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EOC Rank: Seagull
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32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Honda Element 03 with 192,000 miles. Starting about 4 months I couldn't get the key into the ignition off and on. Then about 2 months ago,
the car wouldn't start intermittently. Or if it did there was a slight hesitation before it connected. On Nov. 11 I had the battery replaced after it tested "bad" but the started apparently was ok. Then on Nov. 13 I had Honda dealer repair
2 recalls, the ignition switch key interlock and the driver side airbag. At that time I explained the starting issues an asked that they diagnose the problem.

Their evaluation stated that the car needed a whole ignition switch assembly for $632 and the electrical portion of the ignition switch at $241.25. I was told that the recall repair had nothing to do with their newly diagnosed issues.

From reading in this forum, I gathered that these starting issues were and are
omni-present. People have gone through many starters and batteries searching for a solution. I was also told by one mechanic that the starter couldn't be tested till the car had failed, and i would have to get stuck somewhere and towed in to get a diagnosis! I also read many complaints about the ignition switch or wiring relay failures.

I dread starting the car every time never knowing if it will start. What can I do to get an accurate diagnosis. I can't afford anything close to $1000. And I don't trust the Honda dealer. Is there any justification for claiming this problem as part of the recall??
 

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EOC Rank: Seagull
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32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
what about starter cut relay or transmission range switch? i have no idea what they are but i read about them on the forum reated to starting issues.
 

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i have an 03 with 194k on it and am having the same issues. I can’t help but think it’s related to that recall but I’m nervous to take it in because I already know the dealership mechanics will be shooting in the dark and charging me for the bullets.

I hope we can get to the bottom of this!
 

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Here's the cheapest way to find out if it's the starter. First, make sure that your battery posts are secured and free of any corrosion. If there are no issues regarding the battery, battery posts, +/- cables, and engine grounding cable then try tapping the starter. Locate the starter and have someone tap the body of the starter with a metal pipe and metal hammer while your cranking. You might have to hit it a couple of times. If the starter engages and starts up the engine then you might try it again the next time it won't start. If the starter starts each time after hitting it, then you'll have a temporary solution to your starting problem. You'll eventually have to replace the starter. Do not believe anything that comes out of any employee's mouth that works at a dealership.
 
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