Honda Civic / Del Sol (1992 - 2000) EG/EH/EJ/EK/EM1 Discussion

Intermittent starter failure

 
Old 06-04-2019, 05:56 PM
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Default Intermittent starter failure

I have a 94 Civic VX, and starting yesterday, I noticed the sudden onset of the starter being deader than a doornail, but only temporarily.

This morning I cranked to start, and nothing. Battery has charge, fuel pump primes, but no sound of the bendix engaging, or the starter moving. After some jostling of the car it randomly fired up. Later today, after work, it was a no go...nothing...had to bump start it. So , the car ran for 4 hours straight, while I bought a starter at Oreilleys...just in case it was a starter. I got home...busted out the test light, and I have power at the starter....and now it starts up just fine. What gives?

I wouldn't think it is a fuse issue, as it wouldn't be intermittent, and it tested fine. Starter tested fine, and has power...now at least. What other bits and pieces SUPPLY/CUT power to the starter, to cause such a light switch on and off complete failure. I checked the battery lines and connections, but like I said...right now...as I'm typing this, it works perfectly fine, but I don't want to get stranded.
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Old 06-04-2019, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: Intermittent starter failure

Ignition switch
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Old 06-04-2019, 07:08 PM
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Default Re: Intermittent starter failure

Also check the condition the rubber stopper at the top of the clutch pedal that presses on the starter switch.
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Old 06-05-2019, 07:48 AM
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Default Re: Intermittent starter failure

Originally Posted by muellersfan View Post
Also check the condition the rubber stopper at the top of the clutch pedal that presses on the starter switch.
I looked at the rubber stoppers and they are intact. I think they are depressing the sensor/switch enough, but it's hard to say if it is the switch itself or not.

I have not checked the ignition switch as of yet.
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Old 06-05-2019, 08:45 PM
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Default Re: Intermittent starter failure

So I got off of work today, and the car was symptomatic again. This time, I had my test light with me. Even though, it was exhibiting the same sx, of the starter and bendix not doing anything, the test light DID indicate that the starter is getting power still whether the battery cable attaches to the starter. Should i suspect a bad starter solenoid, or does the clutch switch and/or ignition switch still come into play? I'm not sure if they cut/supply power in the starter or before the starter in the ECU/power box.
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Old 06-06-2019, 04:23 AM
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Default Re: Intermittent starter failure

Starters often become intermittent before failing completely. The cause is either the solenoid or the brushes in the motor, but since you replace both as a unit it doesn't matter much. If you're applying power to the small terminal of the starter and it doesn't turn, it's either the starter, the battery, or the large power and ground cables.
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Old 06-06-2019, 10:56 AM
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Default Re: Intermittent starter failure

The next time it doesn't want to start bang the starter with a wooden pole and try to start it. This will get you home and if this works it's the starter.
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Old 06-06-2019, 01:57 PM
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Default Re: Intermittent starter failure

It's time to test the clutch pedal switch and the starter solenoid circuit with a multimeter.
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Old 06-06-2019, 02:51 PM
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Default Re: Intermittent starter failure

The nature of starter failure is that they fail intermittently. Some of the windings are open. The starter stops at a different spot each time it is disengaged, so the failure to start seems random, but it's not. If you rotate the starter slightly, it will start. Replace the starter motor.
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Old 06-06-2019, 09:08 PM
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Default Re: Intermittent starter failure

it is 2 bolts take it to autozone and have it tested

but I would have the oem one rebuilt instead of buying one from autozone, the ones from az seem to be hit or miss

make sure to disconnect the battery first though
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Old 06-06-2019, 09:42 PM
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Default Re: Intermittent starter failure

Thanks for the info guys. I believe the problem is the starter solenoid attached to the starter. The actual solenoid is getting power, as I checked my test light today, turned the key to ignite, where the starter signal wire should signal the solenoid to click by opening the spring loaded electrical bridge, which it does not, however the test light indicates the wire itself is supplying power to the solenoid. Something is binding in the solenoid. I can hear an electrical load, when holding the starter to the crank position, but no clicking like it should make.

I would love to take it apart to see why the solenoid is failing, but my life is chaotic between work and building a NASA ST6 car. I'll replace the starter/solenoid, and confirm it works.
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:15 AM
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Default Re: Intermittent starter failure

I replaced the entire starter/starter solenoid assembly(comes together), and it has resolved the issue. Thanks for the pointers guys. I'm not sure what internally was causing a poor connection but being at 280K miles with the original starter, who knows after years of use and corrosion.
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