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I have a 2003 Honda Element 2.4l. Over the past few months it has been acting kinda weird. If I drove the car daily the car would start no issues at all. But if I left the vehicle sit over the weekend (Friday night to monday morning) unless it's nice and warm outside it would need a jump by Monday. I tested the battery and it was giving me 12.4v.

So this Monday I went out to start the vehicle and got a couple of cranks and then nothing. It was a chilly morning so I hooked it up to my jumper, nothing. I then purchased a new battery thinking maybe it was the problem. The new battery brightened all the dash lights and the headlight worked great but the car won't turn over. No clicking or cranking at all from the starter. When someone watches the serpentine belt it does move a tiny bit when the key is turned to start.

Thinking the new battery was bad I took both batteries to batteries plus. The ran them both on their tester. The new battery has 750 CCA and the old battery 350. Could this be a starter issue? Is there a test I can run? I do have an OBDII bluetooth module I can install to take readings, will that help me any? Any help would be appreciated.

  • Sounds like a problem with the starter. It could be 'jammed' -you could have someone try to start the car while you tap/hit the starter with a 2x4. If it still doesn't work, take it to an auto parts store and ask them to test your starter. If the stater is fine, it is either a fuse or your ignition. The fact that it works intermittently in cold weather makes me think it's just jammed. If it is jammed, the best long term solution would be to replace it. – MooseLucifer Sep 27 '16 at 15:12
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Considering the old battery tested at 350 CCA, which should have been enough to start the engine, this can point to a dying battery or a failing starter.

As you described, the starter is engaging but unable to turn the engine completely. This would rule out the starter relay circuit, thus leaving the most likely cause to be the starter itself. Remove the starter and have it tested. Replace if needed.

If that does not fix the issue, you may have a wiring problem and will need to troubleshoot accordingly or take it to be serviced.

Final note; a failing starter can put a lot of stress on a battery. In a case where the battery is toward the end of it's life-cycle, it will make it fail much quicker.

  • Your final note pushed me over the edge. The original battery is only a year old. There's no reason it should be as bad as it is. I'll bet that starter has been going for a while now. Thanks! Best answer might take a while. I have to get under the car before it gets to cold (no garage). – Albion Sep 27 '16 at 23:55

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