Testing to see if the fuel pump is defective on the 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001 2.0L Honda CR-V is not difficult.
You can test a no-fuel/no-start condition with starting fluid or a fuel pressure test gauge. The most accurate test of the two is the fuel pressure test with a fuel pressure test gauge.
In this tutorial I'll explain how to do both tests in a step-by-step way.
Contents of this tutorial at a glance:
Symptoms Of A Bad Fuel Pump
In the majority of cases when the fuel pump fails, in your 1997-2001 2.0L Honda CR-V, the engine won't start because it isn't receiving any gasoline.
In some cases the fuel pump still functions and the engine runs, but the fuel pump doesn't send enough fuel to the engine to keep it running optimally.
A fuel pump that isn't sending enough fuel to the fuel injectors will cause one or more of the following symptoms:
- Rough idle.
- Engine starts after extended cranking.
- Lack of power when accelerating the vehicle down the road.
- Back-fires thru' the intake manifold when accelerating your vehicle down the road.
- Lean air/fuel mixture trouble code: P0171: Fuel System Too Lean.
The cool thing is that both conditions can be easily tested with a fuel pressure test gauge.
TEST 1: Using Starting Fluid To Confirm Lack of Fuel
Starting fluid can be used to confirm that the engine isn't starting because it's not getting fuel from the fuel pump.
Although this is not the most accurate way to test your Honda CR-V's fuel pump, it still is a pretty effective test.
NOTE: Before you start this test, it's important that you make sure that all 4 cylinders are getting spark. You can easily accomplish this by using a spark tester to check for spark.
IMPORTANT: This is a very fast and easy test but you do have to take one very important safety precaution and this is to reconnect the air intake duct after spraying starting fluid down the throttle bore (although you don't have to fasten it). This will prevent any backfire, that might occur, from scaring the heck out of you when cranking the engine.
This is what you have to do:
Remove the intake air duct from the throttle body. You don't have to completely remove it, since you'll have to reconnect it in one of the next steps.
Open the throttle plate and spray starting fluid down the bore.
As a safety precaution reconnect the air duct after you have sprayed a good squirt of starting fluid (but you don't have to tighten the air duct's hose clamp).
Crank the engine once the air duct is back on and you're clear of the engine compartment.
You'll get one of two results with this test:
1.) The engine will start momentarily and after a few seconds will die or.
2.) The engine will only crank but not start at all.
Let's interpret your starting fluid test result means:
CASE 1: Your Honda CR-V's engine started and ran for a few seconds. This test result tells you that the no start problem is due to a lack of fuel.
Your next step is to check to see what the fuel pressure is with a fuel pressure test gauge. Go to: TEST 2: Checking Fuel Pressure With A Fuel Pressure Gauge.
CASE 2: The engine did not start, not even momentarily. This usually means that a lack of fuel IS NOT the reason your Honda CR-V is not starting.
Now, remember what I said about this test not being very accurate? Well, I suggest you do one more test and this is to check the fuel pressure with a fuel pressure test gauge. Go to: TEST 2: Checking Fuel Pressure With A Fuel Pressure Gauge.