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Old 06-14-2012, 08:40 PM   #1
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Default 1990 Accord Lx Won't start.

I bought a 1990 Honda Accord Lx 5 speed about a month and a half ago. There weren't any major problems, I had known the previous owner and spent a lot of time in the car.
For the last couple days I can't seem to get it to start.
My stepdad took a look at it today, and originally told me that it was my starter. But later decided that it wasn't and he didn't replace it.
I can get the car to start with a bit of a push, and it stays running..
I really just need a second opinion to be sure of what's going on. I'm a little worried to take my car to a mechanic due to the fact that it's 22 years old and I don't want them to charge me far too much for stuff I don't really need.

Any tips, or help, or if someone could tell me how to just replace the starter myself that would be awesome!
Thanks in advance!
-Miki
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:25 AM   #2
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Default Re: 1990 Accord Lx Won't start.

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Originally Posted by KillParadise View Post
Any tips, or help, or if someone could tell me how to just replace the starter myself that would be awesome!
Thanks in advance!
-Miki
What exactly is happening when you turn the key?
Does nothing happen?
Do the dash lights come on?
Does the starter spin but the engine does not start?

Check the basics.
Is there full voltage from the battery?
Are the connections to the battery clean and tight?
Are the connections to the starter clean and tight?
Are the connections to the body clean and tight?
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:31 AM   #3
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Default Re: 1990 Accord Lx Won't start.

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Originally Posted by MAD_MIKE View Post
What exactly is happening when you turn the key?
Does nothing happen?
Do the dash lights come on?
Does the starter spin but the engine does not start?

Check the basics.
Is there full voltage from the battery?
Are the connections to the battery clean and tight?
Are the connections to the starter clean and tight?
Are the connections to the body clean and tight?
When I turned the key this morning when my car finally didn't start it kinda chugged pathetically, then a few minutes later I tried again and there was absolutely no sound. No clicking, I don't hear the starter making any noise at all. The last time my car made those sounds, (the pathetic chugging) it was just my battery connection and we got the lines tightened up and my car was just fine.
The dash lights come on, my headlights and everything work just fine.
My battery connection is tight, I have no idea how to check the voltage... This is my first car, and I'm a teenage girl so I never really learned much haha.
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:49 AM   #4
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Default Re: 1990 Accord Lx Won't start.

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Originally Posted by KillParadise View Post
When I turned the key this morning when my car finally didn't start it kinda chugged pathetically, then a few minutes later I tried again and there was absolutely no sound. ...
I have no idea how to check the voltage...
If you do not have a volt meter or know someone who does, your next option would be to bring the battery to an autoparts store that has a battery load tester. They will be able to tell you if it needs charging, and if so they should be able to charge it and then test it. But make sure to ask them what was the fully charged voltage.

A fully charged battery at 100% capacity will have 12.6Volts
A fully charged battery at only 75% capacity will be 12.35V
A fully charged battery at only 50% capacity will be 12.1V

If it reads 11.99Volts or less when fully charged the battery is effectively dead, and will need to be replaced. Ideally you will have 12.4-12.6 Volts when the battery is fully charged.

When you can confirm if the battery is good or bad then you will be able to move on to verify if there is any other issues.

Can you borrow the battery out of one of your parents/siblings car for a few moments? If you can start the car no problem with a known good battery from another car, and your car starts with no problems it may very well just be your battery is worn out.

Your battery should have a sticker on it with the month/year on when it was installed into your car. Usually little circles that are just removed.
If the battery is ~6 years old it is probably in need of replacement.

But have it tested first.
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: 1990 Accord Lx Won't start.

I will look into it. Sadly, I am the only one in my family with a car. My friends with cars all are very busy and I'm trying to figure out what's going on quickly.
There is a very high chance my battery is rather dead, considering the age of my car and the previous owner never finishing the work on her I would not be surprised.
The battery was dead when I first purchased the car due to the fact it had been sitting for a month but the person I bought it from left his subs wired to the car and forgot to run it. My stepdad charged it with something that he took the battery out, and it was charged without needing a jump.
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:09 AM   #6
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Default Re: 1990 Accord Lx Won't start.

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I bought it from left his subs wired to the car and forgot to run it.
If there are aftermarket, not Honda, electronics installed into the car, they may be wired incorrectly causing battery drain.
If the battery has been drained enough times it can also kill the battery. But first thing is to have it tested.
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:11 AM   #7
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Default Re: 1990 Accord Lx Won't start.

They were taken out shortly before I had officially purchased the car since he didn't sell the subs with the car. Not like I cared, I would rather have a backseat. I have a feeling that it may be the battery not being fully up to par causing the issues. My starter and everything looks fine, the car runs beautifully when it starts.
Thank you, I'll get it tested. Depending on those results I'll see if I need more help.
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Old 07-12-2012, 11:20 AM   #8
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Default Re: 1990 Accord Lx Won't start.

It sounds like the battery is bad, was it?
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