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Old 05-31-2018, 06:07 PM   #1
greenquark
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Car starts after disconnecting/connecting battery

Hi there,

Sometimes, when I want to start my car, there is no power, dead, no dash light, nothing. I disconnect the battery, connect it again and te car starts. After some time, same problem. It is driving me crazy.

Sometimes , I have power , get the key in, when I turn it to start the car, power goes off, no power anywhere.

Battery is new ( costco). Good voltage. Alternator charges it fine. It has an aftermarket anti theft system, which is off/disabled.

I checked ground and all looks good. I check voltage between positive terminal and all grounds and all look good.

Ps: my apologies if this problem has been discussed before. I could not find something related.
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Old 05-31-2018, 08:10 PM   #2
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Check the main relay. Google or search this site on how to do that. Check the wires on the battery to make sure they have a good connection too. Don't electrocute yourself, disconnect the cables before you go play around.
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Old 05-31-2018, 09:07 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raf99 View Post
Check the main relay. Google or search this site on how to do that. Check the wires on the battery to make sure they have a good connection too. Don't electrocute yourself, disconnect the cables before you go play around.
the main relay is only connected to the fuel pump, not the entire electrical system.


Greenquark, it sounds like you have a loose connection somewhere, maybe near the battery terminals.
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Old 06-01-2018, 12:10 AM   #4
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I'm thinking ignition switch (not lock cylinder).
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Old 06-01-2018, 10:38 PM   #5
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Thanks for the tips. I started from the easy way up. I cleaned both terminals ( they had grease). Tightened the cables. I cleaned the thick negative cable that goes from the negative terminal down to the engine block( I had to remove where the battery rests, in order to get there). It was covered in goo all the way down. So far so good. I put some graphite powdered lubricant in the switch. It has started 4 times without issues. Battery and alternator tested ok.

What should be the next step? ignition starter switch or main relay?

Last edited by greenquark; 06-01-2018 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 06-01-2018, 11:01 PM   #6
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Did you actually disconnect the negative cable at the transmission housing to clean that connection? I got one Accord because the previous owner was having starting problems, even after new battery and alternator. I traced it to a loose connection of the negative cable.

As stated earlier, a bad main relay shouldn't result in the symptoms you have.
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Old 06-02-2018, 02:25 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by fleetw00d View Post
Did you actually disconnect the negative cable at the transmission housing to clean that connection? I got one Accord because the previous owner was having starting problems, even after new battery and alternator. I traced it to a loose connection of the negative cable.

As stated earlier, a bad main relay shouldn't result in the symptoms you have.
If you are referring to the cable that goes from negative terminal down to the area where the transmission stick is, yes I did. Actually, it had 4/5 inches of raw cable down there. I disconnected it from the transmission/engine end ( 10 mm bolt), cleaned it, covered the unprotected length with some corrugated loom and tape and put everything back, as I said the battery terminals were oily.

The problem has not repeated again.

Could it be Ignition Lock Cylinder? The car has the original one (honda accord 1990 dx)
IS it a good idea to replace the starter? IS there a way to test it?

Cheers

Last edited by greenquark; 06-02-2018 at 02:43 AM.
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Old 06-02-2018, 07:18 AM   #8
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The lock cylinder itself has nothing to do with power; it just allows you to turn the ignition switch (separate component).

Similar thing for the starter; if it is bad, it won't cause you not to have power to the dash lights and such.

Make sure you have a good connection of the positive wire that goes to the engine compartment fuse box. If it happens again, with the key turned to the "On" position, check for power to and immediately downstream of the ignition switch - I don't have my service manual handy to tell you where to do that.
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Old 06-06-2018, 12:06 AM   #9
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I would bet money that the oily battery terminals were your issue. I have had the same time of issue in other vehicles and it is always the battery connections. Keep them clean.

If it kicks off again measure across the battery terminals first to make sure the battery doesn't have an issue like an internal break on the terminals. Then check from each battery terminal to the opposite end of each battery cable.
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Old 06-06-2018, 12:25 AM   #10
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Battery terminals, you won't have anymore problems since you cleaned them. It's called "fretting", happens when they are a little loose or get dirt build up on em, the greyish black stuff you wiped off the terminals is corrosion. Spray wd-40 on the terminals to prevent this in the future. (Cheaper than terminal protectant and works every bit as good)
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Old 06-11-2018, 01:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenquark View Post
Hi there,

Sometimes, when I want to start my car, there is no power, dead, no dash light, nothing. I disconnect the battery, connect it again and te car starts. After some time, same problem. It is driving me crazy.

Sometimes , I have power , get the key in, when I turn it to start the car, power goes off, no power anywhere.

Battery is new ( costco). Good voltage. Alternator charges it fine. It has an aftermarket anti theft system, which is off/disabled.

I checked ground and all looks good. I check voltage between positive terminal and all grounds and all look good.

Ps: my apologies if this problem has been discussed before. I could not find something related.
Check your starter solenoid and see if you can take a 12v power lead and jump your starter with key ignition turned. If it starts your vehicle then i would check your main relay or ignition lock cylinder. I had one bad on mine after someone stole car. Them jumping it ruined the ignition lock and my icm in dizzy. If it is a manual you also have a clutch relay switch that could go bad. It sounds more like ignition lock cylinder as dash lights don't engage sometimes. After my car was stolen sometimes it would start and sometimes it wouldn't. Though i always had dash lights.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:09 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by zedjr10 View Post
Check your starter solenoid and see if you can take a 12v power lead and jump your starter with key ignition turned. If it starts your vehicle then i would check your main relay or ignition lock cylinder. I had one bad on mine after someone stole car. Them jumping it ruined the ignition lock and my icm in dizzy. If it is a manual you also have a clutch relay switch that could go bad. It sounds more like ignition lock cylinder as dash lights don't engage sometimes. After my car was stolen sometimes it would start and sometimes it wouldn't. Though i always had dash lights.
After two weeks without issues, it happened again. When I disconnected the cables off the battery, i noticed the battery terminalmwe oily again.

I must say this is happening after i replaced the battery. I will start by replacing the battery again, and see what gives.

One more thing: what is the relationship between a bad ignition switch and disconecting/connecting the battery?

Is there any possiblemway that could be the computer unit? Or the antitheft i disabled?

Last edited by greenquark; 06-12-2018 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenquark View Post
After two weeks without issues, it happened again. When I disconnected the cables off the battery, i noticed the battery terminalmwe oily again.
Are you sure the terminals are tight? Not trying to say you are incompetent, just asking. Did you sray WD-40 or some type of terminal protectant on them to prevent fretting?

Quote:
I must say this is happening after i replaced the battery. I will start by replacing the battery again, and see what gives.
It's possible it may be the batteries fault.


Quote:
One more thing: what is the relationship between a bad ignition switch and disconecting/connecting the battery?
Not much of one, if any at all. It's not likely that it is the ingition switch. When you are working on a vehicle, and something starts happening that never happened before you did work, you need to look at what has changes, IE. the work that was just performed.

Quote:
Is there any possible way that could be the computer unit? Or the antitheft i disabled?
Computer, really doubt it. Is the anti-theeft device disabled? Or disconnected?
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Old 06-12-2018, 11:45 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Size9zombie View Post
Are you sure the terminals are tight?


I started all over, it looks like this was the problem. The terminals were tight to the battery but the terminal/cable connection was not. I took both terminals to give a good clean as you recommended. The negative terminal, one of the nuts was all the way through to the lead part. The cable was loose. I hope this is the problem, Going to get NON LEAD terminal tomorrow. I wonder why those are still in the market

Thank you so much for your mathematic/logical retrace each step... insight.


the alarm is disabled / I took the fuse out

Last edited by greenquark; 06-12-2018 at 11:49 PM.
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