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Old 07-06-2007, 11:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Car Starts Intermittently

Search feature seems not to be working, at least for me. My car of late has decided it does not want to start sometimes. I will turn the key four, five, six times, car won't start, just clicks once when I try to start it. Turn the key a seventh time, and it fires right up. So it's not the battery. As for the starter, I just replaced it two years ago (with a unit from PepBoys ), it has a lifetime warranty. Does it sound like my starter is going?

TIA
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Old 07-07-2007, 01:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Have you heard about the ignition switch recall? I have a 98 SH and I had similar symptoms.. Turns out my ignition switch was going bad and needed to be replaced. The work was done free of charge @ Honda of course
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Old 07-07-2007, 08:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yea, I'm not sure if mine ever got done (I'm the second owner). I will check that out... I don't know if they will do the work for free due to my transmission swap

edit: I checked ownerlink, never had it done. So gonna take it to the dealer tomm and see what shakes out.

Me: Hi, I'd like to have a recall done on my Prelude
Honda Dealer: OK, you'd like to schedule an appointment. What year is it?
Me: 1998 Prelude
Honda Dealer: What is the make?
Me: Ummmm Honda
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Old 07-07-2007, 02:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Haha, wow..

They should still do the work for free regardless of your tranny swap. Do you have an aftermarket alarm installed thats wired to the ignition? If not, you *should* be fine.
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Old 07-07-2007, 02:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have the same ****ing issue. I bet you will notice that this only happens on really hot days. I had these same problems all last summer on and off then the winter comes and everything is all good again. Now we are back in the summer season and guess what we are back at square one.

I have heard ppl say that this may be an issue with the main relay.


BTW I have a 01 sh and I know that the recall was for previous yr models.. So there fore I do not know why I am having these issues.
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Old 07-07-2007, 06:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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can you hear your fuel pump starting when you turn the key to the ON position before turning it over?

my car would randomly not start.. at first i thought it was the starter, but then i noticed my fuel pump wasnt turning on. checked the battery terminals, they looked fine but i went ahead with a wire brush to clean em. tighten everythign back down and turned the key, fuel pump started voila problem fixed. im sure you've considered that since you were talkin about the battery, but i thought mine was ok too.
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Old 07-07-2007, 08:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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No, I hear the fuel puump. YES it DOES only happen when it's really hot. Problem is I just moved to the damned desert, which is why this keeps happening. It never happened in San Diego save for once in a blue moon. I don't have an alarm anymore, so hopefully the dealer work goes well and this solves the problem...
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Old 07-07-2007, 10:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have the same ****ing issue. I bet you will notice that this only happens on really hot days. I had these same problems all last summer on and off then the winter comes and everything is all good again. Now we are back in the summer season and guess what we are back at square one.

I have heard ppl say that this may be an issue with the main relay.


BTW I have a 01 sh and I know that the recall was for previous yr models.. So there fore I do not know why I am having these issues.

I have the same issue with my 95 Teggy. Gave me a little trouble in the winter. But the minute summer hit, its dead. I turn the key, and the lights come on etc, and I hear one "click." But it never turns over. In the winter, when it did it, I could do it 6 to 8 times, then it would turn over.

Some people have mentioned the ignition switch, but Ive also heard main relay. Im going to try the main relay first because its cheaper.
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Old 07-08-2007, 12:28 AM   #9 (permalink)
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^ How much is a new main relay?
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Old 07-08-2007, 01:33 AM   #10 (permalink)
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where is the main relay located at in the 5th gen? What does this damn thing look like. I hate sitting there turning the key and the car starts whenever it wants. I mean what if i had to make a quick get away? LOL
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Old 07-08-2007, 11:31 AM   #11 (permalink)
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^ How much is a new main relay?
Around 45 bucks. You can try fixing it yourself by resoldering all the joints inside.


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where is the main relay located at in the 5th gen? What does this damn thing look like. I hate sitting there turning the key and the car starts whenever it wants. I mean what if i had to make a quick get away? LOL
It's rectangle shaped box up under the dash with a harness sticking out of it. I know that sounds like a lot of things. It's way up there like behind the guage cluster area.

Normally the symptoms of a bad main relay are a little different than what was described. This normally happens when the car is cold then you drive it a short distance to like a gas station or something. The car will crank fine the egine will start then die. If you try to start it again it'll just crank but won't start. After you wait a little while it'll start up fine.
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Old 07-08-2007, 04:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
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damn i that sucks I gotta dig through all that crap. I was hoping it was down by the driver side kick panel fuse box
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Old 07-09-2007, 08:50 AM   #13 (permalink)
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OK, I have a stupid question for everyone with this problem.

Does the green immobiliser light on your dash stay lit while you are having this problem? I've had starting problems (have to turn the key 5-6 times), but I'm pretty sure its the immobiliser and it has not stranded me...yet.
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Old 07-11-2007, 10:05 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Sounds like a fuel relay to me.
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Old 07-19-2007, 01:37 AM   #15 (permalink)
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i have this problem and replaced the ignition relay thinking it would take care of it. Unfortunately it didn't so now I don't know what to try. I don't want to replace the starter since it's so expensive so I guess I just deal with it for now.
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Old 07-19-2007, 06:46 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I had the switch replaced at the dealer, and I have had not had a problem to date. But it hasn't been that hot yet...
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Old 07-19-2007, 11:40 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Here's your troubleshooting flowchart...

Does the starter crank?
- If so, check for fuel and ignition issues.

- If not, do you get any activity/noise? Fuel pump, one or more clicks, etc.
Have the battery checked. A marginal battery do this. Be sure to check voltage (should be > 12V) and CCA. If battery is OK, check all grounds & power connections for tightness/corrosion. Loose or poor connections can drop enough voltage to prevent the starter or one or more relays from engaging.

- If that's all OK, the fuel pump should spool up for a few seconds when you turn the key ON. Make sure you hear it (you may need to have someone work the key while you put your head in the trunk). If you don't hear it, it warbles funky, or does something else, troubleshoot the pump & relay.

- If all that checks out OK, check the ignition switch. There's not much to check unless you really want to chase the wires, you can buy the switch for ~ $30 at the dealer and it takes about an hour to install. You will need an offset screwdriver to reach one of the screws. The switch was recalled in 98 or so, but even the new switch will fail with time.

- If all that checks out, OR if the immobilizer light flashes while you try to start the car, or the car starts fine after a short delay, troubleshoot the immobilizer system. In general, if the key has always worked and then all of a sudden it starts hesitating before starting, or starts flashing the immobilizer light, you generally need a new reciever and controller (sold as a pair) and re-programming by the dealer (you cannot do it as an end-user).
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Old 07-19-2007, 07:55 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Mine does the same thing and I figure the key is just worn or the sender is going bad since the immobilizer light blinks in the dash. But.........there is something you can do to make it start first try everytime. I found that if you don't push the key all the way in it will start no problem. You can push the key in and turn it before it bottoms out. Whenever I bottom the key out I have the problem. If I pull the key out and don't bottom it out it will start everytime. Hope this helps.
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Old 08-08-2007, 11:10 PM   #19 (permalink)
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anyone else still experiencing these problems
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Old 08-08-2007, 11:17 PM   #20 (permalink)
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mine end up just being the battery, really odd IMO
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