Starter Problem?
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Thread: Starter Problem?

  1. #1
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    Starter Problem?

    In January, I bought a 2006 EX-L with 56000 miles. Overall I'm very happy with it. But I'm having an occasional problem with the Starter and looking for some advice.

    When starting the car, the starter will begin the turn the engine (like say two "turns" of the starter) and then starter will just stop...meanwhile I'm still holding the key in the start position... Then maybe a half second later, the starter will re-engage and start turning again and finish starting the car.

    I can think of five possible causes:

    1. Failing Starter motor
    2. Failing Starter Solenoid
    3. Failing Starter Relay
    4. Failing Ignition Switch
    5. Weak Battery


    I don't think it the battery's fault because its not like its struggling to turn the engine...when it turns, it turns fine, not slowly, and not seeing dimming headlights when this occurs.

    I'd be surprised if it was the ignition switch or the relay, just because I don't hear of those parts failing very often.

    I'm more suspicious of the Solenoid, or maybe the Starter motor itself. About 15 years ago, I had a Soleoid go belly up, so I know they can go.

    Does anyone know if the Starter and Solenoid come as an assembly? Or are they separate parts?

    Any other thoughts or advice are appreciated

    thanks,
    -Matt
    2014 Odyssey EX-L Modern Steel Metallic

    Other Honda/Acura's:

    Current:
    - 2006 Honda Pilot EX-L/Nav

    Previous:
    - 2006 Honda Odyssey EX-L SageBrush with Olive
    - 1988 Acura Integra
    - 1989 Acura Legend Coupe...Finally retired after 275k miles and 16 wonderful years...really miss this one.
    - 1990 Acura Integra Retired after 225k miles and 11 years.

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  3. #2
    Registered User Cntrtwnltd's Avatar
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    I actually had a similar problem with starting, and I have the exact same car as you (colors & all), but mine turned out to be a dead cell in the battery. It would start, except every now & then it wouldn't. The dealer wouldn't find anything wrong, but I finally got them to replace the battery at 35,932 miles (warranty voided at 36000) and everythings been fine ever since. Its at 73,000 now. In a way I am glad that I did have the problem because when I did I got a jump box. It saved the day several times in the weeks leading up to the new battery. I got it for $60.00, but the peace of mind is litterally priceless. It also helps during power outages by running small appliances. If it hadn't been for the starting problem, I never would have gotten it.
    Last edited by Cntrtwnltd; 02-15-2010 at 01:20 PM.
    -- Regards

    2006 Sage Brush Pearl Odyssey EX-L (would have been Touring, thanks PAX )

    ...........Spring.........................Summer.. .......................Fall....................... ...Winter............

  4. #3
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    Re: Starter Problem?

    The Ody has no starter relay so scratch #3. Its solenoid is integrated with the starter. If the battery connections are good, I would replace the starter. It sounds like a problem with the brushes or the armature.

    Check the connections carefully though before jumping into it. The starter is not a frequent point of failure, nor is the ignition switch for that matter, at least in later years.
    2002 Odyssey EX Fern (Granite) Green
    Honda hood deflector, mud guards, AC condenser screen mod, Zyml wax, Amsoil EaO20 oil filter, Amsoil synthetic 5W20, Krown rustproofing, block heater (gets cc...cold in Canada in winter!)
    Original transmission at 117,000 miles/189,000 km, Amsoil ATF since 79,000 miles/127,000 km, Honda aux ATF cooler, Magnefine aux ATF filter, 16 ATF drain & fills

  5. #4
    Registered User William Wiles's Avatar
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    I would think the starter circuit would be abot the same on the 06 as the previous generation and it does have a starter cut relay in the drivers underdash fuse box. However the failure symptoms are common for a starter problem. Troubleshoot by putting a voltmeter on the relay, starter solonoid and motor terminals and see where it is loosing the voltage.
    Last edited by William Wiles; 02-15-2010 at 07:13 PM.
    2004 EX Odyssey.
    All posts made by me are in reference to the gen 2 Odyssey.

  6. #5
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    I've gotta feeling its the battery.... Tonight I sat outside of a store with the engine off and headlights on (waiting for the wife to run in and grab something quickly) for approx 10 minutes. when I went to start it back up, it would barely turn over...Luckily it caught and started.

    After running/charging long enough to drive home, I tried starting it again, and it started fine. But I wouldn't expect sitting for 10 minutes with the headlights on should weaken it that much.

    I'm going to plan to get a new battery, and hopefully that will take care of the strange issues I've had with the starter too.

    Thanks,
    -Matt
    2014 Odyssey EX-L Modern Steel Metallic

    Other Honda/Acura's:

    Current:
    - 2006 Honda Pilot EX-L/Nav

    Previous:
    - 2006 Honda Odyssey EX-L SageBrush with Olive
    - 1988 Acura Integra
    - 1989 Acura Legend Coupe...Finally retired after 275k miles and 16 wonderful years...really miss this one.
    - 1990 Acura Integra Retired after 225k miles and 11 years.

  7. #6
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    Thought I'd close the loop on this in case it helps anyone out in the future.

    I brought the Ody back to the used car dealer I had bought it from to have them take a look at it. It was technically beyond their warranty (only by a couple hundred miles) but they agreed to have a look.

    They determined the cause of the problem to be a faulty Battery Ground cable and agreed to replace it. This is the cable that goes from the negative battery terminal to the frame of the car, as well as the engine block. Where it connects to the block it has about 2 inches of exposed copper and it was pretty badly corroded. They also load tested the battery and said it was ok. At this point they said they were done with it, and any other issues would not be handled under warranty.

    Unfortunately the day after I received the car back, the problem returned. This time, it really seemed like the battery at fault, as I put a volt meter on it and with the headlights on for about 5 minutes the voltage dropped down to below 9, and when I went to start it, just got clicks.

    So, I replaced the battery and declared myself victorious....until it happened again the next day...

    However, the symptoms now were much more like they had been originally. Battery didn't seem to be struggling anymore it was just like I described in my original post....the starter would start turning nice and fast, and then just pause for a half second or so, and then all of the sudden start turning again....really weird.

    So I decided to have a closer look at the starter myself and found what I believe to finally be the root cause (its been 4 days now with no problems, so my fingers are still crossed.) What it was was the light guage ignition wire that runs from the keyswitch to the Solenoid. This is the wire that energizes the solenoid, which then in turn energizes the start motor itself. This wire has a small push-on type terminal that mates with the solenoid (female on the wire, male on the solenoid) just like this (except without the red nylon insulation)
    http://www.wiringproducts.com/contents/en-us/p581.html

    The terminal is protected (and held onto the solenoid) by a black rubber boot. When I pulled back the boot I discovered that the terminal slid right off of its mate with no effort whatsoever. That connection was extremely loose and sloppy. The only thing that kept the wire from falling off the solenoid entirely was the boot....but inside of the boot I'm sure the connector was sliding back and forth, and losing its electrical connection. When it loses its electrical connection, the solenoid will of course disengage and the starter will stop turning. And then again as it gets bounced around some more, it reconnects and the starter starts to turn again.

    So, I put a squeeze onto the female side of the connector with the pliers to close the gap and now its got a nice tight fit. Tried to reproduce the problem a few times before putting it back together, and it worked perfectly, and therefore buttoned it all back up.

    Looking back at the situation overall it looks like it was really a perfect storm of issues combining to deliver similar, but yet different symptoms: a badly corroded ground cable, a weak battery, and finally A loose connection on the Solenoid.

    Sorry the for the long post, but hopefully this might save someone a headache in the future.

    -Matt
    2014 Odyssey EX-L Modern Steel Metallic

    Other Honda/Acura's:

    Current:
    - 2006 Honda Pilot EX-L/Nav

    Previous:
    - 2006 Honda Odyssey EX-L SageBrush with Olive
    - 1988 Acura Integra
    - 1989 Acura Legend Coupe...Finally retired after 275k miles and 16 wonderful years...really miss this one.
    - 1990 Acura Integra Retired after 225k miles and 11 years.

  8. #7
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    Thanks for posting the info. Good detective work!
    2002 Odyssey EX Fern (Granite) Green
    Honda hood deflector, mud guards, AC condenser screen mod, Zyml wax, Amsoil EaO20 oil filter, Amsoil synthetic 5W20, Krown rustproofing, block heater (gets cc...cold in Canada in winter!)
    Original transmission at 117,000 miles/189,000 km, Amsoil ATF since 79,000 miles/127,000 km, Honda aux ATF cooler, Magnefine aux ATF filter, 16 ATF drain & fills

  9. #8
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    Thanks Matt for the info. I'm having some issues with my 05 right now. I went to go somewhere Saturday and when I turned the key the solenoid just clicked a bunch. So I jumpted in my Jeep instead. When I came back 2 hours later, I tried to crank it again and it cranked. Then Sunday it cranked but the started sounded a tad slow and then sped up. So I'm not sure what this can be. I had this issue with my jeep wrangler and it was the starter. The battery in this is only 2 years old.

  10. #9
    Registered User MozMan68's Avatar
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    Grrrrr.....mine came back. I had a starting issue a couple of months ago and the Odyssey sat at a local 7-11 before I towed it home with the Jeep...and then it started right up in the driveway. Has been running fine since until this morning.

    Drove to Krispy Kreme to pick up some treats for my son's class....started and drove fine twice. Wife get's in to go to work and NOTHING!!

    Battery was replaced the last time this happened and I think the old one was probably good anyway.

    Going to check the starter connections and the solenoid (I actually bought one the last time this happened and never put it in).

    Any idea where I can find info or pics on location of the starter and the solenoid?
    2006 Odyssey EX-L

  11. #10
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    Its down on the drivers side of the engine underneath the battery. When was doing my work back in the Winter I removed the battery and battery platform in order to get good satisfactory access to it.

    Good luck!
    2014 Odyssey EX-L Modern Steel Metallic

    Other Honda/Acura's:

    Current:
    - 2006 Honda Pilot EX-L/Nav

    Previous:
    - 2006 Honda Odyssey EX-L SageBrush with Olive
    - 1988 Acura Integra
    - 1989 Acura Legend Coupe...Finally retired after 275k miles and 16 wonderful years...really miss this one.
    - 1990 Acura Integra Retired after 225k miles and 11 years.

  12. #11
    Registered User MozMan68's Avatar
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    Grand Rapids, MI
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    That's what I thought...already took a vacation day so I'd have plenty of time to look at it...will let you guys know what happens (and will try and take plenty of pics for the next person... )
    2006 Odyssey EX-L

  13. #12
    Registered User MozMan68's Avatar
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    What about the metal structural mounting tray for the battery?? Does/can that be removed??

    It looks like it would have to be if I actually had to remove the starter, but don't want to pull it out if necessary.
    2006 Odyssey EX-L

  14. #13
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    I removed it when doing my work. Had to get to the mounting bolts for it from underneath. Kindof a PITA but it did really open up the space and made for much easier access to the starter and solenoid.
    2014 Odyssey EX-L Modern Steel Metallic

    Other Honda/Acura's:

    Current:
    - 2006 Honda Pilot EX-L/Nav

    Previous:
    - 2006 Honda Odyssey EX-L SageBrush with Olive
    - 1988 Acura Integra
    - 1989 Acura Legend Coupe...Finally retired after 275k miles and 16 wonderful years...really miss this one.
    - 1990 Acura Integra Retired after 225k miles and 11 years.

  15. #14
    Registered User MozMan68's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
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    Okay...that was a real PITA...but now I can't even tell what I'm looking at. Looks like the positive cable should be going right into the starter.

    Where is the solenoid located??

    2006 Odyssey EX-L

  16. #15
    Registered User MozMan68's Avatar
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    Okay...found that wire that you were having a problem with...mine wasn't really THAT loose, but I tightened up the connector and shoved it in there anyway.




    Does anyone know where the starter relay is on the driver's side (inside)??

    There doesn't seem to be any relays in there for the starter. I changed the ac ones under the hood one by one to see if that made a difference...nothing...guess I'll put it back together...
    2006 Odyssey EX-L

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