Question about 1994 Acura Legend
Shut it off and an hour later it wouldn't start.
'Fires' implies that you have spark and fuel; I think you mean that it cranks with the starter.
Checking these separately is not difficult, you need to remove one spark plug lead and insert a screwdriver, then position the wire and the 'extension' so that the shank of the screwdriver is close to, but not touching some metal related to ground. This is about any exposed metal on the engine.
When cranking, during each revolution you should see a healthy blue spark between 1/4" to as much as an inch.
This tells you that the system supplying the high voltage is at least working.
Of course that alone doesn't tell you that each plug is getting spark but to do that, you would need to remove each plug wire from the plug in succession and test them individually.
Generally, if you have a single failed plug wire or plug, the engine will start but miss noticeably and it isn't not likely that all plugs and wires fail at the same time.
Checking the fuel supply depends a little on the delivery system. I think your car does have fuel injection so look for a fuel 'rail' that runs parallel to the engine. This is a length of pipe to which the injectors are attached and delivers gas to them. Most of the fuel rails will have a pressure relief valve on them that looks similar to a tire valve. After cranking for a few seconds, depressing the center pin should result in gasoline squirting from it. If it doesn't, you may have a failed fuel pump or a severely clogged inline filter. A bad fuel pump is more likely.
There are other points of failure such as a defective ignition switch but these will not normally fail instantly but become unreliable first.
When a recently run engine refuses to start, it is sometimes due to too much fuel in the cylinders (flooding) and this can cause plugs to fail to fire and can be alleviated by depressing the accelerator pedal completely to the floor and leaving it there; don't pump. This causes more air to enter the engine without causing additional fuel to flow and will, after cranking for 30-60 seconds, dry the plugs out and allow them to fire again.
The fuel pump in your car may be fused so I would check the fuse box for any visibly blown fuses too.
Posted on Nov 17, 2008
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