Honda Civic Won't Start (Sometimes!)

civic
honda

#1

Wife’s 2004 Civic isn’t pretty but usually runs like new. Over 200k and going strong.
Yesterday she had trouble starting. Dash lights are bright. Battery is Interstate and under a year old. She wiggled the steering wheel and it started ok . Then it wouldn’t later in the day. I tried moving the shifter (automatic). Tried moving the steering wheel. Nothing from the starter. Dash lights very bright. Let it sit overnight.
Today the tow truck arrived. Started right up as if nothing was wrong.
Ignition switch? Transmission sensor? Starter?

Thanks in advance you guys never let me down. Would buy you a beer if I could.
Matt

RIP Tommy.


#2

The first thing I would check is the neutral safety switch, which allows the car to start only if it is in park or neutral. Next time it happens, try shifting to neutral with your foot on the brake and give it a try. If that doesn’t work, shift it back into park and try again.

There also might be a switch that forces you to have your foot on the brake to start the car. If that switch is stuck, it would cause something like this. Next time it happens, see if your brake lights are coming on.


#3

If you want a full blown diagnosis, the quickest way to a no-crank sol’n assuming the obvious stuff has been ruled out already like the battery and the battery connections is to probe the two starter motor terminals, the thick cable one and the thin cable one. Both should measure 10.5 volts or more when the key is in “start”. If they do, and it doesn’t crank, replace the SM. If one or more is less than 10.5 volts, work backwards towards the battery to find out why. Having access to a wiring schematic is somewhere between very helpful and required for this task.


#4

Does you car equipped with immobilizer? It could be the problem also.


#5

Daughters 04 civic had same no start sometimes problem. Turned out being the positive battery cable. She had it replaced and had no more trouble.