Accord 1999 -starter problems?


I’ve got a problem with my faithful friend here… she won’t start.

I’m assuming it’s a starter problem, but I have very little mechanical experience and my friends don’t either.

Basically it makes this high pitched noise that I can’t describe in words… like a metallic motor spin. It seems the battery is fine - the engine doesn’t have the slow cranck that i’ve experience before when it was a dead battery/alternator, and we also tried jumping it to confirm.

Just not sure if it’s worth getting it towed and fixed. The main reason i’m holding back is that i just put down about $2000 in the past few months for a new timing belt, rotors, brakes, tires, 100k major service, etc, hoping to get it to last to 10 yrs (she’s almost 9 yrs hold now).

Oh yeah, not sure if this was a precursor to this problem, but in the last year about 3-4 times the car sputtered and died right after ignition. However, if i waited another minute it would start and run fine.

Your advice would be much appreciated. thanks!!


It sounds like a starter related problem. I am not sure about your car but I believe some cars ca have the bad part replaced an some need the whole starter replaced. It may also be the flywheel.

Just remember that the money you already put in was maintenance, not a repair. Consider it like fuel.

The sound you describe when the no start occurs sounds very familiar to me. My 98 Accord V6 has done this two times in the 150K miles life we’ve owned it. First time was in dead of Colorado winter and we had it towed to the dealer. The result was replacing the plugs and rotor/Cap. The dealer found the 98 had a recall on the emissions system and we got it all for free. Second time the weird no start noise happened was again in winter about 2 years later. This time it was the battery. Seems that the voltage needed must be up to snuff or you get the no start wheeze. Oh I almost forgot, the in the first no start scenario, the dealer service writer admitted that the real problem was a loose / corroded battery terminal. I vote for a battery / terminal cleaner for you first.

Thanks for the responses! Yes, there is a lot of corrosion on the battery connection, i should try to clean that up.

Well, I got the battery terminal cleaner and cleaned it up, but still no luck in starting. :frowning:

It matters HOW you cleaned the battery terminals. I’ll assume it’s a top post battery, yes? The Battery cable terminals have to be disconnected and scraped or sanded on the inside of the loops, and the battery posts have to be sanded , or scraped.

I had the AAA guy come look at it. Seems to not be a battery problems - we tried jumping it and he also tested it. He says it cranks/sounds fine, but probably the gas isnt getting to the engine – like an issue with the fuel line (smells a little like fuel when we try to start it).

If this is the cast, how significant would the repair cost look like ?