Honda CR-V Owners Club Forums banner

1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, I've been doing some research the last few days and can't figure out what the problem is with my CR-V. Here is the situation which is really interesting but frustrating:

I live in Michigan and the last 2 days were really cold in the morning (< 5°F). When I tried to start my 2005 cr-v with about 120,000 miles, I would just get one faint click when I turned the key but it would not turn over or crank at all. The dash lights and stereo all come on just fine and if I turn on the headlights they are just fine and dont dim when I turn the key. Yesterday morning this happened and I had to take the bus to work. When I got back in the evening it was about 15°F and when I tried starting it, it started right up perfectly without hesitation.

Last week when it was really cold one morning (~7°F) it also did something similar where I turned the key all the way to start the engine and nothing happened. I tried it again and held the key at start for about 5 seconds and it started cranking and started right up. I was concerned it was the battery so I bought a new battery rated at 500 CCA's.

So now I know its not the battery which is brand new. When it started up fine yesterday evening, I took it to the auto parts store and they connected their device that tests the charging system and battery. All the tests are good/normal. The starter cranking is normal, the CCA's measured were 430, the charging system was load tested and no problems found, and the battery drain test passed at 0.11A.

I don't know what to do next. I thought it likely means the starter is bad, but it started up just fine this morning when it was about 12°F. I would think a bad starter would give issues at any temperature? So pretty much, my cr-v will not start if it's colder than ~6°F but will start perfectly if > ~7°F. Anyone ever have something similar happen?

To give a little background, I've owned my CR-V for about a year and it has not given me any issue. I change the oil on time. I actually drove it from California to Michigan and didn't have any issues at all on the trip. It's my first real winter and I feel so lost having a vehicle with trouble due to the cold weather. I just started at a new job and was already late to work twice due to my car not starting which really sucks . Any suggestions? Thanks in advance
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,041 Posts
The wires that connect to the starter sometimes corrode and cause this type of symptom, but usually not as related to the cold. A starter solenoid can copy this and be related to temp. You can also try this procedure when it won't turn over on a cold start. Shift the trans to "drive" and back to "park". Then try to crank. If it will it is likely a worn neutral switch. A loose ground connection in the most unlikely of places (due to multiplexing in the wiring scheme) can also prevent cranking, but is also usually not temp. associated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,647 Posts
For the neutral safety switch it should start in N as well as P.

I wonder if his solenoid is sticking. Could try banging on the small can that is mounted to the starter next time it happens. Unfortunately, these types of problems are hard to track down since they only seem to show themselves at the worst time.
 

·
Everything in Moderation
2006 CR-V EX, 5MT
Joined
·
9,550 Posts
New battery? I'd check the terminals on top (the large red and black wires).

Our last new battery (Interstate) had one terminal too small. Even with the wire's clamp-bolt fully tightened, the terminal could be spun around.

A battery post shim solved the problem for us. (Available at auto parts stores.) Like so:

http://tinyurl.com/lmjxufy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I have had a few people mention to look at all the cables for any sign of corrosion. I'm going to spend tomorrow trying to figure this out. It started up just fine today (about 18°F weather) but I doubt the problem just fixed itself.

I did get the new battery and did have a shim put on to make sure the clamp was tight so that should rule out the battery.

I have a feeling that it's most likely some sort of starter/solenoid issue but I feel like it would malfunction at any temperature if that was the case. It does almost seem as if the starter is seizing/freezing in the extreme cold temperatures because when I first noticed the issue, and held they key at start for a few seconds, the starter seemed to "come loose" and turn the engine over. I'll check things out tomorrow and report back. Appreciate all the suggestions :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
756 Posts
Any loose connection or wire at the keylock itself? With wires going down along the steering column...
 

·
Everything in Moderation
2006 CR-V EX, 5MT
Joined
·
9,550 Posts
Don't assume the battery connections are tight.

I do my own work and have found loose battery terminals months later. ???? Serves me right for hiring cheap labor! :rolleyes: Point is, verify everything.


Yeah, the connections where the big cables connect to the starter could be loose or corroded. A high resistance would warm-up when the key was held a few seconds.



Also: check the connection to the body & engine --> battery on the large black cable. That one is easy to troubleshoot, just clip a jumper cable to supplement the car's wiring and see if it makes a difference. If it does, DIG IN. If not, look elsewhere.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,235 Posts
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I have had a few people mention to look at all the cables for any sign of corrosion. I'm going to spend tomorrow trying to figure this out. It started up just fine today (about 18°F weather) but I doubt the problem just fixed itself.

I did get the new battery and did have a shim put on to make sure the clamp was tight so that should rule out the battery.

I have a feeling that it's most likely some sort of starter/solenoid issue but I feel like it would malfunction at any temperature if that was the case. It does almost seem as if the starter is seizing/freezing in the extreme cold temperatures because when I first noticed the issue, and held they key at start for a few seconds, the starter seemed to "come loose" and turn the engine over. I'll check things out tomorrow and report back. Appreciate all the suggestions :)
Any loose connection or wire at the keylock itself? With wires going down along the steering column...
After you verify all of the cables and connections, I would check in the direction canyon is suggesting, maybe focusing on the ignition switch as being faulty.
 

·
Everything in Moderation
2006 CR-V EX, 5MT
Joined
·
9,550 Posts
The typical failure mode for ignition switches is no "power during run", not in the starting circuit....

That said there IS a relay (Ignition relay?) in the circuit....
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
346 Posts
Take the battery cables off the battery and scrape the inside surfaces with a knife. Not saying for sure that this is your problem, but I've seen it dozens of times in the past 45 years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Take the battery cables off the battery and scrape the inside surfaces with a knife. Not saying for sure that this is your problem, but I've seen it dozens of times in the past 45 years.
So today I looked over all the cables going from the battery to body and engine. Visually they all seem fine, no sign of corrosion. I also removed the battery connections, cleaned them and used one of those steel wire battery post cleaner tools to clean them up; tightened the cables onto the battery posts, and sprayed a "battery terminal protector" on them to prevent corrosion.

The cr-v started up just fine before and after cleaning. Everything seems to be working perfectly but again, the issue I had was with cold single digit weather. Today it's in the high 20's. I am safe to assume that the starter is probably okay, since I would think it would have issues turning the engine over at any weather? I'll keep looking in to the various suggestions but I guess I won't know if the problem is still there until the next cold morning it doesnt start again :/ . Thanks again for all the suggestions and I'll come back and update when I notice the issue again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,930 Posts
I believe there is a small relay for the starter and it is probably under the hood up high and easily accessible. You will have to search for its location on the internet or perhaps its location is in your owner's manual.
Something is probably not making a good contact due to the cold. Could be the relay or the starter solenoid or even the contacts that the ignition switch closes upon the Start position.
Hopefully it is just something simple.
Buffalo4
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Thanks for all the suggestions. Unfortunately this morning it again didnt start at the first try. I immediately again turned the key to start and held it for about 5 seconds, and it started cranking and started up. I didn't try shifting or anything since it started up after that second try. It was about 2 degrees this morning so there is a definite correlation with temperature and not starting.

I'll check the relay in the fuse box this evening and ill try to figure out what else i might be able to check. If everything looks fine, should I just consider replacing the starter? I would have already replaced it so I don't stress about my cr-v potentially not starting the next morning but I'm not fully convinced it's the starter due to it working just fine when it's not too cold outside. :/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
184 Posts
To the OP...it is my opinion (as humble as it may be...) that the problem IS your battery...new or not.

Here in Tennessee, we don't get as cold as you do up North...however, in the last few week we've had some single digit mornings when that arctic express hit us...I believe it got down to 9 degrees where I live. On those mornings my 2006 CRV (with a new battery as well) would just barely turn over...one time I thought I had to bring out the booster pack.

For some reason, the batteries on our CRV are on the smallest side for the engine size...in CCA (cold cranking amps)...I believe it is only around 400A or so. I don't know why Honda put such a small battery in the CRV, but someone on this forum was able to fit a larger capacity battery (from a Pilot, I think) into the CRV to help with the cold cranking issue.

Remember that your battery relies on a chemical reaction that is affected by heat...or lack there of...the chemical reaction reduces with falling temperature, there by reducing the available amperage. I would consider anything below 30F extreme...but of course, I'm from the South, so it may be relative.

(I thought the batteries up North were different from the ones sold in the South to handle the cold better...)

Also, how far are you driving...maybe you are not driving long enough for the battery to fully charge...and it take significantly more amps to turn over the starter motor than to run the lights and such..
good luck...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,647 Posts
If his battery was the problem wouldn't he get a slow crank or click and not simply nothing? And didn't he at one point try cranking with the headlights on and got no dimming of the lights? As for putting it in neutral, I am thinking the NSS isn't the issue if holding the key for a few seconds works.

Ultimately I think you need a tester and see if you are getting voltage to the starter when it isn't starting. Not easy to test since it doesn't happen often and no one wants to be outside at 0 degrees playing with things. You want 12v to the large starter wire all the time and 12v on the tiny wire when the key is turned to start.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
If his battery was the problem wouldn't he get a slow crank or click and not simply nothing? And didn't he at one point try cranking with the headlights on and got no dimming of the lights? As for putting it in neutral, I am thinking the NSS isn't the issue if holding the key for a few seconds works.

Ultimately I think you need a tester and see if you are getting voltage to the starter when it isn't starting. Not easy to test since it doesn't happen often and no one wants to be outside at 0 degrees playing with things. You want 12v to the large starter wire all the time and 12v on the tiny wire when the key is turned to start.
Yeah I did get a brand new battery about two weeks ago and it was tested last week and found to be good. It's a 500 CCA battery so it should be more than enough and you're correct, I turned on the headlights and turned the key and they didnt dim at all, just not turning over/cranking at all. I would think the starter would still make some noise.

Ultimately I think I will have to test the voltage to the starter like you suggest to rule out the voltage going to the starter itself. Then I would likely just replace the starter i guess. The thing is, it seems kind of hard to get to the starter in the first place to do any test (below the manifold).

Thanks again to everyone for your suggestions. I appreciate all the advice. I'll keep trying to narrow it down, and I'll continue crossing my fingers that it starts each morning.
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top