No Start 3: Checking Engine Mechanical Condition

The biggest engine mechanical cause of a cranks but does not start condition on your 3.0L Honda Accord is a broken timing belt. The other is a blown head gasket or a blown engine. All of these conditions can be diagnosed by doing an engine compression test.

Here are some specific tips:

  1. When performing an engine compression test, what you're looking for is an average compression reading of NO LESS THAN 120 PSI across all or the majority of the engine cylinders (although 120 PSI is a pretty low compression value, the engine will still start and run although it'll idle very rough).
  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. The following tutorial will help you do a compression test:
    1. How To Test Engine Compression (Honda 3.0L).
  4. NOTE: A broken timing belt will cause all 6 cylinders to output 0 PSI compression.

No Start Summary

By this point, in this tutorial, you now know that the cranks but does not start condition of your 3.0L equipped Honda is due to a lack of one of the following:

  1. Spark.
  2. Fuel.
  3. Air (from a lack of cylinder compression).

Also, you've found out that you can verify if these things are missing or not. To be more specific, you can: test for spark you can test the fuel pump (fuel pressure), and you can test the engine compression.

Thankfully, all of these things can be tested with simple tools. And this leads me to the next talking point.

To check the basics, you need tools. There's just no way around it. One of the analogies that I've always enjoyed repeating, about doing a job without the right tools is like trying to eat a bowl of soup with a fork.

So besides knowing what to test, you need tools to do those tests. You don't have to spend an arm and a leg, since you can buy a lot of diagnostics tools that are tailored for the pocket-books of the serious do-it-yourself-er. Here are some of the basic tools you'll need:

  1. Fuel pressure gauge.
  2. Spark tester.
  3. Compression gauge.
  4. Multimeter.

Most of these tools you can buy or rent for free (after you leave a cash deposit which you'll get back when you return the tool) at your local auto parts store (mainly AutoZone and O'Reilly Auto Parts). Or, if you want to save some bucks, you can buy them online.

Related Test Articles

You can find a complete list of articles here: Honda 3.0L Index Of Articles. Below, is a sample of articles you'll find in this index of articles:

  1. How To Test The Starter Motor (Honda 3.0L).
  2. How To Test Engine Compression (Honda 3.0L).
  3. How To Test The Coil on Plug Ignition Coil (Honda 3.0L) (at:
  4. The Basics Of Crank And Cam Sensors And How To Test Them (at:
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Honda Vehicles:

  • Accord 2.7L, 3.0L
    • 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003
  • Odyssey 3.0L
    • 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003

Acura Vehicles:

  • CL 3.0L
    • 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003
  • TL 3.0L
    • 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003