FUEL PUMP TEST 2: Fuel Pressure Gauge Test
This test is for the serious do-it-yourself'er, since it involves using a professional level fuel pressure gauge. Using a fuel pressure gauge guarantees an accurate result.
Now, in case you don't own a fuel pressure gauge that has the adapter needed for your Honda Accord (or Odyssey or Prelude), you can check out some of my recommendations on which fuel pressure gauge set to buy and where to buy it: Which And Where To Buy A Fuel Pressure Gauge.
These are the test steps:
On the fuel rail, you'll find the place where a fuel pressure gauge adapter fitting can be installed. Look at the photo in the image viewer and you'll see that.
Screw in the appropriate adapter from your selection of brass fittings in your fuel pressure gauge set.
Connect the fuel pressure gauge to this fitting.
Have your helper crank the car while you observe the fuel pressure gauge.
You're going to get one of two possible results, and they are:
1.) The fuel pressure gauge will register 30 PSI, or
2.) The fuel pressure gauge will register 0 PSI.
OK, now that the testing part is done, let's take a look at what your results mean:
CASE 1: Your fuel pressure gauge indicated 0 PSI. This confirms that the fuel pump is not activating and supplying fuel to the fuel Injectors.
Now, what I have always done (since I always want to be absolutely sure about my diagnostic and this is my suggestion to you too) is to have someone crank the car while I check the fuel pump is getting power (12 Volts) with a multimeter.
The fuel pump on these Honda's can be reached thru' an access hole in the back of the car and the wiring that goes to it too. This is where I tap into the circuit that delivers the juice to the fuel pump. If when the car is cranking, and 12 Volts are present, then I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I can replace the fuel pump and this will solve the no-start due to a lack of fuel condition.
CASE 2: The fuel pressure gauge registered 35 PSI while the engine was cranking. This test result lets you know that the fuel pump is working and is delivering enough fuel to the fuel injectors.
This result has also eliminated the fuel pump as the cause of your Honda's no-start condition. Now, since your Honda is still not starting, I suggest you test a couple of other things, such as the ignition system, timing belt, etc. You can find these specific ‘how-to’ tutorials I've written under the heading Related Articles at the end of this article.
Which And Where To Buy A Fuel Pressure Gauge
What surprises a lot of serious Do-it-Yourself-er's is that yes you can buy a fuel pressure gauge to accurately measure the fuel pump pressure on your Honda Accord (or Odyssey or Prelude or Isuzu Oasis).
Their price (usually around $200 -US) is an investment that really pays for itself when you consider that you are performing a top notch diagnostic of the fuel system with it. To put it into perspective, think about how much you would spend to take your Honda to the auto repair shop, have it diagnosed and then repaired and you'll see that having the right tools to do it yourself becomes a money-saver.
Not only that, the fuel pressure gauge set that has the adapter fittings, to tap into the Honda fuel system, will also have all of the adaptor fittings for most of the Asian and Domestic (USA) vehicles on the road today. So, if you have another car, that is made by someone else (like a Ford, a Toyota), you'll have the fittings to check the fuel pressure on those cars too.
Unfortunately (or maybe this is a good things since it would cost a whole lot more), you can't buy a professional level fuel pressure gauge set from your local auto parts store (unless you special order it). So, if you have to wait several days for it, the best thing to do and which will save you money, is to buy it online.
The OTC 6552 Import Fuel Injection Kit only has the adapters for Asian (and the older CIS & CISE German Fuel Injection Systems -which you will NEVER see -this is dumb-ass German fuel injection technology from the 1980's - I've been working on cars that long!). So if your only concern is Asian (Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi, etc.) vehicles, this is the set for you.
The OTC 6550 Master Fuel Injection Kit will have the adaptors for Asian and Domestic (USA) vehicles. So, if you work on cars for a living and you work on a variety of makes and models, this is the fuel pressure gauge set that you need to have in your tool box. And of course, this set only costs a couple more bucks than the OTC 6552
Since both of the sets above are professional grade technician tools, you can buy most of the components, that make up the set, separately. This comes in handy, because you're able to buy whatever fitting you lose or gets damaged. Also, and probably the last consideration, is that this is an OTC tool, and OTC has been around for a long, long time and makes a ton of automotive specialty tools known for quality.
Related Test Articles
I have written several specific 2.2L and 2.3L Honda testing and troubleshooting articles that may be of further help. You can find the ones that are located here, at this site, by going to the Honda 2.2L, 2.3L Index Of Articles.
Here's a sample of the tutorials you'll find in the Honda 2.2L, 2.3L Index:
- How To Troubleshoot A No Start (Honda 2.2L, 2.3L).
- How To Test A Misfire Condition (Honda 2.2L, 2.3L).
- How To Test For A Bad Fuel Injector (Honda 2.2L, 2.3L).
- How To Test The Igniter, Ignition Coil, Spark Plug Wires, Distributor Cap (at: easyautodiagnostics.com).
If this info saved the day, buy me a beer!