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2008 TL-S 6S with 68k - Car won't start, clicks once, all other functions normal?

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2008 TL-S 6S with 68k - Car won't start, clicks once, all other functions normal?

 
Old 04-23-2019, 10:56 AM
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Exclamation 2008 TL-S 6S with 68k - Car won't start, clicks once, all other functions normal?

Hello community, I purchased a 2008 TL-S 6-speed last year which now has 68k miles and is 100% stock. The car has been fantastic up until this past Sunday. Essentially, when turning the ignition key to start the engine it clicks once and does not 'crank'. I have been able to get the car started intermittently by changing gears, locking/unlocking the car, etc but have to try 20-30 times and it starts with no rhyme or reason (ie I can't figure out exactly what procedure allows it to start...it may just be dumb luck).

My headlights, stereo, nav, etc all function normally, and when the car starts it fires up quickly as per normal, so I highly doubt it's the battery. In doing research I checked all the fuses (fine) and knocked on the starter with a wrench (didn't seem to do anything).

Generally speaking, once I can get the car started it will re-start with no problem right after, but if it sits overnight it's more prone to have the issue again.

Hoping for some advice here as the last thing I want to do is take it to a shop and have them start replacing items that aren't the actual problem.

Thanks so much in advance!
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Old 04-23-2019, 10:58 AM
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start with the easy things, check the battery for 12.2-12.4 volts when the engine is OFF.
check for corrosion.
check the starter.
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:13 AM
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Appreciate the quick reply! So I inspected the battery terminals, wires already and everything is super clean with zero corrosion (car has been in CA from new)--is it still worth removing them and using a wire brush to clean the posts/clamps? I will check the voltage, good idea.
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:22 AM
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if you dont see any corrosion on the terminals or immediate wiring, probably safe to say you dont need to wire brush anything...the corrosion usually comes from a bad battery...a chemical reaction happens and the corrosion will start to climb up the wire.

which would mean; the battery could be in great condition! check the voltage to be sure.

it could very well be the starter, as an intermittent starting pattern could be signalling the death of the starter

Last edited by justnspace; 04-23-2019 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:32 AM
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Yeah I'm thinking starter as well, though in my experience with prior cars a starter will start making noises at the end of the ignition cycle before it goes bad, maybe that's not the case here. In doing some research of prior threads could it also have to do with the ignition switch? Thanks again!
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Old 04-23-2019, 01:56 PM
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Starter in our cars is relatively easy to access. By symptoms I would say it's on its way out. To be sure, I would attach the test light to starter solenoid, and check if it lights up when key in is cranking position. This takes care of checking ignition switch, and everything in between.

If starter refuses to start, hit it with something. Just be aware that if it's the starter, it might been last time it cranked.
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Old 04-23-2019, 04:19 PM
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Roger that, my next step is to check the voltage and starter solenoid--any recommendations for the best place to buy a new starter should that turn out to be the culprit?
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Old 04-23-2019, 04:22 PM
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^a refurbished unit is still serving me well!
forgot if i bought it from rockauto.com or picked it up locally at an auto parts store. either or, they are plentiful and can be found everywhere
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Old 04-23-2019, 04:25 PM
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Cool, thanks again!
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Old 04-23-2019, 07:53 PM
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TMH42,

Within the last -2- weeks, I had to replace my starter. When attempting to start the vehicle, everything functioned as normal, i..e. lights, radio, however, the vehicle did not make a clicking sound, it was dead silence. After I determined it was not the battery or relay, I decided to replace the starter. Replacing the starter was relatively easy once I remove the -2- hidden bolts under the battery plate. Everything is back to normal.

I am by no stretch of the imagination a mechanic, but for a minor repair as this, its's definitely cheaper and more satisfying doing it yourself with the end result of your vehicle starting every time.

Below is a very good youtube video to walk you through the process. Good luck with identifying and correcting the problem.

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Old 04-23-2019, 11:12 PM
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Thanks for the insight and info--funny, I was watching that same video today and may attempt it myself once I determine the starter is indeed the issue. Today the car fired right up no problem, but I"ve lost confidence that it will continue to do so
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Old 04-24-2019, 06:34 AM
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If starter not the issue do these cars have an issue with chip in key and ignition not being recognized? Same symtoms I have seen on other vehicles, crank no start but will intermittantly.
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Old 04-24-2019, 06:52 AM
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To reuse your OEM starter. Go to Honda and purchase the two starter motor electrodes. They are about $10. Undo the bolt on each electrode, replace electrodes, use for long time.
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by 08KBP_VA View Post
If starter not the issue do these cars have an issue with chip in key and ignition not being recognized? Same symtoms I have seen on other vehicles, crank no start but will intermittantly.
a green key symbol will flash on your dash, indicating the immobilizor has disconnected from the ecu. basicaly ecu wont recognize key, and it will NEVER start
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Old 04-24-2019, 11:49 AM
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If you think it's the chip in the key, try the other key. Also, another thing to check is the tightness or your battery cables, at both ends.
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Old 04-26-2019, 01:48 AM
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Update: yesterday I disconnected the battery and cleaned the posts/clamps even though they appeared very clean. A little gunk came off and a used a file to ensure the metal-on-metal contact was very good. So far the car has started on the first turn the last five times in a row. I'm still not confident enough to drive it far from home in case it acts up again (been driving my other car instead), but so far so good...will report back as time progresses, I feel like it couldn't have just been the battery connection as it was so clean anyhow, but I've seen weirder things happen!
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Old 04-28-2019, 06:28 AM
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Have you checked the condition of the + battery cable? At this age, it might be corroded internally where you can't see. Similar symptoms plagued me a few years ago and that's what it turned out to be.
.
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Old 04-29-2019, 11:24 AM
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I didn't notice anything strange while disconnecting the cables, but will do a more thorough check--the last 10 or so starts have been perfect since cleaning the battery posts/clamps...I still find it hard to believe that was the issue as there was literally zero corrosion on either...will keep experimenting
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Old 05-15-2019, 09:53 PM
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Well, after several weeks of the car acting normal I just went to start it up and now it's doing the exact same thing...really strange, I suppose it could have been a coincidence that it behaved normal after cleaning the battery connections, even though they looked perfect to begin with.

Argh!
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Old 05-16-2019, 05:25 PM
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You never checked the battery voltage
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Old 05-18-2019, 07:00 PM
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I had this same issue, went to this forum and found out my HFL was bad. Removed it. Battery hasn't died since. Look up bluetooth hfl removal
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Old 05-19-2019, 08:42 PM
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thoiboi - this is true, I will do this! Thanks for the poke.

nikk0bacardi - Thanks for the advice, the issue doesn't seem to be a drained battery, car fires right up quickly/normally when it decides to start.
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