1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

CRX Poll - ignition modules vs. main relays

Discussion in 'General Tech and Maintenance' started by dacheat, Jul 10, 2007.

have you had main relay or ignition module trouble?

  1. main relay

    3 vote(s)
    75.0%
  2. ignition module

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. both and it sux!

    1 vote(s)
    25.0%
  1. dacheat

    dacheat ..is grounded.

    Messages:
    4,216
    Likes Received:
    205
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Location:
    strongbadia
    before i say anything else, i'm curious how many other CRXers have had to replace the main relay or the ignition module in their ride? and if you have, how many times?

    my poll answer: my 89CRXSi went through two ignition modules and two main relays in 14 years (not bad, i guess...but it still feels chronic - read on). my new-to-me 91CRX has just impolitely asked for a new main relay two weeks after car purchase; not sure what its previous history included.

    sidenote: btw again, thanks to the tuner in AR (arimports forum find) that swapped relays for me with one of his project cars in his driveway back in 2004. you warned me it'd happen again...and again :) you knew your shit.

    why i'm writing this:
    i felt like there should be a thread somewhere that gives a heads up on what you can expect when either of these items is failing, because i'm about ready to have 2-3 on hand of each of these parts just waiting for the next time one flakes out, and my guess is there are a few other die-hard CRXers out there that feel the same way. for anyone trying to troubleshoot that hasn't heard of these issues, i hope this helps. for anyone this is new to, hope to save you lots of frustration and sparkie-yanking.

    main relay
    most recently, my 91CRX has decided that if it is parked in the sun on a 90+ day it won't send the signal to ignite...but give it some shade and it'll think about it; or a drop to 80 ambient+parked in sun and it's good to go again. that'd be the main relay. i saw another thread on here about another CRX that decided it was too cold to start and again the culprit was the main relay. my 89CRXSi didn't like the heat+humidity of arkansas summers and it wouldn't kick over on the muggiest days. then when i moved to ohio a couple years later, the replaced relay decided that the snow days sucked (i agreed) and it wouldn't kick over. good news on that one though: when i moved to minnesota the replacedx2 relay handled the extreme cold juuuuuust fine. in fact i pulled it from my now-wrecked 89 and swapped it into the 91 this evening.

    so net learned: if you live somewhere you can expect extreme temperatures or humidity and you drive a CRX, you will probably run into this 'car won't start but it did just fine yesterday' phenomenon eventually. and you will probably find yourself frustratingly stranded until the weather clears up or the sun goes down. so freaking weird, this one.

    ignition module
    ever had your rpms drop out on you when you're boogying down the highway? there's nothing like 78mph and 3400rpm and then your needle bounces down to zero for a second or two--and then back up like nothing happened--to stop your heart. you feel a little lurch in the giddyup, but you're not sure if it was just you freaking out or what, so you keep driving. or maybe the needle buries itself in the red--they do that, too. maybe 10 minutes later you get a little 200rpm fluctuation intermittently, and you think 'damn, i better check my plugs when i get home' because the only other thing you can think is 'wtf there is a gremlin in my car!'

    if you're reaaaallly lucky you'll figure out sooner than later that it's the ignition module causing the problem, and not your 4 little friends. i've replaced two of these (both on the 89CRXSi) and the first time it took about 4 months (and a crapload of other new parts) to figure out what the problem wasn't. it took a $500 tow+emergency service tech in Podunk, OK on a friday night in the middle of a roadtrip to educate me. it seems so obvious now.. the second time it didn't take more than 5 seconds to know i'd better order one asap.

    net learned: if you start experiencing what i like to call 'rpm oddness' or stalling, first check in on your sparks, 2nd, get a hold of a new ignition module. if you ignore the rpm fluctuations you will find that the ignition module will *not* sort itself out, but continues to fail more spectacularly over time and will eventually quit working and leave you stranded in Oklahoma. even if you're nowhere near Oklahoma. ;)

    to end: even the perfect car has its moments. just be prepared for them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2009
  2. humblegumbo

    humblegumbo 1595cc's of Mad Fury

    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    6
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    Huh. Thank god for beautifully constant SoCA weather...or complete lack thereof anyways. I've never had this issue in two years I've had my ride. Anyone else?

    Well, I have had minor fluc's while idling....but nothing even close to what you're describing. That would spook the piss out of me. When your needle dropped to zero and/or buried into the red, was your motor actually doing that or was it just the needle?

    I have had my tach do really bizarre stuff, but it turned out to be a loose connection and nothing more.
     
  3. dacheat

    dacheat ..is grounded.

    Messages:
    4,216
    Likes Received:
    205
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Location:
    strongbadia
    just the tach - thank god not the engine too. though it would do a little lurch each time the tach would flip out, like maybe the diff of 100rpm. felt like a bad tank of gas, except it was in conjunction with nightmare on tachometer.

    it did the -->0 thing about 6 times, and it only did the buried in the red thing twice. the rest of the time it was just those 100-200rpm hiccups. then came the end-all...the ignition module just gave the hell up and it was a steady decel to 0 fo-real (engine-accompanied, that time).

    the after-hours emergency mechanic popped a new one into my car and it was a smooth ride from there on out (til i hit ohio a couple of years later).

    i still blame oklahoma :D (kidding)

    i just hope enough people read about this so that word gets out that if this weirdness happens, your car isn't possessed by demons...just by a flaking ignition module.

    re:
     
  4. mxgx12

    mxgx12 New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Location:
    lancaster, CA
    If a main relay is bad, will it click? My car will not start except for one time out of 40. Ive been starting it by jumping the starter from the positive battery post. SO i know the starter and battery are good. I even changed my battery cables. Once I jump her, she runs fine, completely normal. I cant figure it out. I hear the main relay clicking though, so can it still be bad?
     
Verification:
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page