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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone, I'm just hoping that someone on here might have some insight as I'm stumped and my pal Google hasn't helped me find a solution yet.

I have an 04 EX automatic. Recently I have been having intermittent issues with the doors not locking or unlocking with the fob. I though it was perhaps the battery in the fob, but then at one time, they wouldn't unlock with the button on the door either. All doors, not just one. But then the next time I'm in the car, it will all work fine. Also last week I used the key to unlock the door, and it was really hard to get the door lock to pop up and unlock the doors... after trying in both the passenger and the drivers door, it finally worked, but that was weird.

Then yesterday I was leaving work and my car wouldn't start. No turning over, no noise when I turned the key. No lights would work, no lights on dash came on... nothing. Just a dead hunk of metal. I had called my Dad to come and give me a jump because I figured the battery must be dead (though I had just gotten back an hour previously from a 30min + trip with no issues). While waiting for him to arrive, I decided to go open the hood to get ready for the jump. With the key still in the ignition, I opened the door, and got out. When I closed the driver's door, I heard the beep beep beep that usually happens when the key is inserted and the side indicator lights on the outside of the vehicle flashed. I got back in and turned the key and it started right up - no labouring in the start. The battery seems fine. The stereo had reset itself though (I should mention I had an after market stereo installed about 4 months ago).

Then this morning it started fine when I left my house, but I made one stop on the way to work and again it was totally dead. While sitting in my car, I opened and closed the drivers door, and locked and unlocked the doors with the fob. Put the key back in and it started right back up again. Again the stereo had reset itself.

Any ideas WTF is going on???!! Has anyone experienced anything similar to this? I fear this open and shut the door trick is not going to continue to work very long.
 

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The two are not related. The fob not working is common if the little switch on the door isn't working properly (The one that detects if the door is open or not. I'm currently experiencing the same thing as you) or if the drivers side lock actuator is failing (a very common Element problem)

As for the no power it sounds like you have a loose battery connection. Check and make sure both terminals are securely fastened to the battery. If it were key related (faulty chip) then the lights would still turn on and everything would function normally but the vehicle will not start. Since there is no power at all and your radio resets, it shows that all power is being cut off from the vehicle.

Berz out.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks for the reply Berz. I have already replaced the driver's side door actuator, so I didn't think that was the issue. Also when that needed replacement, I believe that the fob would still open the passenger side door, whereas lately it isn't opening either door.

I checked the battery connections last night but I will double check them again, because you're right it just seems like the battery is totally disconnected when this happens.
 

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i would get an old toothbrush. mix up some baking soda with water. remove neg, remove pos, clean terminals and connections. connect pos, connect neg. get some grease and smear it over both pos and neg. should help with preventing corrosion buildup between contact points.
 

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thanks for the reply Berz. I have already replaced the driver's side door actuator, so I didn't think that was the issue. Also when that needed replacement, I believe that the fob would still open the passenger side door, whereas lately it isn't opening either door.
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Mine is like yours. Works fine, then doesn't then does. I think the micro switch that's located on the body panel inside the door is the culprit. It's the switch that tells if your door is open or closed. I haven't replaced mine yet because it's to damn cold out but will be done as soon as it warms up. Does your E do any funny beeps with opening the doors?

Berz out.
 

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Battery probs & ground connector diagnosis

FWIW a long time ago I had a car where I figured out that the battery post had corroded internally (i.e. that size of the top of the posts is bigger than what goes through to the battery internally. I don't know how they are made - but mine had corroded between the skinnier part and the fatter part. I screwed a sheet metal screw in between and voila! the problem was solved.

I concur that the no start/no anything problem is a loss of connectivity - somewhere. Opening the driver's door and closing may be enough to remake the connection.

As to the possibility that the cable from the negative post to something (engine/frame) is dysfunctional, one method of diagnosis is that the next time the car wont' go, use a jumper cable or equivalent between the battery negative post (ideally the battery post and not just the negative cable clamp) and a good ground point. If that fixes the problem than cleaning and/or replacement would be in order.

The opening and closing the door resuscitation of the car makes me wonder about whether it might be an intermittent connection on or near the fuse block. I wonder if, without opening the door, whether a thump on the lower panel (left driver's knee area) might get things going and be diagnostic.

Hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
thanks so much for your replies. I did check the battery terminals, and I could tighten the positive terminal a bit. I wouldn't call it loose, but had room to be tighter. That was on 3 days ago and so far I haven't had any issues starting it, but I did have another incident where the fob would not lock the doors at all. I could still lock the car with the inside lock on the door. I went for my walk with the dogs, came back to the car and the fob worked fine to unlock the doors. The weird thing is that my stereo had reset itself again... so that makes me think there is a connection with the door stuff and the loss of power.
I will go through your suggestions and see what I can find.
Thanks again!
 
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