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Car won't start

I have a 2004 Honda Accord 4 cyl that just had spark plugs changed and battery posts cleaned but is acting like it doesn’t want to start. Today it stalled 2x when I tried to start it and on 3rd attempts turned over. I put some fuel enhancer (from NAPA) in w/ premium gas, but usually don’t get premium. I live on dirt road so it might cause problems. Honestly, I don’t know a whole lot about cars but love my accord and want to fix it myself, if possible. Does anyone know what I should do or look into fixing? Thanks

P.S. the 2004 accord has 103K miles on it


Is the engine cranking over at its normal speed?

How old is the battery?

The engine will start and tonight it started fine but sounds weak as it is doing so. Also earlier in the day after the car sat for a whole night, the car stalled or wouldn’t start after I tried to start it 2x. The battery is about 2 yrs old. My dad checked it and scrapped the posts but said it needed water.

I am guessing it is taking a little longer to crank over but about 1.5 sec rather than the normal 1 second.


Bring the battery up to the correct level with distilled water

Charge and retest the battery

Test the charging system also

Perhaps the battery electrolyte level was low because the alternator’s overcharging it

Ok, thanks.

Ok, car is running for after trickle charging it. I’ll check charging system soon. If system is faulty do I need a new alternator? Can a novice put one of those in?


An alternator is not particularly difficult to replace

Just disconnect the battery negative cable before

And make sure you have your radio code

I now am starting to think something may not be right. Temperature is very cold out (low: teens high: 30-50) and car is starting poorly again. It was working well, right after I trickle charged. Dad says the battery is too small and I should get another one. Do you think a small battery can cause such an issue after working fine for ~1.5 yrs? I still don’t know if it is alternator. How can I find out if it is the alternator?

Many retail auto parts stores will do a load test on the battery and test the alternator output for free. My local Sears Auto provides this as a free service too and has proved helpful to me at times. They do it b/c it is a way to sell batteries.

Ok, thanks