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post #1 of 9 Old 01-23-2008, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
yessie

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Question starter or ignition switch?

Hi everyone! I'm really hoping I can get some advice on this b/c I've had never ending problems with cars lately (was driving a 96 Honda Accord previously).
Here it is... my 98 Honda Accord EX (4 cylinders, 2.3L) wasn't starting on random occassions about a month ago. In fact, the first time it did this I'm pretty sure I saw a spark from under the hood (right side) . Since I had a trip scheduled around the same time, the car was left in the lot for 3 weeks. When I got back it just wouldn't start (nothing turned on, not even the radio). Took the battery in, it was dead...so bought a new one. Cleaned the terminals, installed the battery. Now the clock, lights radio, alarm all work... but the engine won't turn. There is a clicking noise and the engine jumps a bit, my guess is that it may be the starter engine. I also found out that there was a recall on the ignition switch for my car, but don't know if the previous owner took care of this. I don't think this is it's current problem, but wonder if it added to it.
As an added question, should I take it in to closest dealer to get it repaired? I have some experience w/ Honda dealers & I know it'll take a toll on my wallet (something I can't really handle right now). Any suggestions, maybe someone knows a reputable, HONEST, Honda mechanic/shop in the south Miami area?
Thanx! Any help is much appreciated

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post #2 of 9 Old 01-23-2008, 04:32 PM
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Check that all the battery cable connections are clean and secure on all ends (especially the + going to the starter).

Have someone else try to start the car while you hit the starter with the end of a screwdriver. If the car starts up, then you have a starter solenoid problem. Another sign that the starter solenoid isn't working is if you hear one click when you turn the key to the on position.


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post #3 of 9 Old 01-23-2008, 06:29 PM
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Could be the ignition switch and the dealer can tell you if it has been serviced under the recall. All you need is the VIN #. Or it could be the starter. First: You say the radio and everything works now that you replaced the battery. What happens when you try to start the engine with the lights, radio and everything on? Do the headlights stay lit? If not, it is probably a terminal connection problem.
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-24-2008, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, it all checks out as a starter problem. Tapping the starter as I turned the key worked & headlights remained on, I just let it run for a bit b/c its been sitting in the lot for almost a month (she didn't sound to happy). Anyways, my next question is what would be the ballpark figure a machanic would charge to change this part. I know that the part itself (new) is ~$160, but I've been ripped off before regardless. And right now, my wallet can't spare another. Just want to know a little about what the job requires so they don't give me some bogus run-around. Also, should I get them to run a diagnostic just the same?
Btw, thanks PennHonda & mpumas for the tips.. very helpful!
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post #5 of 9 Old 01-24-2008, 12:14 PM
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The starter is a pretty simple DIY job if you feel like doing it.

The whole starter didn't fail, just the solenoid (switch) that turns it on. I bought the solenoid and contacts for ~$25 on Ebay (search ebay for clickerfixer). It took me about an hour to remove the starter and replace the solenoid. I haven't had a problem since then. I would suggest against getting a rebuilt starter from AutoZone, because they are a POS in my opinion.

I can give you more detailed instructions on how to replace the solenoid if you want to go this route. You can also call around to find out if there are any local shops that repair starter solenoids if you don't feel comfortable doing it.

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post #6 of 9 Old 01-28-2008, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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Question replace or wait it out?

Ok, I got a mechanic to take a look at the car. His take is this, the car sounds fine he won't be able to know more unless he takes it apart. He suggests (especially since the car has been starting fine ever since tapping the starter) for me to drive it around for a few days & test it out. If it happens again, then I know what to do & we can take it from there as far as the repair. I told him about just replacing the switch & he says its a gamble b/c it could be that or it could be another part of the starter. His recommendation, if it happens again just replace the starter. I don't think he's trying to rip me off b/c he's not charging me much for labor, and I'd be buying the part(s). Plus, he says that it could've all been b/c of the battery (did I forget to mention it looked like it had been leaking?) & there may be nothing wrong w/ the car now that it has a brand new battery. What do you all think?
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-28-2008, 03:19 PM
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The slightest bit of corrosion between the negative battery post and cable will easily cause a no start. If you can turn the negative cable around the post at all, it probably won't start. Ask me how I found this out?

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post #8 of 9 Old 01-28-2008, 04:01 PM
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If you do replace the starter, I paid about $300 for it to be done on my 96 accord (similar engine).
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-28-2008, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Accordlover View Post
If you do replace the starter, I paid about $300 for it to be done on my 96 accord (similar engine).
i love the fact that parts + labor on a honda = just the parts for a VW

97 2.2 SE Honda Accord has 218k
things to do list: lets just say long right now...

Quote:
Originally Posted by vwcool
u kiddin me, mkiv's are the messiah, suffering for other cars so all the bastard children hondas can roam problem free, ignorant of the sacrifice all us dubbers make
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