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1990 Honda Accord LX, 5 sp Manual, 154K miles
03-03-2011, 02:43 PM
Post: #1
1990 Honda Accord LX, 5 sp Manual, 154K miles
I have a 1990 Honda Accord LX 5sp manuel. Car has been "just sitting",(foolishly, the car hadn't been started entire time been sitting) in central Florida for more than 5 months, it was running fine before it was parked. I recently went to start it and car cranks fine (with jumper cables, of course). It feels as though the clutch cable has broken as it now won't spring back after depressed, nor is the engine getting any fuel...(I think)...Anyhoo, I thought that maybe it (not starting) might be inter-related somehow??? Could I possibly have a bad clutch switch AND a bad fuel pump relay? The clutch is still engaging as the car does crank only it feels as though it doesn't engage until it's only like an inch from the floor. I very much appreciate any help that anyone can give and I thank you in advance.
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03-03-2011, 09:59 PM (This post was last modified: 03-03-2011 10:01 PM by Rupe.)
Post: #2
RE: 1990 Honda Accord LX, 5 sp Manual, 154K miles
First things first here..... I suspect you need to brush up on the lingo. When a clutch "engages" that means it is grabbing or moving the car. (if it's running and in gear) What I think you mean is the pedal feels slack and you do not feel any resistance when depressing the pedal till the last inch or so.

Here's what I would do.... you may need to enlist the help of a friend to work the pedal while you look under the hood. In that vintage (forget the exact years) the Honda was known for clutch cables going bad, clutch forks breaking inside the bell housing, and the firewall cracking where the cable went through. (constant fllexing till it cracks) You may get lucky and find yours is not a cable but hydrolic, which means there's a small resivour next to the brake master cylinder that needs filling up with fluid. (use brake fluid) Either way you still need to observe what moves and what doesn't when the clutch pedal is depressed. You may get lucky again and filling up the fluid plus a few pumps may bring the pedal close to "normal" at least for the diagnostics. (if it was low it will leak out again) If you are not sure what to look for it may be time for some professional help here.

As for the starting, you need to figure out if it's a lack of fuel or a lack of spark. A few gallons of fresh gas is a great way to be sure there's something in the tank. After that a can of starting fuid may come in handy if you find the spark is ok.

BTW, if it cranks with jumper cables there's no problem with the clutch switch.

Keep us in the loop as you progress.
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05-17-2011, 10:00 AM (This post was last modified: 05-17-2011 10:08 AM by HeadShotz.)
Post: #3
RE: 1990 Honda Accord LX, 5 sp Manual, 154K miles
(03-03-2011 09:59 PM)Rupe Wrote:  First things first here..... I suspect you need to brush up on the lingo. When a clutch "engages" that means it is grabbing or moving the car. (if it's running and in gear) What I think you mean is the pedal feels slack and you do not feel any resistance when depressing the pedal till the last inch or so.

Here's what I would do.... you may need to enlist the help of a friend to work the pedal while you look under the hood. In that vintage (forget the exact years) the Honda was known for clutch cables going bad, clutch forks breaking inside the bell housing, and the firewall cracking where the cable went through. (constant fllexing till it cracks) You may get lucky and find yours is not a cable but hydrolic, which means there's a small resivour next to the brake master cylinder that needs filling up with fluid. (use brake fluid) Either way you still need to observe what moves and what doesn't when the clutch pedal is depressed. You may get lucky again and filling up the fluid plus a few pumps may bring the pedal close to "normal" at least for the diagnostics. (if it was low it will leak out again) If you are not sure what to look for it may be time for some professional help here.

As for the starting, you need to figure out if it's a lack of fuel or a lack of spark. A few gallons of fresh gas is a great way to be sure there's something in the tank. After that a can of starting fuid may come in handy if you find the spark is ok.

BTW, if it cranks with jumper cables there's no problem with the clutch switch.

Keep us in the loop as you progress.

(05-17-2011 10:00 AM)HeadShotz Wrote:  
(03-03-2011 09:59 PM)Rupe Wrote:  First things first here..... I suspect you need to brush up on the lingo. When a clutch "engages" that means it is grabbing or moving the car. (if it's running and in gear) What I think you mean is the pedal feels slack and you do not feel any resistance when depressing the pedal till the last inch or so.

Here's what I would do.... you may need to enlist the help of a friend to work the pedal while you look under the hood. In that vintage (forget the exact years) the Honda was known for clutch cables going bad, clutch forks breaking inside the bell housing, and the firewall cracking where the cable went through. (constant fllexing till it cracks) You may get lucky and find yours is not a cable but hydrolic, which means there's a small resivour next to the brake master cylinder that needs filling up with fluid. (use brake fluid) Either way you still need to observe what moves and what doesn't when the clutch pedal is depressed. You may get lucky again and filling up the fluid plus a few pumps may bring the pedal close to "normal" at least for the diagnostics. (if it was low it will leak out again) If you are not sure what to look for it may be time for some professional help here.

As for the starting, you need to figure out if it's a lack of fuel or a lack of spark. A few gallons of fresh gas is a great way to be sure there's something in the tank. After that a can of starting fuid may come in handy if you find the spark is ok.

BTW, if it cranks with jumper cables there's no problem with the clutch switch.

Keep us in the loop as you progress.

Rupe, just wanted to thank you for your advice. THANKS! You were correct sir, it was the fluid that needed to be refilled for the clutch. Can you please explain how to "prime" an EFI engine? You mention a can of starting fluid but I don't know how/where to either spray or pour it since there isn't a carburator. I know, probably sounds like a really dumb question...I really do appreciate all your help thus far.
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05-17-2011, 10:15 AM (This post was last modified: 05-17-2011 10:03 PM by Rupe.)
Post: #4
RE: 1990 Honda Accord LX, 5 sp Manual, 154K miles
With an EFI engine there is really no need to prime anything as the pump will run for a few seconds each time the key is placed in the "on" position. In addition to that the pump will run during each cranking cycle. Basically if you don't get any fuel up front with about 10 seconds of cranking you need to look further back to the fuel pump, restricted filter, and just plain empty tank. Of course if the fuel was "old" other things can be gummy as well. This is where you spray the starting fluid into the air filter. Just a one second shot will confirm "attempting" to start versus no fuel at all. Sometimes things free up if you can get it to cough a few times.
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