Honda CR-V Owners Club Forums banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of this month's Ride of the Month Challenge!

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,124 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Two '09 CR-V EX-Ls, just as it says in the signature.

Today, mine will barely crank. Battery is already fully charged, as I've had the charger/desulfator on it overnight. Bloody cold, though. It was -6°F when I tried it. Threw the big charger on it, left it for an hour and a half, cranking is still kinda slow but it finally starts.

Blue '09. A few months back, the starter turns over the engine twice and then stops. Had to turn the key off and back on. Then it started right up. Still does this occasionally, maybe once or twice a week. It'll crank the engine two or three times and stop. It also cranks a bit slowly but not as slow as mine always did.

As I've read about the way that starters go bad in these, I'm not about to throw new batteries at one or both of these to see if they might be the issue if the starters could be going out the door. These were built maybe a few weeks apart--the serial numbers are that close. Mileage-wise they are probably within 5k of each other. Mine I think is over 140k now.

Anything I've read here regarding starters has been a little inconclusive and my responses were somewhat buried. So...the question is, what are the symptoms of a starter going bad on this particular engine? (And no offense, but I need symptoms for this particular engine and type of starter, not from experience on a different engine or car make/model.)

I'm in no position to mess with a starter outside in this weather, so anything I do will have to be done at the dealer nearby (where I get a discount). Otherwise I'm at the point where I'd just buy two Denso starters and a couple of batteries and be done with this nonsense.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,527 Posts
The thing is this engine/starter symptoms are no different than any other. Literally not a single thing is unique to Honda engines or starters. I'm an almost 20 yr tech and doesnt matter if its chevy, Honda or Mercedes, starters are all the same and bad ones will exhibit the same symptoms for the type of failure they have.

That said, if your battery is newish and not just the cheapest thing you can buy (bargain level batteries cannot handle sub zero temps regardless of where you buy it) then from your description of issues the starter is going bad. Based on symptoms either a bad spot on the commutator has a bad spot (most likely) or solenoid is failing.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
2016 CR-V EX-L
Joined
·
163 Posts
I would tend to think starter as well but at those temperatures nothing is going to start as well as we are typically used to.

Consider having the batteries load tested. You don't say how old/new they are but if they are over 3 years and the load test is even somewhat questionable I'd throw new batteries in them and go from there. These vehicles are roughly 10 years old and there is bound to be some resistance in connections even with great maintenance habits.

If the batteries are newer then it is starter time.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,124 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
On the blue CR-V, it was the starter--it died Monday, and I had the dealer do the job. A little more pricey, but it was done right, and done quickly. With a warranty, as well (3 years/36,000 miles). I'd have done it myself if the weather was warmer, with a Denso. The battery tested strong, BTW, as I'd used the desulfator on it. Sure cranks faster than the old one.

Mine is still cranking slowly. I'm still wondering if it's the starter, as it barely cranked over today after sitting for 10 minutes, yet a battery charger thrown on it shows that it was almost fully charged. Connections are fine, as are the grounds. Totally different from the blue '09--that one would sometimes turn over the engine twice, then stop. This one has always cranked more slowly than the blue '09. I'm going to borrow a good battery and give it a try, so we'll see what happens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
I have a 2011 crv exl and one of the first things I did was switch to a group 24 battery- much better cranking speed especially when cold original oem batteries are really undersized
 

·
Registered
'07 CR-V EX-L AWD
Joined
·
4,670 Posts
I have a 2011 crv exl and one of the first things I did was switch to a group 24 battery- much better cranking speed especially when cold original oem batteries are really undersized
What he said. My less-than-two-year-old 3-year battery went south on me after not driving it for 7 days. Starter tested fine. Moving to a size 24 battery. Of course, I don't live inside the Arctic Circle, either. I want my CR-V to fire right up after sitting for a month, like my F250 will. Not that I plan to test it. I just want reliability.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,124 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I have a 2011 crv exl and one of the first things I did was switch to a group 24 battery- much better cranking speed especially when cold original oem batteries are really undersized
I may do that anyway, but, I'm wary of the starter nonetheless--it struggles lately even in warmer weather, and it always did crank slower than the other '09. The remanufactured Denso isn't much, and since I'll be out west again this summer for a few weeks, the last thing I need is for this starter to die when I'm not even near a cell tower signal.

Past experience with these less-than-reliable '09s has taught me that when a part goes bad on one of them, without fail the same part goes bad on the other within several months. Not taking chances here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
I just replaced the battery in my 08. Cranking slow and really struggling in the cold. Its a bit better with the new battery but I'm thinking that a starter change is in my future as well. It will be home for summer in May so at least I won't freeze my butt off doing it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,124 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I'm not feeling good with my starter for the same reason.

I have to work on all of the cars in the fleet once the temperatures get into the 50s here. The '97 is getting an oil pan, then hopefully I can find someone to buy the thing dirt cheap. The Civic is halfway through the cylinder head change--I wasn't able to get the crank bolt loose or the last bolt out of the intake manifold (it is way inside/behind the engine). I also want to do suspension work on it (the control arm bushings), fix the headliner and clean up or replace some minor things.

My kiddo's Accord is a mess--the evap stuff under the car needs replacing, left rear door handle is broken, one of the seat motors is jammed up, the front disk brake shields both need replacing--one of them literally rusted off this weekend. Worst, the transmission is acting up, and the solenoids/valves all need checking.

The '09s...the blue one needs a trip to the body shop. It was rear-ended the week after we bought it, but it was minor enough. But someone really backed into the rear end hard at a local upscale mall (probably some ditz in a huge SUV, on her phone) a couple of months ago, which scratched and popped the rear garnish. I also notice the spare tire cover won't lie flat on the floor--turns out the spare tire is sitting up higher and I noticed a damn wrinkle in the spare tire basin. No way I can fix that--it's going to need some pulling and welding. The interior is also a mess--the crappy door armrests were fixed poorly, the floor mats need replacing, and I need to get the split paint on the passenger's seat leather repaired. There are a couple of spots to touch up on the exterior paint. I might even put a trailer hitch on this one, and buy some obnoxious fat step/bumper thing. Hopefully if someone hits it again, it tears up their front end. I'd prefer a set of sharp foot-long metal spikes pointing out from the rear. :D

My '09 is getting the starter replaced (I'll need a few days to tackle it), belt tensioner replaced (it's noisy), and I should probably check the timing chain while I'm in there. I might replace some of the exterior lighting with LEDs, but, as I'm not too happy with all these issues on the '09s, I'm not planning on keeping it for much longer.

Both need alignments, and the strut mounts on both are starting to make noise again.

And all of these need the usual cleaning/polishing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
My project list is not that long but working 16hrs 7 days a week for the last 2 weeks with another 3 of this schedule at a minimum, there may be leaves on the trees before I get to any of it. I may sacrifice a bit of sleep to do new rear rotors/pads on my Pilot and my Kubota needs a couple hydraulic lines to the FEL replaced before mowing season starts. If i'm lucky I swing through the dealer and hit the free car wash. Interior detailing is but a dream.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,124 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Yeah, mine are due for an interior cleaning also. I still have a little of Death Valley inside mine at the moment, and that was back in October.

I just hate the way the cars get beat up here. Can't own anything nice. If the roads don't beat them to death or the road debris doesn't give the paint road rash, or windshield chips or cracks, then it's the careless drivers who drive off after hitting your car in a parking lot. (It's happened too many times to my better half; she even witnessed one of them, and the daft old lady in her Camry just ignorantly drove off after denting the rear fender of our Civic.)

I don't expect my daughter's car to get out unscathed. She's a careful driver, but the parking garage at the college is filled with college-aged drivers, and some of them cut things awfully close, park within inches of others' cars, and drive too fast in the garage. And the city side streets to the garage are a crumbled shambles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,124 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
So I'm about ready to get a starter for my '09 and change it out. It barely turned over this morning again. After my running around this afternoon and letting it rest for a couple of hours, the charged voltage is 12.79v. Our blue '09 is 12.86v. Regardless, I put the desulfator on it overnight tonight, just for maintenance.

Got worse problems though. The Accord only has one key, and my daughter had to leave the car downtown in the school's parking garage because her lanyard with her school ID, keys, pepper spray*, etc. appears to have been stolen. She's looked all over, visited lost and found three times, retraced her steps a few times, torn apart everything else, and...nothing. So unless a local locksmith can work some magic and program a new key to the immobilizer, cutting a new key using the VIN number, it looks like we'll have to get a tow to the dealer and have them do the work. And a spare key was on my spring to-do list.

* Yes, pepper spray. This is Detroit we're talking about, after all...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,124 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
So I just ordered a Denso-remanufactured starter from Rock Auto--it'll be here in a couple of days. I have to ship the core back, but we're looking at ~$150 total cost once the core is returned.

All this talk about removing the intake has me wondering. The service manual does not show this at all. Instead, here is what I'm looking at:

crv2009-starter-removal.jpg

Unplug a connector, remove an intake bracket, remove the starter and remove the wires from the starter. Installation is the next page, and it is not much harder. I don't see why the intake needs to be removed, if this is the proper procedure. :confused2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,124 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
So, it was the starter.

The remanufactured Denso starter showed up around noon, and I was out working on it by 2pm. I got the job mostly done, but the one bolt fell behind the starter and turned sideways, and my arms are too tired to get it out.

Did I remove the intake? NO! The rear bolt on the starter is actually a very long bolt, #10 in the illustration here:

crv-starterbolts.png

The hex head of the bolt has no stop on it, so a deep-well socket can "drift" along the hex portion when you're working with it. In addition, the bolt has a smaller diameter pilot in the end of it, so you can find the hole and threads easier when reinstalling it.

So by all means, I think that this starter mounting was designed to be removed from underneath. It is not easy by any means, and it's tight, but not impossible--they apparently used the longer bolt to assist with mounting it in this position.

My biggest issues with the starter:

1. The larger bolt was very stiff to remove, and stiff to reinstall. As in, I totally wasted my arms. The very tip of it was corroded a little, as it sticks through the engine and is very slightly exposed. I did put some anti-seize on it after cleaning up the threads with the wire brush, but it's still stiff.

2. The long bolt fell behind the starter and I got it stuck in there sideways. Oops. Saving that for tomorrow afternoon. I'm afraid I might have to remove the other bolt on the starter again to get to it.

3. Getting the starter out was tricky. At first I kept trying to push the rear of the starter further up into the engine, but it kept hitting the oil pressure sender. Then I decided to get a little more aggressive with it, and worked the rear of it downward (straining just a little on the wiring harnesses) but it finally came out.

4. There is a bracket on the old starter that holds a wiring harness to the rear--the new starter did not have one, so I had to undo one of the starter bolts to remove it and transfer it over.

I still need to fasten that one bolt but otherwise, I tried it on the single bolt and it cranks so much faster than the outgoing starter, and wasn't straining the battery at all. It's also much quieter than the original. (One of the recommended tests in the service manual is to crank the starter and see how much current it draws--if it draws too much current, that is a sign the starter is failing.)

So I'm glad I replaced it. Now I just need to ship back the core and it's a completed job. And I don't have to worry about the starter anymore.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
Thanks for the update. Actually looking forward to not being at work and doing a starter swap.... Crazy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,527 Posts
Thanks for the update. Glad you finally got that sorted out!!!


I found pulling the intake plenum easier myself (takes me 5 minutes or so) saving from trying to fight it from underneath. Pulling the front segment of the intake is really easy IMO, lot less cuss words to deal with the starter. Not necessary but just find it easier/faster but I also have cordless impacts to zip things apart.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,124 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
I found pulling the intake plenum easier myself (takes me 5 minutes or so) saving from trying to fight it from underneath. Pulling the front segment of the intake is really easy IMO, lot less cuss words to deal with the starter. Not necessary but just find it easier/faster but I also have cordless impacts to zip things apart.
I wasn't sure how much of the intake to remove, so I left it alone. It would probably have been easier I'm sure. The service manual didn't mention removing it, but to remove the entire intake (remove it from the cylinder block) is a very involved undertaking, so I didn't mess with it. I noticed later that it came apart in sections.

I did come up with a trick to reinstalling that long rear bolt. I'd tried fishing it around to find the mounting hole, but had no luck. So, starting anew today, I gave a few ideas some thought and came up with something that worked.

I unbolted and pulled the starter part of the way out again. I stuck the pilot end of the long bolt into the hole, flush with the mounting surface, then taped it to the side of the starter with half a strip of duct tape. Perfect! The key is to snug up the visible bottom bolt first, which draws the starter to the engine--it has a protrusion which fits a circular opening, so that positively mounts it in place. From there, it's just a matter of using the deep well socket to start the long bolt by hand (the pilot extension on the bolt makes it easy) and soon enough, you can attach the ratchet and wind it the rest of the way in. And just a small touch of anti-seize on the very end of that bolt helps it start in the hole cleanly. That long bolt only needs 33 lb/ft of torque, as it's smaller than the visible bolt (which takes 47 lb/ft). Once that was done, it was a matter of putting the wire harnesses back in place, and reinstalling the intake support bracket, the transmission filter (which I unbolted for more ratcheting space) and the splash panel.

It seems like the new starter is spinning the engine nearly twice as fast as the old one, which struggled on mornings in the 30s here, barely turning over.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
I would tend to think starter as well but at those temperatures nothing is going to start as well as we are typically used to.

Consider having the batteries load tested. You don't say how old/new they are but if they are over 3 years and the load test is even somewhat questionable I'd throw new batteries in them and go from there. These vehicles are roughly 10 years old and there is bound to be some resistance in connections even with great maintenance habits.

If the batteries are newer then it is starter time.

Good luck!
Sound advice. One other thing to consider is cleaning the battery posts & cables - Make them SHINE! Once a year is probably a good practice, just remember you will have to reset the radio.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top