Cold Starting [Archive] - Honda Element Owners Club Forum

: Cold Starting


aLan_one_27
01-11-2004, 10:32 AM
Anyone wondering if they're going to go out one cold morning and their Element isn't going to start? The other morning it was -25C (-13F) and my Element started but it sounded like the starter could barely turn the engine over. I'm afraid that if it gets much colder I'm not going to get it started.

I love my Element but this and my still broken windshield are starting to sour my opinion of Honda.

Alan

wodock
01-11-2004, 10:54 AM
yeah I noticed a slight strain on the starter the other morning when it was near 0 degrees F here in NJ.

it did concern me a bit

wodock

brendan
01-11-2004, 01:14 PM
We've got quite a few people on the board from the frozen* country up north. Have they had any problems actually getting the car started?

I've noticed it takes a bit longer to start here (wind chill was -10F early yesterday here in DC, not sure what the higher real temperature was), but it still starts and runs just fine.

With that said, I always keep a jumper battery/DC power source in the storage area, never know when it might come in handy.

One other item to check: if you've added any aftermarket electronics, check to make sure they aren't draining any appreciable current when the car isn't being used.

Assuming the issue is current to the starter, I suspect that the next time you get a new battery (either after it's life of 4-6 years, or a couple of unintentional full drains...) if you invest in a beefier battery this problem will go away.**

-brendan

* well, frozen this time of year anyways...

**On the other hand, with all the computer controlled stuff in Hondas now, I wonder if the computer is actually bringing the engine online slower on purpose, due to the cold for lubrication-related purposes?

tasmart
01-11-2004, 03:58 PM
Mine started OK at -20F up in Montana last weekend. It sounded weak, but it started and ran, so I cannot complian at all

crazy canadian
01-12-2004, 01:43 AM
it got down to -41 degrees f here last week, so i wandered out to the garage, well bundeled up to see if the E would start... Mind you it hasn't been started in a month but it fired right up. It turned real slow, but it did it!!

boneheadz
01-12-2004, 09:27 AM
[quote:b7ea11bb02=" "]it got down to -41 degrees f here last week, so i wandered out to the garage, well bundeled up to see if the E would start... Mind you it hasn't been started in a month but it fired right up. It turned real slow, but it did it!![/quote:b7ea11bb02]

Why has it not be started in a month? Don't you know the elements need regular exercise.

hambone
01-13-2004, 08:02 AM
we had a week of -31C ( a couple of days of -37C ) here and the element worked well. i have a block heater installed and plugged it in for a half hour before starting.

does anyone know the block heater draw ? i use battery booster boxes for my accessory power needs and then recharge off the aux. power when driving.

when out on the road i wouldn't might using a booster box for the block heater when i am too far from a plug ( as most times i am )....

Jeff1192
01-13-2004, 08:51 AM
We just finished a week of -40C with windchill at night and my E started fine....was definitely sluggish...but don't think that there is a car that wouldn't be....we're going back into the deep freeze tonight so it will get tested again....ah the joys of a Canadian winter.

Syrupface
01-13-2004, 10:20 AM
My was whinning during cold starts, but this last week its been in the 60's so i havent been able to test it out tp see whats making the noise .. i think its one of the belts :?

crazy canadian
01-14-2004, 04:54 AM
i've got the E parked for the winter... i'm currently driving a '88 vw fox!!! i miss my E something fierce, but i've had a run of real bad luck over the past few winters and i want the E to stay in tip top shape.

Jeff1192
01-14-2004, 06:48 AM
Ouch....that would be derpressing having to park my E for the winter....I have also had the whining noise when starting in real cold weather....it definitely seems like a belt noise to me and it stops within 5-10 seconds so I'm not worried about it...when things are as cold as they have been here....you have to expect some sluggishness when you first start any vehicle....in my opinion.

Bill
01-15-2004, 07:54 PM
I've also noticed some sluggishness on a cold start. It will crank a few times then start. Perhaps I am spoiled by my previous vehicle. It was a F150 set up for towing and that battery could lite up a city. The truck would start on it's first crank. The Element starts slow two to three cranks depending on how far below zero it is and is also quite stiff in the cold until it warms up. So far it hasn't not started but I make sure the the stereo is shut down and the fan is off also.

Einstein
01-20-2004, 08:06 PM
Mine needed aimed up too.

djc
01-21-2004, 04:48 AM
Huh?

Pimpn E
01-21-2004, 06:25 AM
DUDE! It's 25 BELOW FREAKING ZERO, not much by any brand will want to start in those temps.

Bill in Houston
01-21-2004, 08:17 PM
Mine is pretty slow to light off down here, and we're in the 50's or 60's, so I can't imagine what it's like when it's really cold.

Anyone else notice that the E is slow to start, in general, not related to cold weather?

Bill

brendan
01-21-2004, 08:47 PM
[quote:aa83e208bd=" "]Anyone else notice that the E is slow to start, in general, not related to cold weather?l[/quote:aa83e208bd]

There's definitely a delay due to the wait for the recognition of the key's chip during ignition. I believe that's documented in the manual.

-brendan

trackboy1001
01-26-2004, 08:25 PM
Extremely cold (-40 C) with windchill here in SW Ontario...and it starts up ok. Extremely slow to start (same as in warm weather), but it starts. And the car makes a whining/grinding noise but apparently it's normal...My dads 2003 Maxima makes an extremely similar noise on cold starts.

jml
01-26-2004, 09:07 PM
No Garage, so I installed a remote starter for cold weather. It always starts easily with the remote starter. Interestingly, in cold weather I sometimes have trouble starting maually. where it grinds and grinds. When this happens, I can sit in the car and activate the remote starter, and it starts right up. It makes me wonder, maybe its a fuel injection problem that the remote starter overrides?????

boneheadz
01-26-2004, 09:37 PM
- 46 last night and mine would not start with the remote, had to go out and it start first crank, but it sounded like it was in a great deal of pain. Tonight I have set the timer so it starts ever 3 hours and runs for ten minutes.

brendan
01-26-2004, 11:15 PM
[quote:a77064dda0=" "]No Garage, so I installed a remote starter for cold weather. It always starts easily with the remote starter. Interestingly, in cold weather I sometimes have trouble starting maually. where it grinds and grinds. When this happens, I can sit in the car and activate the remote starter, and it starts right up. It makes me wonder, maybe its a fuel injection problem that the remote starter overrides?????[/quote:a77064dda0]

Huh. That sounds almost like the immobilizer is taking longer than normal to recognize the key (and therefore activate the fuel injection), but the remote starter's immobilizer bypass doesn't have the same problem.

Can you do me a favor? Try it with the key, but turn it to position II, wait a couple of seconds (and watch for the immobilizer light on the dash to go out, I think), and then turn it to ignition. Does this lower the time required to crank?

-brendan

jml
02-07-2004, 07:17 PM
Brendan, It took me a while to see a pattern, but you called it. While the problem is intermitent, your recommendation was right on target. I also note that the key icon on the dash blinks to reflect the problem. If I wait a few seconds it starts easily. I am switching to my other key to see if the problem occurs with it as well. Thanks for pointing me the right direction. joel

brendan
02-07-2004, 07:56 PM
[quote:602d7b84d5=" "]Brendan, It took me a while to see a pattern, but you called it. While the problem is intermitent, your recommendation was right on target. I also note that the key icon on the dash blinks to reflect the problem. If I wait a few seconds it starts easily. I am switching to my other key to see if the problem occurs with it as well. Thanks for pointing me the right direction. joel[/quote:602d7b84d5]

Awesome. Yeah, shoulda mentioned the blinking light thing too.

I'm a programmer by trade, which means I spend 90% of my time troubleshooting. Helps in these situations.

-brendan

PS - 90%? I never said I was a GOOD programmer... :)

jml
02-07-2004, 08:04 PM
again thanks, I'll let you know if the second key solves the problem. joel

Bill in Houston
02-09-2004, 10:00 AM
[quote:b230119007=" "]There's definitely a delay due to the wait for the recognition of the key's chip during ignition. I believe that's documented in the manual.

-brendan[/quote:b230119007]

I hadn't driven our Odyssey in a long time, which also has the immobilizer, so I was buying this for a while, but I drove it yesterday, and that thing fires right up, no noticeable delay, no problem. So now I'm wondering if maybe the way it's set up on the E it just takes a little longer to recognize the key. I will try to click to the run position and wait a couple of seconds before turning to the start position and see if that helps.

Bill

jml
02-09-2004, 06:26 PM
Although its a short experiment, only a few days since I swapped to using the second ignition key... I haven't had the starting problem recur. I try to turn the key to start as fast as I can after inserting the key, and no problems (yet). I'm inclined to think that there is something a bit flakey about the first key. joel

Purtill
02-12-2004, 12:21 PM
I had the same slow start problem in Regina Sask . -30 to 40 last week . I did not wany to get stuck at work where I have no plug in . So I checked around the original
battery is rated at 410 amps . I found a type 51R rated at 530amps what a difference.
Honda paid for the upgraded battery and it is the same size as the original . The brand
is Exide . Ed

InSaNeBoY
02-15-2007, 05:10 PM
It's just the dinky battery Honda put in it, 410CCA I beleve... my VW starts a lot better than my E... but it's got an 875CCA battery in it and a small 1.8L engine.

I'm planning on looking for something with a bit more oomph for the Element for next year... than using the E's battery for my aircooled VW (doesn't need much to turn over and is summer only) :D

hownowcb
02-15-2007, 08:56 PM
So long as you're gonna 'rouse a long-dead thread, I'm gonna keep saying it doesn't take that much "juice" to start an Element. My stock battery is in the midst of it's fourth winter and starting mine parked outside just fine. This has also been the coldest February in the past hundred years or so..."only" -15°F or so, but I haven't had any real problems...

(Knocking-on-wood) I think I'll replace my battery before next winter. :rolleyes:

hamsamich
02-19-2007, 04:04 PM
i just bought one, and it was fine in 40F virginia. got to NY during the cold snap and now it takes quite a few cranks. the immobilizer thing sounds like it could be the cause. anybody have any new info on this? I will take it in to the dealer but I'd rather fix it myself. has anybody who had the problem noticed it getting better with a higher amp battery recently? thanks - jim

johnarrow
02-19-2007, 06:24 PM
I am surprised, My E is on it's 4th winter. Last year I finally picked up an auto-start for my wife's b-day. I will admit, that when it drops below -40 it whines during start-up, but this morning it was -35 and started just fine “with the auto start.” On the other hand, I will say that the door seals do not like the cold. As you can expect, they are stiff when the temp really drops. .

Needless to say I LOVE MY E. :D

hamsamich
02-20-2007, 07:35 PM
how much was that autostart, did you get it at the dealer? does getting the autostart make the E more vulnerable to being stolen? if the autostart bypasses the immobilizer, I may not get it if it will increase the chances of my E getting stolen. i love me E1

ToyBox2011
12-11-2011, 04:06 PM
Not to resurrect a dead thread but 'tis the season!

I was a bit shocked when my E with 10K on it and a fresh (synthetic) oil change, had a HARD time starting a few mornings ago. It was -5F. It was very slow to turn over, whined and stumbled, and then finally fired all the way up.
Has anyone ever had it NOT start at all? And if so, how cold was it?

psschmied
12-15-2011, 06:04 PM
-25C (-13F) shouldn't be a problem. I've never had a problem starting my E down to -20F, but if you routinely experience night time temps of -25F (-32C) or lower, a block heater would be a smart investment.

You can make a cheap alternative using a china lamp fixture,a 60 watt incandescent lamp, an extension cord, a coffee can, and a small, cut down styrofoam cooler. (Place it right under the oil pan).