Honda Accord, 91 - no start on rare occasion

I have a 91 Honda Accord (EX, I think, but I don't know at the moment.) The other day it refused to start for my wife at her parents' place. I go over,
and while checking for spark (it was there), the car decides to start, and we drive home.
A couple of days later she has to drive it to work, so I follow a few minutes later in my car. She says everything was OK except it did lose power to the point of bringing her to the side of the road, but the engine recovered and the rest of the trip was fine. (I did not see this as I was 10-15 minutes behind her.) Further trips have produced no problems, but she does say it acts "strange" sometimes; since I am not present, I can't describe this. It may or may not be her perception.
I have read that the main relay (controlling the fuel pump) is notorious for this kind of behavior. The last time we had the problem, it had been sitting under a hot sun all day. Also, it has done this about a year ago, on another hot day. (Heat = bad connection on solder joints in relay.)
The problem is not the car breaking down, it's the lack of trust. I don't want to repair something when it's still working, since I am not sure 100% what the problem is when the car runs fine! :)
Does anyone know a method for finding this problem? Or am I just stuck either hoping the problem never comes back, or comes back for good?
Thanks, and I apologize if the small x-posting bothers anyone.
-- R Flowers
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For starters, http://tegger.com/hondafaq/startproblems.html#mainrelay has some checks you can do to help narrow it to the main relay. It sure sounds like this is it, especially if the main relay has never been repaired or replaced before.

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Thanks, that's a good resource.
It is unknown if the relay has ever been replaced. Well, I haven't replaced it in the few years we've had the car.
-- R Flowers
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R Flowers wrote:

My car experiences the same problem. Over time the thing heats up and deforms the plastic slightly which pinches the switch. The relay coil can't close the circuit and you get no power to the pump. It is such a pain to get in there and only happens on REALLY hot days (which is often during the summer).
I used to have a metal ratchet extension that I would poke up in there to loosen the switch and allow the relay coil to actuate it, but I bent the heck out of the housing on it and it didn't always work. Finally, I took two zip ties and tied one tie around the wires coming out of the main relay then I took the other tie and zipped it onto the end of the slack from the first tie. Basically, just extending the length of plastic that hung down. I could then reach the plastic tie under my dash down by my knee. If my car hesitates to start I just tug on the plastic end while turning the engine over. Doesn't take too much effort to knock the switch loose and engage the fuelpump.
This is very gerry-rigged and would most likely be a turn off for the wife. It works for me though. Best of luck!
scube
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Burt and scube, If you are handy with a soldering iron do yourself a favor and re-solder the main relay solder joints. It will probably solve your problem at little or no expense if you have the tools.
The relay in my '91 Accord DX gave me some "Hot" starting problems so I re-soldered the relay joints. That was about five years ago and have yet to have the "Hot" starting problem again. I did find what might have been a hair line crack on one of it's joints but re-soldered them all since I didn't want to repeat removing and installing the relay again. It's certainly not convenient to get to.

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R Flowers wrote:

I had the same problem with our '85 accord, the problem was the ignition switch. It seems that after awhile, it just wont work, you can run the starter until the battery goes dead, it would start and die, start and die. I replaced it and haven't had a problem since.
Eric
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