How do I remove the fuel pump relay from its socket? - Drive Accord Honda Forums |
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-26-2009, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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How do I remove the fuel pump relay from its socket?

'87 Accord DX

For the life of me I can not figure out how to get the fuel pump cut-off relay out of its socket! Is there something I have to squeeze? or pry out? It is in such an awkward location!

I can see what look like two tabs on the side of the relay. I have tried squeezing the tabs and I have tried prying the tabs out. The relay feels "loose" in the socket but something (tabs?) are keeping me from pulling it out.

I replaced the fuel pump a few weeks ago because the car began to die on occasion. The car has run fine until last evening. I noticed that when I turned the key on I did not hear the pump running. The old pump was encased in plastic and you could not really hear it when you turned on the key. The new pump is not encased in plastic and you can hear it buzzing in the tank when you turn the key on. I towed the car home.

This morning I turned the key on and heard the pump. The car started fine and has been running well for a number of miles.

I suspect I need to replace the Fuel Pump Cut-off Relay but I can not remove it! I've tried prying on it a bit but it is not budging and I do not want to break anything. Is there something I need to squeeze? or pry out? anybody know the secret?

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post #2 of 8 Old 04-26-2009, 01:30 PM

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I believe you are talking about the "Main System Relay" located underneath the driver's side of the dash. It is a real PITA to remove and replace the "MSR!" But also extremely critical to engine operation!

These particular relays are problematic on the older cars. Interior heat, especially during the Summer, eventually causes them to malfunction else fail. Due to some past vendor issues, many of them have defective solder joints on the top of the PCB (printed circuit board)....even brand new! (If you take one apart; you'll see what I am talking about.) Needless to say, if the "MSR" malfunctions, you are likely getting a tow truck....else stranded, at the mercy of the Jungle.

Typical symptoms exhibited in the case of a defective "MSR" are: During the Winter, once the interior is heated (by the heater), the car will have intermittant starting and re-starting problems. During the Summer, when the interior of the car is extremely hot, the car may not start at all. Else you start it up, drive somewhere, shut it off, but then it won't restart.

Removing the coinpocket/fuse panel cover assembly, it is attached to the left bulkhead with a tanged bracket, using a single (6MM) bolt. Doing it the HARD way, I used a bizarre combination of extensions, adapters, and a swivel to (finally) get a 1/4" 10 MM socket on the bolt, then drop the entire unit down. Reinstalling said (6MM) bolt, while holding the new "MSR" in place is the tricky part. You need to be a contortionist, able to do things in "Braille!"

Hint/suggestion: When reinstalling the bolt, use a magnet (else a small piece of Duct tape) inside the socket to hold the bolt. That way, it won't fall out of the socket, instantly vanishing into the kick panel. Also, apply a drop of oil to the tip of the bolt to help the "starter" threads. I was able to get one hand through the dash opening to hold the relay while I used my other hand to install the bolt. The tab on the relay bracket, of course, should be indexed with the hole in the bulkhead.

My mechanic "buds" at the dealer? They use a couple of LONG, thin flatblade screwdrivers on each "end tab," then gently pull the unit out of the plastic housing. You may care to try their method, exercising extreme caution.

I had to replace the "MSR" in my trusty '86 a couple of years ago. Being old, slow, with poor vision (and always in pain), the job took me about a 1.25 hours (One hour, 15 minutes).

My heart goes out to you, Sir! It's an evil task, but also a necessary one!

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post #3 of 8 Old 04-26-2009, 06:11 PM
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Lots of people don't even bolt the new one back in.

1989 Honda Accord LX:
167,5xx miles
Rear disk brakes
City: 24mpg
Highway: 37mpg
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-26-2009, 07:56 PM

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Quite true. Many simply hang it from a wiring harness (or wherever) using a cable tie!
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-17-2011, 07:30 PM
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Accord V6 2001 Honda fuel pump MSR Main System Relay

I am having the exact same issue with my 2001 Accord. I got it started by hitting the relay while turning the key. That was a contortionist move, by the way.

The relay is located on the left side of the steering column, under the dash. Is it worth it to just resolder the solder joints?

Main question is: Is this relay a dealer-only item? Or would an LAP store have it? (LAP=Local Auto Parts).

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post #6 of 8 Old 07-23-2011, 06:14 AM
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fuel pump relay

Try Rockauto.....I got mine half price
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-23-2011, 11:40 AM
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fuel pump relay

I replaced mine today on a 2001 honda accord 2.3 vtech (272K). Very awkward position, but got it done. I used an AIRTEX 1R1455 relay.

Here's how I did it:

I reclined and moved back the front driver seat to give me more room and raised the steering wheel.

Squeezed the tab on the connector and removed the plug from the old relay.

Plugged in the new relay and tested it to make sure the car would start. It did. Then I contemplated using zip ties to secure it under the dash, super glue it to the side of the old relay or use electrical tape to secure it.

Ultimately, I decided to remove the old relay from its bracket/holder and install the new module there properly.

Removing the old relay from the bracket was a little challenging. Finally, I decided to slide a flat head screwdriver between the relay and the holder. I used a relatively stout screwdriver to do this. Once it was inserted in between the relay and the holder, I twisted the screwdriver to snap the tab on the relay. It fell out of the holder and that was that.

I disconnected the plug from the new relay (connected to test earlier). Make sure to depress the tab on the plug to remove it.

To install, take the relay and put it at the top of the metal bracket. Slide it down the metal using the plastic tabs on the relay to hold on to the metal bracket. NOTE: The relay I used had two sets of tabs on different sides of the relay, I assume for different mounting brackets.

Reinstall the plug in the new relay. Make sure you leave as little twist in the plug wire as possible ( I know its common sense --less stress on the connections).

Hope this was helpful.
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post #8 of 8 Old 07-23-2014, 05:03 PM
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This was the most helpful info I've found, thanks a lot.
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