2002 Honda Civic - Won't Start/Electrical Problem/Not Battery

I drove my car home last night and left it parked. When I went to start it this morning, the keyless entry would not work, neither did the door open button inside the car. When I tried to start the car, nothing happened - but when I turned it off everything on the dashboard started flashing and there was a clicking noise. Jump starting did not help. Any thoughts?

You describe a battery that just died. Try jump starting it again, only this time let the vehicle that’s donating the jump sit and idle for 10-15 minutes, and then try starting the engine. If the engine starts, you have a dead battery.

If you find this is the case, DO NOT DRIVE THE VEHICLE. Instead shut the engine off and either get a new battery and install it, or have it towed to get this service done. You see, alternators are not designed to recharge a dead battery. And if you ask one to do so, you usually end up replacing the battery and the alternator.


In my personal experience, your description is also consistent with corroded battery terminals. I would suggest first cleaning them (and the cable connector) with a terminal cleaner brush, which you can get from any auto parts store cheaply ($1.00-$1.50).

If this is the case, the battery may not even be dead. You may be able to start the car without a jump just by cleaning the terminals.

You need to disconnect the cables to clean the posts and the cable clamps. Before you do that, you may want to be sure you have the radio security code handy, and be prepared to conduct the “PCM idle learn procedure” (a procedure necessary after any instance of a disconnected battery).

If you don’t know how to do that, just reply back here.

Did you find out what it was?!? Same thing just happened to me after I had it jacked up for a week in the front. I had to replace the struts, sway bar link, ball joint, and control arm. Please let me know I wanted to try out the new suspension.