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2007 Honda CR-V slow/no crank

Hello all. I have a 2007 Honda CR-V, 2.4L, 135,000 miles. A coupe months ago I started having issues where the car would intermittently crank slowly or not at all. Waiting a couple minutes always fixed it. I checked the battery at the time and it was on the low end of the acceptable range (435 CCA, I believe), so I figured I’d replace it when it got worse.

The issue more or less went away until today. I drove to the grocery store from work without issue, but there, it wouldn’t start (same slow/no crank, but no improvements). It also wouldn’t jump-start. I bought a new battery and hooked it up (correctly), but the problem persisted. I ended up having it towed back to my place.

What’s my next step? A bad starter’s always a possibility, but I always thought that was mainly a stripped gears thing-(high pitched whirring, no cranking). Can a starter fail in the manner I experienced, or should I be looking elsewhere in the electrical system?

Thanks as always for your help.

I suggest you clean the battery cable connections if that hasn’t been done already. If that doesn’t help then check the voltage getting to the starter while cranking the engine. You should see at least 10.5 volts there if the battery is fully charged and the cable to the starter has no issues like internal wire corrosion at the battery clamp due to acid leaching into the cable. The starter could have a problem also and may be drawing excessive current. A shop would have to verify that.

I cleaned the battery connections and the grounds-no improvement. In the quiet of the morning (as opposed to the noisy parking lot I was in last night), I could tell the relay was clicking on, so I tried starting it a couple dozen times in rapid succession (hey, might as well shorten the life of that new battery, right?). it went from no crank to slow crank to normal, and started up. I’ve been able to restart it repeatedly now.

I know the problem’s not fixed-I didn’t do anything to fix it-but further diagnostic will have to wait until it acts up again. I’ll check the voltage at the starter next time it acts up.

From your description, it sounds like the starter requires replacement.


That’s a classic faulty-starter symptom. There’s parts inside the starter that spin each time you crank the engine, and the orientation they end up after the crank affects how robust it will crank the next time. Sort of like a slot machine. You’ve been hitting some cherries on the reel of late. But eventually you’ll get a string of X’s, and it won’t crank. You know that’s going to happen at the worst possible time. If you absolutely want to avoid the possibility of replacing a good starter, you’d have to do the voltage tests mentioned above. But if I had the symptom myself, and the battery tested good & the starter was more than 5 years old, I’d just replace the starter.

Depending on how much DIY you want to do, and cost factors, taking it to an auto electric shop for on-bench evaluation and diagnosis can be a good way to go. They may be able fix it, or suggest you buy a new or a rebuilt.

Thanks all; looks like I’ve got a starter swap in my immediate future. I’ll post back once I’ve done it.


Update-I got a new starter today. Between that and the new battery, the thing practically starts up before I can get my key out of my pocket. :slight_smile: It’s like getting glasses-you don’t realize how bad it was until it’s fixed. Thanks again!