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1996 honda accord wont start

I just went out to start it and it was dead. nothing at all. i cleaned battery terminals and checked connections at the starter. I crossed the started connections with a screw driver like the old days and got it going. That lasted only that day. During the day the battery seemed to get weaker. The next day, no start again. This time I could not jump it. Now i hear a click behined the glove box. Also the battery is very strong and connections are tight

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: 1996 honda civic wont start

Hi Meadors,

The clicking sound you heard most likely the starter solenoid engaging the starter. Only in this case it's failing to engage the starter. This is a classic symptom of a low battery. Here's why.

In a perfect world, when you turn the key to start:

  1. the solenoid is fed 12VDC which engages an electromagnetic coil inside it.
  2. A spring loaded steel piston inside this coil reacts to the magnetic field. It is pulled against the spring. By itself this sounds like a loud decisive CLICK.
  3. The movement of the piston simultaneously pushes the starter gear into the flywheel and sends power to the starter via heavy duty contacts. The starter draws a lot of power.
  4. The starter spins, turns the engine, the engine starts, life is good.
  5. When the key is released, the solenoid disengages, the spring pushes the piston back, the starter gear disengages from the flywheel.
In our world, when you turn the key to start:
  1. The solenoid which draws it's share of power engages as before. Click.
  2. As the starter tries to spin, the power available is insufficient. It draws all remaining power, there isn't enough left to keep the solenoid active and it turns off.
  3. Since the starter isn't drawing power anymore, the solenoid re-engages and the cycle starts over. Click.
  4. The cycle repeats. Click. A series of rapid clicks. Same page?
While a dead battery is the prime suspect, there can be other causes. Things to do:

  • Check belts, specifically on the alternator.
  • Terminal connections clean and tight.
  • In the 'Let's not over look the obvious' department: Battery voltage?
  • Get a jump. Try a jump start.
  • If a jump gets you going, it is either the battery not holding a charge or the alternator not providing one.
Even new batteries can be bad off the shelf. Especially if they have been on that shelf for a while. They may show the voltage but not the amps. This is called a 'Surface Charge'.

If you don't have a voltmeter, what you need to do now is visit an auto parts store (not a shop). Most (in the hope of making a sale) will provide free testing of batteries and charging systems.

What you need is called a "Load Test" on the battery. It simulates the load of an engine being started. This will confirm the battery is good or bad.

Then with the car running, they need to check the voltage to the battery (they will know this). If it's not above +13VDC, the alternator is bad or not connected correctly.

And if it doesn't start, what better place to be?

Let me know what they and you find out by commenting.
Best regards

Posted on Jan 07, 2009

  • 221 Answers

SOURCE: 88 Honda Accord battery light go on then goes off

Have the alternator tesed to see if it's good, if both alternator and battery are good check the drive belt and tensioner for loseness and wear, the drive belt drives the alternator, it sounds like your alternator is having problems charging the battery, if both alternator and battery are good try changing the battery cables, good luck.

Posted on Mar 24, 2009

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SOURCE: 1993 honda accord wont start have a clicking noise

Did you check battery (load test) & connections at other end of battery cables for clean & tight.

Posted on May 19, 2009

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SOURCE: 1996 honda civic will not start Battery is new I

Hi JM,

I'm guessing it starts fine with a jump? If so, it's not your solenoid.

Are there any aftermarket installs that may be draining the battery?

I know you said the battery is new, but if something isn't draining it, it still may not be good. (They get dropped, not enouigh fluid, surface charge).

Bring the vehicle to a parts store that performs free tests, and ask if they could do a 'Load Test' on the battery. This checks cold cranking amps not just voltage. It take 5 seconds, the results are pass or fail.

Hope you find this very helpful

Posted on Sep 20, 2009

  • 2841 Answers

SOURCE: Odyssey battery problem?

You need to remove the battery cables and clean the connections with a wire battery terminal cleaning tool. Then start the car and check the voltage at the battery with a multimeter. It should be between 13.5-16 volts. Any less and the alternator is defective. If this all checks out and you are 100% sure nothing is on drawing power then the battery more than likely has a dead cell. Remove the battery and take it to your parts store and have it tested. You will probably need a new battery.

Posted on Apr 19, 2010

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