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Honda Civic - Not starting - Starter Motor?


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Hi, I've currently got a pov-spec 1993 Honda Civic (D15b manual, non vtec, non computer) for DD duties. The issue is that after two days on non use on the weekend i went to start and there was only a click and no cranking.

Bit of back history - about 6 months ago it had a similar problem where it wouldn't start by key and I had to park on hills so that it could be rolled/ clutch dumped and eventually got round to hitting the starter and it seemed to fix the issue. Last week after a day sitting out in the rain it would crank, crank, crank but would not fire (this may be a separate issue). Eventually got a tow and after a while it fired and seemed to be running fine.

On Monday went to start it:

  • Lights on the dash,
  • Turn the key and the lights went out
  • Car stayed in the same place and no cranking

So have had another look again tonight and tested the electrics starter with a hammer and noted that there was an occasional click (but no cranking). The dash lights were bright until turning the key and then were very dim (it was dark). Tested the voltage of the battery and it was about 12.8v. When its light I will check the cables just to make sure theres not a bolt loose.

Does anyone out there with a honda out there come across this type of problem, or are there any common failures that would lead to this? Or are the starters the same (or each one model specific)?

Thanks 

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Check voltage drop across the battery and also at the starter and also voltage to both main 12v lead to starter and Exciter wire. If these are bad then either your battery or your starter could be cooked (could also high load test your battery if you have access to a tester to rule it out).

 

As you've mentioned as well also check terminals and wires (as well as Earth's)  if these are good bridge the starter wires and see if it starts, if it does then it's probably Exciter wire/ignition wire related. If not common symptoms like the starter solenoid just free spinning or only throwing out and not spinning, or not throwing out at all means that your starter motor is probably gone.

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Sounds like the starter brushes are worn out. Hitting the starter with a hammer shocks it into starting, but you only get a few hits before the brushes are completely done.  You can replace just the brushes.

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Thanks for the replies. Spent a bit of time with it tonight and noted a few other things with the electrics that might point to the issue.

  • Now there are no lights on the dash, radio doesnt work, no indicators or lights,
  • Central locking not working, but can hear the motor? trying hard to make a noise,
  • Interior light does work but is flickering,
  • Hazard lights dont work but still makes a sound,
  • Cant turn engine over.

Now for the positive... yeah there is some... got the multi meter out to test the voltage in the engine bay,

  • From the battery to the cable into the engine fuse box, the fuses, and out there is power
  • Starter motor cables are tight

Annnd thats about it at the moment.

Will track down a charger to make sure the battery has got as much juice as it can handle and sand all the terminals/ clamps to see if theres a difference, other than that I'll start pulling interior fuses to check condition. Could there be an issue with the ignition?

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Yeah definitely sounds like battery. Check the battery posts/terminals to make sure they're clean and tight. Also check the main earth lead and terminals as these sometimes get missed. If these are sweet, jump start it and see if it goes. If it does then check to see if the battery is charging right (should be around 14v while running, if not could be a faulty charging issue or even a loose alternator belt). Also if you can, remove the battery and take the battery in to your local repco or garage and ask them to test the battery (high load test), this will determine the batteries life pretty quickly.

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Looks like you guys are right. Hooked up the old ride and jumped it straight away and went for about a 10km blast to get a bit of charge into the battery. Got home and parked up off the road and went to start again - dead (or at least not enough juice to turn it over) so it looks like I'll get out tomorrow night and get it running to test then whip the battery out. When it was running the lights would dim/ flicker when braking so hope its not the alternator as well - will check the earths/ belts.

Cheers

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Ended up with a new battery as the old one was not the best and car is running again. Will also keep an eye on it to make sure it charging/ working right, and also check the alternator etc because Im sure theres other gremlins hiding in the electrical system and might be hidden by the new battery. Thanks for all your replies and I'll owe all beer or similar for the help.

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