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Intermittent start on 96 accord

will start 1in 4 times. no noise as if it was dead. replaced starter. worked for a week… did it again after a few days… replaced starter again… diagnostic on electrical ok…help

So you’re saying you turn the ignition switch to the run position and the dash lights come on, but when you turn it to the start position nothing happens?

If this is the case, and the vehicle has an automatic transmission, place the transmission into neutral and then try starting the engine.

If the engine starts there’s a problem with the park/neutral safety switch on the transmission.


Tester’s comments above are spot on.

I’ll add a few other ideas if that doesn’t pan out. My car is a early 90’s Corolla and I’ve had similar problems from time to time. The most common cause of this symptom is the starter solenoid contacts are burned out and need replacement. But since you already replace the starter (twice), unless you got unlucky and got two defective replacements, that’s not the problem here. Besides the starter (and starter solenoid contacts, part of starter) and the automatic neutral start switch, here’s some other possibilities.

  1. Battery discharged or otherwise on the fritz
  2. Corroded or loose battery connections
    3… Ignition switch
  3. Clutch neutral safety switch (if manual rather than automatic)
  4. Corroded or missing engine to chassis ground
  5. Under dash starter relay (not every configuration has this)
  6. Modifications to any component of the wiring harness associated with the “start” function. The high currents needed for starting, both for the solenoid and for the starter itself, mean the resistance of all the associated wires and the connections meet Toyota’s specs.

If I had this problem on my Corolla, to get to the bottom of it as quickly as possible, first I’d load test the battery, and clean and tighten the battery connections. If that didn’t fix it, next, I’d measure the two voltages at the starter terminals during attempted cranking, measuring from the terminal to starter case. If both are above 10.5 volts and the engine doesn’t crank, its still either the starter or a problem with the gears meshing with the flywheel. If either voltage measures below 10.5 volts, work backwards toward the ignition switch to find out why.