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2009 Honda Civic Won't Start

Hi all, I have a 2009 Honda Civic with about 68,000 miles on it. Yesterday my car started up fine before leaving to work. 7 hours later my car did not start. All my lights work, horn works. Took the battery out and had it tested anyway. They told me the battery is good. I’ve been reading about other civics having issues with the “anti theft” immobilizer and it keeping their car from starting. Before I take my car to a mechanic, to test starter and everything else, is anyone familiar with and know a fix for this issue?


Did the engine crank over?

Does the tank have plenty of fuel?

When you tried to start, did the dome lights dim?

When you tried to start, did you hear a loud click?

@db4690 Engine didn’t try to turn, no click from the starter, complete silence. It baffles me. I wanna say my dash lights dim when I turn the key. The radio screen “light” dimmed for sure.
The only time I hear any sound is when I put the key to the “on” position before turning the key. It sounds like a tick but I can’t tell where it is coming from. But complete silence when I turn the key.

Also, my tank is about 35-40% full

Try another key. Sounds like starter.

UPDATE** @cbuss0306 @db4690 My car started normally when the tow truck arrived to pick it up. WHATT THE? I had them drop it off at the mechanic, and he tells me he can’t really diagnose it if it’s operating normally. Ughhhh. I’m afraid to drive it and be left stranded again. Honda’s aren’t the reliable cars they used to be.

Do you have a bunch of stuff hanging from your key chain. If so, the ignition switch is messed up. Try just using the key by itself.


If the dash lights dimmed when it failed to start, I’d say there is a fair chance the starter is on its way out . . . regardless of if it started for the tow truck driver

AT park/neutral switch?

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I’ve heard about the keychain thing, I only carry 3 keys on that keychain. Hmmm my coworker also suggested the neutral safety switch. If it happens again I think I’ll try replacing that first.

Don’t try replacing the neutral safety switch. There’s a really simple “test” for it. If it happens again, just turn the key on and switch to neutral. Then try to start the car. If it does start reliably from neutral when it won’t from park, THEN replace the neutral safety switch.

In the meantime, clean (or have cleaned) all of the terminal ends of the main battery cables - at the battery and starter, and especially the grounds. Look for signs that corrosion may have gotten up under the insulation.

Also, keep a long block of wood in the car for now - something that would be easy to whack the starter with. If it happens again, give the started a sharp whack with the block of wood. If that works reliably, then you can bet on needing a new starter.

All excellent ideas above. There’s at least a half dozen different reasons why an engine won’t crank. If you get to the point where you think it might be the starter motor, before removing it ask you shop to measure the voltages at both terminals during attempted cranking. If either is below 9.6 volts, then the problem is probably not the starter motor, more likely some kind of electrical problem before the starter. If both are 10.5 volts or above (during attempted cranking), and it doesn’t crank, then it is probably the starter that is defective and it is time to remove it for bench testing or replacement. (Note: Many times a bad starter motor can be fixed at your local auto-electric shop for less $$$ than buying a new one.)

thanks for all the advise. i will definitely clean all my cables best i can. my car worked fine all day today and yesterday. hopefully it stays that way :slight_smile:

Allow me to suggest that wanting to know what the problem is and how to fix it before taking it to a mechanic is the cause of an awful lot of wasted dollars. The worst thing you can do is bring the car in and say “change this”. Nine times out of ten that’ll just waste money. Let the mechanic diagnose the problem.

I had an issue when my key fob battery died last summer and the antitheft system keeping my car from starting. I couldn’t understand why my car would crank for a half sec and stop, it sounded so dumb. My BF at the time was like hold down start, so I did, and the car tried and tried till I let go. This was the first time my baby ever failed to start and I was mortified. I did that maybe 3 more times till my stupid car finally sensed my key and decided to start for us. This kept happening last year off and on, so whoever was driving just had to hold down start for ever. One day my battery wore out after he tried to start my poor car for 30 min.