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2000 honda civic won't start

It’s in a target parking lot. When I turn the key, the wind shield wipers come on, the radio and the ac comes on but it won’t even try to turn over… Nothing. Any ideas would be great! Thanks! -john

If the vehicle has an automatic transmission, try shifting into neutral and then try starting the engine.

If the engine starts the problem is with the park/neutral safety switch.


+1 for @Tester .

If this turns out not to be the neutral switch you might consider the ignition switch.

Your model is under a Recall for faulty ignition switches and it’s a common problem even on models outside the Recall.

You can call any Honda dealer, provide the VIN, and they will tell you quickly whether or not it’s covered. If the procedure has been done in the past then the Recall will be invalid but if not this should be free of charge as to parts and labor.

Went back and tried again. The wipers were moving really slowly so I figured I’ll try to jump it. Hooked it up and took about a minute but it started up. Went home and started it 3 more times and started fine. Then 5 hours later I tried again and nothing! Not even the radio.

Gonna get it jumped and go to an auto parts store to check battery/alternator. Are they accurate tests??? The battery is tiny, but only two years old. Does that sound like a battery or alternator? Thanks again!

Yes, have the battery tested. It may be defective. The alternator sounds OK since it recharged the battery enough for three restarts. Yet the battery died again when the engine/alternator was not running. So I don’t see how it could be a bad alternator.

Another possibility is a parasitic battery drain that is drawing current from the battery even when the ignition switch is off. Things like improperly installed aftermarket radios can cause this.

I bought this car a little over two years ago, and it has an after market radio in it. Drives me nuts… So will try this.

Someone also told me to get the car started and pull a terminal connector off the battery. If the car stops then the alternator is bad. Thoughts?

Best part is it’s raining it’s butt off in the east today! lol

No! Do not disconnect battery while car is running! This can damage the alternator or other sensitive electronics.

This is how to test an alternator:

But first, check for a parasitic drain from the radio or something else in the electical system.