Intermittent Nonstarter


2000 Honda Accord is caught napping and won’t start until it’s fully awake, maybe on the third try. The starter clicks but doesn’t turn over in bed. Lights will come on in room, but still remains asleep. Battery and starter checks turned out okay, but not under napping condition. This will happen only once or twice a week, like at times when I’m late for work. If I brought it to the mechanic, the car would be wide awake as the day it was born, I’m sure.


I had a similar issue with one of my trucks, and it turned out the starter motor had a “cold spot” (for lack of a better term). Occasionally, for no apparent reason, it would just click and click without turning over, and then it’d magically turn over and start the engine, and not have the same problem again for weeks. A new starter motor fixed the problem.

Before you do that though, check and make sure your battery connections are good, tight, and corrosion-free. Loose cables can do this sometimes.


Imagine trying to write a repair order base on this info


I had one similar today,it read

CAR MAKES NOISE,gotta love those writers.


That’s exactly what the mechanic at Honda dealer found. But not after a $90 electronics system check. I had to leave the car overnight at the shop. Next morning, it didn’t start for the mechanic. Only then did he believe that my problem was real. But I had read that maybe it might be only a loose connection. Now I have to take the mechanic’s word for it and pay over $300 to get a new starter installed. Car has only 81K miles, which makes me think Honda is not that reliable after all.


I’ve had this problem before in an older Honda. It is contacts within the solenoid that deform, and lose contact. Unfortunately, the solenoid itself is part of the starter case. The solenoid can be taken apart and rebuilt, but it is generally more reliable to replace the entire starter.