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Starting issues perplexing

I’ve been having an intermittent problem with my 2000 CR-V starting.
When I turn the key I get no noise. The lights etc work.
I had it hooked the car tested – hook to the battery (new as of a month ago), the alternator and starter (I replaced new about two weeks ago) show being in working order.
This problem has been around for months and sometimes goes 3 wks without doing it. After replacing the starter, now the problem is more frequent, and takes longer to get it started.
By shifting the car up and down, park to drive and back, helps it to start.
The battery showed it was testing at 12.9 volts.
It won’t start it neutral either (if it did, parking neutral switch or something like that was suggested by a neighbor as possibly being the problem).
I had the ignition switch R/R back in 2009.
Any thoughts would be appreciated about how to proceed.

That suggest that one or both battery cables are loose.Remove each one and make sure that they are free of dirt,corrosion etc.Make sure that they are tight.

Took a look at the cables they seem fine. I wondered though, the cables are probably 20 years old. Could that be an issue of the inside of the cables being bad?


Agree with @VOLVO_V70. Also, remember that the cables have two ends. Just because they’re hooked into the battery properly doesn’t mean they’re properly attached on the other end.

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Yes, I did check both ends. I’m going to repace the negative and positive cables, can’t hurt
Thanks V70 and shadowfax

The neutral safety switch may occasionally let it start in neutral when it won;t start in park, but usually when it goes, the car won’t start in either,After all, it is called a NEUTRAL safety switch.

Wow, that is an expensive switch! I wish I knew which wires to jump to see if it is the switch.

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Hi old timer, that is a thought and I tried it in N and P and only once did it start in N. Cables not the issue. Headed over to the mechanic this AM. I’m not wondering if it’s the ignition. Even tried a spare key I have. Baffled.

The neutral safety switch may respond well to being cleaned with a spray made for electronics, then blown out with compressed air. It can be tested while removed. Also it may be sensitive to its exact position when tightened in place.

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OK, thought I’d give an update. My mechanic (good ones who know their stuff) could not find an issue and of course the car started each time they tried to duplicate the non-start condition.
They tested battery, starter, solenoid, all wiring and connections along with testing the neutral safety switch (which I think they were thinking could be the problem, but it wasn’t).
So, I took the car back and it’s started every time (5 or 6) that I’ve tried it since this a.m.
Their thought was perhaps the ignition (I had it replaced in 2009, about 120,000 miles ago).
I’ve been online most of the day since getting back and looking though my real Shop Manual.
Is it possible the PGM-fi Main Relay could be causing this intermittent non-start problem?
Any other thoughts folks.?
Thanks for your help.

I’ve also eliminated the idea it’s the ignition starter switch since I’m not losing any dash lights, etc.

The main fuel relay wouldn’t cause the car to not crank. you’d get that cranking when you try to start, but it would never fire.

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hmm, makes sense, thanks shadowfax
seems like it’s a contact issue, I guess. I replaced the negative battery cable and think I’ll replace the positive also, when I find one, might be a dealer item.
I did non start again after replacing the negative cable.

Well, it’s been a couple of weeks since I posted this and I thought I’d give an update. The mechanic couldn’t find anything that might be causing the intermittent non-starting issue. I changed the negative battery cable (it looked kind of worn and very old) the night before I went in.
The mechanic said he checked all the contacts and made sure the cables (including those running to the starter) were tight.
Since then I’ve had no problems. So maybe something was loose or maybe as Shadowfax and @VOLVO_V70 suggested it was a bad battery cable, in this case the negative cable.
Again, thanks for the input.


Glad things are working well. My daughters 05 CR V did the same thing the winter before last. She parked it for 24 hours, and it started right up. I checked the cables and connections, battery, alternator and starter. All was good. No problems since. It was a little mysterious, but all’s well that ends well.

Glad it worked out tcmichnorth, it is a mystery, but I guess it’s always best not to question the will of the gods LOL!