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No start on 2009 Accord

Hi all,

2009 Accord, 80k miles, was having some starting trouble. Took it to a shop, they checked alt/battery and confirmed alternator was bad. I ordered and installed a new Denso alternator. Negative battery cable was removed while I performed the install. I may have left it on during the removal.

After the install, I topped off the battery with my battery charger and started the car. I let it run for a good while, then drove it around few a few miles, then back home for the night.

Next morning (today), car won’t start. It turns over, but barely, very sluggish. I get the battery charger out again, and it’s telling me the battery doesn’t need much. I leave it on trickle charge for a bit. I try again, nothing, no turn over even. I try jump-starting it off another car, and nothing. No turn-over.

Now it really seems like the battery isn’t the problem, but just to be sure I go have it checked. It’s 100% A-OK.

So now I’m a bit stuck. New alternator, good battery, and a no-start condition. Electrical works: I can turn on lights and radio. But no engine turn-over, not even a click.

Either starter is bad or the wiring to the starter is bad or the starter solenoid is bad is my best guess.

Well, I can’t reach the starter without going underneath the car, and this weather is awful for that. I’ll probably just have to get it towed. But here’s one thing I’m hung up on: yesterday, it cranked, slowly, a few times. Then later it cranked maybe once. And then that was it, no more cranking since. So…what fails slowly, besides a battery? Fuses/relays either work or don’t, right? Would a solenoid behave this way?

Bearing sin the starter fail this way. Burning starter windings fail this way. A corroded electrical joint can also act this way if you keep sending current though a bad joint, it heats, burns and gets worse.

Basically you need to chase the electrical current path from the good battery down to the not so good starter. Don’t just jump to replacing the starter. Check the battery connections, both positive a negative because the starter motor needs both. You will need a volt-ohm meter for this. If you don’t have one, buy one. They can be had cheap. Cheaper than a new starter if a bad connection is the problem.

The negative (ground) should have nearly zero ohms resistance from the battery clamp to an un-painted spot on the engine block. The same following the big red wire to the starter. A voltage check at the starter should show virtually the same as the battery - about 12.7 volts. If you crank the car while measuring voltage, if it drops below about 9 volts, then the starter is either drawing too much current or the battery can’t deliver that much current.

I suppose the starter is toast.You just might need to replace the 2 copper contacts inside the solonoid housing…a 10 minute job when the starter is out.
Kits are available for under $20 on ebay for your Denso starter.

UPDATE: I didn’t have any more time to do this job myself, so had it towed to the local mechanic. He replaced the starter and the car runs now.

anyone can have a dead battery.
most people do not own a battery charger
let boat sit over winter. battery is dead
let riding mower sit over winter. battery is dead
do you need a volt meter to figure that out? no
car battery is dead. why? get a $20 volt meter. or not

I have a cheap $20 voltmeter. It makes a nice backup to my $400 Fluke. Not sure how it’s relevant to this situation.


that’s what I have (besides several voltmeters). $12 on Amazon

Glad to hear you are back on the road. It’s a weird coincidence, but sometimes that happens In any event as long as it cranks and goes, you made the right decision to get a shop to figure it out. Sounds like you are good to go.