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Old 02-20-2008, 11:03 AM   #1
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Default can blown head gasket cause my car not to start?

Hey guys, I am having a little trouble with my 97 Accord lx sedan with Vtec engine. My car will sometimes start up and run perfectly. Other times, it will be difficult to start or will not start at all. This makes it very difficult for me to diagnose the problem. When the car does not start, it the motor does turn over but just won't start up. (Which makes me think starter, batter/alternator, ignition switch, etc. are all good).

I do believe I have a blown head gasket, as it has been leaking water and sometimes starts up and runs rough for a minute before smoothing out. I have also in the past had one of the cylinders misfire (due to water in cylinder?).

My question is, would the blown head gasket cause the car to not start at all? Or am I looking at a different problem. I have never heard of a BHG causing a car not to start at all. Could it be something like a weak/malfunctioning fuel pump? Any other ideas? Am I totally off base here?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, you guys are awesome!
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:52 AM   #2
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Default Re: can blown head gasket cause my car not to start? (dmj)

A blown head gasket can cause a car to not start if it floods the cylinders too badly. Other times it will start rough and smooth out as you described. I would put my money on that given you description but don't take my word for it. Also check your radiator to see if there is oil in the coolant.

Is there a pattern in weather and other conditions corresponding to when it does or doesn't start?
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Old 02-20-2008, 12:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: can blown head gasket cause my car not to start? (t87supra)

t87supra, thanks for your reply. It seems to give me more problems starting in colder weather, although it hasn't really happened enough for me to say it's a pattern.

Also, if i swap out the cylinder head, would i still need to have the (newer) head shaved down?
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Old 02-20-2008, 01:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: can blown head gasket cause my car not to start? (dmj)

No problem. I believe your cylinder head can be reused, unless it is severely warped. You can get a basic idea using a good straight edge, and if there is some warpage you can get yours milled. If you get a new one for whatever reason be sure to check it good for everything. Most of my BHG experience comes from a Supra and EVERYTHING had to be worked over, but it had been driven quite a bit and overheated repeatedly when I got it.

Again, be sure someone else confirms this before getting into a whole mess of unnecessary repairs.
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Old 05-10-2008, 09:21 AM   #5
 
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Default Re: can blown head gasket cause my car not to start? (t87supra)

Hi guys, i have the exactly same problem for my 94 Honda accord. the engine was over heated, and i kept loosing my coolant due to some leakage near the engine. I just wonder if it was the blown head gasket caused this.
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Old 05-10-2008, 12:44 PM   #6
 
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Default Re: can blown head gasket cause my car not to start? (cannonD)

A blown head gasket can cause you to lose coolant. If you are burning coolant you should look for white smoke from your exhaust. Also if you think you have a bad head gasket you should do a compression test or leak down test.
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Old 05-12-2008, 12:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: can blown head gasket cause my car not to start? (red91hatch)

95 lx, mine had the same problem and started showing the first symptoms by starting rough then smoothing out. Eventually getting it to start was a hit or miss situation as it would turn over but not start up. It was definitely the head gasket but the main problem that caused the head to warp in the first place was a big crack in my water pipe underneath my intake mani only leaking coolant when too much pressure was built up making it hard to find. Always have your system fully checked before doing a head job because there is always an underlying problem which caused the head to go bad in the first place. Click the image to open in full size.
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