95 accord won't start sometimes

I have a 95 Accord, sometimes it just won't start. The battery is fine and seems to have good cranking power etc. Then after several tries it finally starts but the engine check light comes on and it runs really
really ragged. When I put it in gear it literally stutters down the road, like it is only firing on half the cylinders or something. I can then pull over and try to restart the car but will get the same phenomenon. After a minute or so of driving the car it will finally even out, the check engine light turns off and it runs and starts fine. This has happened about 6 times out of 70 starts. I thought it might be the fuel as the car had sat for a couple of months before I bought it but I have gone through about 6 tanks of gas and several fuel system cleaner additatives. I have noticed it at its worst when the car has sat at work with the front of the car on a slight upslope but this might have nothing to do with my problem. Anyone have any ideas?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Wow, interesting one. This group gets a lot of no start/hard start/rough running problems. Yours seems kind of unique. Still, I think it would be best to start with where the car is at in its maintenance schedule.
The car has sat a couple of months... hm. I would start by thoroughly cleaning the battery terminals.
Are you in a really cold climate? How many miles are on the car?
Fuel injector leakage sounds like a possibility, but you say you've put cleaners in the system. Maybe try, one last time, a bottle of Chevron Techron, a cleaner a lot of people here like. Follow the directions on the bottle exactly. (I started using it but have no idea whether it makes a difference on my 170k+ 1991 Civic.)
How old are the ignition wires, plugs, distributor cap and rotor, air filter and fuel filter? Are all these parts genuine Honda (that is, no Autozone yada) parts? Take this seriously! A proper tuneup sometimes solves a lot of start/running problems. For reinforcement on this point, see the running/starting FAQ at www.tegger.com/hondafaq .
Make sure the cooling system is topped off, per the manual. I don't think that's the main problem, but I wouldn't want it to interfere with your troubleshooting. There are coolant temperature sensors sending signals to the car's computer. If they're not fully submerged, whacko operation may result until the car is fully warmed up.
Starter solenoid contacts IIRC may also be part of the problem, but I heard this only here and defer to others who may wish to comment.
After this, some consideration should be given to a new igniter, though if it's really the problem, then I would expect it to die completely very soon. I really don't think it's the problem at this point. Just saying it can fail intermittently.
www.autozone.com has a free online repair manual for the 95 Accord that explains how to make sure the coolant level is correct, for one thing.

battery is fine

several tries it

runs really

down the

something. I can

same
will finally

starts fine.

thought it might

before I bought

several fuel system

the car has

but this

ideas?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

runs really

snip
starts fine.
Whoops, here's something else to check right away: What code is being set.
www.autozone.com 's manual also tells you how to retrieve the code for the check engine light, once it's on and staying on.
I'd do this a.s.a.p., to help narrow the problem.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
kva1000 wrote:

------------------------------------
If it only manifests when the car has sat for several hours, it could be the dripping injector problem. If it's 'guaranteed' to give trouble on Monday morning after sitting all night, try what the Owner's Manual says to do for a FLOODED engine. Hold the pedal half way to the floor and crank it. If it starts with a blast of smoke and sputtering, you've probably found the culprit. As was mentioned, Techron, or a few tanks of Gasohol may fix it. Be aware that your oil is getting a lot of fuel in it. Change your PCV also, since the car is new-to-you.
'Curly'
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

More to rule a potential problem out then to directly attack through troubleshooting, a bottle of gasoline dryer will absorb any water that was collecting in the tank. I doubt it is the source of the problem, but since the car sat a while it may be in order anyway.
In theory, there are only three possible problem areas - fuel, ignition and compression. The symptoms don't sound like compression at all and very little like ignition, so fuel (including mixture) are the focus of most of the suggestions - and good ones they are. I am still concerned about the injectors after sitting for a couple months. You may need to have them tested and professionally cleaned or replaced. It could be a leaker in combination with some with impaired flow.
Mike
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Several possibilities: 1) Blown head gasket. How's the coolant level? Coolant trickles into the cyliner overnight, and makes cold starts very difficult. 2) Weak spark from old ignition wires. Spark will be weak until car warms up. Is the weather wet where you are? 3) Other problem related to the error the ECM is turning on the MIL for. You need to get the code for that.

Get the code off the ECM. It will probably still be stored.
Procedure: Access service check connector (located under dashboard on passenger side) (H7). Short service check connector's holes with paper clip and turn ignition on and observe Check Engine light for codes.
There may be both long and short blinks, and more than one code may be stored. The sequence will repeat with a long pause between sequences.
--
TeGGeR

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have a 96 accord.
I had to replace the wires, cap and button, and reseal the distrub. with silicone AND dry out the coil and re-seal. If there was even a light mist, the poor old thing wouldn't start without a can of WD-40. Anyway, after I got everything dried out, replaced and sealed. I can basically drive it through a small pond and it runs fine...
Anyway, something to check...
BD

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.