Is my ignition switch about to die? Occasional buzz noise/no start - RESOLVED - Drive Accord Honda Forums | radio-pro.ru
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post #1 of 23 Old 11-10-2017, 08:30 AM Thread Starter
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Is my ignition switch about to die? Occasional buzz noise/no start - RESOLVED

EDIT: RESOLVED IN POST #18

Accordians! Please to help me.

If I place my key in the ignition and wait more than a split second to turn the ignition and start the car, I hear a buzz noise, and "experience" no starter cranking for a fraction of a second- THEN the car cranks quickly and starts right up.

If I insert the key and immediately turn it to start the car, 90% of the time the starting is normal- no buzzing sound and the starter cranks immediately to start the car. About 10% of the time, however, I hear a quick buzz and the starter does not crank for a fraction of a second- THEN the car starts. This has been growing from 1% of the time (last year) to 10% of the time now.....strange things are afoot at the Circle K.

I do not believe it is the battery, nor the main relay- this buzz happens when the car is hot or cold, regardless. Also, I just have the Honda key on a lightweight keychain- not the dozens of keys and the resulting weight that the "old" General Motors said caused their piece of crap cars to suddenly turn off and kill 30+ people (more like 130 people, if you ask me).

So I searched and reviewed threads here at Drive Accord.....

Has anyone had a bad Ignition Switch?

I replaced my bad ignition switch

Ignition Switch help

Post #23 Fixed issue with buzzing noise when trying to start 03 Accord

This thread nailed it: Members namegoeshere and BLCKFLSH had issues but just understood to turn the darn key quickly and start the car to avoid the buzz noise. See posts #19 and #27 Buzzing noise when turning ignition switch

So the consensus is: Don't worry about it because this is normal on Hondas and the Accord will start for years. If the car won't start, only then- replace the ignition switch.

My question #1 is, is this recommendation still valid? Anyone here have the buzzing sound/no crank issue even when they insert the key into the ignition and quickly/immediately try to start the car?

My question #2 is, since 10% of the time I insert/turn quickly it still buzzes, should I just go ahead and replace since that is an indication that my ignition switch is on its way out?

Q #3: Any other testing I can do- or is a $25 part and 1 hour time one of those "Just man up and change it" kind of things?

The part is just $25 shipped (thanks Coach Steve for RockAuto link) and takes an hour.

Gracias!


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post #2 of 23 Old 11-10-2017, 08:41 AM
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I did a quick search for "starter relay buzzing" and whether it's motorcycles or trucks, it seems most people find it's an : "The buzzing is the starter relay trying to start the engine. As soon as it applies the load of the starter to the system, the voltage drops and it drops the starter relay out. When it's out, the voltage goes up, and it re-applies the starter relay again, and then the same thing happens over and over so quick, it makes a buzzing noise.

The voltage is dropping because the battery is low or bad, or the voltage is being lost through a bad connection."

So, check battery and/or starter connections?



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post #3 of 23 Old 11-10-2017, 08:48 AM
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Nope... There is a start relay in the fuse box that needs to be changed....that's it...
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post #4 of 23 Old 11-10-2017, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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#1) I just went outside to charge the battery. My charger had it at 12.2 volts and "55%".....took 10 minutes to get it to 13.2 volts and 100%....battery is a 24F- I will monitor from now on. I am making dozens of "less than 3 mile" trips each day....

2) Could you please elaborate on the start relay?
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post #5 of 23 Old 11-10-2017, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickBlaine View Post
......
My question #2 is, since 10% of the time I insert/turn quickly it still buzzes, should I just go ahead and replace since that is an indication that my ignition switch is on its way out?

Q #3: Any other testing I can do- or is a $25 part and 1 hour time one of those "Just man up and change it" kind of things?

The part is just $25 shipped (thanks Coach Steve for RockAuto link) and takes an hour.

Gracias!
Yes, Yes.

You already know the answer.

I'll give you a little push:

The fact that "a split second" in first position makes big difference tells us that something is happening/wrong with key in first position. When key is at this position, fuel pump is not on, starter is not on, electronics are not on, it has to be the switch. There could be a short in the switch when key is first inserted.

Short->overheating->fire hazard.

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post #6 of 23 Old 11-10-2017, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickBlaine View Post

2) Could you please elaborate on the start relay?
Rick, baby... have a look at this thread. It provides the knowledge you seek through posts from kindred spirits, some of whom have lived with the buzz for years. Depending on your situation, you may need to replace just the relay or you will have to replace the ign. switch as well. Either way, both are quick (less than 10 mns.) repairs. Watch the video at the beginning of the thread first then peruse the posts. You'll come away enriched and fulfilled.

Namaste.

Fixed issue with buzzing noise when trying to start 03 Accord

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post #7 of 23 Old 11-10-2017, 11:11 AM
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Did it make the buzzing sound after charging the battery?


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post #8 of 23 Old 11-10-2017, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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OK, seems the consensus is one of the following:

1) Weak battery, bad connections.
2) Bad starter relay.
3) Bad ignition switch
4) Nothing is "wrong"- just turn the key faster and you won't hear the buzzing.

After charging the weak battery this morning- I just went outside (30 degrees F and snowing) and put the key in the I and the II position before waiting three seconds and actually starting the car. Tried five times in each position before starting.

100% of the time- no buzzing- it started right up! This is not scientific nor conclusive, but I will monitor for the next few weeks while searching for Miker's past thread about how to add distilled water to the battery.

I will get the part numbers for the starter relay and for the ignition switch ready too- in case it is NOT (just) the battery being weak.

I don't want to overthink this, but if the ignition switch or starter relay have degraded in 12 years to the point that the battery must be 100% strong to avoid a buzzing- I'll swap those out too.

Thanks to all for walking me through this- I will report back if I figure out that enne LIED TO US, lol!
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post #9 of 23 Old 11-10-2017, 11:44 AM
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post #10 of 23 Old 11-10-2017, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickBlaine View Post
This is not scientific nor conclusive, but I will monitor for the next few weeks while searching for Miker's past thread about how to add distilled water to the battery.
Very easy, no need to disconnect anything.

With a small flat blade screwdriver, pop the covers off the battery

Look inside the holes. About 3/4" down from the top are things that usually look like parenthesis ( ). If water is touching them, that cell has enough. Add distilled water until it touches those things, then reinstall the caps & charge if needed.

clean the battery while you're there.
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post #11 of 23 Old 11-10-2017, 04:03 PM
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Had the switch buzzing for over a year now, prolly the ignition switch.

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post #12 of 23 Old 11-10-2017, 04:36 PM
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Just to clarify. My 03 had the buzzing thing (between position II and start) the entire 13 years I owned the car (or at least as far back as I can remember), through at least 3 different batteries. It actually buzzed less after I figured out all I had to do is turn the key quicker. My buzzing had nothing to do with the starter, relay, switch, or battery, and the car still had the original starter, relay, and ignition switch, when I traded it in. The starter NEVER failed to crank the engine. Even if I turned the key slow enough for the buzzing sound to occur, and I continued to turn the key all the way to start, the buzzing would stop, and the starter would still start the engine.
I figured the buzzing sound was just to tell me not to keep the key in that position, and nothing ever happened to prove that theory wrong.

That's MY case, and I know other owners have had different issues with buzzing sounds.
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post #13 of 23 Old 11-10-2017, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLCKFLSH View Post
I figured the buzzing sound was just to tell me not to keep the key in that position, and nothing ever happened to prove that theory wrong.
That's what I feel like it's telling me as well. I never paid much attention to it because I could tell the buzzing is in between positions when it's sending contact. Just turn it quick and you won't hear it.

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post #14 of 23 Old 11-10-2017, 06:33 PM
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RickBlaine - Was this a final exam question...?

Just to muddy the waters a little, does this happen with another key? Could there be an issue with the immobilizer recognizing the key and/or is the chip in this key is failing?

But what the heck do I know..? (DON'T ANSWER THAT!!!)
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post #15 of 23 Old 11-11-2017, 07:57 AM
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Are you sure you aren't hearing the fuel pump?

I top off the battery with distilled water every year. Water does come out during various conditions. A bottle of distilled water costs less than $2. Once a cell's lead plates are exposed, it's on a downward spiral to start sulfating itself.

Last note, get yourself a battery minder junior, costs only $29 from Walmart. I keep the car plugged in during very cold days always. Never a start problem the next morning. I have a cord hooked up to the battery's terminal with a quick connect tucked into the bumper area. I just dig it out and connect it to the constantly connected minder unit in my garage whenever I need to use it.


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