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thebesthonda, ASE MasterTechnician
Category: Honda
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Experience:  26 years experience
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Honda Accord EX: wont start..its really cold outside, do you know why

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my Honda Accord EX won't start when its really cold outside, do you know why?

Let's do some simple tests and make sure we do not miss anything. Do this when the car will not start. Let me know your results.


Turn the ignition switch on and be sure the check engine light comes on for 3 seconds and then goes back out. If it does, check the car for spark. Do this by removing a spark plug and plug the wire back on it. Ground the threaded end of the spark plug to the engine, and then spin the engine over to see if it sparks.

If you are getting spark, remove the gas cap and place your ear next to the spout, have someone turn the ignition switch on. You should hear the fuel pump "hum" for about 3 seconds each time the ignition switch is turned on.

Let me know what you find and I will assist you from there.


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Well the engine light comes on for 3 sec every 2 or 3 times I try to start it and the other 1-2 times it is only on for 1 sec.

I tried the spark plug thing on two of them (it is 10 degrees outside) and I did not get any kind of spark.

I'm the only one here so I can't really try the gas cap one.

The weird thing about all this is my car starts perfectly fine when the temp. is above 50 degrees but when it drops below that it won't do anything but click when I turn the ignition, and most of the time I can get it started after 20-40 min of trying. But sometimes like today it won't start at all! Please Please help!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
So I got it started by just holding the ignition on until it starts. I turn the key and just hold it there until it starts...and it starts every time I do that...if I don't hold it it won't start!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Oh and I hear the hum at the gas tank!
Awesome! Great info. You need the electrical portion of the ignition switch. This can be purchased at your local honda dealer for around $65. If you need more info, please let me know.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
So even though the car starts when its not below 50 degrees just fine....the problem is still the electrical portion of the ignition swich? Why does it only happen when it really cold outside?
You may have more than one problem, but the last symptom you gave me is a sure sign of bad switch contacts. I have replaced hundreds of them with the same symptom, so I would start there. If you need me later, don't worry, I won't bail on you. I will be glad to continue as long as you need me.

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