Honda Element Owners Club banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
First off, my E has 178,000 miles on it and as far as I know (I bought a couple years back) I'm still workin with the original starter, fuel pump, alternator, etc. I recently had an alarm installed... soon thereafter began the problem (although I think its just a coincidence).

My engine began having trouble starting after sitting for several hours (usually first start of the day). The engine will turn over but not start. I wait a couple seconds then try again...nothing...again and the inevitable click of the starter. I replaced the battery and everything seemed fine but then a few days later the same thing. Except now the engine will start, usually on the third try. This problem has been happening for about a month or maybe a little longer. Its not everyday but it happens a least a couple times a week. I dont think its an alternator problem as I don't experience any dimming of lights or any other sign that the battery is not holding the charge. I'm thinking I either have a starter problem or maybe fuel pump? You guys got any ideas:twisted:
Oh and I'm hoping this is something I can test and fix myself since I am out of the country and taking my car to the mechanic or to Honda directly with US license plates is just asking to get screwed (overcharged)! Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I don't think it's a coincidence.:roll:
Thanks Gary, but please don't think too hard...
I guess I should have clarified when I asked if anyone had any ideas I meant any useful ideas about what might be wrong with my engine.

I don't see how the alarm could be the problem- 1) the battery is fine, 2) the starter doesn't click (i.e. this is not a case of the starter kill function of the the alarm going haywire) and most importantly 3) I hardly ever activate the alarm! This happens without the alarm being on.

Thanks again Gary and anyone else who can help8)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
I had a 91 Integra with the same problem. Sometimes it would start fine, but other times.. especially if the starter was warm.. all i would get is a click. Sometimes after 2-3 clicks it would magically start just like normal. Other times i had to jump start it. To clarify, the battery was new, as was the alternator, so it didn't have any issues there. I had a mechanic friend look at it, and he told me it was most likely the starter solenoid. Apparently a wire or connection inside can break, so when the car is jump started, that little extra voltage from the jumping car can span the gap of the broken or loose wire/connection etc and crank the starter. Once i replaced the starter, i never had another problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
536 Posts
Starter problem

The first thing to do is check all your connections to be sure they have no corrosion and they are tight. The grounds are especially pesky when they are loose or corroded. When you are satisfied the connections are good you may want to consider removing the starter and taking it somewhere to be tested. Places like Auto Zone and Advance Auto have testing available at no charge. If your starter is bad I would advise against getting an aftermarket replacement brand as several EOC members have not had success with them. Stick with OEM new or remanufactured. Hope this helped you out some and good luck.:grin:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
480 Posts
Ditto on the connections. Even if they look good, you should remove the cables and clean them with fine sandpaper or scotch brite or a wire brush, especially both ends of the ground cable.

Just for piece of mind, I would check the output of the alternator. You probably don't have a multimeter with you, so go to wal-mart or somewhere and buy a cheap one. You can buy the cheap-o meters for around 10 bucks. You won't be able to check the full output at an idle, so it might take two people, one to hold the leads on the battery posts and one to throttle it up to around 1500-2000 rpms. The alternator should be putting out more than 12 volts, but not more than 14.

Hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,536 Posts
I'm with AccordGuy - sounds like the starter solenoid, and that should be a first-step fix/elimination as you trouble-shoot. Exact symptoms on my Son's pickup last month - we replaced the Solenoid, and it fixed the issue. Had a loose/broken connection right in the solenoid, and you could see where it was shorting. On his pickup, the solenoid was a separate $10 part mounted next to the battery - real easy. I think on the E it is part of the starter, so not an easy replacement. If there is an auto parts place near you, they can test the starter and do some diagnostics - usually free.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,645 Posts
First....please fill out the location portion of your profile. It is very important in cases like this...so the rest of us know not to move anywhere near your neighborhood if you need an alarm on an almost 200k mile vehicle. Just kidding. ;-)

2nd. Yup....check them connections. Typical simptoms of typical problem.

3rd. If all connections & grounds are nice and tight and clean...I'm guessing it is a starter issue. I doubt it is the alternator, or it would get worse day by day. Can't hurt to chech though.


Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the advice everyone. I checked and cleaned all the connections and had the battery charged, but the engine is still laboring randomly- most times it starts right up and other times it labors and seems like a weak battery (although it is new).
THe problem is I am in southern mexico right now and simple things like a multimeter are hard to come by and therefore are a lot more expensive than in the US. Also Honda doesn't sell elements here, but I believe the CR-V uses the same engine... can anyone confirm this? If needed can I order a starter or starter solenoid for a CR-V? I think I am just going to suck it up and by a multimeter and do some of the tests that were recommended.
What are the symptoms of a faulty solenoid vs the starter itself?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
starter/intake manifold update

pulled the starter and took it to a shop. When the guy pulled it apart a BUNCH of carbon fell out...looks the brushes were really worn out hence the voltage wasn't always being transfered to the armature. Bought a remanafactured oem starter for 1,000 pesos (about $85). Before reinstalling the new one I am seeing if I can get my hands on a RBB or at least an RTB intake manifold before putting her all back together :-D...does anyone know an acura parts dealer that ships international??? Or is the RTB pretty close as far as performace???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I don't think it's a coincidence.:roll:
Well despite gary's rolled eyes the alarm was indeed just a coincidence:lol: Installed the remanafactured starter today and she starts up great 8) Still waiting to hear from delray honda about shipping to Mexico... the local Honda dealer can order me the rbb intake used on the newer Es and CRVs but I was really hoping on the RTB.
THanks again for all of the useful advice from EOC community!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I am having start problems with my Honda E 2004 model. It just suddenly stopped starting, you can hear the starter try to engage but it won't quite turn over. Some times I just get a click and other times I get a buzz when i turn the key. I took my battery to be tested and it was bad so I installed a new battery but it still does the same thing.

Any advice?
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top