Engine Cranks...sort of... Won't Start

Old 05-15-2019, 10:00 PM
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Engine Cranks...sort of... Won't Start


Yeah, it's a long read.... Sorry.

So, I had an issue with my positive battery cable, where it was so corroded at the battery, it wasn't making great connection. When attempting to remove the battery cable, the nut was rusted, so the copper clamp just basically ripped, making the connection intermittent. I'd have to get under the hood occasionally and twist the connection for the car to start.

I didn't feel like dealing with it during winter so I parked the car for a good two months.

Go to fire it up... And battery is weak. I jump to the RDX for a jump (more like a decent charge) and the engine cranks a time or two and the dash lights flicker and click and everything else that comes along with a weak battery. Put battery on charger for a day. Try again, no luck.

I figure it's the cable/battery terminal. I order an oem replacement for forty bucks. Replace that... And replace the battery that wouldn't hold a charge.

Okay, I'm ready to go.

Fresh battery, fresh cable... Car cranks a couple of times and stops. No starting. It's struggling to turn the engine over. Starter pulling a lot of current. Yeah, don't repeat more than a couple of times, or you'll see smoke come from the starter.

Throwing money and parts at it seems like a good option... I buy an aftermarket starter. For some reason: I went to buy a rebuilt denso oem starter last week and added to my cart (acura/honda reputable dealer) ... Didn't pull the trigger. Went to order it yesterday, and NO acura Online store has them as rebuilt. Discontinued. :/ so, just to try, I ended up spending $108 on an aftermarket starter. I wasn't spending $450+ on a new denso...yet.

Aside from dirty hands and a little fluid from a hose I disconnected, it wasn't a bad replacement. 4G is easier because you don't need to remove the battery tray. Maybe I'll write it up someday... Anyway....

Press the start button. Click, thunk. No engine turnover. Nothing. Dash goes dark a second or two after cranking and then resets. Insert radio code again.

I wouldn't think I'm totally seized, but... Something is making turnover a pain to where the starter motor just stalls, pulling a lot of current. A lot!

Any ideas? Should I pour lubricant in the spark plug holes?! I don't want to crank anymore, just to mitigate any more possible damage.

The denso starter is more powerful, but the aftermarket should turn it if all is well.

I need an excuse to buy a newer TL, but... Would like to get SOME money out of this one. 280k miles! Only major replacement was a new crankshaft... :/

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Old 05-16-2019, 05:12 AM
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instead of guessing, throw a multimeter on....
this way there is no guessing will tell you if you have a dead battery. it will tell you if the cables you replaced have current running through them

stop guessing!
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:21 AM
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Fair enough!

I am pretty sure I'm getting current... The starter engages, the starter gets warm, and the battery cable increases in temperature. All these things happen with current flow. Plus the big clunk when it engages...

But, I will definitely get some readings tonight and post them. See if that helps.

The reason I bought a starter was because the original one was smoking. Blah!

Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:04 PM
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Crank the engine manually and see how much resistance you get. I believe the crank bolt is a 19mm. This is the bolt that holds the main crank pulley on which is toward the bottom of the engine on the passenger side. I've typically used two 1/2" extensions and a breaker bar when I've had to remove the crank bolt. You don't have to remove the bolt of course, just attempt to turn the engine over. Turn the crank clockwise.

It should give some resistance due to compression inside the cylinders since there will always be at least one (usually two I think) pistons in the compression stroke with the valves closed. However, it shouldn't be overbearing. It should give some resistance followed by a hiss (air exiting the cylinder) where it then becomes a bit easier, followed again by some resistance. Turn it over several times and see if there's a point at which it's much more difficult. If so, that may tell you that something is wrong.

I can only guess what but I'd assume it's not good At that point you could try changing the oil altogether as well as putting a bit of oil down the spark plug holes. Dunno. Never been in that situation.
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:53 PM
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I guess it was a little easier than I imagined.

Removed belt.
Started right up.
Issue: Seized Alternator.

Had original starter tested this evening... It was bad, as well. Must have killed it trying to start. So, I guess it wasn't a total waste to swap it out.

Hopefully this helps someone else down the line who thinks their engine is toast. Thanks you to the above responses.

Now, time to swap alternator. :/
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