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Car cuts off, then starts a little later


Contributing Member
1 October 2004
This happened to me three times in one week. Usually happens when the car is cold. The car would be going fine and just cut off. Then I try to start it again but it won't start. It turns over but won't start. Almost like it's not getting fuel. Then I let it sit couple of minutes, starts up fine. Anyone have this problem. I'm thinking fuel filter/pump/relay, something to do with fuel. If it's spark/ign, wouldn't it get flooded? Take a lot longer than few minutes to clear out?

97 all stock....
I've only had this happen once and it was on a track day. I was on a hard right turn with about a 1/4 tank or less of gas. It cutoff then flipped back on after a 1-2 second delay. I never did figure out the issue, but my guess is that the little bit of gas in the car sloshed over to the side and I hit fuel-cut.

If this is happening on regular streets for you, I would take a look at the fuel pump. It's possible that its about to go bad and when it doesn't pump fuel for a split second, your car is defaulting to a safe mode and applying a fuel cut.
I would also try the main relay like stated above. My 94 did the same as yours and left me stranded just last Saturday. I purchased a new relay Sunday morning and it was good to go. I was able to find one at Advanced Auto Parts. Good luck.
Main relay wouldnt make the car die? It would just cause it to not restart, which is the second issue.
I took it off and inspected it. It didn't have any visible cracks. There were couple that looked overheated. I touched up any suspicious ones. Will report back in a week. If nothing happens, hopefully it was the cause.
So far so good. It might just be my imagination but the response of the car feels tighter/crisper. Probably my my imagination. Placebo is a powerful thing.
I had the same symptoms. Replaced the main relay ($120 and real easy to replace), but it still did it. Replaced the ignition switch ($80 and not so easy), and now it works fine.
So far so good. No issues yet. It hasn't cut off on me once nor did it have any starting issues yet.
I believe this was the problem. Not a single false start yet. The main relay did not have any visible cracks/damages on the solder. I resoldered them anyways. I think it's just one of those parts that needs to be replace as a maintenance issue.
You did the right thing replacing the relay. That said, the cracks are not always visible to the naked eye and sometimes using an eye loupe show up as very fine "hairlines" in the solder. The best repair involves sucking off the old solder, some cleaning, and new flux/solder. Note that solder cracks on relay terminals is not just an NSX issue. I had the same problem on a relay in my wife's SLK.

As to Cap'n Carl's problem with the ignition switch, that's another recurring issue. I fixed mine with a simple disassembly and cleaning. Of course curling up under the dashboard to get at it would have been a lot easier if I was about a foot shorter. :tongue:

Do a search on Prime and you'll find lots of info on both the ignition switch and the main relay.

Glad to hear everyone is back on the road again!