Won't start, makes clicking noise


dderolph
02-23-2004, 10:29 PM
My son has a '92 Accura Integra. He's been having problems starting it for the last 2 months or so. The behavior is inconsistent. Sometimes, when he puts the key in the ignition switch and turns the key to start it, he hears a clicking sound and the engine does not start. The starter does not crank; it just makes a clicking sound. Sometimes, it will start after repeated attempts. He said it tends to happen more persistently when the car has sat overnight; if it sat for a shorter time - for example, an hour - since it was last run, it is less likely to make the clicking sound and not start.

About 10 days ago, he took it to a local Firestone dealer and asked them to check it. They found nothing wrong with it; it started perfectly while it was there. But, the car had been starting fine during the 2 days before he took it there. This inconsistent behavior makes diagnosing difficult.

We think it may be a starter going bad. However, my past experience with a starter going bad was different; what I experienced was a starting cranking slow, as though it were having to strain to crank the engine, even though the battery was normal.

I thought it might simply be battery cable connections not making good contact. I had this problem with a car I owned many years ago. It would make a clicking sound and not start. Turned out the ground cable was rusted where it connected to the engine/chasis (away from the battery), causing poor contact. Once that was fixed, starting was back to normal.

I did check his battery cables at the battery terminals when he first told me about this problem a couple of months ago. And, indeed, the clamps were loose enough I could easily turn them by hand and pull them off the battery posts. I cleaned them and re-tightened them. Immediately after that, the car started normal, but this only lasted a day or two, as I recall, then he started having the problem again.

We have not pulled the battery out to try to examine the other ends of the cables.

Anyone else had this problem? And ideas on what is causing this?

d4f4stnd4fur1uz
02-23-2004, 10:51 PM
i had the same exact problem with my crappy 95 civic. okay, here could be a possible solution

first, you should pop the hood. go to the battery. near the strut area you should see a hole. there should be a piece of metal connected to a wire. the wire and piece of metal should be held down by a bolt. all you need to do is put the piece metal into the hole. make sure the metal is touching is touching the metal of the engine bay. then just use a ratchet handle to tighten the bolt.

if you cannot find what i'm talking about. simply pop the hood and have someone start the car with someone looking under the hood. When the key is turned, you should see a spark. just do what i told you to do above to fix it

tell me what happens

whtteg
02-23-2004, 11:37 PM
i had the same exact problem with my crappy 95 civic. okay, here could be a possible solution

first, you should pop the hood. go to the battery. near the strut area you should see a hole. there should be a piece of metal connected to a wire. the wire and piece of metal should be held down by a bolt. all you need to do is put the piece metal into the hole. make sure the metal is touching is touching the metal of the engine bay. then just use a ratchet handle to tighten the bolt.

if you cannot find what i'm talking about. simply pop the hood and have someone start the car with someone looking under the hood. When the key is turned, you should see a spark. just do what i told you to do above to fix it

tell me what happens

WTF are you talking about?



There is only 2 possiblities, 1 the battery is going bad or 2 the starter solenoid is going bad. If it is the solenoid then you will have to replace the starter because the solenoid is attached to the starter.

d4f4stnd4fur1uz
02-24-2004, 12:01 AM
if i had a picture....it woulda made more sense :(

Kinked210
02-24-2004, 12:14 AM
if its a solenoid it wouldnt click at all...get a new starter...

dderolph
02-24-2004, 02:09 PM
OK, looks like we'll probably have to replace the starter, even if only the solenoid is bad. Can check cable connections first; it they are okay, then it must be the solenoid and/or starter.

Thanks for all your comments on this.

Anyone know how difficult a job it is to replace the starter, if we do this ourselves? Can it be done without getting under the car? I got my hands on a Haynes auto repair manual which seems to indicate the starter can be removed in this car by removing the air cleaner intake. But, my guess would have been we'll have to get under the car.

integralover
02-24-2004, 06:23 PM
i took mine out all above the car. just remove the air cleaner, it will be alot easier.

whtteg
02-24-2004, 10:24 PM
if its a solenoid it wouldnt click at all...get a new starter...

It can be a bad solenoid and still click. The contacts inside the solenoid can become pitted, corroded etc and prevent enough current to flow to the starter, but the plunger will still move causing the clicking noise.

Kinked210
02-25-2004, 12:51 AM
hmm...i thought that if the solenoid was bad it wouldnt work at all....

anyway..id just replace the starter if i were you...u can do it from the top...or if u wanted u could drive it up on ramps and do it..not a very hard job...

integralover
02-25-2004, 01:31 AM
i know that when my car did that the clicking noise was coming from inside the car and not under the hood. could not figure out what the prob was until i replaced the battery cable connectors. the positive kept corroding. changed them to a noncorrosive connector. i have not had the problem since. just another scenerio to think about.

dderolph
02-25-2004, 10:51 AM
Yes, I'm still thinking the cables might be the only problem. It surely makes sense to check that before replacing the solenoid/starter. May not actually be getting to work on this until this weekend. Will post the results for everyone's info. Appreciate the comments confirming that the starter can be replaced from under the hood instead of under the car.

lotusonwater19
02-25-2004, 06:06 PM
my car is like that when my alarm security system gets tripped... :lol:

deepsouthintegra
03-01-2004, 07:34 PM
I had the same problem back in Nov. 2003 -- for almost a month it would alternate between starting fine and clicking several times before starting. Finally, I had to leave my car at work for two days because it refused to start and I had no jumper cables (I know, stupid). It turned out to be a bad solenoid...and cost me about $80 to fix. They just took the starter off and apart, and replaced the solenoid....so if it's a bad solenoid, it WILL still make the clicking noise until it finally just goes out. Hope you get it fixed!

deepsouthintegra
03-01-2004, 07:35 PM
by the way, I have a '95 integra that this happened to...

AcAttackGS
03-02-2004, 11:48 PM
i have a 92 teg too n i had the same problem it was my battery....put new one in and...boom no more clicking....

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