Not the starter not the battery... Then what?

I drive a 95 Honda Accord and it runs great if you can get it to start. Sometimes it will start up no problem, other times I have to pin the key for a few seconds and then it will start, and other times it would start at all and Ill jump it. When I turn the key I hear one click and then silence.

I replaced the battery last year and the started the year before. All this leads me to believe that its an electrical issue.

Any ideas???

Whenever you have a problem like that it is wise to clean the battery connections using a battery post cleaning brush. If that doesn’t solve the trouble then there may be a problem with the starter solenoid contacts. They wear out over time and after 10 years time they can be suspect usually. When they get worn the usual sign is the farily loud click you heard. The solenoid is most likely tied with the starter so they would have to be repaired or replaced together. The solenoid contacts can be replaced alone but it is wise to refurbish the starter also since it is out. Most of the time I think it is best to just purchase a refurbished unit and install it. There should be no more trouble with that for many years then.

When you replaced the starter 2 years ago, they most likely installed a solenoid with it because they are usually sold together. If you hear a click, the solenoid is working, but if it only clicks once, that could be a problem. As Cougar said, it’s always a good idea to clean the contacts and apply some “anti-corrosive” treatment (they sell it in spray cans). It’s also a good idea to make sure the connections at the other ends of the battery cables are clean and in good condition. A bad battery could fail within a year, and I have had a replacement starter go out within one year as well. Start cheap with the cleaning and work your way up to the more expensive stuff.

There are two relays that can prevent the starter from operating. One is the Security Starter Cut relay, located under the left side of the dash. This is included in your Honda even if it doesn’t have an anti-theft system. The other is the Starter Cut relay. This is located on the left side of the center console.

You might have someone check if either one of these relays is causing your starting problem.


First, I would clean the body end of the engine to body ground cable. Then I would change the negative battery cable. If that didn’t work I would change the ignition switch.