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Old 03-13-2011, 12:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Today my Pilot won't start!

OK, my '05 EXL has always been uber-reliable, with just over 88k on the clock. Today, I started it up and moved it down my driveway so I could mow the lawn - backed it up a distance of no more than 20 feet and turned it off.

A half-hour later, I got in to move it back, and the Pilot would not start. All the dash lights work, accessories work, gages operate properly, the fuel pump pressurizes the system - but when I turn the key to "start" position (III), nothing. The starter does not spin, the solenoid does not engage.

At first I thought my battery had gone bad, so I tried jumping it (from my Studebaker... that was an interesting sight). No luck. Called HondaCare and they sent out a service tech, HE tried jumping it - no joy. Played with the key a bit, made sure the immobilizer wasn't playing dirty... and no go.

I pushed the car back down the driveway (no dealer service open 'til Monday), but I can't help thinking this is something simple. Any ideas?
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The starter does not spin, the solenoid does not engage.


As you said, why not start there? take out the starter and have it tested.
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Try starting in park & neutral.

Can you bang on the starter solenoid with a hammer or long metal bar WHILE someone turns the key to "start"?

Can you hook up a test light to the small wire on the starter? If it lights up when turning the key to "start" and the starter doesn't spin, then the starter is the problem. If it doesn't light up when the key is turned, then there is a problem elsewhere, like the immobilizer or neutral safety switch.
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Old 03-13-2011, 01:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the suggestions.

Stoopid question, though - where the heck is the starter? I was under the car yesterday looking and I cannot find it
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Old 03-13-2011, 02:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Assuming its not the battery, I'm thinking that either something has happened to the shifter which thinks its in D or R rather than P or N and therefore it wont allow the car to start.
Alternatively the brake light switch has failed resulting in the interlock not allowing you to start the car.

Cycle the shifter through its range of positions and try again in N then D.

If no joy, have someone check the brake lights to see if they work.
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Old 03-13-2011, 02:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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OK, I did as suggested and ran the shift lever through all positions several times. Tried to start it in Neutral as well as Park. No luck; I had my wife step on the brake while I observed and both brake lights are operative.
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Old 03-14-2011, 02:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Showbizkid, I am in San Diego also (Carmel Valley) and the starter is located closer to the top back driver's side part of the engine from under the hood, closer to the firewall, kind of close to the brake booster. Can't miss it. Listen to 2010exl, he has the correct procedure for diagnosing (now that you have checked out the shifter and have elminated the battery as the cause). You may want to also check the volts on the battery just to be sure, should be 12.5 volts or so. Also, I assume you have replaced the battery if it is the original. Most original batterys from 2005 need to be replaced by now. They only last 5-6 years.
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Old 03-14-2011, 05:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the input guys. I tried a couple things and no joy, so it was off to the dealer on a flatbed this AM (glad I bought HondaCare). Waiting for the call, now. I'll post the outcome for posterity (Wilhelmina Posterity; very nice lady!) when I find out.
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Old 03-14-2011, 08:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Good luck.
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Just got the call from Hoehn Honda... it was, in fact, the starter itself. Completely crowbarred internally. Once again, glad I popped for the HondaCare upfront... you don't expect a starter to go at 88k!
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:22 PM   #11 (permalink)
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What do you mean crowbarred internally? Can you have them save the starter so that you can take it apart?

I just want to see if the solenoid froze up or perhaps the spinning part broke down somehow.
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Glad I have Honda Care until September 2014 on my 2008.
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:24 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Glad it was something simple.

FWIW, I didn't expect to have to replace a battery on a 3.5 year old vehicle. All our Fords got 6 plus years out of each battery.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:15 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samc View Post
What do you mean crowbarred internally?
Sorry, electrical jargon Means dead short - armature winding must have shorted out.
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:01 PM   #15 (permalink)
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That's very odd after only 88,000 miles. Wonder if it got wet ever or soaked in oil somehow.
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2005 LX 4wd
Surco Safari Roof Basket with 3.5 inch 55 Watt lights mounted to it
OEM accessory roof bars
OEM nerf bars
OEM rear splash guards
2006 OEM 4wd emblem
Blacked out front and rear bumper garnish
OEM accessory rubber cargo mat
Garmin GPS
Full size spare on OEM alloy rim
Aftermarket tinted windows
OEM accessory fog light kit
OEM accessory cargo cover
Silver painted grill
Body colored door/side moldings
Acura stainless exhaust tips
KYB GR2 struts/shocks
Curt 13328 Hitch
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