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This one should be fun for any Honda aficionados out there. I have a 2007 Honda Civic. Some days it does not start or crank; seems related to the temperature. When the car starts, it runs fine and stays that way. Often time, it will re-start throughout the day just fine until the next morning when I get to play Honda Roulette.

Symptoms (In chronological order)

20 months ago - My passenger airbag sensor keeps showing up on my dashboard that it's disabled. Went to the Honda dealership and they replaced the airbag. The issue went away.

16 months ago - I let my battery die; twice within a month. AAA came and told me my battery was totally shot.

14 months ago - The passenger airbag light problem came back.

12 months ago - I made a long trip from VA to FL. During the trip, there was really bad weather; Coincidentally (I assume), my dash lights flickered and my headlights were barely visible and were flickering. We had to stop a few times it got so bad; but the car always started up and would occasionally the electronics would just work again. The flickering issue to this degree never came back.

10 months ago - My car would randomly kick up to 5k RPM when I was driving at 15MPH-35MPH and just stay at that RPM. It would persist for 20 minutes some times and then just go away.

9 months ago - My car starting emitting a light shinning noise from the front that increased in pitch when my car sped up.

8 months ago - I figured out the whine was caused by the power steering pump, I let the fluid run a little low, changing that out fixed the whining issues; but I still occasionally had the RPM issues.

6 months ago - Once in a while, the car would have a little difficulty starting. It would always start, but not as confidently as it usually did. Nonetheless, this caused no issues.

5 months ago - I finally shelled out money and got a new battery. woo. I assumed most of the issues I had been encountering were from a bad battery.

4 months ago - I got in the car after dropping something off at the post office and turned the key. nothing. No sound beyond the dash lights. I turned the key again and it started without a problem. I assumed that I just hadn't turned the key all the way.

2 months ago - My air conditioner was no longer cooling the car down. It was fine the day before and it just stopped working. The fans work just fine.

1 month ago - I went out to start my car and had the same issue that I was experiencing at the post office. Tried multiple times, no crank, no start, just the faint click of a relay. AAA came out and first attempted to jump start with a battery and booster pack; no luck. They jacked up my car and hit it the starter with a hammer and it miraculously started. They ran a test on my battery and alternator. The battery was outputting 150% rated cold cranking amps (it's practically new), and the alternator was fine. There was, however, large spikes on the startup voltage V/t graph. It looked like a jagged cliff, it eventually dropped down to the normal voltage post-start but it was really rough. The AAA guy thought it might be the solenoid barely making contact.

20 days ago - I replaced my stater Motor/Solenoid (one module). After the installation, it started up just fine. I was happy.

15 days ago - Tried to start the car; and no sound ... that install wasn't exactly easy and this is really disappointing.

4 days ago - I went through the electronics in the car.

  • I checked the TRS (The shifter sensor), it correctly identifies the position and the reverse lights work correctly.
  • I checked the 3 relays in the front by the dash (Fuel Pump, Main relay, and I forget the last one). The main relay had issues when I tested it (at least I thought), so I replaced it. But that didn't help.
  • I plugged a diagnostics computer in. The first time I ran the diagnostics, the car wouldn't start. No code showed up, but it did report the AC Evaporator was "Not Ready".
  • Then I tried starting it a few more times and it magically started again. I ran the computer test again and now it was reporting that both the AC Evaporator compressor and Catalyst were "Not Ready".
  • Try the start again, it won't start. Run the computer again, and now it reports AC Evaporator, Catalyst, and two other things I can't remember atm.

  • Try the start again, it starts just fine... Run the computer, and it still shows 4 things "not ready" as in the last test. No check engine light still.

  • And now my power windows don't work. But everything in the cabin is fine.

One last note, when I turn the key, it does have a green key symbol that flashes for a second. I read online that could be the anti-theft system but I was told that if that was the case, it would let the car start and then kill it in a few seconds. Additionally, no amount of fiddling the shifter, keys, fuse unit seems to affect the start. The only thing that seems to cause it to occasionally start is waiting till the next day or messing with the electrical system a whole bunch (but that could be coincidental). When it does not start, the only sound is the relay click and a very light whining noise coming from the front of the engine. It sounds a lot like when you don't have enough voltage in a cordless drill to the point that it can't turn anymore.


This is driving me mad (or not driving). My brother believes it is a faulty ground; I think it it's either a bad (+) on the high amperage route; my Dad thinks the wiring diagrams are bad and we are missing something.

Any help??

  • 2
    You need to check your grounds from engine to body, then double check to ensure all of the battery connections are clean and well treated, then check the other end of the battery connections (where they connect to their end points) to ensure good contact and that all is tight. Also, ensure there isn't any bulges in these wires ... check by visual and by feel for the entire length of the cables. If all else fails, take the starter off and have it bench tested ... wouldn't be the first time I've seen a bad starter/solenoid, whether new or rebuilt. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Apr 19 '15 at 19:32
  • @Paulster2 was on the right track. It was an electrical issue. The back-plane of the engine-mounted fuse box was melted. This is also why testing the electronics didn't do any good because the physical assembly the electronics plugged into was damaged. – seo Apr 30 '15 at 12:47
4

The fuse box turned out to be a red-herring. I had tried to start the car too many times causing the fuse box to melt.

The correct answer was that the ignition switch has many contacts; One of those contacts is, presumably, the starter solenoid contact. This contact was not connecting when I turned the key. Try to move your key in the ignition if this happens to you. I found this out when the car wouldn't start again and I bumped the key while turning it. I have done this several times now so it is the issue.

The seasonal temperature may cause the metal contacts in the ignition switch assembly to warp; this is one theory to why temperature may have an effect on the chance of the car starting.

protected by Community May 15 '16 at 18:49

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