1999 Honda Accord

Okay boys…explain this one. My son is out of the country and his car has been sitting for over a month. I tried to crank it and it wouldn’t crank. I tried to jump it and it wouldn’t jump. It was trying to turn over. Called AAA just in case I hadn’t done something right and they couldn’t jump it. Called AAA today to have it towed to the shop. I put it into neutral and pushed it a little bit to get it out of the garage. The AAA tow guy got in it and it cranked. What the heck?

Choose One : Battery Cables Need To Be Removed And Cleaned, Bad Battery Or Engine Ground Wire / Strap, Bad Neutral Safety Switch, Starter Going Bad, Ignition Switch Going Bad, Etcetera . . .

Automatic or manual ?

I’d start with the easiest cheapest things first. Put The car in and out of Neutral and Park or work the clutch a few times. Why not clean the battery termingals and cables. If it does it again, use just one jumper cable and jump from the battery to a good clean spot on the engine and then try it. Then you’re into some further testing if that doesn’t work.


OOPS! . . . I don’t mean to insult you, but I don’t know your level of automotive expertise and I left something out. If you do try the one cable battery jump, you do know that you’ll jump from the u negative[/u] battery terminal ONLY to the engine, right ? Good.

This has happpened to me before as well. In my case it had something to do with the starter. The shop replaced the starter because, they said, it had a “flat spot” on the armature; this allows the starter to engage sometimes, but not other times. The fact you could get the car started after pushing it a little, going past the “flat spot” proves that the ingnition is OK, but the starter won’t engage all the time.

A good shop can maybe fix the starter by cleaning it, but at that age and mileage you should budget for a new (rebuilt) starter.

Thanks. It is an automatic. The terminals and cables were great. Battery was purchased in 1/09. Because it had been sitting awhile, I let it charge for 15 minutes before trying it. I’m thinking it was not a battery issue. My friend asked if it was all the way in park. Of course, I can’t answer that question now, but is that what would happen with this year Honda if it was not in park?

Thank you. It’s at the shop now so hopefully they can figure it out. I just thought it was very odd that moving it had obviously corrected the problem…whatever it was.

When you move the car by pushing it in neutral, the starter does not turn. The problem is not likely to be in the starter, it is most likely the Park/Neutral switch.

It may not need any repairs. The Park/Neutral switch may have just lost contact from sitting around for awhile. You might have been able to start it just by jiggling the gear stick a little. If used regularly, this may not happen again for a long time, and if it does, just put the gear stick in neutral.