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Starter problem

Our 1997 Honda Accord, with over 100,000 miles, wouldn’t start. We heard a clicking that sounded like it wasn’t engaging the fly wheel. The battery was low, but the lights, electric windows and clock were all still working. The mechanic recharged the battery, and tried it, and couldn’t reproduce the problem. Should we replace the starter to be safe, so we won’t get stranded again?

Do this in order:

  1. Check all connections and cables to make sure they’re clean, tight, and not corroded.
  2. Have the battery load-tested to see if it’s good - how old is the battery?
  3. Have the alternator tested
  4. If all the above are good, then it might be the starter - is it original? It might be that the solenoid contacts are worn, or that the starter itself is worn. But this is the last thing to check, especially because you said the battery was low.

It sounds a lot more like a battery problem than a starter problem.

The [head]lights, clock, and windows all take less than 20 amps. The starter takes over 200 amps. Just because there is enough power for the lights, does not mean there is enough power for the starter.

Thank you. This information was very helpful.

Thank you very much. Your information was very helpful. We got the battery completely recharged, and the starter seems to be working fine now.