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Old 12-27-2009, 03:02 PM   #1
ttcheung97
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Default car starts and dies immediately, then only cranks

Here's yet another thread on the "car starts and immediately dies" issue. However my car won't start after it dies. it just cranks. Therefore I take out the key, re-insert it, and then try starting it up. the car starts up, but immediately dies again. the gas pedal does nothing to keep the engine running.

I got fed up with it and drove my other car. when i came back, I decided to give it one more try and voila!, it starts fine.

Note, it was pouring last night, and I parked my car outside during the night. I haven't parked it outside for a while now. Could it be moisture? sensors going bad? I park it outside during the day and it's been rained on before as well. Therefore I'm not sure what it could be. The gas tank is 1/4 full and i park on a VERY slight incline. The fuel pump primes, there are no CEL that I know of. Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-27-2009, 03:08 PM   #2
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Default Re: car starts and dies immediately, then only cranks

Check for spark/fuel when it doesn't start. Could be a coil, pump, or main relay going out. Common problem on older Civics/Integras.
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Old 12-27-2009, 03:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: car starts and dies immediately, then only cranks

I forgot to mention my car is a 1994 EX wagon converted from auto to manual. it has about 157k miles. The wires seem old, and I haven't changed the plugs since I bought the car at 138K. I'm at the frustrating part when it's hard to replicate the problem when you're trying to show it to other people.
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Old 12-27-2009, 07:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: car starts and dies immediately, then only cranks

Mine did something similar which happens to be my fuel pump, but check whats been mentioned above.
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Breaking the bank, maybe. Feeling like a boss, likely.
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Old 12-28-2009, 11:37 AM   #5
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Default Re: car starts and dies immediately, then only cranks

parked outside again last night. this morning it started up fine. let's hope it was just an "act of god" or sometihng.

Last edited by ttcheung97; 12-28-2009 at 11:39 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 01-30-2010, 04:51 PM   #6
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Default Re: car starts and dies immediately, then only cranks

dumb question, but how does one check for spark/fuel? the problem's come up again. I've let the car sit out in the sun today and decided to give it a crank after letting it sit untouched. It wouldn't stay running; had the "starts up and immediately dies" symptom.

Please advise, thank you.
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Old 01-31-2010, 09:17 AM   #7
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Default Re: car starts and dies immediately, then only cranks

You remove a plug wire insert a spark plug into the plug wire and have someone crank it while you're in the engine bay watching for spark. You should see spark at the tip of the plug. If not, it can be that.

As for fuel, I would crank it over for 2-3 second, stop and turn it off. Remove the gas cap to relieve the fuel pressure. Go to the engine bay and unbolt the fuel feed line slowly til you start seeing fuel running out. If there's none, then I guess why it won't run.
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Old 01-31-2010, 10:05 AM   #8
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Default Re: car starts and dies immediately, then only cranks

does this happen after you have driven or when you go out for the first time. Sounds like main relay to me. Next time it happens have someone start it and look for spark as it could be either ignition or fuel.
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Old 01-31-2010, 10:12 AM   #9
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Default Re: car starts and dies immediately, then only cranks

Some where along the line you might want to check the operation of your EGR valve. Particularly if you discover that you have spark and fuel.
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Old 02-01-2010, 05:50 AM   #10
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Default Re: car starts and dies immediately, then only cranks

not trying to be off topic but since we're talking about checking sparks at the tip, is it possible you can get electrocuted?
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:22 AM   #11
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Default Re: car starts and dies immediately, then only cranks

the problem with this guy is that the issue comes up oh-so-intermittently. i decided to disconnected the MAP sensor and see waht effects would arise; the car started and had a very unstalbe idle. i wiped the contacts on the connector a bit and plugged it back in; the car started up normally.

As for the relay, i am getting the fuel pump priming as well as the click. When the car dies, is one supposed to hear the fuel pump and it slight humming again?

Thanks for the help.

I've also done the (slowly release the key from position III) method, and unfortunately this method did not resolve anything; the car still died.

This problem has usually happened on cooler afternoons (San Francisco Bay Area) after parking the car on the driveway the night before. I've noticed the problem happening after both dry and raining nights.

Back when
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:36 AM   #12
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Default Re: car starts and dies immediately, then only cranks

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Some where along the line you might want to check the operation of your EGR valve. Particularly if you discover that you have spark and fuel.
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Old 02-04-2010, 06:22 AM   #13
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Default Re: car starts and dies immediately, then only cranks

not if you hold the rubber wire part
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Old 02-14-2010, 06:59 PM   #14
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Default Re: car starts and dies immediately, then only cranks

update: I took apart the distributor and checked all the wires and igniter; not sure how much how of a "check" i can do with the igniter besides grabbing a multimeter, which I don't have at the moment.
it's been sunnier these past couple days and as predicted, the car wouldn't start in the warmer afternoons, where the interior would heat up. I hear the main relay prime-up the fuel pump and initiate that "click." the car starts right up, but immediately dies. i open up the windows, let the interior cool down a bit, and finally get fed up. I'll come back around 15-30 minutes and vroom, the car will start up and stay running. I haven't tried the "slowly release the key in position III" method enough times to confirm, and I'm still getting CEL 15. However, would the ignition output signal be related to heat? Thanks for all the help so far.
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:04 PM   #15
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Default Re: car starts and dies immediately, then only cranks

Add to this, when I am usually able to start it in the mornings, the car will run fine, whether sitting in traffic, cruising on the freeway, or accelerating/braking hard. i haven't had the symptoms of unexpectedly dying while driving like some of the other folks on here. Further, my dash lights are always working.
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:06 PM   #16
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Default Re: car starts and dies immediately, then only cranks

its a lack of fuel pressure
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:32 PM   #17
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Default Re: car starts and dies immediately, then only cranks

i have enough pressure to fire the car up for that brief second, but there's not enough pressure to maintain the engine's idle? how are you confident of your claim?

also, how would lack of fuel pressure spit a CEL 15?
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:55 PM   #18
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Default Re: car starts and dies immediately, then only cranks

Quote:
Originally Posted by ttcheung97 View Post
update: I took apart the distributor and checked all the wires and igniter; not sure how much how of a "check" i can do with the igniter besides grabbing a multimeter, which I don't have at the moment.
it's been sunnier these past couple days and as predicted, the car wouldn't start in the warmer afternoons, where the interior would heat up. I hear the main relay prime-up the fuel pump and initiate that "click." the car starts right up, but immediately dies. i open up the windows, let the interior cool down a bit, and finally get fed up. I'll come back around 15-30 minutes and vroom, the car will start up and stay running. I haven't tried the "slowly release the key in position III" method enough times to confirm, and I'm still getting CEL 15. However, would the ignition output signal be related to heat? Thanks for all the help so far.
You are on the right track and hypothesis. It probably is the igniter. Heat can cause what you are experiencing. See this link:

http://techauto.awardspace.com/ignition.html
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Old 02-15-2010, 03:42 PM   #19
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Default Re: car starts and dies immediately, then only cranks

Have you been able to isolate if it's fuel or spark related? You may want to keep a can of starter fluid around. If it won't start, shoot some starter fluid down the throttle to provide fuel. If it won't ignite, probably in your ignition system. If it does start momentarily, i would check or replace the fuel pump relay.
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Old 02-16-2010, 12:52 AM   #20
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Default Re: car starts and dies immediately, then only cranks

i had this problem with my 93 ex. i changed the main relay and other parts, it turned out to be the ignition switch. dash lights were also always on for me to, had computer tested at a shop and no code came up i had the same exact symptoms are experiencing, i have yet to take it out for a long drive. but it has not died on me since i replaced the ignition switch.

To check your spark i took my spark plug off to see if it was sparking it wasnt but it wasnt the ignitor on my car. a multimeter will help there just make sure the wires are disconected when you test it. also i checked the fuel by taking of the fuel line at the injector where the fuel line bolts to it, i used a cup to catch the fuel, do not use styrofoam cup, it will disintigrate and you get fuel all over.

i also replaced my ecu but that was not the problem, got mine off ebay for under 100 Bucks could either be your ignition switch, main relay, fuel pump, or ignitor. ignition switch is the cheapest start out of all of those. mine did that run and die and i changed everything but the ignition switch and it kept doing it .

So far with new ignition switch runs fine. they are 45 bucks, a main relay around 75-90 bucks i do remember a walk through for that should be right under dash board under the stearing wheel its hard to dig out and may be under the cruise control module, i remounted mine in another location for easy access and where it can be cooler, an ignitor at a junk yard at 25 + make sure you take a multi meter, also on the EX the ignitor is outside the distributor as a coil not on the inside, and fuel pump round 100-120 bucks.

Last edited by ehudslefthand; 02-16-2010 at 01:11 AM.
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:41 AM   #21
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Default Re: car starts and dies immediately, then only cranks

Thanks for the breakdown; I appreciate it.

No, I have still yet to isolate if it's spark or fuel, and I know I'll get a bit of flaming for putting this part of the check off.

I am certain it's not the main relay because it clicks everytime I startup the car. I did this little test where I parked the car in the garage the previous night. the next day I pushed it onto the driveway, just to try and eliminate any factors. The car started right up. I drove it around, parked it in the sun for about five minutes (with the windows down), and it started right up again. Parked it at the Kragen in the shade, started right up. Drove to work tihs morning, started right up.

I'd LIKE to say it's the ignition switch, but then I'd just be shooting in the dark. when I have some time I'll check the resistance across the igniters and see what I get.

Redbull, thanks for the site; i stumbled onto there a while back and it's really good info, but as I'm not and electronics fanatic i end-up slowly losing interest towards the bottom of the read. I'll have to read through it again.
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:14 AM   #22
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Default Re: car starts and dies immediately, then only cranks

lol @ getting electrocuted. people dont die from car ignitions because ignitions are high voltage not high energy. I cant tell you how many times i have been zapped (electrocuted) and im still on this earth. It just hurts a little but no big deal.
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Old 02-23-2010, 05:34 AM   #23
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Default Re: car starts and dies immediately, then only cranks

You may have figured out the problem by now but if not,

I had the same problem and it was the passkey anti-theft system that was the problem. If your ignition key has the chip in it, and if after you start the vehicle and it immediately dies the dash lights and all other power goes out momentarily as well, this is more than likely your problem.

Do not disconnect the battery to reset.

Turn ignition key on and leave on for 10 min, then turn off and turn back on for another 10 min, then do the same thing one last time for another 10 min for a total of 30 min and your passkey anti-theft system is now reset.

This worked for me.

Good luck.
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:22 AM   #24
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Default Re: car starts and dies immediately, then only cranks

unfortunately my car is a 1994 and i BELIEVE Honda didn't put the chips in their keys until 1998. But thanks for your input.

Yesterday the car didn't start in the heat. my friend, a pretty knowledgeable Honda person, went with me to see what the car did when it didn't start. The care fired right up, and then died. I tried starting it with the gas pedal pressed; it started up with a higher RPM and then died. I swear, I hear the main fuel relay click, the CEL turn off, and the humming of the fuel pump. BUT, since it seems like it's heat-related, I'm starting to steer away from the engine bay and more towards the interior.

Many experts have said that this main fuel relay is actually two relays in one; could it be that the fuel pump's priming, but then the fuel's not being pumped AFTER the car fires up?, like the second relay is going bad?

Also, could a wire going to the fuel pump be exposed? I DID do some suspension work, which involved messing around with the rear seats. I'm wondering if I might've snagged a wire there?

what headaches.... fortunately the car started up after a couple more tries, but to have my car labeled, "no way, i'm not going in that car for lunch; i have a 1pm meeting and i don't want to be stranded."
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:34 AM   #25
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Default Re: car starts and dies immediately, then only cranks

happens to my car, it happened in my youtube video to show straight pipe... i was told its the fuel pump relay

here is the video.. tell me if this is what it does.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBsRWaYM0Y4
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