Car won't start

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  #1  
Old 08-01-06, 05:54 AM
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Car won't start

I'm not quite sure what happened here, but the car was running fine then suddenly wouldn't start. Ok, here's the scoop.

I have a 1998 Honda Civic with 160k miles on it. Other than standard maintainence, I have had nothing wrong with it. Last night, I drove it to and from my softball game with no problems at all. Twenty minutes later, it wouldn't start at all.

When I try to start it, I hear a very soft clicking sound coming from the passenger side of the engine (which is where the battery sits). The panel lights and dome light come on, however, if I were to turn on my headlights, all of these lights immediately shut off. I put the battery on a charger last night for about an hour and a half. I also cleaned the terminals on the battery to make sure there isn't a bad connection. That did not fix the problem. I also checked the fuses, particularly for the ignition coil and the starter. Those also seemed to be fine. Prior to this event, there has been no idication that the battery or the starter would be failing, but suddenly, the starter isn't getting enough juice to even turn.

My wife thinks the solenoid may have failed. I'd like to say that it's the battery, but I'm pretty sure there would have been warning signs. Could it be the ignition coil? What could suddenly fail without providing any idication that it was about to go?


I should also add a couple things. This is a four cylinder engine. It is a stick shift.
 
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  #2  
Old 08-01-06, 06:38 AM
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Location: Sterling Heights
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Originally Posted by nate123
I'm not quite sure what happened here, but the car was running fine then suddenly wouldn't start. Ok, here's the scoop.

I have a 1998 Honda Civic with 160k miles on it. Other than standard maintainence, I have had nothing wrong with it. Last night, I drove it to and from my softball game with no problems at all. Twenty minutes later, it wouldn't start at all.

When I try to start it, I hear a very soft clicking sound coming from the passenger side of the engine (which is where the battery sits). The panel lights and dome light come on, however, if I were to turn on my headlights, all of these lights immediately shut off. I put the battery on a charger last night for about an hour and a half. I also cleaned the terminals on the battery to make sure there isn't a bad connection. That did not fix the problem. I also checked the fuses, particularly for the ignition coil and the starter. Those also seemed to be fine. Prior to this event, there has been no idication that the battery or the starter would be failing, but suddenly, the starter isn't getting enough juice to even turn.

My wife thinks the solenoid may have failed. I'd like to say that it's the battery, but I'm pretty sure there would have been warning signs. Could it be the ignition coil? What could suddenly fail without providing any idication that it was about to go?


I should also add a couple things. This is a four cylinder engine. It is a stick shift.
nate,
I probably would have had the battery load tested after giving it a full charge before trying to start the car.

Sometimes a battery will show full voltage on the bench but under load, the voltage drops too low to provide enough current to start the car.

Have you tried jump starting the car? At least that would tell you if the battery is toast!
BTW, I've had batteries just fail out of the blue without any warning signs. So it can happen........
Good luck,
Phil
 
  #3  
Old 08-01-06, 07:01 AM
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Phil,

Thanks. A guy at work suggested the same thing. I'll try jumping it tonight. I hope it is the battery, as that is relatively cheap and something I can replace myself.
 
  #4  
Old 08-01-06, 07:24 AM
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Monitor the voltage of the battery with a multimeter when you try to crank. Let us know if it drops. If it drops most likely your battery if it doesn't most likely the starter
 
  #5  
Old 08-02-06, 11:08 AM
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Unfortunately, my multimeter was lost when I moved last

However, I did want to thank you guys, as it looks like it was the battery. Last night, I successfully jumped the car with my van. It started right up as it always did. Just to test teh alternator, I removed the positive and negative leads while the car was running, and it continued to run. I shut off the vehicle and put the leads back on, and had the same problem.

I'm glad it's just hte battery.
 
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