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Which replacement starter to buy?

  • BRAND NEW from Honda

    Votes: 3 20.0%
  • Remanufactured from Honda

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • el Cheapo rebuild from local auto parts

    Votes: 10 66.7%
  • rebuild it myself

    Votes: 2 13.3%
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Discussion Starter #1
I've got about 108,000 on my 2003 Odyssey. Twice now, the van would not start. Just clicking sound, battery charge was fine > 12.4volts, held up to amp test as well. AAA came out each time and jumped it and it started. I'm guessing bad starter armature or other failure inside the unit. Genuine OEM honda new starter is about $500! Honda remanufactured is about $300. Cheapo rebuild from local parts stores range from $120-160. We plan on keeping the van another 2years so I need a reliable replacement that will last. My wife starts that thing about 10 times a day (no lie)! What do you think?:
NEW from Honda
REMAN from Honda
el cheapo from local auto store
 

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Sounds like you really work your starter motor. I would be reluctant to replace it with anything other than new unless they replaced everything but the frame. Electrical components are too finicky to mix old and new. That's my take anyway...
 

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If you are going to do the replacement yourself, I would sure use a 'lifetime' replacement starter from a place like AutoZone, etc. I don't know what the warranty of an official Honda starter is, but I doubt it is more than 1 year.
If you can take the starter out, have it checked to make sure that it is the problem. Many Auto Parts stores will do the check for free.

Don't waste money replacing parts when you can find the real problem.

If the jumper worked twice, I would rethink the battery or its connections.
But, overall that is just how a starter going bad acts.
Edit: Sorry, :( :eek:
I didn't mean that if a starter works when jumpered, that this is common. I just meant that bad starters sometimes work and sometimes don't. Many times if a starter doesn't work, hit it with a hammer and it starts working. If that happens, it indicates a bad starter.
Buffalo4
PS: Starting it 10 times a day is not excessive. If the engine starts quickly, that should not be a problem.
I also have a 2003 Ody, but I haven't looked to see how hard it is to change the starter in it. In my other vehicles it was pretty easy, but on a friends 1990 Honda Civic, you had to remove an engine mount.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes, the van gets lots of starts and stops throughout the day. I'd bet more than 20 a few days out of the week! Car runs great, so yeah, it starts up very quickly!

I found out the Honda reman'd version is all new guts, only the exterior shell is reused. This one comes with 3yr warranty!
The brand new Honda starter only comes with 12 month warranty.
I think I'll go with the 3yr deal.
 

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Are you going to do it yourself?
If not, how much is it going to cost you overall?
Thanks,
Buffalo4
 

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That's a ton of money to shotgun a part. I've never seen a starter that works when jumped but not otherwise. What you are seeing is typical of a corroded clamp or ground point. Anyway, unless it's really easy to swap I would go with OEM which is $392 for new and $232 for reman at Bernardi Honda (online of course). These guys have great prices.
 

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2011 Odyssey LX, 120k miles
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OdyinNH said:
That's a ton of money to shotgun a part. I've never seen a starter that works when jumped but not otherwise. What you are seeing is typical of a corroded clamp or ground point. ...
I agree completely. It could be the ignition switch, battery, ground strap, ...

I had a bad battery once that had similar symptoms. I carried a voltmeter in the car to check it whenever it would happen. Battery had 12+V. When starting, I got nothing. Attach jumper cables and it starts immediately (trying it within seconds of attaching the cables it would start perfectly strong, so it was not a matter of charging the battery).

After a ~year of debugging + checking everything, I concluded it was an intermittent internal battery failure. After replacing the battery, no problems.

I'm not saying that your battery is the problem, just that this may be a hard one to solve and you can waste a lot of time and $$ by shot-gunning.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I went with new battery first. The Bosch I had in there just passed its 3yr date (by 5 days) I sent the wife to get the new one. (and they honored it-yea!). So I got a brand new battery under warranty. No issues so far. All the diagnostic information I've gotten so far is from the end user - the wife. So I'm only working with that.
 

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When it won't start have you tried it after turning on the lights? Usually if you have a bad connection and the car just clicks, the lights will go out or flicker if left on. If this happens, clean the terminals especially the car side seeing you have a new battery. Way too many times I have seen batteries replaced and people skipping the step of cleaning the car's terminals.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Not sure since I'm not there when it happens. I do know the terminals are clean.
 

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Starter Replaced

I know this is an old thread, but it popped up when I googled the "replace Odyssey starter".
This is also my first post and I don't even own an Odyssey................

My parents do. They're in their 80's and this van is their sole means of transport. They bought it because of Honda's reliability reputation.
It's a 2004 with a 3.5L, 120k. For a van, this thing will get up and go. Uses no oil, engine is very clean, no leaks.

I get a call from them, thing won't start.................they freak out easily. At that age, I would too.
I pop the hood and the battery and terminals are a wreck. Battery is filthy and the terminals are green.
He's been charging it all night, so I clean everything up and take it to O'Reilly.
It checks OK, but there's acid leaking from around the terminal posts. It's 5 years old, so a New Group 24 3 year bat is $109.00 with my company discount. Done.
Back to the van, still does not start. I knew it wouldn't, but they had to have a new battery anyway. I'm not gonna half-ass this job either.
There's 12.7 vDC at the main starter terminal and there's 12.7 vDC on the solenoid wire when he keys it over, so, bad starter.
O'Reilly has a reman on the shelf for $104,
so the journey begins....................

This R&R took me 5 hrs! I can spin a wrench, but 5 hrs? Really?
This is a real job, good thing the starter is on the front of the motor, so I thought.................
that's the ONLY easy part of this job, you can get to it without a lift.

Here are a few things I learned that may help somebody else when they do this. Remember, disconnect the bat.
1. Do it. You will save a few hundred bucks. There is no easy way to do this so the
mechanic you bequeath this job to will let you have it. The starter location is TIGHT. There are no special tools that will speed this job along other than a stubby air ratchet.
Along with the parts markup and the $105/hr. shop/mechanics charge, it's a no-brainer DIY. They don't have any advantage on you with speciality tools to help them.
2. The 2-17mm bolts are on there good. They will put up a fight. PB Blaster those 2 bolts as you start digging toward the starter (after you remove the plastic pan).
3. Loosen and tie-back the starter relay tree bracket (10mm bolt). You'll need that room to pull the starter out.
4. Save the cable bracket by pulling the 8mm bolt out of the motor then leaving it there on the cable. They differ from year to year.
5. The core will get you $20 bucks back. Take it with you and make sure you're getting the right part. Don't ask me how I know this..........
6. Remove the A\T dipstick tube when the new starter goes on. You'll need that room to angle the new starter into the bell housing.
The tube and the back of the starter motor are only millimeters apart.
7. ReMan is fine, a new Honda starter is $250-300. They use all new guts, just the housing is reused. People in Malaysia need work.
8. Start the thing up and drink a beer knowing you saved about $400.00 you can use on tires this year, and you learned something.
You may have learned this is not a good job for a big person, like I did.

Your mileage may vary, C/C.
 

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Thanks for the tips!

Added to my collection of others' real world experiences in case I need it one day.

Dave
 

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Crusher, you rock. Thank you for putting hands to keyboard and outlining this for us. Subscribed to this thread just in case I need it.

Awesome Post #1. :worship::worship::worship::worship::worship::worship:

OF

P.S:


...The core will get you $20 bucks back. Take it with you and make sure you're getting the right part. Don't ask me how I know this...........
I've done this so many times over a lifetime, I'm embarrassed to admit it. Cannot blame it on old age and insufficient Geritol intake; been doing that sort of thing since high school. :(
 

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This is a good poll - I bought a brand new starter from Amazon for $75 delivered - 2000 Ody LX, 200,000 miles, no CORE exchange required. Amazon and EBay have gotten really good about their ability to cross reference parts automatically - this particular starter is manufactured by Mitsuba. The starter I replaced was original equipment, lasted 15 years, so I don't think I'll need to replace this one for a while. Couple of thoughts on your poll: if I was going to purchase a new Honda OEM for $500, I'd just drop my car off at local garage and pay them to install a new starter - $350 at Merchant Tire in Virginia. If I was planning on getting another 15 years out of this van, I'd purchase a starter with a lifetime warranty from Autozone/Advanced Auto, etc - but these are $200 - $125 more than I paid, for the exact same thing. And, since there's no CORE on the one from Amazon, I have some options for my old starter, I.e, rebuild and sell on EBay, make $10-$15, take back to local parts store for cash exchange, up to $25 if the store plays ball - for me, this was a no-brainier.
 

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I saw that on Amazon and am amazed that it is free shipping for such a heavy item. It says it is new, not a re-manufactured unit.
Sounds almost too good to be true.
I will definitely keep that in mind if I have to order a replacement on my 03. Please post back if it fails or gets weak.
Thanks,
Buffalo4
 

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mlynch2, can you post the link to the one you bought? Also, have you installed it yet? I'd like to know what you think of the unit. I think the solenoid on mine is on the way out. Once in a while I hear a weird buzz with no engine spin the first time trying to start it. Try a second time and it turns over and starts fine.
 
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