My 2004 Honda Pilot occasionally will only start when the hood latch is released. When this occurs, the car is completely dead, and no electrical system works, including keyless entry, lights, etc. Also when this occurs the radio is dead afterwards, needing the code to reset. I initially suspected that I had a battery or alternator issue, but both tested normally, and the battery is only a couple of months old. Then I noticed that when I popped the hood release that it would start normally. I thought the hood must be making contact with something that was causing a short, but I cannot find anything obvious and I have not done any work under the hood that would have changed the factory configuration. The only other symptom that seems to apply is it fails to start most often after heavy rain, which is most days as I live in the tropics. Any help or advice on what I should look into would be appreciated. I only paid $3500 for the car, and don’t want to spend an arm and a leg chasing down an intermittent electrical fault.



  • 1
    Did you clean the battery terminals. remove the battery ends from the battery and clean both parts, battery cable end and battery posts., reassemble.
    – Moab
    Sep 5, 2018 at 20:25

1 Answer 1


There is a ground strap running from the engine right hand side to the front frame just beside the hood latch. Remove both ends, clean, burnish the contacting metal surfaces of each side (engine, frame and cable ends) and re-attach firmly without lubrication or anti-seize.

There is another ground strap splitting off from the negative terminal to the frame on the battery side. Give it the same treatment.

Check your battery height. It may have a too-tall substitute battery. Look for scorch marks or other signs on interference on the bottom of the hood.

As Moab commented, clean and de-grease battery cable ends and battery terminals.

Retry and please come back and comment on progress.

  • 1
    i have no idea if that helped the OP or not but I'm impressed by your obscure knowledge, for what that's worth! Oct 9, 2018 at 21:30
  • 1
    Ground straps are the source of many mysterious automotive electrical issues. Usually forgotten, but definitely a good place to start.
    – Tim Nevins
    Nov 8, 2018 at 21:18

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .