No Start | Honda CRV 

🚗 2008 Honda CRV

  • Car came in with a crank-but-no-start condition.
  • A customer has bought it like this from the auction, so no history is available.


🩺 Diagnosis

  • Security light was off, indicating that it’s not a security-related issue.
  • First thing I always do is to check for trouble codes.
    • No codes were present or stored in the Engine or Transmission ECUs.
  • Timing? Air Supply? Fuel Supply? Compression? …
  • Decided to test for fuel-related issues first, since it’s the quickest test to perform.
    • Sprayed some starter fluid on the air filter, and the car started right up. So, it’s definitely a fuel-related issue.
  • Next, I checked for a 12V and a good ground at the fuel pump connector.
    • Both checked out ok.
    • Note that with ignition turned on, the fuel pump is supposed to be energized only for the first 2 seconds to pressurize the fuel system for a quick start. And, of course, it should be energized continuously during cranking or with the engine running.
  • Fuel pressure? Tested out within specs, 50psi.
  • Fuel Injectors? Checked for a constant B+ and a pulsing ground during cranking – all good.
  • Hmm… This is when my coworker noticed that when we disconnected the fuel lines for the fuel pressure testing, the fuel that we saw looked and felt weird.
    • He suggested energizing the fuel pump and pouring fuel in the transparent jar to see what it will look like.
    • Here is what we found:

Contaminated Fuel. Shows that there is a lot of water in the tank.


Just for fun we also performed a styrofoam cup test.

Only the top portion of it has been starting to dissolve, indicating that only that portion has been in contact with the gasoline, not the middle or a bottom part.

A Styrofoam Cup Test. Checks the quality of gasoline.

That explained a lot, except how the fuel got contaminated (vandalism?).

Drained the tank. Filled it with fuel.

Car started right up, quickly burning leftover water from the fuel lines and cylinder walls.

Job done.

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