Honda City ZX Startup issue


I own a Sept 2007 Honda City ZX GXi, done about 100K kms.

Since a couple of weeks now, I’ve been facing a weird starting problem in my car.

When I start the car first thing in the morning, it starts without a fuss. But if I drive for around 20 minutes or so, and then switch off the engine, the car refuses to start after that. Then it has to be push started, which it does without any hitch.

On the other hand, if I park my car for a couple of hours somewhere, then it starts again. It’s as if the car needs some kind of “rest” period before being started again!

I took the car to Service center, they informed it to be a battery problem". But I am sure it can not be a battery problem, since the car starts fine first thing in the morning, and then it refuses to start after running a few kms.
I also got the wiring on battery checked and changed, But still the problem persists. I’m planning to take the car to a good mechanic again, but would love to have some insight into what the problem could be, so that the mechanic don’t feed me some story again. Could it be the starter motor? The alternator (improbable)? Some loose connection which becomes disconnected on getting heated up?

Any suggestions and ideas are welcome.

Thanks in advance,

When it fails to start running, the starter is also not cranking the engine. Correct?

Does it make any noise at all… a click or clank, etcetera?

It could be the starter itself. These symptoms do go with a faulty starter.


I am on the same tack as @common_sense_answer we need to know how exactly it refuses to start. You are leaving out just about any and all clues here…we have nothing to go on.

Obviously you have a manual and it seems you are pop starting it with no problem…which probably means that when you turn the key you get nothing… no sounds at all, no starter action and no engine turn over.

This is most likely the case otherwise it wouldn’t pop start and run for you… This can be the clutch cutout switch telling the starter not to function… it can also be the starter relay. It sounds like when it does start in the morning it starts without any issue as if nothing was wrong, so the starter is actually able to start the engine when it decides to do so… Your suspects are the clutch switch, starter relay, starter solenoid and even your ignition switch. Don’t overlook the possibility that you have a security system in the vehicle that cuts starter function… Those are my ideas…it takes onsite testing of theories to resolve the rest.

Presuming this is a “fails to crank” problem – i.e. you don’t hear that rrr rrr rrr sound w/the key in “start” – likely the problem is either the starter motor is faulty, or a heat shield designed to protect the starter from engine/exhaust heat has fallen off. If you can get it to the shop when it is failing, they couldmeasure the voltages at the two starter terminals during attempted cranking. If both are above 10.5 volts with the key in “start” and it doesn’t crank, the next step is to replace the starter motor. There’s some possibility of other causes, but that’s where I’d start. Voltages at the starter should be measured from starter terminal to starter case, with everything connected.

It makes Cranking noise but does not start up, I have to wait for 15 to 20 mins for it to start again.

OMG! So many suspected issues. I think I will have to start changing each thing at time to diagnose what resolves the issue.

No dont do that… I should have stopped writing when I agreed with @common_sense_answer that we did not have enough information. I get carried away sometimes…lol

That being said we are now getting good use-able info from you…

Here is something to listen carefully for when you are in your car and about to turn the key all the way on…but not into the start position. Listen for your fuel pump to run for 2-3 seconds and then stop…you should be able to hear it. Do you hear it?

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Cranks but des not start… that’s important info. Honda_Blackbird’s idea will help determine if the engine is getting fuel and fuel pressure. If the fuel pump doesn’t run for a couple seconds each time you turn the key from Off to Run (not all the way to Start) that’s an important clue. It could mean a bad ignition switch electrical contact, a bad fuel pump, or bad fuel pump relay. That part, under the dashboard, is known to fail when the interior of the car is hot.

The other possibility is that the fuel system is working OK but the ignition system is not. But let’s first find out if the fuel pump is working. It’s back in the gas tank and makes a faint hum which you can hear when you’re in a quiet place.

I think your question of this being caused by a connection heating up and failing is a good one. Either the ignition system or the fuel system are the best suspects, as others have already suggested. Since the ignition is real easy to find out if the plugs are firing while the trouble is happening I would start with that. If they are working then the fuel pump area should be looked at. I would suspect a power connection to either area as the cause of the trouble.

When this is occurring your shop could spray some starter spray into the air intake as a test. If the engine starts and runs briefly, then stalls, that would be a clue the problem is related to fuel rather than spark. A visual check for a healthy bluish-white spark at a spark plug would be equally informative. At this point I’d do whichever is the easiest to do.