Car not starting! please help!

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Keith_R, Oct 8, 2004.

  1. Keith_R

    Keith_R Screenwriter

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    Hey all, I seem to be having a problem starting my car. I was told earlier that it was having problems starting but now I just went out there and tried starting it and it won't turn on. I'm figuring it's maybe the battery since I haven't been running it as much lately but I'm not sure.

    It's a '97 Honda Accord LX. When I try to run it, it refuses to start and the "Malfunction indicator lamp" comes on. I'm looking in my owners manual and it says that this means that something with the engines emissions systems could have a problem. The problem with it starting has been gradual since last week until today when it just stopped starting. I haven't really been using it full-time lately and have barely been driving it around town, in fact the only running it's been doing lately is to move it from our driveway to allow access for our other car into the garage. Hence why I think it could be the battery. However, the "malfunction indicator" thing bothers me and really makes me wonder if something has gone wrong with my engine.
    What do the HTF car experts think? any ideas on what my problem is? thanks.
     
  2. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    All MIL's stay on until the engine actually starts, don't worry about the Malfunction Indicator Lamp-if the engine doesn't start it won't go out.

    Does your starter crank the engine? If not you probably have a very weak battery, try jump-starting the car, instructions for doing this should be in your owner's manual. If not, just remember to connect the positive jumper cable to the positive terminals on both your car and the donor car, then connect the negative jumper to the negative terminal on the donor and to a hunk of metal on the engine of your car away from the battery. Run the donor car for a few minutes with the cables connected before trying to start your car. If it still won't crank try wiggling the shifter if it's an automatic, or mashing down extra hard on the clutch if it's a manual.
     
  3. charlie o

    charlie o Stunt Coordinator

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    will the engine not crank over or turns over slowly. Sounds like a dead battery. The mil light comes on when the key is on and the engine is off.
     
  4. Nathan Eddy

    Nathan Eddy Second Unit

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    I'm not a car expert, but I know an engine needs both fire and fuel to start--spark and gas. If the spark plugs aren't igniting the fuel, then you've got an electrical problem that could be anything from fuses, wiring, alternator, starter, or battery. If the engine is turning over but just not starting, then you've got a fuel problem which could be a clogged fuel filter, a bad fuel pump, etc. If this is the case, and you've been trying to start it unsuccessfully for a while, then you could have run down your battery and now you've got both problems. We need more info on exactly what it's been doing and for how long to diagnose any further. The options are just too numerous.

    It could be simple (like loose connections on your battery posts), or it could be a combination of several problems. This is why auto mechanics make so much money! They take advantage of our ignorance!! No, just kidding. The honest ones earn their money.
     
  5. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    " both fire and fuel to start--spark and gas" with oxygen nothing happens, and that's the most important thing to remember.

    B
     
  6. Keith_R

    Keith_R Screenwriter

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    After further examination this morning I think I've determined that the problem is definently the battery. I tried to turn my car on this morning and discovered that the MIL light goes away and that my battery light (which I wasn't able to see last night due to poor vision) comes on and stays on. I popped my hood and noticed a lot of corrosion on my battery which is probably part of my problem if not all of it.

    However, I can get the battery replaced for around $36 so I will probably just use my insurance's roadside protection and get my car towed in to replace the battery on Monday.

    In the meantime though, just for the sake of doing it, how could I possibly remove that corrosion on the battery? I'd like to see what effect removing the corrosion may have.

    Thanks.
     
  7. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Water and baking soda, and a toothbrush usually works.
     
  8. Keith_R

    Keith_R Screenwriter

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    Looks like I'll be having to get a new battery put in on Monday.

    I tried the water + baking soda idea with no luck. I did get rid of the corrosion though[​IMG] . I guess it's just time for a new battery. I did some calling around and found a place that can sell me a battery for $35 and will install it for free, sounds like a good plan to me. I bought the car used and though the previous owner did a good job maintaining it, I'm not sure about the last time he may have had the battery replaced. Considering the car is 7 years old it probably isn't a bad idea to have a new battery put in especially if it solves the problem and only costs me $35 or $36 bucks. I'll keep ya'll posted on what happens.
     

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