Mystery problem with my Honda,,,continues

I posted this problem a week or so ago, but I have a new clue that I wanted to add to the discussion. I have a 2006 Honda Civic Sedan with 214,000 miles on it. I have a starter that is less than a year old, a new battery and the battery cables have just been cleaned and inspected. My batter and alternator tested fine. Occasionally (always in the morning) my car won’t start. There is no noise, cranking or clicking. All the lights are operational with no dimming. However, today I put the car in neutral and it started right up (after not starting for three tries.) Any more ideas?

My guess would be that the safety switch that only lets your Honda start in Park or Neutral may be defective or misadjusted. When this condition occurs and you can’t start the car in Park, but can start it in Neutral, the problem is this safety switch.

Thank you. But I am still confused as to why this ALWAYS occurs first thing in the morning when my car hasn’t been running. This problem has been going on for two months. I have never had an issue with it starting during the day.

Its colder in the morning and metal parts shrink in the cold, expand when warm.

Thanks, but I do live in Phoenix and my garage is very warm all the time. I’m still stumped by why this happens only in the morning. But thank you for responding to my post. I need all the help I can get. All the mechanics I speak to say they would have to recreate the problem in order to diagnose. That doesn’t work for me since the car sometimes starts and sometimes doesn’t. Very frustrating.

The temperature in the garage may feel warm all the time, but it probably isn’t exactly the same temperature all the time. It’s probably slightly lower in the AM, right? And after driving the car and/or parking outside in the sun the engine compartment is much warmer than when the car has been sitting overnight. Any temperature change at all in the vicinity of an electronic switch could affect it, if it was an intermittent part. The part (the neutral safety switch) sort of becomes like a thermometer instead of what it is supposed to be. You could do an experiment if you wanted, put a thermometer in the engine compartment, see if he problem only occurs at certain engine compartment temperatures.

Re: Frustration w/recreating the problem. Several alternatives.

  1. Pay them at their hourly rate for them to focus only on your car, for however long it takes to get the problem to appear. Could be very expensive.
  2. Wait until it won’t start consistently, then tow it to the shop.
  3. Leave the car at the shop several days or weeks, however long it takes, so they can start it up now and again when the have a spare minute.
  4. Just have them replace the neutral safety switch and hope that fixes the problem.

Based on your posts, if it were my car I’d probably be optimistic and do number 4 . You could get lucky. Best of luck.

My 2000 Lexus RX300 just started having the exact same symptoms. if I find out anything I’ll post here…

I have a 40 year old Ford truck. Had it since it was (almost) new. This exact same problem happened after I had the truck for a couple years. So like 38 years ago. I’ve always been lazy, so I just bypassed the switch with a wire. I don’t recommend this as it would allow you (or a child waiting in the car) to start the engine while it was in gear, which could be dangerous. I’m just saying how I fixed it. I don’t let any kids wait in the truck though.

Thanks everyone. I guess this is good news?? My car had trouble starting this afternoon, so I guess the morning thing was just a coincidence. I put the car in neutral with my foot on the brake and it started right up. I have no mechanic I trust out here, so I guess off to the dealer I go.