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Honda Prelude No Start In Hot Weather

Q. Hi Vincent, I was searching troubleshooting for my car when I found your page and thought maybe you could be of some help. I've probably got a zillion questions but I'll start with one.

  • 1992 Honda Prelude Si
  • 2.3 liter DOHC
  • 120,000 miles
  • 5 speed
Honda Prelude No Start In Hot Weather

Question: Primarily in the summer and even more in the extreme heat but not exclusive to this weather, my car won't start at first turn. The scenario would be, get in the car after sitting without running or right after shutting down and turn the key it will sometimes give a combustion grumble and fluxing idle on its way down to die or just fall dead on its face.

Sometimes it just won't even fire. But I am hearing the starter. At which point I can't do anything to get it to go but wait, sometimes two minutes, sometimes ten minutes. Come back, turn the key and I'm off and running. I wonder if it has any relationship to the cruddy idle I have 95% of the time. It seems to idle somewhere in the 700 to 800 rpm area but its rough.

I went through it and changed the fuel filter, air filter, plugs, wires and that didn't solve it. The rough idle is felt in the steering wheel too as it vibrates, not hard but enough to notice and more than it should or did when I bought it. With summer coming around the corner again I would like to remedy this before I find myself stranded again. Anything you could suggest would be appreciated.


A. It sure does sound like a bad Main Relay to me. You can read my article; Honda Main Relays for information on testing and replacing it.

When they get hot, like sitting in a parking lot in the sun, they will stop working and the engine will not start. When they cool off a bit, they will start working again and the engine will start. Since it is located inside the passenger compartment they may fail even in moderate heat.

Additional Information provided courtesy of AllDATA

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