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Hello Honda Element forum! I've got a weird one that hopefully some of you will have some insight on. Thank you ahead of time for your responses!

My friend's 2006 Element intermittently doesn't start - no turn, no crank, no attempt whatsoever from the engine to start. Sometimes when you disable the transmission lockout and shift through the gears with the car off, it'll start after that. Sometimes this doesn't work at all! Banging on the dash doesn't work. Disconnecting and then reconnecting the battery doesn't work. I've dealt with immobilizer systems on these K24-generation Hondas before, and this one appears to be working perfectly. Probably not worth explaining the process I used to rule the immobilizer system out here.

The non-start condition usually occurs after the car has been turned off (duh), and then a restart is attempted after ~15 minutes. If it's hours between starts, it almost never happens. Almost never overnight - only when you go into the grocery store and then come back out or something. If you give it a few hours, it'll start.

List of things I have replaced that have not helped:
- Ignition Switch
- Ignition Starter Solenoid (in the fuse box under the driver-side dash)
- Transmission Range Sensor (aka Neutral Safety Switch, the one in the driver-side wheel well)

I'm totally stumped! Battery starts the car wonderfully most of the time, as does the starter. We live in a nice, mild Pacific Northwestern climate. Is there another Transmission Range Sensor that I haven't been able to discover in my research? Is there some capacitor that intermittently needs to discharge through a bad ground in the harness before the car can start? I've done harness de-bugs before and they're pure evil, so I figured I'd at least ask the kind folks of this forum before doing a possibly fruitless deep dive into the electrical system.

Hopefully someone has run into this before. Thanks again guys!
 

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I have experienced something similar - slow or no starting when everything else is OK. It turned out to be the starter itself. Since then - NO ISSUES at all!! :razz::razz:
Granted, yours might be other things, but I replaced mine about the 130K mark. Not real easy to change, but, love the confidence with a new starter. :)

BTW - WELCOME, WELCOME!!! Sorry your first post is a cry for help......:-(
 

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Starter is my first thought - not sure why it would be less prone to work right after being driven but presumably heat has something to do with it (?). Unfortunately starter replacement not the most convenient task on an E...how many miles of the car?
 

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same

I'm having a very similar problem. I had my battery and alternator tested and everything was normal. The battery is only about 6 months old.

So I did a bit of research and I ended up replacing the ignition starter switch located in the steering column. It was a very easy replacement & I was hoping that would solve it. Unfortunately that didn't fix the issue.

So far I haven't been totally stranded but I'm worried that I'm on borrowed time.

My symptoms are as follows:

When I start the car it won't always turn over at first. It sounds like it's trying to turn over but it's sort of weak sounding. There's no clicking like a dead battery would produce. Eventually it will turn over after a few tries. I don't know what else to look for besides maybe a new starter motor?
 

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Welcome, 2008elementGA.

If the engine is cranking at all, the problem isn't with the ignition switch or relay. It's likely the starter (see relevant threads), but before you commit to that, test the battery voltage before, during and after cranking. Sometimes a bad connection (often ground) will create enough resistance to slow things down. Even if the starter does turn out to be bad, you'd do well to clean and retighten the main power and ground connections as a first resort.
 

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Welcome, 2008elementGA.

If the engine is cranking at all, the problem isn't with the ignition switch or relay. It's likely the starter (see relevant threads), but before you commit to that, test the battery voltage before, during and after cranking. Sometimes a bad connection (often ground) will create enough resistance to slow things down. Even if the starter does turn out to be bad, you'd do well to clean and retighten the main power and ground connections as a first resort.
I'll second this - anytime you are having any sort of battery or starting problems, always start with a check of the battery cables and a good thorough cleaning of cables and battery posts and then tighten snugly. Also as noted check the ground connection as well. I've often had this fix things in the past when I was on the verge of replacing stuff that didn't need to be replaced...if nothing else, you are always better off with clean, snug cables.
 

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Well, strangely enough my Element is now officially dead. I went to crank it and the starter makes no sound at all. When I turn the key my dash lights etc come on as usual but there is total silence otherwise. Think it might be the actual starter?


Welcome, 2008elementGA.

If the engine is cranking at all, the problem isn't with the ignition switch or relay. It's likely the starter (see relevant threads), but before you commit to that, test the battery voltage before, during and after cranking. Sometimes a bad connection (often ground) will create enough resistance to slow things down. Even if the starter does turn out to be bad, you'd do well to clean and retighten the main power and ground connections as a first resort.
I'll second this - anytime you are having any sort of battery or starting problems, always start with a check of the battery cables and a good thorough cleaning of cables and battery posts and then tighten snugly. Also as noted check the ground connection as well. I've often had this fix things in the past when I was on the verge of replacing stuff that didn't need to be replaced...if nothing else, you are always better off with clean, snug cables.
 

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First, check the voltage at the starter when you turn the key. If zero, it's likely the ignition switch or relay. If >=12V, then yeah, probably the starter.

And of course the advice above on clean, secure connections applies.

Well, strangely enough my Element is now officially dead. I went to crank it and the starter makes no sound at all. When I turn the key my dash lights etc come on as usual but there is total silence otherwise. Think it might be the actual starter?
 

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sorry

I'm not a professional by any means but I did replace the ignition switch that is in the steering column -- where is the ignition relay? Is that in the engine fuse/relay box?

As far as the voltage testing, I'm assuming I put the probe somewhere in the electrical chain of the ignition in the steering column?
 

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I'm not a professional by any means but I did replace the ignition switch that is in the steering column -- where is the ignition relay? Is that in the engine fuse/relay box?

As far as the voltage testing, I'm assuming I put the probe somewhere in the electrical chain of the ignition in the steering column?
Use a multi-tester to test the voltage at the starter - ie positive lead on the starter positive battery cable connection and negative connected to ground and see if starter is receiving 12V+ when you try to start car. If yes then you likely have starter issues; if no then problem more likely at ignition switch or starter relay. I'm not 100% sure of relay location in an E since I've not yet had any starter troubles but my guess is its in the under hood fuse box and not the under dash fuse box.
 

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Use a multi-tester to test the voltage at the starter - ie positive lead on the starter positive battery cable connection and negative connected to ground and see if starter is receiving 12V+ when you try to start car. If yes then you likely have starter issues; if no then problem more likely at ignition switch or starter relay. I'm not 100% sure of relay location in an E since I've not yet had any starter troubles but my guess is its in the under hood fuse box and not the under dash fuse box.
Thanks I think I located it under the hood on the driver's side -- at least according to photos on a Google search haha. It looks like there is an entire fuse/relay box in there. For anyone who may be reading this in the future, this is the part. https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=2413526&cc=1440499&jsn=372
 

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So the problem ended up being with starter. Replaced the starter and everything is good again. I will say that there is a video on YouTube that says you don’t have to remove the air intake manifold to access the starter… From experience that’s not correct. Trying to access it from underneath was a total waste of time. It was way easier to just take the manifold apart.
 

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So the problem ended up being with starter. Replaced the starter and everything is good again. I will say that there is a video on YouTube that says you don’t have to remove the air intake manifold to access the starter… From experience that’s not correct. Trying to access it from underneath was a total waste of time. It was way easier to just take the manifold apart.
Glad to were able to solve the problem. I've not yet had to replace a starter and have heard its a bit of a pain, so don't look forward to the inevitable day that I do.
 

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Hello all,
Thanks in advance,
I kinda have similar problem (2005 Honda Element), my car key was stuck and if would not turn, after I got it towed I replaced with new ignition cylinder and key. I swapped the chip from old key to new key and it will turn the key and cranks but would not start. Also, I am not sure if after market keyless auto start interfering or not because car will start with the remote start but won't start with replacement key.
Please advise.
Thank you
 

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Sorry I'm late to party. I had the same intermittent no crank on my mine for 6 months?, and changed out battery for the heck of it. Ended up being starter also. What starter did you use if not OE? I tried a new Bosch & gears sounded awful! The starter shop tried to blame flywheel ring gear, but did not do it with old starter. They switched out bendix from the original starter to the new starter motor & all was good,? except hated to pull manifold again.:(
 
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