Car sometimes won't start, but battery is fine?


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Old 03-18-14, 12:14 AM
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Question Car sometimes won't start, but battery is fine?

I have a 2005 Honda Civic.

Sometimes (maybe once every month or two) I try to start my car and it won't start. No lights or anything when I turn the ignition and seems like the battery is dead. But when I open and close my door hard enough to slightly shake the car, the car starts fine. Sometimes it takes a few tries of opening and closing the door. When the car does start, my radio is reset, meaning the connection to the battery was lost.

I looked at the terminals of my battery and they seem pretty clean. Is there a loose wiring somewhere in my car? Should I try to clean my battery terminals?

My friend has recommended me to use a Wireless Diagnostic Tool to diagnose.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
 

Last edited by the_tow_guy; 03-18-14 at 04:43 AM. Reason: Link and image removed
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Old 03-18-14, 12:21 AM
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until a few days ago, I had no idea what an OBD2 is. But a quick Google search made me remember: that thingy my mechanic plugs into my Honda Civic to read out all sorts of fancy data. It probably also knows whether I've been speeding. Scary.
 
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Old 03-18-14, 04:47 AM
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Sorry had to remove you link and image; a little too much like advertising.

As to your problem and the scanner, unless you are hung up on the WiFi capability, I can probably find half a dozen different DIY OBDII scanners for less than half the $250 price tag on the one you mentioned.

Whether you'll find out anything from a scanner for your particular problem is iffy. You're on the right track by cleaning and tightening battery terminals. Make sure your ground side has a good clean solid ground to the chassis. Also start looking for loose connections.
 
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Old 03-18-14, 11:10 AM
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The scan tool is nice to have but I don't think you'll find it very helpful here. It'll try to scan and come back and tell you "not communicating."

You would do well to pick up a decent quality 12v test light. With that light you can check for missing power and loose grounds like tow guy mentioned.
 
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Old 03-18-14, 02:45 PM
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In addition to cleaning both the battery terminals AND the cable clamps remove and clean the other ends of the battery cables. Also look for a bonding strap between the engine and the body and remove, clean and replace these connections as well.
 
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Old 03-18-14, 06:09 PM
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Sounds like you need a starter. The arm that engages the gear to the flywheel is most likely corroded and stuck the slamming of the door breaks the corrosion free and allows the arm to engage. If you can when it doesn't start take a long pry bar and hammer and smack the starter with the key in the cranking position. If it starts you need a starter. I'd take a safe bet this is your problem.
 
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Old 03-18-14, 07:35 PM
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Re-read the OP; doesn't seem to have any problem cranking when he has power. Appears the problem is intermittently not having any power.
 
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Old 03-19-14, 06:30 PM
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Ahh my apology. I thought they meant no lights on dash aka battery light check engine etc,literally not power. Then sounds like simple place to start is at the battery, check for loose ground cable or b+ Cable. Grab each one and give a good wiggle make sure they aren't loose or moving around. I've also seen some cables over tightens at the terminals and oblong the cable causing intermittent contact.simple easy place to start. Is it the correct battery for the vehicle. Keep us posted on what you find.
 
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Old 03-19-14, 07:51 PM
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1. Torque app and $9 ELM dongle off ebay will serve as your wireless mobile lab/code reader. Torque is free, paid for version is less than $5
2. You code reader knows nothing. Your SRS module does know a lot of info your car did in the last yey many seconds before an accident. It's basically a black box.
3. As of your problem. You have power - you good; you do not have power - not so good. Shake car - power restores. Ergo, you have a loose connection somewhere. Normally, it'd have been loose negative off battery, where it connects to the body. But!! Honda used to have entire fuse box grounded on a large metal plate, silver plated, right underneath the fuse box. Basically, fuse box bottom was sitting on one large negative terminal. Guess what. As time passes, water and moisture get between the two, causing oxidation and lost contact. I'd start with removing fuse box and checking on that.
On much older Hondas, all starting issue started with main relay, but I am almost positive they discontinued it for your year. Also, main relay will not cut off power to everything. Fuse box - sure.
 
 

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