My 2006 Honda Civic won't start. I noticed it straining to start and I figured it was going to need a new battery. I tried to jump start, but that didn't help. Bought a new battery, and it sounds the same as it did with the old batter. Old battery, jump start and new battery all sounds essentially the same, like a dead battery (minus the clicking sound). It almost sounds like it's unable to overcome some compression or something.

I tested the terminals and got 12v and I also tested the cables and got 12v off the battery. So, I don't think it's a bad connection.

Any ideas how to diagnose the issue?

Edit: Link to video. Battery seemed to be almost 100% dead and I only got one last bit of sound out of the starter as I made the video. when the battery was stronger, it was a similar sound but just longer and louder.


I'm gonna tow it to a mechanic tomorrow

Update: I had the car towed to dealer. It was a failed starter. They are replacing the entire unit. Thanks for the help.

4 Answers 4


A strained start is often the sign of a dying starter solenoid.

The solenoid is the magnet "bridge" that allows power to flow to the starter motor. When these have wear, they fail to completely create a circuit, which means that the start motor is either underpowered, or not powered at all, hence the strain.

Solenoids are sometimes sold as part of the starter, and sometimes sold separately. In your case, I think you'll be replacing the entire part at once.

  • 1
    I had the car towed to the dealer and the starter was bad. Thanks for taking the time to answer my question.
    – David
    Dec 5, 2016 at 22:44

In addition to the above given answers, also check where the ground cable (or - ) connects to the chassis. Corrosion on this point can also cause too much resistance for the starter to work right and cause it to be sluggish or fail completely.


You should also use your multimeter to do a voltage drop test. Sometimes the heavy cable between the battery and the starter starts going bad and prevents enough current ( amperage ) from reaching the starter.

There is a great video which explains this by Schrodinger's Box on youtube.


I believe there is nothing wrong with your battery since the new one and jump start didn't work.

If you are hearing the tik tik sound then it is a faulty starter.

  • So, I am not hearing the ticking sound, which I think I usually hear when my battery dies in this car. Any idea what the problem may be?
    – David
    Dec 3, 2016 at 0:15
  • @David attach the sound or describe it so I can tell you whats that, I thought you where mentioning a tik tik(click) sound.
    – Iman Nia
    Dec 4, 2016 at 23:42
  • The battery was brand new the day before this video. I took the video (see updated question for video link) to the original question the next morning. At the point of the video, the battery is mostly dead I think as I only got one attempt when I took the video. It seems like the battery didn't last long at all.
    – David
    Dec 5, 2016 at 3:45
  • Since you do have a faulty starter(watched the video) and it seems to be jammed! Please let us know that did you change the whole starter because it was jammed or you just changed the selenoid?
    – Iman Nia
    Dec 5, 2016 at 22:50
  • The dealer is replacing the entire unit. I think it's my only practical option.
    – David
    Dec 6, 2016 at 0:39

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