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Ted G.
Ted G., ASE Certified Technician
Category: Honda
Satisfied Customers: 6139
Experience:  20 years auto repair experience, ASE Master Tech, Expert Witness
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CRV: I had to leave my 05 CRV automatic months without

Customer Question

I had to leave my 05 CRV automatic for 6 months without its being driven. I put fuel conditioner in a full tank of gas and left the battery on a trickle charger. I have done this before, but not for such a long period of time. This time it would not start until I connected it to a strong charger. Then it started OK. I put it on the charger overnight. A day or two later, it would not start. Each time, the motor would turn over, but just not start. A battery guy came when I called Triple A, and he tested the battery and charging system and said both were fine. The CRV started when he gave it a boost. A day or two later, it would not start again, though I had gone on a long road trip. I hooked it to a portable starter battery designed for the purpose, and it started. One last time, it would not start on its own, and I turned the key briefly two or three times without trying to start the engine, and sure enough, it started! I have been driving it for over a week now, while all this has been happening. Most of the gas has been replaced by now, so I am waiting to see if the problem happens again. Do you suppose it is the fuel that had been unused for so long, or something to do with the starter?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Honda
Expert:  Ted G. replied 2 years ago.
What may be happening is your fuel pressure is leaking down and only after multiple start cycles is it building back up enough to start. The way to verify this is exactly what you did, cycle the key several times to re-pressurize the system and it starts quickly. This could be due to the sitting, ethanol will leave crust on the injector pintles and cause them to hang slightly open. If this turns out to be the case, try running a fuel system cleaner like Tecroline or Sea Foam through the system and see if it clears up. If not the injectors will have to be removed and either cleaned or replaced.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I would have thought that if pressure leak down was causing the problem it would occur after the vehicle had been sitting for at least an hour or more, but it has also occurred after sitting for only a few minutes at times and has not necessarily occurred after the CRV had been sitting unused overnight. And I just started it with no problem after it had not been started since yesterday afternoon.
Expert:  Ted G. replied 2 years ago.
It could be that the fuel has broken down and is boiling in the rail. This would happen fairly fast but stop as the car cooled down.