Please help! Our Honda Odyssey will have an occasional delayed start where you turn the key but no sound occurs. All the lights come on like normal and the automatic doors can all close and open without any issues. Originally we didn’t know that we could eventually get the car to start by turning and holding the key in the start position. It happens every couple days to couple weeks and without holding the key in the on position it will be anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 days before the car will start normally again. We’ve spent about $1,000 at the Honda dealer to have the battery, battery cables, starter, and starter relay replaced but we’re still having the problem.
Have they check the transmission range switch?
Among the things this switch does besides turning on the back-up lights and telling the computer what gear is selected, it also prevents the starter from operating unless the transmission is in park or neutral.
The next time the engine won’t start, with the ignition on step on the brake pedal and shift the transmission into neutral and then try starting the engine.
If the engine starts there’s a problem with the transmission range switch.
There’s several possibilities. Definitely consider the one mentioned above by @Tester .
Another would be a faulty starter motor, something wrong with the solenoid contacts, the “pull-in” coil, or its operation, but it sound like you’ve already replaced the starter motor. Since you’ve pretty much replaced everything that is easy to replace and it didn’t fix the problem you now need a more systematic approach. Here’s what I’d do. Ask your mechanic to measure the voltage at both starter motor terminals during an attempted crank (when it won’t crank). If either is below 10.5 volts you’ve likely found the problem. Just work backward from the starter motor toward the ignition key and battery to find out why.