1994 Acura

Hello,
I have a 1994 Acura which run great until yesterday. Never had a major problem. I did the regular maintenance and my car made it past 300K.
Yesterday, I took it for the annual inspection in Virginia.
This morning, my car does not start. When I put my key in the ignition there is no click or any sound. The power doors usually can unlock other doors. I can't do that any more.
Could someone please tell me why my car refuses to start? I am thinking this is a fuse problem. If so, where is the fuse box located?
Any advice you can give is greatly appreciated. I don't want a major bill for getting my good car running again.
This is an SOS. Any help appreciated. Thank you in advance.
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SR
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Subba Rao wrote:

Sounds like a dead battery to me.
You could try headlights , turn signals, radio which would be on different fuses. If you have no electrics check battery connections.
Did you leave something on overnight ?
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Thank you for replying.
No, I did not leave the lights on anything like that (overnight). The head lights, other lights do not turn on. The battery connections are ok too. If I put the key in the ignition and turn it on, then after a minute or so the dashboard lights slow light up. The electric doors will open and close a minute later. However, that still does not start the engine. It could be the battery. I don't know how old the car battery is. Tomorrow I will try to get a jump start and hope that it will work.
Thank you once again.
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Chances are good you have a dead battery. Check it to be sure there is water in it, etc. It's funny how batteries are good today and dead tomorrow, but it happens. If you give it a jump and it starts, get the battery checked right away. You don't want to risk burning your alternator up.
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Put a volt meter across the battery terminals. In all likelihood the voltage will be low to begin with, and drop to zero when a friend cranks the engine. Dead battery is all but confirmed in that case. You can use the headlights as a poor man's volt meter too. If they are on or dim when the ignition is on, and then shut off all the way or near to it when you try to crank the motor, your battery is shot.
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Subba Rao wrote:

Thanks to everyone who replied.
The problem was with the battery as all of you have suggested. It was dead. I tried to get a jump but that did not help. I purchased a battery at the local WalMart and everything works fine now. The car has been good to me so far and I did not want to spend on buying a new/used car for now.
Thank you once again!
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I hope your 'regular maintenance' included the timing belts. If it has not, your car will one day no longer be good to you, since your motor is an interference design. Even if nothing else has failed, the timing belt is a ticking time bomb in such a motor, and to ignore it is folly. Replacing the timing belt, timing tensioner(s), balance shaft belt, and water pump should cost less than $400 at an independent mechanic, less than one month's payment for many new cars. While you're at it, you could add on the front engine seals (to help protect the new belt), thermostat, and hoses for extra preventative maintenance. Now you've secured yourself against timing belt failure and cooling failure, the two things besides body rot that take many Japanese cars off the road, for at least 5 more years.
Something makes me cringe when people (not you!) brag about high mileage Hondas that they have never had to fix anything on. Are they really that lucky? Or did their timing belt get an extra helping of Kevlar at the factory?
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I realize that a Dodge Caravan isn't made by Honda, but my sister had all the things you mentioned replaced at the Dodge dealer where she bought her van ... including the timing belt. She spent more than $1800 on it (they said it was easier to take the engine out of the van to do the job than to leave it in and they were charging her less money) ... a week later, her timing belt snapped, causing irrepairable damage.
It is good advice to change the timing belt and it usually works ... but there are no guarantees. Again, Honda doesn't make the Caravan and catastrophic failures happen from time to time.
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Wow. Well, on an Acura, that should not be necessary. My 90 Accord just has to have the left motor mount removed to access the belts.

Snapped? Well, of course there's hardly anything you can do about a defective belt - assuming here they did not screw up the tension, and that the valvetrain did not lock up for some other reason. Why didn't they fix the problem? Usually dealerships will stand behind their work.
Of course they could play games with you and say "well look here, your camshaft won't turn, she must've seized up" and refuse to warranty the repair until you show them the bent valves yourself. But with dealerships there is always a higher-up to go to and you should be able to at least negotiate a deal on a new car or to get the manufacturer to pay for the repair.

In the end, what is the probability of a catastrophic failure of a new name brand timing belt, compared to the probability of a failure of an original belt on a 200K car? Assume the mechanic is competent and that if the new belt fails due to reasons other than your engine eating it, they will take care of the problem. Or maybe that isn't a safe assumption...
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They wanted to fix the problem, but they were only willing to charge her full price for a new engine if she agreed to pay them full price to put it in for her. She found a place that had what they called a good used engine to put in it ... so she let them do it. A few days after she got it back her van burned to the ground from a fuel leak. No luck with that van at all. Fortunately she wasn't hurt and neither were her kids.

They said there is no warranty on a timing belt because it's a wear item ... like drive accessory belts and brake pads. If it had been my van, someone would've done something to fix it ... but she opted to get a new van ... this time a Mazda MPV (that she now hates).

I agree that it's better to get a new timing belt and risk catastrophic failure than take a chance on a 200k timing belt. The chances of that happening again are slim to none and slim left town a long time ago ... but weird things happen.
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Wow, that is truly spooky. Maybe the world is better off without that van. I am relieved to hear that nobody was hurt.

I don't doubt it. Your story is a good reminder of the importance of having a mechanic that will stand behind their work.
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Ryan Underwood wrote:

I did all the service requirements as recommended by Acura. Every xxxx miles, oil change/tune-up/timing belt change ....etc. I followed that religiously until it hit 200K. After that I stayed with oil changes only. 100% of the mechanical work was done at the dealer. About 70% of the oil changes were done at the dealer. The dealer (mechanics) where I bought the car from know their cars. I relocated to Virginia and do not have the same faith in Acura dealer mechanics in this area. I guess a good mechanic makes a big difference. I would not mind giving a good mechanic the business. For oil change I am trying to stay with full synthetic. I noticed the full synthetic oil makes the engine quieter and fuel efficient too.
I guess I will follow your advice and rethink about getting the timing belts put on the car. I have not done that in the past 100K miles I guess.
Twice early this year I almost killed my car due to ignorance. I drove the car with very low oil. The engine does make some clicking sound at city speed during acceleration. The car still has its good speed and fuel efficiency. I did feel bad about it since I took care of the car so well all along.
The body is showing signs of rust around the rear wheels.
Thanks for the advice. I will keep it mind.
Regards,
Subba Rao
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I like this thread - means theres another 200K miles left on my '95 acura integra :)
irax.
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It is likely that your car is still in fine shape for its age. Probably comparable to a car with 100K or less miles maintained by a typical consumer. If you do go ahead with maintenance, have the transmission fluid serviced too unless it has been an extraordinarily long time since the last change (more than 100K miles).

It does make a difference. Talk to several before you decide to go with one. See if they will give you the time of day to talk about it. Start by mentioning the timing belt and see if they mention things like tensioner, water pump, seals. Far from being an up-sell, this is an indicator that the person you are talking to knows what they are doing and have done it before. When they quote you a price, ask them to explain to you why it is so expensive, in a non confrontational tone. And when you go in, make sure you deal with the person you talked to on the phone, so they know that their patience and straight shooting with you on the phone translated into a sale.

The mileage and age are both things to consider. 100K miles is a lot of miles on a belt, but especially change it if it is more than 5 years old and you plan to keep the car.

Where is the oil going? Can you see it drip on the ground? If it was not low for a long time and your oil buzzer didn't come on, I wouldn't sweat it. If it is not going on the ground or in your radiator, it is probably being burned. If the engine is burning a lot of oil you may want to consider trading it in for a different car. Most oil leaks can be solved with the engine in the car. Oil burning usually cannot be solved without extensive engine work.

That could be a lot of things, not necessarily from lack of oil at one occasion. If it correlates directly with engine RPM then it could be a rod bearing or wrist pin. If it is more like 1/2 engine speed, then it could be valve lash is too big, noisy fuel injector, distributor, etc. Leaking exhaust can sound like an engine problem. Or it could be CV joints. Your mechanic will be able to tell you what it is and whether or not it is a big problem. You might have him listen to it *before* you mention having the timing belt done. If it is in fact a big problem, he may be reluctant to admit it to you knowing that he will lose out on a timing belt job if he does so.

That's typical for early 90's japanese cars. My cars all have that. It's a sign of graceful aging, like ear hair.
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