90 Integra Starting Issue

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I have had this starting problem for about 2 years. When I turn the key all I get is a clicking sound and if I turn it enough times the car will start. This is not every time I start the car, but most
times. Sometimes it is one or two tries and other times it can take 30 or 40 trys. I have changed the starter 3 times with a starter from NAPA. I have also changed the battery cables, the ignition switch, but the problem continues.
Any ideas? Or should I just buy another starter from a different company?
Thanks!
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Next time, turn the dome light on and watch it while you crank. Does it dim to nothing when you turn the key, or does it stay exactly the same brightness?
--
Tegger

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Thanks Tegger, I will look at the dome light tonight. I know the dash lights dim when the starter clicks.
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I have not had a chance to get home yet to test the dome light, but could it be a bad engine ground?
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If the dome light dims to nothing, then the starter is not receiving the current it needs to turn, or is receiving current, but is unable to turn because it's defective.
Check for: bad starter, bad battery, corrosion somewhere in the cable to the starter, from the battery, or at the connections anywhere.
Electricity travels on the SURFACE of wires, so don't just clean the mating connections.
Is there a ground cable from the valve cover to the rad support next to the hood prop-rod? There should be. There's also another ground cable from the transmission bellhousing to the body. It runs under the battery.
--
Tegger

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The dome light does dim when it tries to start.
Tonight after about 5 or six tries it now starts on every try.
I will check the cables for corrosion now.
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It appears to be a very dirty engine ground connection. I wire brushed the wire and the metal piece next to the radiator and so far it has not missed a start. I have my fingers crossed.
Thanks for the help!
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wrote:

in
What about the famous relay ???
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Starting problem is back! I thought it was fixed. It started every time for the last two weeks. Now it will start on about the tenth or fifteen turn of the key. I just got back from cleaning/checking both ends of the battery cable and both ends of the engine ground...so now what. Go with a forth starter? Or is there something else? Where is the main relay?
Thanks!
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Next time, turn the dome light on and watch it while you crank. Does it dim to nothing when you turn the key, or does it stay exactly the same brightness?
--
Tegger

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The dome light dims.
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How far? How about the headlights? There ought to be a bit of dimming, but not to nothing, or close to nothing.
Does the starter turn the engine over? If so, how fast? Normal? Slower than normal?
Does the starter NOT turn the engine over? Do you hear clicks or chattering only?
Is the starter an aftermarket replacement?
Have you checked the battery's state-of-charge?
--
Tegger

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I would say dims 40% or so. Dome light and dash lights dim and I hear a click. After about 10-15 tries the car starts like normal. I just hear the starter (I assume the solenoid) clicking with each turn of the key.
I purchased all 3 starters from NAPA over the last two years.
It is strange that after cleaning the grounds a couple of weeks ago, everything worked. Now the same exact problem is back.
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Probably too much.

Ah, so you're getting clicks only.

Uh-oh. Aftermarket remans. Bad juju...

Using a jumper wire, short the battery's positive terminal directly to the solenoid terminal on the starter (that's the one next to the big fat wire from the battery). Does it work now? WARNING! MAKE CERTAIN THE TRANNY IS IN PARK OR NEUTRAL!!!
Do you have a voltmeter?
--
Tegger

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I will try the jumper wire in a couple of hours. Thanks.
I do have a voltmeter.
If I do need to buy a new starter, where would you recommend I purchase it from?
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If you have a voltmeter, check the battery's state-of-charge.
Do it this way: 1) engine OFF, turn headlights on for 5 minutes. 2) turn lights off again, then wait another 5 minutes.
Now check across the battery terminals. You should get a *MINIMUM* of 12.65V.

The dealer. Expensive remans, but 100% reliable.
--
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By the way, _unplug_ the electrical connector before shorting the battery to the starter's terminal.
--
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Ok. When using a jumper the car starts every time.
The battery is showing a 11.30 volts, so it is lower than it is supposed to be.
So the problem has to be in that smaller ignition wire correct? What is next. Thank you very much for all of the help.
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Eleven point three? Ugh! That battery is dead! Toast; done like dinner; D-E-A-D.
Or else your alternator is not charging. What voltage do you get between the terminals with the engine running? I hope it's over 14.

Probably. But with that dead battery you could have a trivial resistance issue that the dead battery is simply unable to override.
The battery needs to be replaced anyway (assuming the alternator is OK), so do that first. I recommend an Interstate MT-25.
--
Tegger

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Well I went to Interstate and purchased an MT-25 for $110. The car started right up after I installed it. We went to a movie tonight and when we came out, it took about 15-20 turns of the key to get the car started. All I heard was a click and the dimming of the dash lights and the dome light.
When I got home I left the car running with lights and the A/C on and I put the voltmeter across the battery and it showed 13.5v.
It has to be the small ignition wire correct? Do you know where it runs to? After it goes into the harness does it come out on under the dash to the ignition?
Thanks again.
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