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Q: Honda Accord 2000, 4cyl, AT , 4-door- Starting problem ( No Answer,   3 Comments )
Subject: Honda Accord 2000, 4cyl, AT , 4-door- Starting problem
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: kag5-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 18 Jan 2005 14:51 PST
Expires: 17 Feb 2005 14:51 PST
Question ID: 459500
Above car has only 20K miles and just past 3 years warranty. Recently
on a cold morning after very cold night before, the engine did not
crank up although there was a click. AAA guy said the starter needs
checking after being able to start the car while tapping the starter.
His jump start did not help. The battery was OK. The dealer after
experiencing similar symptoms suggested to replace the stater. Later
in the afternoon after the weather had warmed up, I was able to start
immediately. After some research I noted technical notification
#626794 issued by National highway safety Admin that this car could
have PGM-FI relay (starter assy relay) sticking in ON position - no
further details.
To day again being a very cold day the starter did not crank up and
after trying to start while tapping the starter with a wooden stick-a
two man operation- it started. the poblem seems to be temperature
related. I have no problem during warmer days!
Do I really need a new starter? or new PGM-FI relay or both?
Where is this relay located?
Why could starter be showing signs of trouble with such a low milage?
PS: If the dealers were more interested in explaining the solution and
possible causes rather than putting the car through "diagnostics" for
$$$$ fee in addition to approx. $400 starter part & labor charges I
could have had my options clearer and doubt free.
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Honda Accord 2000, 4cyl, AT , 4-door- Starting problem
From: dlostboy-ga on 18 Jan 2005 15:30 PST
What you're talking about is rather common. The starter uses a
solenoid in order to put the starter motor in contact with the
flywheel during the starting process and then releases current on this
when you release the start so that the starter motor will not be
driven (or destroyed) by the engine. This lever mechanism can be prone
to jamming however as it's made of metal. As such,it can expand and
contract between say a 40 degree cold point and the engine's operating
temperature closer to 200 degrees.

If the car is still under warranty, this would be covered. You may
have to yell a bit at a service manager to get it covered since it's
intermittent but nonetheless, he's seen the problem before- I
guarantee it.

I would not say this is a scheme by Honda. Last car I saw this on was a Nissan.
Subject: Re: Honda Accord 2000, 4cyl, AT , 4-door- Starting problem
From: guzzi-ga on 18 Jan 2005 18:44 PST
Adding to ?dlostboy?, the battery also looses efficacy with
temperature drop making it less able to overcome stiction in the
solenoid so exacerbates the problem. Indeed, it can be the sole
reason. A new or more powerful battery can cure but since the jump
didn?t work it is unlikely to be the cause.

Sticking ?on? is a slightly different issue because the starter motor
can ?disassemble? but you don?t appear to be suffering this.

Failures of electro-mechanical bits and bobs cannot be included in the
plug-in diagnostics which are directed towards engine management.

Tapping the starter (solenoid) sometimes helps just enough to induce
it to engage fully. One begins with a gentle tap ....... A Ship?s
Engineer once advised me, ?Don?t force it, use a bigger hammer.?

In Scandinavia, vehicles are equipped with power plugs for electrical
connection to add-on heaters for this and other temperature related
problems. An electric blanket or light bulb under the bonnet is often
enough but for safety reasons not to be recommended. A hot water
bottle on the starter for ten minutes is good and safe though.

Sometimes your problem can be cured by taking the solenoid to bits,
easing up potentially stiff points, cleaning off congealed grease and
re-greasing -- if you can find someone prepared to do it cheaply. I
would be inclined to think that a new solenoid would not cure because
they loosen up with age and a new one might be even stiffer. New
grease though so it might. Doubtful that you'd need a new motor.

Subject: Re: Honda Accord 2000, 4cyl, AT , 4-door- Starting problem
From: buckrah-ga on 19 Jan 2005 15:21 PST
My 1999 Honda Accord, 4 cyl, AT, 4-door, had a starting problem which
was repaired under a recall notification. You should get the dealer to
check and see if the 2000 models were also affected by this defect. My
steering column starter mechanism was replaced, I believe, for free.

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