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Trouble starting/turning over

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Old 02-01-2016, 08:48 PM   #1
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Trouble starting/turning over

Basically when starting the car it takes a while for the engine to turn over. I replaced the electric starter (was experiencing grinding at startup) and the grinding stopped along with the prolonged turnover before the engine started. The delayed starting issue started back up this am, after having the started fixed this past Friday. Below is the loooong version of it with all the details you'll need!

Ok here's the short and long of it. About 2 months ago I noticed the engine would on occasion take a few extra turn overs before the engine would start. 2 weeks ago the engine started to sound really rough right after it would start, like a full second of grinding as soon as the engine started. Everywhere I looked indicated a bad electric starter. So I swapped it out myself and the issue seemed to get worse. There was still a grinding right after start but now the engine began to take longer and longer to turn over.
I brought the car to PepBoys and they immediately stated it was a bad electric starter that I installed. They said the new one was not disengaging from the fly wheel. I asked if I had done anything wrong on the install (not that you really can) and they said no and also that you'd be surprised how many new electric starters are DOA! I left PepBoys with the new starter and everything worked....

This morning the car began to take a bit to turnover before starting again and by tonight it took a solid 4-5 seconds to turn over and start (no grinding though). Anyone have any ideas on what it could be??

I have a 2009 Acura TSX Auto w/Tech Pkg. The car has 107k miles on it. I have never replaced the spark plugs so I intend to do that tomorrow morning. The battery is only a year old and once the car starts I don't see any issues with performance, power or electrical problems. It's solely on start up!

Please Help!!!
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Old 02-02-2016, 07:52 AM   #2
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I'd go to Autozone or somewhere similar and have them test the battery (it's free and takes a few minutes). Even though the battery is a year old, doesn't mean it can be bad!
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Old 02-02-2016, 01:10 PM   #3
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I'd go to Autozone or somewhere similar and have them test the battery (it's free and takes a few minutes). Even though the battery is a year old, doesn't mean it can be bad!
Thanks for the pointer. No dice on the battery as it's currently at Pepboys again and the did a full diag with no results. As a matter of fact PepBoys said they couldn't reproduce the issue once at all and that it's starting right up and the car passed all their diag tests just fine. I told them it happens on cold starts mostly I guess so they are letting it sit for 1.5-2hrs then they'll try and start it again and see if the issue is reproduced. So annoyed at this point and puzzled!!

I changed the spark plugs and They were horrible, but it did nothing for the cars starting up. The best way I can describe the issue is when you try to crank up a carburetor engine (like my YJ Jeep Wrangler with it's inline 4.2L 6cyl) after it's been sitting for a month or two. This am, I had to at one point actually pump the gas pedal to get it to start. Once it's running everything is fine. It almost seems like it's not getting fuel or air. I have no idea.
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Old 02-02-2016, 01:16 PM   #4
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There we go sherlock!!! If you did that and it rectified the problem then stop checking the starter and battery. Check the fuel lines, injectors, and air filter!!
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Old 02-02-2016, 02:19 PM   #5
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I did check the air filter (K&N Dropin) and it's clean. Confirmed that it was all clear and I even looked at the throttle body and ran some brake stop cleaner that a friend recommended through it to make sure it was sticking or not opening fully.

Not really sure how to check the fuel lines or injectors but I mentioned it to PepBoys.
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Old 02-02-2016, 03:11 PM   #6
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The brake cleaner could have damaged any sensors... supposed to use Throttle Body cleaner that is advertised safe for sensors.
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Old 02-02-2016, 04:38 PM   #7
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The brake cleaner could have damaged any sensors... supposed to use Throttle Body cleaner that is advertised safe for sensors.
Hmmm he said what he gave me was safe and I put sprayed it on a rag then tried to clean a bit. I'd say it's safe to say there wasn't any damage as it's still doing what it did before and nothing new has shown up. But that's good to know, did a quick search and see that it's not recommended for a few reasons, thanks for the heads up!
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Old 02-03-2016, 08:03 AM   #8
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Hmmm he said what he gave me was safe and I put sprayed it on a rag then tried to clean a bit. I'd say it's safe to say there wasn't any damage as it's still doing what it did before and nothing new has shown up. But that's good to know, did a quick search and see that it's not recommended for a few reasons, thanks for the heads up!

Was the new starter aftermarket or OEM?
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Old 02-03-2016, 09:28 AM   #9
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I looked into this last night... Starter #1 from AutoZone was a remanufactured starter. The one Pepboys installed was new.
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Old 02-03-2016, 01:58 PM   #10
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I've mentioned this in a couple other threads, but here is my ...

I've had issues with my car (2009 non-tech AT) taking a while to start. Like needing to turn over 15-20 times before.

Out of habit I now wait until the check engine light turns off before I start the car. It goes off after about 10 seconds I suppose. I have been told once the check engine light is off the fuel pump is ready, but even if that isn't the case, waiting has resulted in never seeing the issue again.

tl;dr: wait until the check engine light turns off before trying to start
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:55 AM   #11
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I've mentioned this in a couple other threads, but here is my ...

I've had issues with my car (2009 non-tech AT) taking a while to start. Like needing to turn over 15-20 times before.

Out of habit I now wait until the check engine light turns off before I start the car. It goes off after about 10 seconds I suppose. I have been told once the check engine light is off the fuel pump is ready, but even if that isn't the case, waiting has resulted in never seeing the issue again.

tl;dr: wait until the check engine light turns off before trying to start
Wow, so my car was already at Acura yesterday when you posted this so I couldn't try it however Acura called me this am and told me that exact thing. They said that indicates it's a fuel pump issue and that it's most likely slowly going bad since it's taking longer to prime up instead of an instant ready like it should be.

They quoted me $700 out the door for the pump/install and I feel like that's pretty high considering the DIY instructions I've found for swapping a fuel pump out look incredibly easy. Less than 1hr of a noob like me.

Anyone have thoughts on a DIY replacement fuel pump for my car? I'm looking on autozone and I see 3 different options for a fuel pump so I'm not sure which to get or if I should check anywhere else for a fuel pump. Thanks!
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Old 02-04-2016, 11:09 AM   #12
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I see two models for $221 each on Autozone. Looks like one has an internal fuel strainer and one doesn't, among the differences. Any suggestions on which to get?

Delphi/Fuel Pump DFG0912 - Read Reviews on Delphi #DFG0912

Spectra Premium/Fuel Pump D8005M - Read Reviews on Spectra Premium #D8005M
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Old 02-04-2016, 11:13 AM   #13
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Rockauto has the DELPHI unit for only $155 if you can wait out the shipping. Not sure if it comes with a filter tho. Might as well replace it with new while you're at it.
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Old 02-04-2016, 11:30 AM   #14
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Rockauto has the DELPHI unit for only $155 if you can wait out the shipping. Not sure if it comes with a filter tho. Might as well replace it with new while you're at it.
Way better prices, glad I asked. Any reason not to get the Spectra model that is only $125.89? That's the same model as the other one on Autozone I posted. They also have an Airtex pump for $159.79. The only thing I can't figure out is if the Airtex model comes with more "stuff" than the Spectra model, meaning I'll have to buy more than just the fuel pump and filter.
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Old 02-04-2016, 11:37 AM   #15
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One more question, do I even really need to buy a fuel filter pump or can I use the old one? I'm reading posts that say just reuse the one in there.
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Old 02-05-2016, 03:25 PM   #16
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See what comes with the kit? The filter I'm mentioning is the little mesh floaty thing at the bottom of the pick up.
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Old 02-06-2016, 11:48 AM   #17
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I would definitely replace the filter.

Good mechanic could tell you if the pump is bad, or the filter is plugged. A pressure test while running should do it. I believe a plugged filter will slowly get to pressure, but a bad pump never will.
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Old 02-06-2016, 09:09 PM   #18
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Did they tell you how long it should take to prime, as in, how long the CEL should stay illuminated?

Also, where are the DIY instructions you've seen?
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Old 02-15-2016, 05:18 PM   #19
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To any interested parties still following...
Sorry for the delay, I was out of town for a bit. I purchased the Airtex fuel pump assembly from Rock Auto for $159 and I think it was around $175 after tax and shipping. The pump came with everything including the fuel filter (Thanks urlblitzer). I've replaced the fuel pump and guess what... It's still NOT fixed!!! I let the Acura service rep know bc he was interested in the outcome. Total mystery what it could be. I don't care anymore because tomorrow I'm picking up my new 2016 Honda Accord Touring! I decided to heck with this. I don't want to sink in more time or money. Acura wanted $700-ish to do the fuel pump and it ended up not being that so I'm glad I did it myself.

t3hhcaptain: Nope they did not say how long it should take to prime. All Acura service dept. said was that it's dying bc it's not "instant". It's hit or miss when I turn the car to ACC and wait for the engine light to shut off for whether or not it has problems starting. Here's the instructions I found which were for a first gen TSX: DIY fuel pump install. - Acura TSX Forum

RTM: Acura Service did the pressure tests and they determined it was a fuel pump slowly going bad bc it loses pressure when starting up. Any other point they said the fuel system runs flawless. No issues with pressure, flow, nozzles etc
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Old 02-22-2016, 10:27 AM   #20
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This morning I had the issue again, even after following my own advice. Interestingly, I have discovered that giving it a little gas with the accelerator will make it start.
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:50 AM   #21
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That's not good at all. I also thought that giving it some gas while starting helped but I had two Acura techs tell me NOT to do that under any circumstances. The way they said it I feel pretty stupid about doing it so I didn't bother to ask why it was so bad. Maybe it relates to flooding or something but I don't know!
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Old 02-23-2016, 06:41 AM   #22
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I do all kinds of things the boys at my local Acura dealer would gripe about.

Did they give any indication to what else could be causing the problem if not the fuel pump?

Anyone else have any possible diagnoses?
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Old 02-23-2016, 06:44 AM   #23
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Also, to clarify, I gave it gas this time because the starter was going but the car wasn't starting. The instant I gave it some gas it started.
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Old 02-23-2016, 06:51 AM   #24
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Also, to clarify, I gave it gas this time because the starter was going but the car wasn't starting. The instant I gave it some gas it started.
Apparently you and I both do. Nope, they said they were 95% positive that was the issue and if it wasn't then they'd have to go back to the beginning. I asked specifically "What if it isn't the fuel pump since you're so sure", and the two mechanics that stood there one of which being their senior mechanic said simply "I have no idea". They had my car for two full days and they said they'd never heard or seen this issue.
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Old 02-23-2016, 10:11 AM   #25
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Did it happen to you after short trips, or before the car had an opportunity to warm up?

It seems to happen to me after short trips. I know a lot of Hondas over the years have had issues with not starting after short trips, and it was related to the fuel pump relay.
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Old 02-23-2016, 11:59 AM   #26
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I will say that I noticed after a "long" drive (i.e. 35min highway drive to work) it would have a better chance of starting normally than if it sat and cooled. The worst starts were definitely if the car had been sitting off for a bit.
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Old 02-23-2016, 12:40 PM   #27
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I went ahead and ordered a new fuel pump relay. I will keep everyone updated. The problem is pretty intermittent.

Sometimes, when idling in drive (like at a red light/stop sign), the rpms will dip and the engine will kind of sputter. I can not determine if this is caused by the air running or if it is a fuel issue.

At any rate, I will let you know what develops.
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Old 03-04-2016, 08:06 PM   #28
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I received the relay and replaced 1 week ago (26th). So far the issue hasn't occurred with the new relay. The CEL seems to turn off quicker too, but that might just be psychological.

I've had a few instances where the conditions seemed right for the issue to happen, but it hasn't yet, knock on wood.

Will continue to update.
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Old 03-04-2016, 10:37 PM   #29
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Wow, that's some interesting info... How much was the relay? Your standard $10-15? I wonder if the issue with my Acura was simply the relay as well. Glad to here (knock on wood) that your issue might be solved!
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Old 03-04-2016, 10:47 PM   #30
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It's about $40 and 15 minutes to replace, though the location is a pain.

I'll continue to monitor the situation and see if it occurs. Bad fuel relays have been in Hondas for years now. I personally wouldn't be surprised if that carried into these.
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Old 03-30-2016, 10:24 AM   #31
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Update: Still no issues starting. Have had several situations where the conditions were optimal for it to not start.

I did notice that the relay that was already there was not the DENSO replacement that I ordered from Acura. Could have been a cheapie... Dunno.
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Old 04-15-2016, 05:26 AM   #32
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Still issue free. I'm going to call it and say replacing the relay fixed my issue.
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Old 04-15-2016, 05:30 AM   #33
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That's not good at all. I also thought that giving it some gas while starting helped but I had two Acura techs tell me NOT to do that under any circumstances. The way they said it I feel pretty stupid about doing it so I didn't bother to ask why it was so bad. Maybe it relates to flooding or something but I don't know!
Turns out those techs are full of it. The owners manual states to give half throttle if the vehicle wont start after normal attempts. Full throttle if half doesn't work. It is probably indicative of an issue, but either way, its in the manual.
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Old 03-19-2017, 10:47 PM   #34
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Hello all, latecomer to this thread after a bit over 1 year, but I've been experiencing almost exactly the same symptoms lately.

-Intermittent issue, usually on cold morning starts, starter cranks normally for a long time but engine doesn't catch
-happened rarely in years past but becoming more frequent lately
-second attempt usually works
-when cranking hard, stepping on gas pedal a bit seems to help it start
-after starting during these episodes, engine would sputter for a bit before running normally
​​​​​​-fresh battery replaced last month
-once engine runs, all operations including under hard acceleration is still smooth (possibly indicating good fuel pump and unclogged filter

It seems that we left this thread off last year, where the culprit seemed to be a bad fuel pump relay, and replacing that seemed to do the trick. Has anyone else experienced this recently, and has the relay replacement fix proved to be permanent?

thanks in advance to all the collective brains and experience on this forum.
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Old 03-20-2017, 03:42 PM   #35
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This is going to sound really unscientific, anecdotal, and like a steaming pile of horse dooty... but, between replacing the fuel pump relay and running a metric ton of fuel cleaner (bg 44k, lucas) through my system I have had no more starting issues (knock on wood). I used to get a CEL about fuel tank pressure system and warning that fuel tank was open, and that went away with the fuel cleaning. All I can loosely guesstimate here is that, if midwest fuel is really as bad as they say it is (non-top tier fuel, like from joe blows gas station), the fuel sensor must have been sticking. I don't know why for sure the starting issue went away, but it has.

\_(ツ)_/
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