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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently I have been unable to start the car. This happens with both keys I have. If I turn the car to the ACC position the green key light is lit and goes away (no flashing), and when I turn to start sometimes it clicks, and other times it will actually start. Today to get it to start I had to turn it on and off a few times before it would start. Is this indicative of a starter going bad, or should I look at something else? The battery voltage was about 12.5v and is about 2 years old.
 

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You could check a few simple things first:
1) Are the battery terminal cables nice and snug and are they in good condition.
2) Is the ground cable below the starter intact. If you live in the rust belt there are chances it’s corroded. Also check battery negative cable to chassis.
3) Measure voltage at starter. One point is tied to battery positive. The other point is the “output side” of the starter cut relay and should have ~12Vdc when the ignition key is turned to crank the engine position,

If you end up DIY the starter make sure you have a two foot or longer breaker bar as the two bolts are tight,
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
1: Yeah disconnected the batt cables and sanded the posts and terminals to make sure they were clean, but seemed fine.
2: Can you point out where that is? I live in IL, so rust could be a prob maybe.
3: I'll test that. I have to actually be trying to start to measure, not just in acc correct?
 

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If you look from below the Pilot at the starter you should see a single wire which is about 1/4 inch diameter. @aggrex has photos which he can hopefully provide.

First measure in acc key position (should be ~0Vdc) then crank engine (should be ~12Vdc). This is for the output of the starter cut relay.
 

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Had to grab the recycle bin from the street so grabbed a quick photo from under my 2005 Pilot while I was out there. Arrow is the ground cable; circle is the starter.

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There are many wires beyond the battery terminals that should be checked for corrosion. Follow the path from the battery to locate the 2-3 other ground wires as well as the positive to the starter. Significant or hidden corrosion may be found down at the starter. I replaced all of my ground wires in order to keep my Pilot as reliable as possible.
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Great pics above. Here's a diagram, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here is what I found. I tested all the ground points in green to the frame and got continuity. I tested the - batt cable to the frame and got continuity so seems ground is ok.
Then tested the yellow point to the frame and got 12.5v.
Then tried starting it and measured the red to the frame and got 9.0v

I currently have the batt on the charger to make sure it is at 100% and will try measuring voltage and then again when trying to start and see if it drops.
Does any of this help pinpoint anything?


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If the red is starter positive battery connection you’d expect to see a voltage drop as the battery tries to supply a large amount of current to the starter. I believe 9V is within the realm of reason, but perhaps others can confirm this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If the red is starter positive battery connection you’d expect to see a voltage drop as the battery tries to supply a large amount of current to the starter. I believe 9V is within the realm of reason, but perhaps others can confirm this.
The yellow is the thick cable from the battery, not sure what the red is, but is on the starter.
 

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Red is the signal from the starter cut relay. It tells the solenoid to engage the starter gear onto the engine flywheel when the key is in the crank position. It will drop voltage when yellow drops voltage when you crank the engine.
 
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