How To Troubleshoot A No Start (Honda 2.2L, 2.3L)

No Start 1: Checking For Spark

The very first thing you need to do is check for spark and the presence of fuel. Both of these tests should be done simultaneously if possible. As mentioned before, usually one of them will be missing from the mix.

Testing the ignition system on your Honda isn't hard or difficult. I've written a tutorial that'll show you in a step-by-step manner and you can find it here: How To Test The Igniter, Ignition Coil Accord, Civic, CRV, and Odyssey (at:

The idea behind checking for spark is to see if all of the 4 engine cylinders are getting spark. Here are the most common causes of a no-spark result:

CASE 1: Spark was present in all of the cylinders. This result tells you three very important things: 1.) the crank sensors (there are 3 inside the distributor) are functioning correctly, 2.) the ignition control module (also known as the igniter) is OK, and 3.) the ignition coil is good. You don't have to spend any time testing them or any money replacing them.

Your next step is to verify fuel pressure. Go to: No Start 2: Checking Fuel.

CASE 2: Spark was NOT present in all of the cylinders. The next step is to make sure that you do have fuel pressure with a fuel pressure gauge just to make sure the fuel pump is not a secondary issue.

Now, with no spark in any of the engine cylinders, this what I would suggest:

  1. Check for spark directly on the ignition coil tower using a spark tester.
    • This is the best way to test the distributor cap. The distributor cap and rotor are infamous for causing no-spark no-start conditions.
    • If you do get spark coming out of the ignition coil tower, you now know beyond a shadow of a doubt the distributor cap and rotor must be replaced.
    • You can find a complete ignition system diagnostic procedure here: How To Test The Igniter, Ignition Coil Accord, Civic, CRV, and Odyssey (at:
  2. Test the ignition coil and ignition control module (igniter).
  3. Check that the timing belt is not broken.

No Start 2: Checking For Fuel

lack of fuel reaching the injectors is the other major and common cause of a no-start condition. The most common cause of this lack of fuel is an inoperative fuel pump.

The absolute best way to test the fuel pump is with a fuel pressure gauge, using any other method will probably have you wasting time and money (since you won't get an accurate test result you can trust). You can find the fuel pump test here: How To Test The Fuel Pump (Honda 2.2L, 2.3L).

When testing the fuel pump (with a fuel pressure gauge), you'll usually see one of two results:

CASE 1: Fuel pressure is at specification. Not only does this result tell you that the fuel pump is OK but that the following components, that supply the fuel pump with power, are OK too:

  • Fuel pump fuse.
  • Fuel pump relay (which is known as the Main Relay).

And so, there's no need to spend time testing them or money replacing them.

CASE 2: Fuel pressure is not present. This usually means that the pump has failed, but not always. I would recommend testing/checking the following before condemning the fuel pump:

  1. After verifying that no fuel pressure exists, check that the fuel pump is getting power by tapping into the power circuit that feeds the pump with 12 Volts with a multimeter.
  2. Once you're tapped in, have a helper crank the engine while you observe your multimeter in Volts DC mode. If voltage is present (12 Volts), then you have confirmed that the fuel pump fuse and fuel pump relay are working perfectly.
  3. Confirming power to the fuel pump (with a multimeter) also verifies that the fuel pump has failed and needs to be replaced.
  4. If no voltage is present, as your helper cranks the engine, then the cause of no-fuel condition is due to either a bad fuse, fuel pump relay (known as the Main Relay).

No Start 3: Checking Engine Mechanical Condition

One of the most overlooked areas, when testing a hard to diagnose no-start, is the mechanical condition of your 2.2L, 2.3L Honda vehicle.

Checking the engine mechanical condition means an engine compression test.

  1. When performing an engine compression test, what you're looking for is an average compression reading of NO LESS THAN 90 PSI across all or the majority of the engine cylinders.
  2. If you have one or just two readings that are under 90 PSI your Honda vehicle will still start and run, albeit with a misfire condition.
  3. I've written a ‘how to do a compression test’ article/tutorial that you may find useful. You can find it here: How To Test Engine Compression (Honda 2.2L, 2.3L).

Honda Vehicles:

  • Accord 2.2L, 2.3L
    • 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002
  • Odyssey (EX LX) 2.2L
    • 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998
  • Prelude 2.2L
    • 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996

Acura Vehicles:

  • CL 2.2L
    • 1997, 1998, 1999

Isuzu Vehicles:

  • Oasis 2.2L
    • 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999