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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello everyone. First time really posting my own topic here so if it's similar to other topics, I apologize but I've noticed when I reply to those posts, I never really hear back from anyone. Anyway, I have a 2004 Pilot with 243290 miles on it. I haven't really had any major problems with it since I bought it a year or so ago until recently. I recently replaced the coolant passage gaskets and the coolant extension tube and o-rings, as well as flushed my coolant system. On top of that, I recently changed out the two o-rings in my power steering pump and drained and changed the fluid for that. I only state that because it's the last thing I did to the vehicle before these latest rounds of issues. Now, I'm not saying those actions have anything to do with the current problem but you never know.
On to the issue....last night I got a call from wife who had gone shopping with her sister saying the Pilot wouldn't start. The battery wasn't dead and the vehicle turned over but would not actually start running. I ended up having it towed home and left it overnight. Today, I went out and tried to start it and, to my surprise, it fired right up like nothing was wrong! Now, this is not the first time that has happened. In fact, it happened twice before now. Once when my wife was at the post office it would not start. Same thing...turned over but no start. After letting it sit for some time, it started up fine like it did with me today. Then, I took it to the gas station about a month after her first issue with it and it wouldn't start for me. Same thing...turned over, no start. I walked home and rode my bike back to where the car was a few hours later...started right up! That was the last time it did anything like that until today and those times were BEFORE I did the work I mentioned earlier (which is why I assume that has nothing to do with my problem).
What it did today was something new, however. I was able to crank it right up after letting it sit over night. I drove it to a few places and stopped the engine and cranked the engine with no issues. But then, after I dropped my stepdaughter off at the dentist, I was letting it idle in the parking lot and all of a sudden it started sputtering and shaking, the RPM dropped to like 200 and I finally shut it off. There was no check engine light during this issue. I let the car sit off for a few minutes then I tried to start it again. It would turn over fine but it would not crank. It tried to at first but then nothing. All of this makes me think it's the fuel system, specifically the fuel pump. Here is where I have a couple of questions. First, can I test the pump without the car running? In other words, if I turn the key to ON does the fuel pump pressurize the system then? Also, could it be something as simple as the fuel pressure regulator and not the pump? Or maybe a clogged strainer on the pump? I know I'm asking a lot here but I haven't got a ton of money to work with so I'm trying my hardest to not change things that don't need to be changed. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Intermittent starting problems are the worst. My two cents worth one. I have had several Hondas in the family that went more than 300k miles. Never had a fuel pump problem. Starting on the cheap I would consider the fuel pump relay if it has one. My element has several that are the same that can be switched around to trouble shoot or just buy another. Pretty cheap if I recall. Maybe a fuse. I would probably swap out the fuse just to be sure. Even though it’s not throwing a code I would but a good diagnostic Honda compatible meter on it. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Intermittent starting problems are the worst. My two cents worth one. I have had several Hondas in the family that went more than 300k miles. Never had a fuel pump problem. Starting on the cheap I would consider the fuel pump relay if it has one. My element has several that are the same that can be switched around to trouble shoot or just buy another. Pretty cheap if I recall. Maybe a fuse. I would probably swap out the fuse just to be sure. Even though it’s not throwing a code I would but a good diagnostic Honda compatible meter on it. Good luck.
I will give that a shot. Thanks for the advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So here's the latest:
I've had the Pilot sitting for a week now in my driveway. I didn't try to start it at all during that time. Today, I went out and swapped the fuel pump 15A fuse with a spare in the engine bay. The fuse didn't appear to be bad but the terminals were slightly charred looking. I tested the continuity on the old fuse and it tests fine. Maybe the fuse was loose? Maybe the pump is going out? I have no clue but the thing is running fine again. I drove it to the local gas station, turned it off, went inside, came back out and it cranked right back up. Then I let it sit for a couple of hours and went back out...started right up! I hate phantom problems. I can't trust the thing is fixed because it did the exact same thing before and left us stranded a little while later. I'm about ready to sell it.
 

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Typically a fuel pump works or it doesn't. I've never heard of one sometimes working and not other times, but you never know. Your fuel gauge working properly? Possibly dirty injector? I wish I could help, I don't know much about the fuel system on that. I have an 04 as well as a back up, but no issues luckily.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Okay, so after researching this for a while, I'm thinking it could be the Main Relay. Symptoms seem similar to that issue and it's under $70 to buy the relay so I think I'm going to try that. First, I'm going to attempt to test it if I can find any info on how. Will update if I find anything. This issue is really driving me crazy and I will solve it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Typically a fuel pump works or it doesn't. I've never heard of one sometimes working and not other times, but you never know. Your fuel gauge working properly? Possibly dirty injector? I wish I could help, I don't know much about the fuel system on that. I have an 04 as well as a back up, but no issues luckily.
I agree. The pump would either work or not work. I suspect what controls the pump...the main relay...is the culprit. Gonna see. Fingers crossed.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Final Update (I hope): I drove the Pilot until it finally died on me today. Fortunately I had the new main relay with me to test it. I pulled off the road, unplugged the old main relay and plugged in the new one and it started right up. Unless I have any more issues, I would say I finally found the culprit! Will update if I have to but, fingers crossed, this solved it!
 

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Great, hope that was it. (y)

For archival and paying-it-forward purposes, post the part number and a link to where you got it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Great, hope that was it. (y)

For archival and paying-it-forward purposes, post the part number and a link to where you got it.
Good call! Mitsuba Part Number:
39400-S84-003
Ordered from Amazon for quicker delivery but the cheapest is found at Conicelli Honda out of Conshohocken, PA. The direct link to the part there is: https://www.conicellihondaparts.com/oem-parts/honda-relay-assembly-main-mitsuba-39400s84003

If you're interested in Amazon, the link is: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BFDI2GK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 
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