Short stops, no start

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It's becoming ever more frequent that my '94 Accord would not start after short stops of a minute or two. Trying to start again with completely pressed gas pedal does not help, either. The only thing that
helps is waiting five minutes or so. The crank is strong but the engine does not catch on. I wonder if anybody here knows what might be going on here.
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Cameo wrote:

Good chance it's the main relay. Reflowing the solder joints will probably fix it, if so.
--
JRE

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That was my first thought, and it may indeed be so, but it's a bit early in the year for Main Relay complaints, no?
Main Relay problems usually start happening around April/May.
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Tegger wrote:

At least one of ours of that approximate vintage began to fail when it was cold (in the NE USA). I think the other was in the Spring, though.
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On 02/11/2010 11:14 PM, Cameo wrote:

main relay. google this group or visit tegger.com.
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Thanks. I also called up a radio talk show this weekend that is hosted by two Japanese car expert mechanics and when I described the symptoms, they immediately said the same thing you gays are saying: main relay problem. They also mentioned that this was a well known problem with my Accord model. But now I wonder if there ever was a bulletin on those main relays just as there was on the the ignition switch that was replaced free when it started acting up, way after the car warranty expired.
I plan to bring up the issue with the shop at my next oil change unless I start experiencing the problem more often before that. BTW, what is the normal fix for that at Honda shops? Replacing the relay with a new one or resoldering? In either case, the fix might be quite expensive, I suppose, considering the hard to reach location of the relay. Any idea how much a new relay costs and whether the new ones are designed better to avoid such problems in the future?
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Cameo wrote:

It's a reasonably easy DIY job.
The relay is indeed nestled up in the tangle of wires adjacent to the steering wheel, but it's not too deeply buried. http://techauto.awardspace.com/mainrelaydefine.html#90
Once out, the fix is trivial. Remove cover, apply a few drops of rosin flux (not acid flux, these aren't your sink pipes!), apply heat to reflow, clean any gobs of residual flux with a q-tip and rubbing alcohol, replace the cover.
http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq/mainrelayoperation/badmainrelay.html
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I am generally pretty handy with electronics when it comes to PCs. I assembled all my desktops from components, the first one from Heath Kit, with lots of soldering. However, when it comes to cars, I am kinda' chicken, especially when it comes to hard to reach places, like under the dash. I alway worry that I might screw up something in the process that used to work before. I am also often at a loss when it comes to those snap joints connecting components to the wire harness, not quite sure what to sqeeze or pry to disconnect them. Just the other day, for instance, I was trying to fix the indicator switch light in the dash board for the rear window defogger, only to discover that there was not enough slack in the wire harness to easily separate the pried-open switch from the harness with my fingers. I've experienced this kind of problem with other components before, too. It's as if though Honda designed its cars deliberately to make them hard to fix by amateurs. I suppose somebody who does this kind of thing professionally, knows the tricks how to do these things easily, but I don't.
In any case, I looked under the driver side dash with a flash light and mirror, but could not quite locate the main relay with any confidence. The one I thought might have been it, was indeed pretty far in and rather inaccessible. Perhaps if one removes the front seat and lays on his back on the floor with the head under the dash. I'm not sure. But thanks for the additional detailed info on the subject, Greg, that will be helpful if I really get the courage to try this myself.
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Thanks to your link above, I realized I was looking for the main relay on the wrong (left) side of the streering column. Due to the above link I took another look on the right side with my camera under the dash and I think the pics below show the relay. It sure is really hard to reach.
<http://docs.google.com/leaf?id x41cGCzYT76M2Q5NWQ2MjgtNDllZi00OGFlLTk1N2UtNzdiOTg0YTAxNDRk&hl=en>
<http://docs.google.com/leaf?id x41cGCzYT76NzVjNWQwODItMzdmZi00NGEyLTk5MmQtOGU3NzAwOGRlZTQx&hl=en>
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Cameo wrote:

<http://docs.google.com/leaf?id x41cGCzYT76M2Q5NWQ2MjgtNDllZi00OGFlLTk1N2UtNzdiOTg0YTAxNDRk&hl=en>

<http://docs.google.com/leaf?id x41cGCzYT76NzVjNWQwODItMzdmZi00NGEyLTk5MmQtOGU3NzAwOGRlZTQx&hl=en>
Hey, I just replaced my original clutch master cylinder. Compared to that, the relay is a cinch! Get busy! :)
Good luck, whichever route you take.
-G
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Good for you, Greg! But did you see how tight that relay is with that wire bundle coming through the firewall? I can't even see the bracket holding the relay, not to mention a bolt with it. That leaves me with only one viable option: pulling out the connector from the relay and pushing it into a new relay that could be zip tied to a more reachable location while leaving the old relay in place (Shortcut removal method 3.)
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Cameo wrote:

Got to admit that it looks mighty tight in there. Agree that "Plan C" sounds best.
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I'm glad you agree. ;-) I already checked with my local Honda dealer about a new relay and to my surprise they didn't even carry one. But they might as well because when I asked about the price, they quoted me something like $105 or so. Interestingly, it was a lot more than for some other models that mount the relay on left of the steering wheel. I wonder why that should make such a big difference in price.
In any case, that brings up the question: can anybody here recommend a good online Honda parts store that really sells genuine OEM Honda parts for less than local dealers? I goodled up some that claim it, but I don't have experience with any of them, so I better ask you guys first.
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Why are you replacing the Main Relay when you're not even sure that's what the problem is?
The behaivior of the tach during the no-start can give you a clue as to the cause of your no-start.
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I'm just betting on it that it is, based on the symptoms. Google gets a lot of hits on that.

The problem hasn't manifested itself lately but I am on the lookout for the tach when it happens next time. Can you tell what the tach would tell you if it moves or not moves during such a no-start?
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The tachometer gets its signal from the igniter. Even during cranking there is enough ICM activity to make the tach needle jiggle a bit. If the ICM fails to function, the tach needle will be dead-still, since there is no signal to make it move.
Did you say at one point that the Check Engine light was on?
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Oh, I see. Then I better don't do anything till I can confirm the tach behavior.

No, I didn't say that and I don't recall it being on. But now there is another thing to watch for. Thanks.
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september.org:

Not for retail sale.
Genuine Honda parts are ONLY sold to franchised Honda dealers. That's part of the benefit of owning a Honda franchise.
Worldpac occsionally has OEM parts, but they sell to the trade only.
There are no aftermarket parts that match OEM in quality except for NGK and ND spark plugs, some radiators, and windshields.
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september.org:

On closer reading, I notice the OP has asked for parts suppliers that are cheaper than "local" dealers; I missed that the first time around.
A caveat: make sure you include shipping when you compare remote dealers with local ones! I've found that once shipping is included, the financial benefit of using remote dealers can be greatly minimized, especially for larger parts.
Another caveat: once you know the exact cost of buying from the remote dealer, you may be able to use that as leverage with your local dealer. Dealers add about 60% to the parts they buy from Honda to arrive at their "retail" price. Independent garages get between 10% to 30% off retail, so there's lots of negotiating room if the situation is right. The upshot is that local dealers can be /cheaper/ than online.
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I've noticed those two, too. However, H & A does not seem to sell anything for Accords before the '98 model year.
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