My 1998 Honda Accord intermittently does not start

Asked by Aug 11, 2015 at 12:02 PM about the 1998 Honda Accord LX Coupe

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 1998 Honda Accord that intermittently will not start.  It turns over but wont start.  I keep trying and each time within 4 or 5 tries it starts.  I have had a tune-up to try and resolve but of course it never does it for the mechanic... My very honest mechanic cant find the cause without diving deep and doesn't want to change me for all of it without seeing the problem.  He stated that his instincts say fuel igniter and it is the distributor that will need to be replaced but he is not sure and it could be something else.  Also the "check engine" light came on and its code is for the catalytic converter which was replaced 2.5 years ago...  What should I do to resolve this issue?

3 Answers

83,665

Check your starter it may not have enough power the turn over the engine...

Thanks you... Starter is OK. Battery and plugs are less than 5 months old.

2,795

A starter that "Bench Tests" as good, does not necessarily mean it is good. It only shows that it is getting electricity and spinning the motor and gear. It could be worn to the point where it is to weak to actually pin the engine fast enough to start, especially if the car has sat for longer periods of time when it cools down good and the parts are harder to spin. Has your mechanic kept the car over night or for a couple of days or has he just tried starting it after you have driven it to him and it has warmed up? As to the check engine light coming on, if the code says Catalytic Converter problem, it doesn't matter if the converter was replaced 2.5 years ago or yesterday. It means there is a problem either in the converter itself, or in the wiring system to and from the converter. The exact code number & explanation of what it said would help us to narrow down that problem for you. As to his opinion of "fuel igniter/distributor" needing replacement, it may very well be the cause, but I tend to doubt it with the other problems you have mentioned. Also, as to the battery and plugs being 5 months old, that doesn't mean they were not faulty in some way straight out of the factory. Have your plug wires been changed at all? It certainly does sound like an electrical or spark problem if not a weak starter.

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