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Discussion Starter #1
Over the last month sometimes when I would start the car there would be no sound - the starter wouldn't engage. The dash lights came on but nothing, I'd turn the key again and would start. BTW, the battery was replaced six months ago. Three days ago I turned the key and nothing, turned it again, nothing. I could hear a faint whine but it sounded like the starter wouldn't engage. This went on repeatedly until eventually something happened and it started. I assumed it was the starter so I had it replaced. Today the problem happened again. I turned the key and nothing...the dash lights all came on but nothing. I didn't wait to listen for the whine but on the second try it started up. Do I need to wait until this condition comes up again in order to have it diagnosed or does anyone know what this might be? Is there something separate from my starter that is not engaging...? My Element has 113k on it.
 

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Did this start to happen before or after you had the battery replaced?

If after, I would check and make sure ALL the cables were on and tight
from the battery, to the ground, to the starter. One loose cable can
still light the lights, but may not be enough to turn the starter. That is
my guess, good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It happened months after I installed the battery. I remember checking the connections recently but I'll give it another once over. Thanks.
 

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Filling in your profile would help - as to age of E, etc. Will it start when jumped in these cases? Even though it's a newer battery, I'd take the battery to an Auto parts store and have it tested. Could be a bad cell - happens. If it's not the battery, then move on to the Starter, and have it tested. Most Auto parts stores, like AutoZone, do that for free as well.
 

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Is yours a auto trans? If so the neutral switch could be acting up. Try moving the shifter around and see if that helps. Bad ground to the engine will also cause these symtoms and yes the battery connections. Fill in your profile so we will know what you have.:)
 

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You might have a couple of teeth missing on your flywheel. Do you know if anyone has tried to start it after it was already running? That's a possibility. The worm drive in your starter might be bad, causing the starter to spin, but not engage all the time. The motor in the starter might be worn out. However, out of all of these suggestions, I like the loose battery connection, the worn out neutral safety switch, or the loose nut behind the wheel... (oh wait, that's what's wrong with MINE.)
 

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Bad alternator? maybe? I had that issue before, i thought it was the battery so I got the battery replaced and it happened again, turned out the alternator was broken and never recharged the battery. (on my civic)
 

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we're having a similar problem with our 06 automatic

I replaced the battery, cables are rock solid.

I have a new neutral switch thing, I guess I should just suck it up and replace it already and see if that solves the problem
 

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We have a similar problem in our 03 EX 4WD w/ manual transmission. Battery & voltage seem fine, but occasionally you press the clutch in and turn the key, but nothing happens. Then turn it again and it fires without issue. I'm beginning to think it's a bad clutch switch and the ECU doesn't think the clutch is pressed in all the way. Etiher that or the ELD issue isn't telling the alternator to charge the battery well enough.
 

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same trouble here with me...its been getting worse since the summer.....i was convinced it was the battery, once it was running it would stay running, but if i went for a little trip to the mailbox (down the road) then it wouldn't start.....acts as if there isnt enough juice to start it, gives the slow turn over then the click click as if the battery is dead.....wait for 30 secs or so, then it would turn enough to fire up......so today it was over, even boosting didnt seem to help, then i used my charger in boosting mode and it fired right up.....went and bought a brand spankin new battery, hooked er up and fired right away.....tested the battery without it running, 12.7 volts, with running around 14 volts.....but then went to start again a few minutes later, and the same thing.....tons of juice for all the electrical, but barely turns over then the click.....i dont want to buy a starter if thats not the case.....anyway to test a starter?.....i checked the power at the starter, and there is tons....
 

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well i have the same problem and i let my friendly mechanic look and he told me its a weak starter. think back is it like mine and does not start as fast as it did in the past. Like mine it will just click and click then it will start. At first I also thought it was a bad battery, so i went and got a new one, and it did it again. that is when i thought to talk to my mechanic. well dam i was not happy when i found out how much to fix. Well I think im going to get a new honda starter and do it myself. I hope it can hold out for a few weeks till i can replace. good luck to you.
 

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Went to fire up my 03 EX Manual yesterday morning and got nothing. All power & accesories, but no sound, feeling, or anything from the starter. Fortunately this time I kept holding the key against the "Start" position just to see what would happen. Sure enough after about 5 seconds, the starter fired just like nothing had ever happened. Pretty werid. I'm 99.9% sure mine is not a battery power problem. When it starter finally moves, it's just like normal. I should probably check the connections on the starter huh?

I've gotta talk to a mechanic about this one...:rolleyes:
 

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Have you guys checked your ignition switches? Are you sure the starter solenoid is getting triggered with full power? Do the intrument lights, etc, dim when you turn key to start?

Come to think of it, even if the other electronics do dim (for lack of a more techie term) when engaging the starter, could still mean starter solenoid is going bad, too. I'm sure there are many of us with old war stories of doing the starter housing tap to get it to turn over.
 

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My Subaru had similar symptoms. The fix was to replace the contacts in the starter. They are large pieces of copper that wear and eventually wear out due to usage. The contacts they replaced were reallyugly looking, very worn down. Might be worth a look-see.

MrBill5
 

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starter

I have the same problem with my 07 element. Turn the key, nothing, then turn it again and it would start. Does this once a month or so. Never tried to fix it, hasn't gotten worse.
 

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I recently started pressing the clutch pedal in twice before starting my 03 Element. Since that time, the starter has fired on the first try every time.

Now I know the clutch inhibitor switch is the culprit. I'm gonna try pulling it out and cleaning it with electronics spray soon...
 

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same thing

I have an 08 auto and this same thing has happened to me twice in the last week. Turn the key and no engine crank . I cleaned the battery terminals and the same thing happened a week later. Battery is only a year old so that should not be the problem. I will let Honda look at this under warranty and report back.
- Jeff
 

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I have an 08 auto and this same thing has happened to me twice in the last week. Turn the key and no engine crank . I cleaned the battery terminals and the same thing happened a week later. Battery is only a year old so that should not be the problem. I will let Honda look at this under warranty and report back.
- Jeff
Update on this. The dealer could not reproduce the problem but they think it may be the starter cut relay. This relay is located inside the cabin on the underdash control panel.

- Jeff
 
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