Car won't start

 

I need help from my POI factory friends. I'm having a no crank no start car problem. It's a year 2000 Honda Accord. Here's the detailed info:

I put my car key in crank position to start the engine. It starts fine and the engine runs without any problem. Less than 1 minute later, I thought I heard unusual noise. I wasn't sure so I switched the engine off and leave it off for 5 to 10 seconds. After that, I tried to start the car again but this time the engine doesn't even crank. I heard 1 click and the lights dimmed. That's it. I can't start the engine.

I've gone thru the following troubleshooting:

- multimeter shows 12.4 to 12.6 volt on the battery
- jump starting the car battery. I tried this with 2 different cars (not at the same time) but neither helps.
- tapping the starter with a hammer
- engine oil level is good
- fuses are good

None of the above makes a difference. I don't hear anymore clicks after a few attempts. This time lights dimmed but I hear no other sound.

I tap the starter a few more times with a hammer. Then I tried to start the engine again. I can hear 1 click (that 1 click sound from the starter is back) but engine won't crank. After a few more attempts, no more click.

It's weird that the car started fine a few seconds before it died completely for no reason. What could be the problem here? I highly doubt battery is the problem.

d-moo70

Is a seasoned automotive technician at Ford & I'd ask him his opinion/advice/thoughts concerning the problem.

--
Nüvi 255WT with nüMaps Lifetime North America born on 602117815 / Nüvi 3597LMTHD born on 805972514 / I love Friday’s except when I’m on holidays ~ canuk

Thank you very much. I know

Thank you very much. I know there are some great car mechanics at POI factory.

The battery is discharged

The battery is discharged but this may not be the only problem. Get a battery charger and charge the battery for 4 to 5 hours. (Sounds like Garmin wall charger instructions!) If the battery is useable, the car will start.

How old is the battery? If it is 4 years old or more, buy a new one. Get the best battery available - not the cheap one.

Why is the battery discharged? The alternator could not really be charging, or worse, a diode is shorted, which will quickly drain the battery whether the engine is running or stopped. If a diode is shorted, the car won't start.

If the alternator is no good it could discharge your brand new battery! The best way to fix it is to tow it to a reputable shop and they can test the alternator before replacing the battery.

dobs108 smile

off the cuff of my shirt

While you didn't specify if you have a 4 or 6 cylinder engine, and it shouldn't really matter other than to make sure you received the correct part...

Your description sounds almost like a starter solenoid.

I'm not sure where it is on your model, but normally you would want to test the voltages at the solenoid terminals as you attempt to crank the car.

You might ask here http://www.justanswer.com/honda

--
Never argue with a pig. It makes you look foolish and it anoys the hell out of the pig!

Car won't start

Buy a new battery and than take the car to to a good mechanic. Problem solve. If you are not a mechanic don't try to trouble shoot the problem, not worth it.

--
3790LMT; 2595LMT; 3590LMT, 60LMTHD

Battery ???

If he tried starting the car with jumper cables and it will not start, buying another battery will not solve anything except lighten his wallet!!
12.4 or 12.6 volt is the voltage on an idle battery, so that seems to be OK.
A bad solenoid usually shows up with a fairly loud clicking sound.

--
Nuvi 350 long gone, Nuvi 855LMT, Nuvi 2797LMT, DriveSmart 50 LMT-HD, 3790LMT now my daughters. Using Windows 10. DashCam A108C with GPS.

many fords

canuk wrote:

Is a seasoned automotive technician at Ford & I'd ask him his opinion/advice/thoughts concerning the problem.

In the past, many Fords have had starters that click and do not crank.

dobs108 smile

I agree

I agree with Melaqueman. What type of "strange noise" did you hear?

--
Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 51LMT-S, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

Yeah, but it's a Honda

dobs108 wrote:

In the past, many Fords have had starters that click and do not crank.

dobs108 smile

Yeah, but chewbaca's Honda Accord that won't start. To my untrained eye, it sounds like the starter died.

Phil

--
Phil in Mentor, Ohio -- Garmin Nuvi 1450

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dobs108 wrote:

The battery is discharged but this may not be the only problem.

If that's the case, jump starting should've solved it but it did nothing.

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BarneyBadass wrote:

While you didn't specify if you have a 4 or 6 cylinder engine, and it shouldn't really matter other than to make sure you received the correct part...

Your description sounds almost like a starter solenoid.

I'm not sure where it is on your model, but normally you would want to test the voltages at the solenoid terminals as you attempt to crank the car.

You might ask here http://www.justanswer.com/honda

I'll ask them later. Thanks. It's a 4 cyl automatic trans.

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alandb wrote:

I agree with Melaqueman. What type of "strange noise" did you hear?

Me too. High pitch noise but it's still there after I shut off the engine so it's not my car.

.

Double post

battery or its connections

chewbacca wrote:

I heard 1 click and the lights dimmed.

This is the key. It's either the battery or its terminals or the connections at the other end of these cables. If the old battery takes a charge, remove and clean the battery terminals as well as the large wire going to the starter and the large black wire going to the engine block.

dobs108 smile

16 year old car

Is there must rust/corrosion anywhere? I wonder about a bad ground. Maybe running a jumper from the ground terminal on the battery to a good solid ground near the starter. If that works, then maybe look to a new ground cable from the battery to the freshly cleaned spot on the frame/body/whatever.

I'm just trying to think how Click & Clack would handle it.

A battery/alternator test is easy and cheap isn't it? Worth a try too.

Electronics.

I don't know anything about Honda's, but it sounds to me like an electronics (ignition system) failure. One thing I might try (just for diagnostic purpose, if it isn't too hard to get at) is to use jumper cables to temporarily "hot wire" the starter to see if the starter engages and turns the engine.

In any case, it is probably going to take a mechanic with the appropriate diagnostic tools to isolate the cause.

--
Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 51LMT-S, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

how old is the battery?

How old is the battery?

Lights Dim?

This is usually a classic problem with corroded battery terminals. The lead oxide between the post and the terminal causes a "High Resistance" connection. When the current increases (such as trying to start the engine) the connection heats up and the resistance increases enough to almost be an "Open" connection. That's why the lights "Dim".

Important note!!! Disconnect the "Negative" terminal First and being sure that the terminal is not touching the battery post, then disconnect the "Positive" terminal. This will ensure that "Sparks" don't fly, should you accidently make contact with the body when disconnecting the Positive terminal. Batteries create Hydrogen Gas during the Charge or discharge mode and have been known to explode when a spark is created near the battery's vent.

After carefully removing the terminals, clean the inside of the cable's terminal with a wire brush, Also clean the battery posts with a wire brush. Reconnect the terminals by connecting the Positive first (and tightening the clamping bolt). Then connect and tighten the Negative terminal. Don't know how many hundreds of time I have done this while working on vehicles in the last 55+ years.

Don't laugh, but in a pinch, you can use Coca-Cola to clean the surfaces. Many old time mechanics know this.

Also, after re-connecting the battery, you may experience loss of memory in the radio or the car may run rough or have poor power (Fuel Injection has to re-learn setting for emissions and other data). Any thing in the vehicle may act differently if it uses "Volatile" memory (doesn't retain stored data). Newer vehicles use "Non-Volatile" memory (Data remains when power removed) when needed.

--
Metricman Nuvi 660, GTM-20 Traffic Receiver Nuvi 3597 GTM-60 Traffic Receiver Williamsburg, VA

Suggestion

Long ago when I was young, I remember using jumper cables that took forever to get a dead battery started. The cables were just not heavy enough to transfer the needed current. Hope that was not the case here.

I have purchased for every one of my family's cars what I call a "battery pack". It is a jump starter and also has an air compressor to inflate tires. So - whenever I see someone in a parking lot with the hood up and a dead battery, I stop and jump them off. Attach the two cables - red to red, black to metal ground - usually works. If not, I go red to red and black to black which has always worked.

Sams has the Stanley Fat Max for $60.

Also, when I was a young father sending his daughter off to college, I invested in AAA. I am sure that over the years I have made money on this investment - ie., the cost of the AAA has been less than the towing charges I would have incurred. Many people are surprised to learn that AAA is coming after the person with the card - not the car. AAA will either start, or failing being able to get a car running, will tow the car the person was riding in to a shop for repairs. The person does not have to own the car or be the driver of the car. My daughters and my grandsons have all taken advantage of this feature.

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dobs108 wrote:
chewbacca wrote:

I heard 1 click and the lights dimmed.

This is the key. It's either the battery or its terminals or the connections at the other end of these cables. If the old battery takes a charge, remove and clean the battery terminals as well as the large wire going to the starter and the large black wire going to the engine block.

dobs108 smile

Sorry, I'm talking about instrument panel lights (oil, check engine, SRS etc). They always dim momentarily during engine start up. All cars do that. The lights dim while being jump started too.

dobs108 wrote:

How old is the battery?

I purchased a brand new battery on Sep 27, 2013. It's almost 3 years old. All lights, horn, power door locks/windows and all other electrical instruments work fine.

metricman wrote:

This is usually a classic problem with corroded battery terminals. The lead oxide between the post and the terminal causes a "High Resistance" connection. When the current increases (such as trying to start the engine) the connection heats up and the resistance increases enough to almost be an "Open" connection. That's why the lights "Dim".

The terminals look clean but I have not tried cleaning them up. Will try that tomorrow. Thanks for the tip. One thing I should mention is that the starter is right under the distributor. A few months ago I had a bad oil leak in distributor area and got a mechanic replace the distributor. Perhaps the oil leak weakens the starter ground contact. There's still oil residue + dirt in that area. Is that possible?

My engine doesn't look immaculate anymore. There's leak here and there. I've been planning to get rid of this car but haven't had time to do it.

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alandb wrote:

I don't know anything about Honda's, but it sounds to me like an electronics (ignition system) failure. One thing I might try (just for diagnostic purpose, if it isn't too hard to get at) is to use jumper cables to temporarily "hot wire" the starter to see if the starter engages and turns the engine.

In any case, it is probably going to take a mechanic with the appropriate diagnostic tools to isolate the cause.

I saw a youtube video about a guy 'hot wiring' the starter directly to battery + terminal. Problem is his car isn't the same as mine. I don't know which wire to connect and too afraid to make a stupid mistake that'll cost me a bigger problem. My co-worker says he knows how to do that. I hope he's right. He'll help me on Saturday.

Thanks to all for the replies. Sorry if I did not directly address your reply.

This is exactly what I'm

This is exactly what I'm experiencing.

https://youtu.be/Sb3ybTN3Oic

Huh?

chewbacca wrote:

... High pitch noise but it's still there after I shut off the engine so it's not my car.

Well, that's the answer. You didn't tell us you wife was there with you. grin

Phil

--
Phil in Mentor, Ohio -- Garmin Nuvi 1450

Had a battery at 13.3 vdc

It wouldn't crank the car. Jumping it didn't work. Charging battery on a charger didn't work. All lights, horn, etc worked. A garage with the proper equipment got it started. Car and battery was only 2 years old. The battery was shorted internally or something. New battery resolved it.

--
Nuvi 2460LMT.

Starter

chewbacca wrote:

This is exactly what I'm experiencing.

https://youtu.be/Sb3ybTN3Oic

If so, it surely sounds like the starter needs to be replaced.

your Millennium Falcon

chewbacca wrote:

This is exactly what I'm experiencing.

https://youtu.be/Sb3ybTN3Oic

Well Chewbacca,

toss in a new starter and perhaps your Millennium Falcon will be able to once again make the jump to light speed!

--
Never argue with a pig. It makes you look foolish and it anoys the hell out of the pig!

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pwohlrab wrote:

It wouldn't crank the car. Jumping it didn't work. Charging battery on a charger didn't work. All lights, horn, etc worked. A garage with the proper equipment got it started. Car and battery was only 2 years old. The battery was shorted internally or something. New battery resolved it.

I removed my battery and used a good battery. Same problem, no crank, no start, no clicks. I tried to 'hot wire' the starter as shown in video. Nothing. I'm sure my battery is still good.

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CraigW wrote:

If so, it surely sounds like the starter needs to be replaced.

That was it. Got my car towed to a shop. Explain exactly what happen and they suspect it's the starter. Got it replaced. Bam! Engine runs great now but I'm out a little over $400 (towing service + repair + part).

I could've followed the instructions on the video and save at least $200. It looks easy to moderate and I think I can do it myself. Problem is I don't have tools. A bigger problem is I've been having a severe back pain. I can't bend over the engine longer than a few seconds.

I'm amazed this starter works for 17 years before it gives up completely. I have 178,000 miles on it.

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plunder wrote:

Well, that's the answer. You didn't tell us you wife was there with you. grin

Phil

BarneyBadass wrote:

Well Chewbacca,

toss in a new starter and perhaps your Millennium Falcon will be able to once again make the jump to light speed!

LOL, you guys are funny. Thanks all for the suggestions.