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Old 11-30-2011, 06:16 AM   #1
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Default Very hard to start in mornings

The past 2 days when I first go out to start my 94 accord it has been very hard to start. The engine turns over fine I just have to keep turning it over and over and it will finally start. Once it starts it runs fine and I have no problems at all the rest of the day it will crank right up. Anyone have any ideas on what it could be? If I did not have a new battery I think it would kill the battery first thing in the morning. Thanks for any help.
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:51 AM   #2
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Default Re: Very hard to start in mornings

Common problem on the 90-93 Accords is a bad main relay, causing no start issues like yours.

With the 94-97 Accords sharing most mechanical components, your issues sound like they may well lead to the main relay.

There are 2 ways to remedy this. Either replace the main relay itself, or pull it out, open it up and resolder all of the connections on it.

It's common for these to go, as they are under the dash and get hot, cold, moisture etc, which can lead to the circuit board cracking or getting cold solders etc.

It's an easy DIY repair if you have a soldering gun. The main relay is located under the dash on the driver's side, to the left of the steering column. It's a bit of a pain to get at, as you need to lay on your back and unbolt it.

You may also want to look into your distributor, but go with the main relay first, as it's a cheaper and easier repair IMO before you start getting into the distributor. Check it out and let us know how you make out and can trouble shoot from there if needed.
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:41 AM   #3
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Default Re: Very hard to start in mornings

A bad Fuel Pressure Regulator can cause hard start. Pull the vacuum line off the FPR to see if there's any fuel present.
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: Very hard to start in mornings

most likely a bad main relay... pull it out (under dash, near back of the steering wheel) check for any bad solder points. If they are bad resolder to check if that may be the issue... usually bad solder points have cracking or missing solder.
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: Very hard to start in mornings

What rpm are u idling at? Ect is another possible issue
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: Very hard to start in mornings

^ Totally agree with ECT sensor.
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: Very hard to start in mornings

ECT or IAT
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Old 12-01-2011, 04:00 AM   #8
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Default Re: Very hard to start in mornings

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What rpm are u idling at? Ect is another possible issue
When cold it idles at about 1000-1100. Once it warms idle is around 500 to 600 rpms. I also did not mention that the past 2 days the outdoor temperature has been a lot cooler than normal. Not sure if that has anything to do with it or not.
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Old 12-01-2011, 04:09 AM   #9
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Default Re: Very hard to start in mornings

Is the ect sensor the engine coolant temperature sensor? If so where would it be located on a 2.2 engine? Thanks
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Old 12-01-2011, 04:12 AM   #10
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Default Re: Very hard to start in mornings

Yes and is located just behind the distributor on the block...
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Old 12-01-2011, 07:31 AM   #11
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Default Re: Very hard to start in mornings

Well this morning I could not get it to start at all. All it would do is turn over,but when I let off the key a couple of times the starter would like kick the engine backwards like the timing is off. The engine seems to turn over really easy (fast) so I pulled the valve cover so I could see if the timing belt had broken. Thank goodness that was not the case.I pulled the vacuum hose off the fpr and there is no gas present there. Also pulled the main relay and all the solder looked good there. On the ECT is it the one where the upper radiator hose goes or the one towards the rear of the engine behind the distributor? I did pull the cap and checked the rotor. Both of them look as though they need replaced,so I will get one of those tomorrow when I get paid.Thanks
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Old 12-01-2011, 07:34 AM   #12
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Default Re: Very hard to start in mornings

The ect is right behind distributor. The sensors on the water necks are for fans.
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Old 12-01-2011, 07:38 AM   #13
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Default Re: Very hard to start in mornings

When the car won't start, check for spark at the plug. All the ideas so far are good suggestion and things that should be checked. But if you are at a "no start" and not a "difficult start" then I believe you have other problems.

If you have no spark at the plugs, I suspect ignitor inside the distributor. If you have spark (but still no start) then it could be fuel or other, so start with spark.

Have you jumped the service port to see what codes get thrown? If it is the ECT sensor under the distributor, I believe you would get 6 short dashes by the check engine light illuminating. Check your codes, that will help narrow the possibilities.
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Old 12-01-2011, 07:38 AM   #14
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Default Re: Very hard to start in mornings

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The ect is right behind distributor. The sensors on the water necks are for fans.
Thanks
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Old 12-01-2011, 07:41 AM   #15
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Default Re: Very hard to start in mornings

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When the car won't start, check for spark at the plug. All the ideas so far are good suggestion and things that should be checked. But if you are at a "no start" and not a "difficult start" then I believe you have other problems.

If you have no spark at the plugs, I suspect ignitor inside the distributor. If you have spark (but still no start) then it could be fuel or other, so start with spark.

Have you jumped the service port to see what codes get thrown? If it is the ECT sensor under the distributor, I believe you would get 6 short dashes by the check engine light illuminating. Check your codes, that will help narrow the possibilities.
My ect would only throw a code intermintently. And it was snapped in half. So ect wont ALWAYS show a code.
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Old 12-01-2011, 03:10 PM   #16
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Default Re: Very hard to start in mornings

Yeah, I am off on saturday so I will be able to check it out better then. Also will have someone to turn the engine over while I check for spark etc. I really miss my honda though,its my daily driver. Just thankful I do have other cars to drive while it is down.
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:40 AM   #17
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Default Re: Very hard to start in mornings

I'm one of those that would rather test something before just replacing it.....why replace a good relay ($50) to find out that is not the issue.

Turn everything off (radio, blower, close the door-NO noise is what you need). Turn the key to on/pos II (like it would be when the car is running). Listen for the fuel pump to prime as you watch the CEL light....what o you hear/see?
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Old 12-03-2011, 12:12 PM   #18
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Default Re: Very hard to start in mornings

If the problem is worse the colder the morning is, your Ignition Module (Ignitor) is something you should put on the suspect list. It's located inside the distributor. When it gets out of spec, it can't function in cold until current hits it multiple times and warms it up a bit. That is why the engine finally starts, after much aggravation.

In an otherwise well-maintained car, the other thing that can go unnoticed is a battery that still works but is no longer capable of creating the cold-cranking amps to get everything fired up properly. The telltale symptom is the cranking isn't quite as energetic and robust as it should be.
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Old 12-04-2011, 06:34 PM   #19
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Default Re: Very hard to start in mornings

Checking back in to see if you found your issue
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:09 AM   #20
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Default Re: Very hard to start in mornings

Well I replaced the cap and rotor (old ones were in bad shape) and set the timing (was a little out) and each morning it has started right up. It has not been real cold the past week though so it has not had the final test yet. It's supposed to get cold this weekend so I will find out then. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
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Old 12-07-2011, 04:00 PM   #21
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Default Re: Very hard to start in mornings

Do a compression test when the engine is cold all the metal components shrivel and if you have high mileage then your cylinders are problem worn. Hence the engine turning so easily. So I would get a compression gauge and check compression at each cylinder don't forget to disable fuel and ignition.
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Old 12-12-2011, 07:13 AM   #22
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Default Re: Very hard to start in mornings

Well it was in the low 30s the other morning and the honda cranked right up. I have not had any trouble with it since I replaced the cap and rotor. I really think they were the culprit because they were pretty warn. I remember about a year ago I was going to replace them but after removing the rotor screw I could not get the rotor off so I just put it back together. This time I also had a very hard time getting the rotor to come off,but after about ten minutes of prying it finally came loose. I am sure would not be a bad idea to have the bottom end done though,right now it has 241k miles on it but it does not blow smoke or use any oil. I change the oil every time the maintenance thing turns orange and its always where it was when I filled it at the last oil change. My accord is hands down the best car I have ever owned and I've owned it for 9 years now.
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:11 PM   #23
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Default Re: Very hard to start in mornings

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Do a compression test when the engine is cold all the metal components shrivel and if you have high mileage then your cylinders are problem worn. Hence the engine turning so easily. So I would get a compression gauge and check compression at each cylinder don't forget to disable fuel and ignition.
what he said.
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Old 12-24-2011, 06:11 AM   #24
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Default Re: Very hard to start in mornings

Well its been a couple of weeks and I have been using my car every day and have not had any problems with the car. Its been cranking right up every time I have tried. After watching a episode of Eric the car guy on cars not starting I believe the cylinders were flooded with fuel. According to him that will make a engine turn over very fast and I could smell fuel when trying to start the car. It finally did start after holding the pedal to the floor. In his video he states only that this happens sometimes as a explanation. Is this something I need to be concerned about or is it like he said "This happens sometimes"?
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Old 12-24-2011, 06:22 AM   #25
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Default Re: Very hard to start in mornings

Well good that its starting for you now. Sounded to me when I read the whole thread that it was no spark. So its good to replace the cap and rotor. Nice to have a car that starts. And runs and drives everyday that you need it to.
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