The engine turns over on turning the key but will not start

Hi, i have 2001 honda prelude manual transmission, lately, i would turn on the key but the engine turns over trying to start but ultimately fails to do so. My battery appears to be fine, with strong lights and wipers. Strangely, i can still jump start it and run with it, but at the end of the run when i take the key out and leave it for even 2 minutes, it won’t start again, though i can hear the engine again turning over. is this problem with my starter?

Your engine wouldn’t turn over at all if the starter motor was the problem.

If the engine rotates without catching, you’re missing either spark or fuel. You can check for spark by removing a spark plug, attaching the plug wire to it, and holding the plug thread against the engine block while someone cranks it over (DO NOT touch anything metal during this). If the plug doesn’t spark, that’s the problem; if it does, you aren’t getting fuel and should have the fuel pressure tested.

Are you saying you can turn the engine from the cars own batt and it turns but will not start. Yet if your attach a pair of jump leads it WILL both turn AND start without fail?.

If so, very odd.

And are you hearing the engine turn over, or simply the starter motor turning (whirring in most cases.)

You can have strong lights, etc from a battery that will not turn nor start an engine.

and assumit the engine is turning, is it turning fast or “barly making it over the compression hump”.

Hmm, not quite sure about the engine then actually–i hear some whirring noises actually, so may be its my starter that I am hearing?–any suggestions would be great. thank you very much for response.

I’m thinking that your problem is a weak or corroded starter solenoid. When it gets power, it spins the starter, but it doesn’t get enough juice to kick the starter gear against the flywheel to start the motor turning. When you jump it, more power gets forced through the solenoid, and that’s enough to kick the starter gear against the flywheel. It could also be a related problem: bad main ground (engine block to battery negative terminal) or bad connection for the main positive cable (battery positive terminal to starter solenoid). Or one of those cables is corroded. Try cleaning the cable connections first; that’s easiest, and it’s free.