RepairPal is your advocate for car care advice and guidance

Q: New Battery, now car sometimes won't start on 1998 Honda Odyssey

I knew the old battery was on its last leg. Starting the engine always produced a slow chug-chug before it fired up... but it would reliably start every time. The battery finally gave out a few days ago, so my wife had AAA come and replace the battery.

Now, 9 times out of 10, when you turn the key you hear some motor/blower noise under the car like you normally would, but the starter doesn't turn over at all. All the lights are on, AC fan works, the battery seems fine. It just doesn't seem to be connecting and starting the car. After a number of tries with nothing happening, the car will start right up. Starter turning over fast, unlike with the previous battery.

Just can't figure out what's going on now that we have the new battery in it.
Get a Repair Estimate
Guaranteed by certified locations nationwide. Learn more
RepairPal estimates are guaranteed at over 1,700 quality certified locations nationwide. Learn more
Looks like the starter solenoid gave up. It seems the "motor/blower noise under the car"
might be actually the starter spins, however the solenoid won't engage the gear.
It's time for a new solenoid or starter assembly. If you have the correct tools among with mechanical skills, you might be able to do the job, but don't forget to disconnect the battery before! If you want a shop to do it, Indian Trail Imports is near you and they have great technicians. 704-821-8627 ask for Rod and tell him Zee sent you.

I think I'm going to replace the battery cables first. I did some vigorous wiggling of the cable itself (mostly the positive cable), and had much better results... starting 6 out of 7 times I tried on the first turn of the key. Probably just corosion on/in the cables, and that's a very cheap/easy DIY fix.

If that doesn't make a difference, though, I'll take it over to Indian Trail Imports. Thanks
Maybe new terminals will do it, without replacing the cables.
It definitely needs good, clean connection. Bad connection can ruin even high $$$ control modules.
You can buy a good terminal cleaning tool for few bucks, which cleans the terminal and the battery posts. Make sure after tightening the terminals they won't turn.

Didn't find what you were looking for?