Trouble Starting

What Can Cause Trouble Starting?

[BCH, AT] Symptom : Only happens when the car is warmed up. Occasionally when starting the car, the revs rise normally then immediately drop to zero and stall the engine. After many tries it will finally start.

Tried : Checked fuses, relays, wires. Acura service center couldn’t duplicate the problem and there was no code in the computer.

Solution: The ignition switch was faulty. Accords have a similar problem. It must be replaced.

Temp Fix: First get a wire (around 12 or 10 guage) about 2 feet long. Strip off the ends about a half an inch or so to expose the wire. Look for the starter motor in the engine compartment below the water resevoir tank. Remove the wire going to the the starter solenoid connector. Open up the fuse panel to the left of the resevoir and you can see a positive terminal used for jump starting the car. Now have someone turn the ignition switch to the right all the way except where you normally engage the starter. All the normal dash lights should come on below the tach. Depress the clutch, jump thestarter solenoid from that positive terminal to the connector on the solenoid. This should then start the car. It it keeps runningyou have also shown for certain that the problem is a bad ignitionswitch.

Cost : New ignition switch for almost $200 with parts and labor.

[KJ] Symptom: weak (low rpm) starter.  The book said check for loose connections at the battery and starter. Well, I had just replaced the battery with a Black Panther, so I knew those were tight. The manual showed me where the starter was,

 and I pulled off the rubber boot covering the big wire. 

Bingo! The 12mm nut was completely loose, leaving about 1mm of axial motion for the lug. I’m amazed it worked at all, being this loose. The fellow who checked my clutch a year ago probably neglected factory folks probably neglected to re-tighten it. Five minutes of work (no, I didn’t forget to disconnect the battery ground cable first) and I was in business.

[JCR – 2000/9/22] My car had an intermittent failure to start. The engine would turn over just fine, but it would not start. A session with the shop manual, a volt meter, and a little bit of mechanical intuition led to the discovery that the solder joint on one of the coils in the main relay was just barely hanging on. I ordered a new main relay and installed it and the car has started reliably ever since.