldered mine today.
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I resoldered my 91 Accord main relay two years ago. It's been fine ever since.
On Thu, 11 Aug 2005 02:12:15 GMT, "Spoilaz via CarKB.com"

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with the cold weather problem of idling too high try changing the thermostat. It cost ten bucks at most auto parts stores and it is simple to install. 2 screws and 1 clip for hose
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I concur with the below posters... Try the main relay. It might be a combination of things, but this is most likely. There are cold solder joints in the relay that over time loosen up with vibration. There is a pictoral how-to on the internet for anyone who is handy with a soldering iron... can't quite remember where it is, but do a Google search for "Honda main relay" and maybe "solder".
The main relay is located under the driver-side kick panel.
It's not all that expensive (~$100?) to just buy a new one if you don't want to get into soldering, etc.
Good luck, and report back if you figure it out.
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I appreciate all your responses. I had the relay changed on Fri--the garage didn't charge me labour partly because they felt badly about putting in what appears to be an unnecessary ignitor unit, and likely because it wasn't an onerous job.
I know I'm going to be anxious for the next while since I was on pins and needles all summer for the last two yrs. It looks like the weather is going to be milder this week so maybe my confidence will build up.
Kathy
kathleen williamson wrote:

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Had you ever had the ignitor replaced before?
They don't last longer than maybe seven years.
If you never had it replaced before, then for your reference, you are probably ahead overall financially and car-trouble wise at this point.

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age. Replacing it may save you a dead car one day.
Mike
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| I have a 92 Honda Accord station wagon engine model # ?
| I need to wait at least 1 min between attempts. Your battery takes time to recover : if you fit ( easiest is to dashboard clock's connector ) a volt meter, you'll see your battery's voltage fall & slowly rise.
| I don't experience this in colder weather. Touch your battery's terminals & sidewalls after >1 hr use, are they warm / hot ? Any copper sulphate ( white powder ) on the +ve terminal ?
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TE Cheah wrote:

???
copper sulfate is blue, not white.
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make more sense.
Mike
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