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Bad Starter Motor? (Video Linked)

Old 11-28-2017, 08:00 PM
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Bad Starter Motor? (Video Linked)

So, I just replaced the starter motor on my 05 Acura RL about a week ago because it wouldn't start, and my old trick of banging on the starter motor with a hammer was no longer working (this would happen to me once or twice a year and hitting it with a hammer seemed to fix it). The replacement starter motor was a remanufactured unit off of eBay, and it fired right up and worked fine after I installed it. A week later, and my RL will not start again with the same symptoms.

I want to make sure this is actually the starter motor, and not some other failed component that I am missing... video at the link below of the sound it makes when I turn it to start.

Other Information:
  • Headlights and dash stay bright and light when I try and start it, navigation and radio go off (which I think is normal).
  • Audible continuous clicking sound, which can be heard in the video
  • "CHECK STARTING SYSTEM" notification on dashboard
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Old 11-29-2017, 11:24 AM
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Custom Matt!!!!!!
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Old 11-29-2017, 11:27 AM
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Sounds like it could be a bad motor.
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Old 11-29-2017, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by projektvertx View Post
Custom Matt!!!!!!
Hey! Its been awhile since I've been on here haha.

Originally Posted by thoiboi View Post
Sounds like it could be a bad motor.
Some other information from troubleshooting last night:
  • No clicking or sounds when turning from II to III
  • Cleaned/tightened battery terminals and connectors
Is it weird that I am not hearing a click when going from II to III? Could this be a bad ignition starter relay and/or fuse?
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Old 11-29-2017, 04:29 PM
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There are two starter cut relays, try either replacing them or remove and reinstall. I know one is in the driver footwell. I think the other is under the hood in fuse box.
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Old 12-01-2017, 01:38 PM
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Custom Matt with an eBay starter?

I would lose the starter before you fry a circuit with that over load.
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Old 12-23-2017, 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted by HEAVY_RL View Post
Custom Matt with an eBay starter?

I would lose the starter before you fry a circuit with that over load.
It's a rebuilt stock starter motor, not sure what "over load" you are referring to.

Originally Posted by rlerman View Post
There are two starter cut relays, try either replacing them or remove and reinstall. I know one is in the driver footwell. I think the other is under the hood in fuse box.
I think this is it, or something related. I pulled up the maintenance manuals and noticed these starter cut relays are connected to the transmission range switch. After trying nearly everything, I simply moved the shifter to neutral and, whala, the car started perfectly fine. So I'm not sure if it is the relays or the transmission range switch, possibly jiggling the shifter would have been enough. I will have to remember to try that first the next time this happens.
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Old 12-29-2017, 01:12 PM
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It happened again last night, it would not start at all. I shifted to neutral and it started right away. I ordered a replacement relay to keep in the glove box. Next time it happens I'll swap that to see if it fixes.
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Old 12-29-2017, 06:03 PM
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I had this same issue for 9 months this past year and had posted about it. However people don't always want to believe what they read.
I took my 2005 acura RL to an Acura dealer in Morton Grove Il. in January of last year. exlpained my symptoms, they replaced my starter for $500.00 plus dollars.. (Without my approval)
I still had same problem, took it back they replaced the 2 relays still had same problem. I continually told service manager that I read on the Acurazine posts that it
looked to be my neutral safety switch, since when I moved the shifter from park to neutral and back my car would start but, he would not believe me. He kept trying to get me to buy a new car. he would say your car is a 2005 with 100,000 miles on it do you just want to keep throwing parts at it. Finally I proved that the neutral safety switch (they called ragge safety switch) was defective they replaced it for another $200 plus dollars and oh boy the problem's gone and I now have 110,000 plus miles.
Good luck.
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Old 12-29-2017, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by gogogoldrl View Post
I had this same issue for 9 months this past year and had posted about it. However people don't always want to believe what they read.
I took my 2005 acura RL to an Acura dealer in Morton Grove Il. in January of last year. exlpained my symptoms, they replaced my starter for $500.00 plus dollars.. (Without my approval)
I still had same problem, took it back they replaced the 2 relays still had same problem. I continually told service manager that I read on the Acurazine posts that it
looked to be my neutral safety switch, since when I moved the shifter from park to neutral and back my car would start but, he would not believe me. He kept trying to get me to buy a new car. he would say your car is a 2005 with 100,000 miles on it do you just want to keep throwing parts at it. Finally I proved that the neutral safety switch (they called ragge safety switch) was defective they replaced it for another $200 plus dollars and oh boy the problem's gone and I now have 110,000 plus miles.
Good luck.
THANK YOU! I knew if I took this in, Acura wouldn't figure out the real cause (until a few iterations of replacing parts and wasting my money). I was leaning towards this being some sensor with the shifter, but I bought a $10 starter cut relay as backup. Once I get sometime this summer and when its warmer I'll buy a replacement (~$50) and do the replacement myself, the shifting from park to neutral works fine for me since this happens maybe once every few months.

Sorry for the adventure you had to go through to get this issue fixed and the money wasted. Also, screw that service manager trying to make a sale, this car has its issues, but its otherwise solid and very reliable. I would be complaining and trying to get some type of credit, but this is one of the reasons I never had my vehicle repaired at local dealers anyways. I always have the shop give me the old parts when they replace something in case it ends up not being the issue.

Backstory: I've been dealing with this since I got the car in 2011 (I recently just hit 190,000 miles as of 12/2017) and I was always able to get it started randomly after turning the ignition numerous times. I thought it was getting worse over the years, but it was really just my early rage with this car and rattling the shifter left to right out of frustration that was likely getting the neutral range switch into the right position to allow the car to start. Other times I banged on the starter with a bar and thought that was what fixed it. I've gotten desensitized to issues with this car over the years and calmed down and hadn't rattled the shifter after it wouldn't start, so I figured whatever the issue was, it finally crapped out on me altogether. I replaced the starter motor myself, and that seemed to fix it, but a week later same issue and then I posted here. It wasn't until rlerman mentioned starter cut relays that I tried to shift from P to N which allowed me to start the car.

Wow what a ride, 6 years later and finally someone has been able to confirm the cause. THANKS! Hopefully some other person in the future, with the same issue, reaches this post before replacing the starter motor/relays. I'll take a video next time this happens.

Last edited by Matt W; 12-29-2017 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 01-01-2018, 03:46 AM
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I had same problem with my 3g tl and i also thought it was bad starter or range sensor but later i found out it was just loose shift cable. To cure the problem i never replaced it. So whenever i had the problem i would push the shift lever gently towards the engine while in "P" and crank the engine at same time with other hand. Don't go around and through parts randomly at the car. Don't guess instead diagnose. You can check transmission range switch with multimeter if you follow service manual. Most of the time with faulty range switch you will have some sort of flashing "D or D1" lights while driving and shifting problems (or flashing D with bad pressure switch).

Last edited by deepa1600; 01-01-2018 at 03:53 AM.
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