1998 Honda accord sometimes won't start


Asked by Oct 21, 2014 at 11:26 PM about the 1998 Honda Accord LX

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I'm not the car savy one in the house, my husband is but since he's working a lot I'm
trying to do what I can to help figure what it wrong with our Honda.  So I'm going to try to
explain this best I can.

It started as it wouldn't start. No clicks or anything.  All the proper lights would come on
etc.  when you turn the key nothing would happen.  Something would catch just right
though and it would start just fine.  Today it refused to start when he went to pick our kids
up from school.  He said it would click when he turned the key this time though.  He
considered it was the starter or the starter solenoid.  He eventually got it to start an hour
or so later.  But they way he got it to start made him think it might be some kind of switch
by the shifter. (Automatic) what he ended up doing was shifting it to neutral and see if
he'd be able to push it incase that was what he'd have to do to get it home from the
school.  When he realized he could, he went back put it back in park and just for giggles
tried the key again and it fired right up!  So he's wondering if there is something wrong
with the switch by the shifter.
Any ideas?  Starter? Switch of some sort?  If I'm not explaining well enough I can ask
him to post to explain better.

3 Answers


I should add too that the alternater is fine, battery is fine, spark plugs fine, all fluids are fine including oil. All the usual suspects are fine except maybe the starter but we are not sure.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

It could be the switch on the gear selector but I'm willing to bet it's a starter. All a starter is is an electric motor. They get flat or bad spots on the armature. And at times it will come to rest on the bad spots. Then when you go to start it by bumping the ignition or moving the gear selector it can move the armature enough to start it. Then it gets bad enough it won't start one day at all. Ok now that the science lesson is over it could be a loose/corroded wire. Check all the wire from the battery, starter and under hood fuse box.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Joe Aa

It sounds like the starter. Had same occurrence at approx. 200K. I replaced the starter (bought online from parts warehouse I believe). And it even had a warranty on it and no core to ship back (good thing). I have a '99 VTEC 4cyl. and it was the correct fix. I now have approx. 260K on my Accord. Good luck and as advised earlier, check all connections (wired ones).

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

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