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Amedee, Former ASE Master Technician
Category: Honda
Satisfied Customers: 25415
Experience:  ASE certified tech advanced level specialist. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
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My 1993 Honda Prelude VTEC won't start. The ignition switch

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My 1993 Honda Prelude VTEC won't start. The ignition switch in Position I turns on the accessories. In Position II, the normal sequence of engine test lights illuminate and turn off. In Position III (Start), the engine does not start. No drain is put on the battery. The lights on the dash stay on. After holding the ignition in the start position for five seconds, I hear a click from the location of the interior fuse box. I have followed these troubleshooting steps. First, I tested the battery under load finding it fully charged and functional. Second, I replaced the starter and the car would not start. Third, I tested the Black/White wire connected to the starter and determined that it was not delivering any voltage when the ignition switch was moved to Position III. Fourth, I verified that the Safety Neutral Switch on the clutch was properly installed. I replaced the Safety Neutral Switch with a new switch but no change in service was determined. I am unsure of how to proceed.

Hello and welcome!

My name isCustomerand I can assist you with your question.

Are you looking for possible causes or would you like me to walk you through this diagnoses?

Would you be willing to speak on the phone?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
My cell phone number is(###) ###-####

Please accept my offer and call me

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I've already had 35 charged to my credit card. Is this phone call offer an additional $35?

Yes, Ma'am.

Or we can simply continue on this page..

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Let's continue on this page. By the way, I am a male.

Sorry.. what is your first name?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.

Ok, that would make sense by your username. :).

Sorry about that.

Sometimes others log in on family member accounts and we have no idea..

Anyway, so the engine does not crank over at all correct?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The engine does not crank at all when the ignition switch is turned to position III.

Does the engine crank if you jumper the connector at the nuetral position switch and turn the key to the CRANK position?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The car has a manual transmission. I have tested cranking by placing the shift lever in neutral and pushing the clutch to disengage it. The car does not crank.

Would you like a wiring diagram for this circuit or do you have one?

Since this is a manual trans, you will need to check for power and ground at the starter cut relay with the key in the CRANK position. Have you done this yet? If not, this is your next step.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I have tested for power and ground at the Black/White wire which is attached normally to the top of the starter solenoid. I did not detect 12 volts in the Black/White wire when the engine was cranked. I have the Honda issued Honda Prelude (1992) Repair Maintenance and Construction manual as well as the 1993 Honda Prelude Service Supplement.

According to my wiring diagram, it is a black/red wire going to the starter. Maybe you could send me the VIN? That would help.

According to the diagram I am looking at, the starter gets power from the starter cut relay. Thats why we need to check the inputs at the relay..

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The Prelude's VIN number is ***** I have not checked the starter cut relay then. I checked just the wire leading to the top of the starter.

Does this vehicle have a factory security system installed?

Any anti theft or security lights on or flashing on the cluster when trying to start the engine?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
This vehicle has a Honda security system installed. No anti theft or security lights are on or flashing on the cluster when trying to start the engine. I have not used the Honda security system in over five years - it drains the battery if the car sits for over eight days.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The only indicator that the security system is armed is a red LED on top of the steering column.

Has this red light always been illuminated?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
It has not been illuminated since I last activated the security system.

Hhmm.. maybe it is related..

Anyway, lets continue diagnosing.

At the starter cut relay, lets check for two powers and one ground going into it with the key in the CRANK position.

Let me know

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I"m not sure where the starter cut relay is located. Any thoughts? Is it located in the fuse box in the car's interior?

The starter relay is located in the underdash fuel relay box.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I have printed out the diagram. I will now look at my car's system.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
It will take me a few minutes.

Ok, no problem..

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I located the Starter Cut Relay as directed. Do I remove it for testing?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I've located the starter cut relay. Do I remove the relay for testing? How do I remove the relay? Is there a release tab?

YES, it needs to be removed so that you can check the inputs on the female pins (Where the relay would plug into).

It should pull right out.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I'll remove it now.


Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I have been trying to remove the starter cut switch. I can't get it to budge. Is there a locking mechanism?

You mean the relay?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I was unable to remove the relay.

Can you take a pic? It should pop right out

Customer: replied 6 months ago.

I dont believe those have any locking tabs but it is hard to see from the pictures. You would have to look close towards the bottom to see if you need to push or pull something to release the relay

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Okay. I'll give it another try.


Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I was able to remove the relay.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
What do I do now that I have removed the relay?

Check the female pins that the relay plugs into for two powers and one ground like I mentioned earlier. The key will need to be in the CRANK position

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I'm testing for twelve volts. Which of the four plugs should be hot and which one should be ground? I currently have the battery disconnected. I should reconnect it to test for power, right? I removed the power to reduce the risk of inflating the SRS system while I was poking around under the dash.

The battery needs to be connected for this test.

Both of the black/white wires going into the relay need to battery voltage with the key in the CRANK position. You may need to unbolt the relay center and flip it over so you can see which wires are which.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Okay. This will take some time.


Customer: replied 6 months ago.
It is taking me longer to determine the wire placement. I am running out of time to work on it this evening as the Sun goes down. Can we pick this up tomorrow when I have tested the wiring?

Yes Sir. I will be on line tomorrow.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you. I will look for you tomorrow.

Sounds good!

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hello,Customer I've been sick over the past couple of weeks. I just got well enough to go back to the car. I understand that I may need to close this ticket and open another one to get my Prelude up and running. Please let me know.

Hi Kelly!

Sure, you could do that. You can rate my answer now and we can still continue this conversation if you would like.

Amedee and 3 other Honda Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Okay. I'll rate your answer as a *****.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thanks,Customer I have reconnected the battery but have not been able to remove the relay center yet to determine the voltage testing. I will let you know when I have been able to test the two female leads for power when the ignition switch is in the crank position.

Sounds good! I will be looking forward to your reply!

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Oh, one additional symptom that I have noticed - When I put the ignition switch into the crank position, the power to the A/C, fan, and the radio is cut. Upon moving back to Position II, the radio turns back on as does the A/C fan. In the meantime, I am removing the kick plate to better access the fuse box. However, the sun has set to I won't be able to work anymore on the car this evening. I'll be back at it tomorrow.

Thank you for that information. This could be a bad ignition switch...

Talk to you tomorrow!