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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey, I have a 2008 EXL that just hit 170k miles! My wife drove it to a shopping center yesterday and it wouldn't start when she was ready to head home.

I did a little diagnostics on it today and here's what I've found so far:
1) Battery is at 12.5v
2) Starter positive terminal is getting 12 volts
3) Starter S terminal gets 12v when trying to start
4) Starter negative terminal wire is exposed and super corroded but still seems to be doing the job (I tested the voltages above with the negative of the multimeter on the exposed negative wire, the negative terminal of the battery and the frame)

When I turn the ignition to the start position, it briefly shows both P(ark) and D(rive) lit up. D goes away shortly after. I don't think that's normal but given that I'm getting power to the S terminal of the starter, I don't think it's the culprit anyway.

Does this definitely point to the starter? Could it still be something with the negative/ground terminal that I still need to test? Anything else I should check before I replace the starter?
 

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Based on seeing P and D on at the same time it could be the neutral safety switch. Try shifting into neutral then cranking. You might also look at the neutral safety switch’s electrical connector.

One of the members on here @aggrex was able to start his Pilot when only a few strands of that wire bundle you mentioned were remaining due to corrosion.
 

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Starter negative terminal wire is exposed and super corroded but still seems to be doing the job (I tested the voltages above with the negative of the multimeter on the exposed negative wire, the negative terminal of the battery and the frame)

Does this definitely point to the starter? Could it still be something with the negative/ground terminal that I still need to test? Anything else I should check before I replace the starter?
Became a firm believer that a good positive is only as good as a good negative. When my Bimmer failed to start bringing visions of Bring My Wallet fortunately the tow truck was running late I was able to find this gem of a wire....jumpered a makeshift ground connection and BAM
Wood Rectangle Natural material Metal Soil
 

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Became a firm believer that a good positive is only as good as a good negative. When my Bimmer failed to start bringing visions of Bring My Wallet fortunately the tow truck was running late I was able to find this gem of a wire....jumpered a makeshift ground connection and BAM View attachment 147919
Ohh, that's purdy!
 
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Nobili spiritus embiggens pequeño sparus tyre.
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  1. Check cables as suggested above. See attachment to help you locate them. Replace with these if necessary.
    147922
  2. Test the neutral safety switch (aka shift range sensor) as suggested above. Replace if necessary.
  3. However, if none of that bears fruit, here's a possible relatively easy and inexpensive fix that might be worth trying down the line, if you don't even have fuel pressure.

    It's just re-soldering a bad solder on your main relay PCB, and the only real challenge is just knowing about it and finding it.








    Just throwing it out there, FWIW.

    BTW, speaking of throwing, is it throwing any codes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Based on seeing P and D on at the same time it could be the neutral safety switch. Try shifting into neutral then cranking. You might also look at the neutral safety switch’s electrical connector.

One of the members on here @aggrex was able to start his Pilot when only a few strands of that wire bundle you mentioned were remaining due to corrosion.
No dice on starting in neutral :(

What would I look for with the neutral safety switch's electrical connector?

BTW, if it was the neutral safety switch, wouldn't that prevent the S terminal from getting voltage?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Became a firm believer that a good positive is only as good as a good negative.
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll have to do some learning on how to test my negative/ground wires.

  1. Check cables as suggested above. See attachment to help you locate them. Replace with these if necessary.
Thanks for the helpful attachment!
 

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No dice on starting in neutral :(

What would I look for with the neutral safety switch's electrical connector?

BTW, if it was the neutral safety switch, wouldn't that prevent the S terminal from getting voltage?
Look for corrosion, loose wire, bad connection on the neutral safety switch. But that is a good point you made that you’re seeing voltage on the S pin.
If I remember correctly that S pin is connected via a braided wire to the solenoid. Is that braided wire corroded or missing?
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Look for corrosion, loose wire, bad connection on the neutral safety switch. But that is a good point you made that you’re seeing voltage on the S pin.
If I remember correctly that S pin is connected via a braided wire to the solenoid. Is that braided wire corroded or missing?
Good call on checking the braided wire to the solenoid. I didn't get a change to inspect it today but will do so tomorrow. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Turns out it was a dead starter after all. I followed the instructions in this video which may be one of the best how-to's I've seen.

Surprisingly my starter bolts were not very hard to remove. The hardest parts were just trying to get a ratchet or breaker in place for the top bolt, followed by trying to get the clip off at 8:09 of the video. In fact, I couldn't get the clip off so I removed the whole bracket from the starter. Also this other bracket at 4:53 of the video seemed to not have anything attached to it for me. Once I removed the bottom bolt, it just fell down. I didn't put it back on.
 

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I was going to say, though I'm late, it's the starter. If you have 12 volts on the S when trying to start, the NSS is good. I just went through this. The D light does come on normally. My sad story is the new starter lasted two weeks, and had to be replaced again (warranty). so far a few months later and it's still working.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Update: So a few days after replacing the starter, my wife said that occasionally a start would struggle (clicking for a short period of time before finally starting). I replaced both negative cables, having replaced the positive battery cable within the past year, but she says it's still doing this occasionally. Did I just get a bad starter? Any recommendations on what to test at this point?
 

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Update: So a few days after replacing the starter, my wife said that occasionally a start would struggle (clicking for a short period of time before finally starting). I replaced both negative cables, having replaced the positive battery cable within the past year, but she says it's still doing this occasionally. Did I just get a bad starter? Any recommendations on what to test at this point?
Take the Pilot to the local Advance/Autozone for them to test the starter as well as the charging system while your there. They might be able to find something
 

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If the ground cable from the starter to the chassis is intact, yes, I'd assume you got sold a bad starter.
 
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