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post #1 of 14 Old 04-09-2012, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Bad starter? or something else...

So I have a 2003 Accord 4cyl Nav, 195k miles. Lately it has intermitantly started having slugish starts, and the other day my wife said it wouldn't start after running a few errands. She sat and waited about 10 min then it started right up again. Battery checks out fine, so does ALt. But if this was a starter problem would it be every once in while type deal? Last week it has been starting fine again, anyone have a clue as to what might be going on? Thanks for any advice

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post #2 of 14 Old 04-09-2012, 08:45 PM
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Sluggish start still seems like the battery. How old is it? Any signs of Corrosion? If you live in salted areas during the winter, your starter could have some rust in it, but I'd still look towards the battery and its connections.

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post #3 of 14 Old 04-09-2012, 11:06 PM
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If it cranks and doesnt start, probably not the starter

If it doesnt turn or just clicks, check battery and its terminals for looseness or corrosion. If you're able to tap the starter with something and then it cranks, its bad.

A while ago I had the starter on a car go bad. It would not turn the engine right after it was shut off. After it had cooled down some, it would crank.
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post #4 of 14 Old 04-10-2012, 06:41 AM
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When you say "slugish starts", do you mean it cranks slowly? I had that problem with my '05 4cyl. Apparently the contacts that switch the armature current to the starter motor begin to go bad. You could take the starter to an automotive electric shop, if you can find one, but I replaced the starter with a good quality remaned unit.
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post #5 of 14 Old 04-10-2012, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keystone View Post
When you say "slugish starts", do you mean it cranks slowly? I had that problem with my '05 4cyl. Apparently the contacts that switch the armature current to the starter motor begin to go bad. You could take the starter to an automotive electric shop, if you can find one, but I replaced the starter with a good quality remaned unit.
I like this. Not sure it's correct, but I say so because we did the same thing on a Cherokee lately. Sluggish starts (and sometimes not at all it seemed), but the battery and alternator tested just fine. Replaced the starter and it fixed it right up...same issue.
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post #6 of 14 Old 04-10-2012, 02:28 PM
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I think I had same problems as you. At first I thought it was the battery so I took my old battery to Costco to get a free replacement since it was only 2 years old. At first it would start up fine with the new battery then after a couple of more start you can hear the starter spin slower and slower. So I decided to replace the starter which is quite a lot of work since the starter is behind the intake manifold which I had to remove before I can easily reach to the starter. Once I replaced the starter you can hear and feel a big difference from the old one. It would start right up everytime and till now I still havent have a issue with it. Hope that helps.
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post #7 of 14 Old 04-11-2012, 05:39 AM
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If you've had the battery properly charged and checked, checked the alternator output, and checked battery cables and their connections, then your starter may indeed be the culprit. I had similar symptoms with my 2004 EX-L I4/5AT. Random times (hot or cold) it would simply click and not turn over when I hit the key, and others it would take right off. After several months, it finally gave up the ghost and would not do anything but click. I replaced mine with a reman'd unit from a parts chain store and everything is now good. As the previous poster mentioned, the intake manifold and throttle body assembly has to come off in order to replace the starter. It's not very complicated, just take your time and button everything back up (especially harness connectors) like they came off. Remember to think safety when you're messing with battery cables and wiring harnesses. Good luck...
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post #8 of 14 Old 04-11-2012, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I've had the battery/Alternator/& starter tested at 3 different places and they all say they it checks out fine. Battery is cranking more than needed actually is what Honda said at my last oil change. They seemed to think starter also as far as me just describing the issue. Where are you guys buying these remanufactured starters? If someone could shoot me a link that would be great, just so I know when this thing finally goes out. Thanks for the responses
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post #9 of 14 Old 04-12-2012, 11:25 AM
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Yeah I've had the battery/Alternator/& starter tested at 3 different places and they all say they it checks out fine. Battery is cranking more than needed actually is what Honda said at my last oil change. They seemed to think starter also as far as me just describing the issue. Where are you guys buying these remanufactured starters? If someone could shoot me a link that would be great, just so I know when this thing finally goes out. Thanks for the responses
I got mine at Autozone for $130 + tax. Be sure you get the right one -- I they're different for a manual vs automatic transmission (at least on the 2004 accords, and i think the 2003 would be similar).
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post #10 of 14 Old 04-13-2012, 06:23 AM
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Make sure you get an intake manifold gasket too. You don't need the whole set because it's a two piece manifold. You're going to remove the upper portion with the runners, and leave the lower portion attached to the cylinder head.



That's where I got the starter from too, but returning the core was a little bit of a pain.
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post #11 of 14 Old 04-13-2012, 10:21 PM
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3 places.. I take it you did not have a bench test done on the parts. I think you need to do a bench test on the starter. Some mechanics can do it while on the car. I wouldn't.

How is your fuel pump? To me it sound like a cell going bad in the battery - but it sounds like you had it load tested. If it is the starter - then it must be the solenoid going in and out.

I am sure the Helms Manual describes some starter tests. Maybe the wires are loose. You can find it by following the positive battery cable. It will split with one side going to the alternator and the other to the starter. There are voltage tests you can do on the wire.
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post #12 of 14 Old 04-14-2012, 11:31 AM
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3 places.. I take it you did not have a bench test done on the parts. I think you need to do a bench test on the starter. Some mechanics can do it while on the car. I wouldn't.

How is your fuel pump? To me it sound like a cell going bad in the battery - but it sounds like you had it load tested. If it is the starter - then it must be the solenoid going in and out.

I am sure the Helms Manual describes some starter tests. Maybe the wires are loose. You can find it by following the positive battery cable. It will split with one side going to the alternator and the other to the starter. There are voltage tests you can do on the wire.
In order to "bench test" the starter, you have to pull the throttle body and intake manifold assembly just to get to the starter to remove it -- that definitely makes checking everything else (battery & cables, alternator, etc.) a first priority before pulling the starter. Unfortunately, the starter wire connections at the starter are as tough to get to as the starter itself...
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post #13 of 14 Old 04-15-2012, 11:04 PM
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that definitely makes checking everything else (battery & cables, alternator, etc.) a first priority before pulling the starter. Unfortunately, the starter wire connections at the starter are as tough to get to as the starter itself...
That being the case - definitely needs a proper amp draw test, test the clutch or AT switch. I would probably even try to clean out the fuel lines before removing the intake manifold..
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post #14 of 14 Old 09-12-2012, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by jasonjump View Post
So I have a 2003 Accord 4cyl Nav, 195k miles. Lately it has intermitantly started having slugish starts, and the other day my wife said it wouldn't start after running a few errands. She sat and waited about 10 min then it started right up again. Battery checks out fine, so does ALt. But if this was a starter problem would it be every once in while type deal? Last week it has been starting fine again, anyone have a clue as to what might be going on? Thanks for any advice
Just had all the same problems with my 2003 Accord. The problems went on for over a year until the starter quit all together this week (227,000 miles).

If you work on your own cars its not that bad of a job. But I would not want to do this starter replacement as my first auto repair job. The two bolts holding the starter are a PITA to remove and replace. Just make sure all the hoses and wires have a home when your done. Also there is one bolt at the bottom of the intake that needs to be removed along with the ones on the top. This is a good time to replace the radiator hoses also.

If you take the starter out and have it bench tested and they say its good, I would still replace it. This is not a job you want to do again any time soon. I was going to just replace the contacts in my starter but this is not the job I want to learn I did it wrong after I put everything back together.
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