1993 Accord, 125,000 km, has always run and started like a charm for
the 2 years I have owned it. Then, last Saturday, I left the car wash
(temperature just around freezing) and went 2 blocks. Idled at a stop
light, and car stalled when taking off from the light. Car would crank,
but wouldn't start. Called a tow truck, and tried starting on and off
for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, it started, surged a few times, and
then ran perfectly. No missing, nothing. Figured this was a fluke,
maybe something got wet. It has run perfectly for about 4 days, and
then today it stalled when turning into the work parking lot (engine
fully warmed up, about a 20 minute partial highway drive). Again, turns
over and won't start. This time I took it to my mechanic.
I have read some posts about main relays - but they often seem related
to ambient temperature - i.e. hot temperatures that wouldn't be an
issue here. Could this still be a main relay?
Based on year of Honda, age, and symptoms, I would first
suspect the ignition coil. With age, it will begin to fail,
particularly after warmup.
Did the car re-start at the mechanic's?
Any idea how old the ignition coil is?
If it is the ignition coil, buy only a new OEM one. Online
OEM Honda sites carry it for around $80. The diagnosis and
repair are neither difficult nor time consuming. Should run
around $200 total at an independent shop.
Of course, the problem could be something else. This is just
one very common problem that arises with this vintage of
Honda, and it is consistent with your Honda's symptoms.
If you have not had a tuneup (new OEM plugs, wires,
distributor cap and rotor, fuel filter, air filter, timing
check) done on the car, I recommend it as well. This will
maximize the life of the ignition coil and igniter.
Well, ended up (at least I hope) being a bad distributor. There ws a
crack in it on the inside, that I am guessing would exapand when it
warmed up and break a connection.
That is quite the distributor - a whole lot more complex than the one I
remember in my '69 Biscayne! And of course, a whole lot more money...
ISTM from my reading here and experience with my 91 Civic
that c. early 1990s Hondas require one new distributor
housing in their lifetimes, say around ten+ years. The
housing's wire harness, bearing, rotor shaft threads, and
more can fail on them. A new one--at the right time--is a
good investment, IMO. My Civic is on its second.
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