Honda CRX Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello CRX community,

Today I have a problem, a dilemma, a true pain in the beeehind.

My CRX wont Start and I dont know why. I'll lay out the events that led up to my CRX not starting and eliminate all the theories that are laid out on all of the other discussions of the topic in hopes of getting an answer that leads to the solution.

Before the problem arose, maybe about a month, I did some maintenance on the car (spark plugs (first time in my ownership), spark plug seals (that stupid leak you know that one), cleaned up contacts on the dizzy cap, checked resistance on wires, oil change, valve lash (only 2 valves were out of spec and by the tiniest bit)) For reference 125k miles on the car. She drove like a dream after the new plugs!!

Then, one day, I'm on the freeway going through a junction I'm accelerating back to freeway speeds and I notice a hesitation (like choking) so I let off the gas and try again and same sensation, I get off the freeway and as I'm slowing down it gets worse and dies as I'm getting into a parking lot. Dead, full battery power, cranks, just wont get going. So, I arrange for my brother to trailer me back home and I leave the car without touching it thinking its either Fuel, Air, or Ignition.

First thing next day. Just out of curiosity I go to turn her on and without any issue fires up as normal, I'm like WTF no sign of trouble. Goes through almost entire warm up as normal, I give it several healthy revs purring like gold, I go inside to grab a smoke and come out to the car just puttering out... Dead.... I try to start again and nothing no sign of life. This phenomenon at least eliminated the possibility of being a timing issue because it ran for about 10 minutes really well and timing belt was replaced at 92k per the label on the timing cover.

So after that I'm like that sounds like an Idle control issue and decision is made to just go ahead and rebuild the intake manifold since that was on the menu anyway (this car sat around and only had 100k in the first 25 years of its life so I just wanted to clean it up and I had a feeling there was a lot of buildup because the previous plugs were not correct ones but that's a whole different story) I also cleaned out the intake openings on the head, changed the fuel filter. Tested IACV, PCV valve, cleaned up injectors. reassembled everything.
I tried to start the car with the cooling system burper on, she fired up but there was a bit of fuel leak which stopped indicating the seals needing to seat properly, as she was waming up just slowly died and would not fire up any more. So I'm getting spark fuel and air at least intermittently... which usually indicates electronics right? lol yeahhh

So. I continue searching through the interwebs for the same issue and I found several threads that had the same issue but different solutions that narrow down to Ignition Coil, Igniter (Ignition Control Module) or main relay. I changed the coil and igniter and even got a new cap and rotor for good measure but kept the relay because I can hear it switching so I assume its working but still nothing. I pulled the relay and re-soldered the connections hoping that it would work and nothing... I mean the relay is working, I can feel and see the magnets working on the relay and yet no start.

Now I'm stuck, I have other vehicles to drive but I'd rather drive the CRX as it is supposed to be my daily and I need to figure out why shes not going and I dont like the idea of throwing parts at it.

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,984 Posts
Dig out an extra spark plug; tape it somewhere that the outer electrode or the thread have a good ground, and hook it up to one of your car's plug wires. Have someone crank the starter while you look at the plug. Do you see a good fat happy white hot spark? If not, you've got ignition troubles.

If your spark is OK, then see if there's a fuel smell at the tailpipe after cranking for a while. If not, you may not be getting any fuel. Check your operating fuel pressure, and try to feel if there is a "click" in the fuel injector when it should be opening. You may have to listen to it by putting a screwdriver tip onto the injector and the handle against your ear, I am not sure if the Honda injectors make a click you can feel easily.

Generally ignition is the easiest thing to lose, followed by fuel. It's usually not that hard to tell if air is going into the motor. Remember that you need air (compression), fuel, and spark.

Good luck!

--DD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
302 Posts
Definitely would check fuel pressure next. If you absolutely have fuel pressure I would start looking at swapping the distributor again and trying another ECU as well. I've seen bad replacement distributors new in the box. The way your issue showed up seems heat induced.

Heat can impact:
-dizzy coil/ignitor
-ECU capacitors
-Fuel pump operation
-Main relay operation

I would absolutely bet that it is still one of those four.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,984 Posts
That's why I suggested testing for spark, to rule out the new parts being bad.

--DD
 
  • Like
Reactions: bambbrose

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Hello CRX community,

Today I have a problem, a dilemma, a true pain in the beeehind.

My CRX wont Start and I dont know why. I'll lay out the events that led up to my CRX not starting and eliminate all the theories that are laid out on all of the other discussions of the topic in hopes of getting an answer that leads to the solution.

Before the problem arose, maybe about a month, I did some maintenance on the car (spark plugs (first time in my ownership), spark plug seals (that stupid leak you know that one), cleaned up contacts on the dizzy cap, checked resistance on wires, oil change, valve lash (only 2 valves were out of spec and by the tiniest bit)) For reference 125k miles on the car. She drove like a dream after the new plugs!!

Then, one day, I'm on the freeway going through a junction I'm accelerating back to freeway speeds and I notice a hesitation (like choking) so I let off the gas and try again and same sensation, I get off the freeway and as I'm slowing down it gets worse and dies as I'm getting into a parking lot. Dead, full battery power, cranks, just wont get going. So, I arrange for my brother to trailer me back home and I leave the car without touching it thinking its either Fuel, Air, or Ignition.

First thing next day. Just out of curiosity I go to turn her on and without any issue fires up as normal, I'm like WTF no sign of trouble. Goes through almost entire warm up as normal, I give it several healthy revs purring like gold, I go inside to grab a smoke and come out to the car just puttering out... Dead.... I try to start again and nothing no sign of life. This phenomenon at least eliminated the possibility of being a timing issue because it ran for about 10 minutes really well and timing belt was replaced at 92k per the label on the timing cover.

So after that I'm like that sounds like an Idle control issue and decision is made to just go ahead and rebuild the intake manifold since that was on the menu anyway (this car sat around and only had 100k in the first 25 years of its life so I just wanted to clean it up and I had a feeling there was a lot of buildup because the previous plugs were not correct ones but that's a whole different story) I also cleaned out the intake openings on the head, changed the fuel filter. Tested IACV, PCV valve, cleaned up injectors. reassembled everything.
I tried to start the car with the cooling system burper on, she fired up but there was a bit of fuel leak which stopped indicating the seals needing to seat properly, as she was waming up just slowly died and would not fire up any more. So I'm getting spark fuel and air at least intermittently... which usually indicates electronics right? lol yeahhh

So. I continue searching through the interwebs for the same issue and I found several threads that had the same issue but different solutions that narrow down to Ignition Coil, Igniter (Ignition Control Module) or main relay. I changed the coil and igniter and even got a new cap and rotor for good measure but kept the relay because I can hear it switching so I assume its working but still nothing. I pulled the relay and re-soldered the connections hoping that it would work and nothing... I mean the relay is working, I can feel and see the magnets working on the relay and yet no start.

Now I'm stuck, I have other vehicles to drive but I'd rather drive the CRX as it is supposed to be my daily and I need to figure out why shes not going and I dont like the idea of throwing parts at it.

Thanks.
There is a free FSM for an 88 crx floating around. I’ve been doing diagnostic work on 2 CRXs the past 3 weekends and actually decided to read the book weekend before last. Lots of different test procedures at both component level and harness. Long story short I got one up and running Saturday and the other is diagnosed and awaiting repair. That book saved me a lot of time. Ohm out the coil pack and use a test light for igniter or even a power probe. The relay is continuity and voltage checks plus a jump test to verify fuel pump operation in the event the relay isn’t doing its job. Hope this gives you some ideas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,791 Posts
If it was me I would remove the fuel filter and shake the :poop: out of it(covering both holes of course) and pour its content in a clear fuel resistant vessel. The color and if any dirt is present will determine next step.
If there is dirt or rusty brown deposits, the fuel pump is coming out and so are the fuel injectors( just me).

A new fuel filter is going in, same as new fuel pump strainer. And the fuel tank will be dropped and washed up. Some fuel injectors have a small fuel filter strainer type insert at the inlet side, inspect it and clean it up with carb cleaner.
Once fuel system checks out....

Is the thick brown valve cover ground cable clean at both ends?, is it there?

I would clean up the water thermostat housing ground terminals hooked to it.

Any engine oil sipping inside the distributor?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Following. I'm helping my 19 year old son with his 86 Si that he just bought that has been sitting for a few years. We cleaned up some grounds and now the motor is turning over with the key. We removed the #1 spark plug and checked for spark with the motor turning over which it has good spark. I removed the bolt from the fuel filter line going to the injectors and didn't get any fuel to come out of the bolt hole. I removed the gas fill cap and couldn't hear the fuel pump running with the key turned ON or with the motor turning over. It was getting late, so we removed the breather tube from the throttlebody and sprayed some starting fluid in it hoping it would fire up but it didn't. Now, we have to figure out why the fuel pump isn't working.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,791 Posts
Same here.
replace the fuel pump.
Old fuel will turn into varnish as time goes by, all those volatile solvents evaporate leaving behind resins and all the gunk.
Even if the tank was empty there is a chance humidity will take its turn and cause rust damage as well.
I am looking for a FP myself. I just replaced the FP on another car for just the same reason.

Just some advise, since the car sat for long drop the fuel tank and clean it up. Replace fuel filter and flush the fuel line BEFORE installing the new F.P. if you install a new FP and power it the pump will suck up all that gunk And run the chance of creating more problems.

Check youtube for fuel tank cleaning with vinegar and a chain.
I did that to the DC3 and the vinegar did loosened up all that gunk. I cleaned it with Formula Degreaser first.
My guess is the FD destroyed any oily chemicals inside allowing the vinegar to work a lot faster and efficiently.

The CRX has been sitting for a long time so I'm not even bothering with testing the pump or even considering using that FP at all.

Gl
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,984 Posts
Don't just replace the fuel pump. Test it first--at least check to see that it gets power going to it when you're trying to start the car!!

Throwing parts at a problem is a great way to spend money, but not such a great way to fix the problem.

--DD
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top