I have a 2008 Honda Civic EX that has been running just fine.

The other day I went to go home on Friday after work and it wouldn't turn over, no power at all, not even for the auto locks. I sat in my car with the key turned while I made a call to see if someone could come pick me up when the dashboard all of a sudden lights up and I was then able to turn the car over and it ran just fine.

I didn't use the car over the weekend and when I went to start it on Monday it happened again. Absolutely no power for a few minutes and then it started working after I had the key turned on for a little while. Also, the radio was asking for a code.

Any help would be appreciated.

  • 2
    Have you checked the terminals on your battery? You should not be able to move the clamps around by hand. Also, ensure there is not heavy corrosion.
    – justinm410
    Nov 14, 2016 at 22:34
  • how cold was it?
    – Cc Dd
    Nov 15, 2016 at 0:33
  • If you're still paying attention to the site, please let us know if you resolved this and what at the problem was – or if you haven't please let us know what you've tried and what the current status is. It's a fascinating question.
    – dlu
    Dec 21, 2016 at 14:11

1 Answer 1


I think @justinm410 is on the right track. Start by checking and cleaning the battery terminals. There should be no corrosion and it should be impossible to move the terminals by hand (well, maybe not impossible, but for most mortals the battery should move slightly before the terminal moves at all – they should be tight).

The radio asking for a code is a very good clue. That means that the battery "died" – now since you have good evidence that the battery did not, in fact, die since after waiting for a bit power returned and you were able to start the car. But if one or both of the terminals was quite loose there could be corrosion forming while the car is idle that eventually "disconnects" the battery. Then when you return and turn the key hoping to start the car, you connect a larger load to the battery – it could be that that load eventually pulls enough current to break down some of the corrosion, or perhaps build small bridges across it as electricity arcs across the gap between the terminal and the battery post.

Once you start the car, the alternator takes over and the vibrations of running start to loosen the terminals again and the cycle repeats.

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