accord won't start in rain

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I have an '89 Honda Accord Lxi, 5 speed. Last summer i've had the issue of it not starting the humid summer months. I figured out by doing some research that it is the main relay switch. I found a website that shows you how to fix it yourself, if you are a poor college student like me its good, well that problem has seemed to went away. Starts fine in the hot weather after being turned off and turned back on. Since about that same time last year after it rained a bit the car wouldnt start. It seems like it wants to, but it wont just start. It seems to be cranking over just not actually starting. This seems to happen only after it has rained all night or is still raining and the car has not been driven in like a day. When it rains it gets ver humid which i think might play a part in this. If anyone has any idea of what this could be or what to start looking at please let me know. I am a poor college student like i mentioned so im trying the web for answers first, thanks upfront! Oh if it helps the car has a good ole 170,000 miles on it :laughing:

piwko

posted by  piwko

If humidity and moisture in the air play a role in the starting problem like you seem to indicate they do, then adds are you have an electrical/ignition problem somewhere. If it is cranking and not starting, then that isolates it down to a "real" firing problem vs. ignition in the sense of starting system. You could have a fuel problem as well if it is fuel injected (89 should be) due to a problem with the fuel injectors pulsing when they are electrically actuated to do so. I tend to think that you probably have an ignition problem.

Have you pulled a plug wire when you are in a "no-start" condition and had someone crank the engine to see if you are getting spark? That would be the first thing I would do. Also, you need to explore the distributor cap. If the car has a standard distributor with a rotor and wires to the plug, you need to check the cap for cracks. If there are cracks in the distributor cap, you can get moisture in there when is humid and moist and cause the system to short, while the result of this is a no start condition.

You said that you replaced the main relay switch. Please enlighten me as to what relay switch you replaced? Are you speaking of the starter relay or something else such as a relay for the ingition system?

posted by  cmeseadoin

The car is fuel injected. I have not had someone try to start the car for me with the spark plugs out, going to give that a try next time this occurs. I have just recently changed my spark plugs and my cap so i dont think it's that but im still going to check it out. I fixed the 'Main Relay' thats all that its called. It's a small little box under the steering column. It fixes the problem that honda's have when its really hot and/or driven somewhere and shut off and turned back on right away in hot weather. I haven't had a problem with that yet since i fixed it. I'll go over your checklist and get back to you tomorrow. I dont think its suppose to rain tonight or tomorrow but sure will check it out though, thanks.

dave

posted by  piwko

Sounds good.....I dont know what Honda specific problem that little "main relay" thing is all about, but sounds like that is not part of this problem. Without looking at the car all I can say is that if moisture affects you, you have an electrical short due to poor insulation and/or an ignition issue. I'd certainly make sure you pull one plug wire off next time this happens and insert a metal rod, another plug, or srewdriver in the end of the wire and short it again something metal and away from the fuel system and see if you have spark. My guess is you won't. If you DO, then look at the fuel injection system electricals......crank it in the no start condition for 10-15 secs and then pull a plug out and see if it is wet. All you need for an engine to fire is intake, compression, power(ignition) and proper exhaust venting. Simple logic, you just have to find the secondary cause that there would be a problem with one of those systems. Good luck.

posted by  cmeseadoin

It is suppose to rain tomorrow so that will be the big test. I'm kind of hoping that it rains overnight cause that's when it affects it the most. Thanks for all of the ideas, i will be looking closely. I'll be sure to let you know how it all worked out

dave

posted by  piwko

Sounds good

posted by  cmeseadoin

main relays going is quite common on hondas
but 9 times out of 10 it is caused by a system in your car drawing too much amperage

like your distributor for example

posted by  Pieface

sorry guys still nothing, it rained a little bit last night but the car fired up no problem. I'll keep you guys updated.

dave

posted by  piwko

Main relay? :ohcrap:
What do you mean a distributor draws amperage? :2cents:

posted by  DodgeRida67

He not saying that the dist. draws the amperage....since this is the main current relay in the vehicle, he's saying that it may be fried due to some aux. electrical system that ultimately gets back through the relay and is pulling way too much current, thus will fry the relay. I can see that being very possible. Question: what are some highly probable systems that will lend themselves to these kind of failures causing high current draw? Blower motor circuit? etc???

posted by  cmeseadoin

i figured the main relay didnt have anything to do with this. This fixed the problem of when it was really hot outside and the car not wanting to start then, after being on/off a couple times. It has started every time so far, but it hasn't really rained that hard. I'm kind of hoping it does it again before i go back to school because at school i have no tools or anyway of fixing it myself. Most people told me that its either the plugs or the distributor, so let's hope it rains soon, and lets hope thats the solution.

dave

posted by  piwko

I can tell you it is not the plugs, It's either the ignition module and or coil.....plug wires, dist cap, rotor or some exposed wiring somewhere. It is ignition related and affected by moisture or sorts. Let us know! :thumbs:

posted by  cmeseadoin

I have a 1996 Honda Accord that is currently experiencing the same problem. My car will try to start but won't completely turn over. After it finally does, I give it gas but it stalls some, kinda of gurgling. Sometimes it will die again, but most times it will stay going. It has a little over 105000 miles on it. This problem occurs when or after it has rained, and has been happening for about three months. Usually after I get it going, it will run fine the rest of the day. However, the CheckEngine light came on after getting it started today. I too am on a tight budget and would appreciate any advice you all could provide before taking it in for a look. Maybe the CheckEngine light coming on might give a better clue as to what's going on? I hope my car's not ruined. Thanks!

posted by  tatty

I am actually having the same problem pls let me know if you fix your problem and it happen right after we had a lot of rain last night too

posted by  Outstorm

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