Start Problems - 1995 Accord

Honda Accord LX - 1995. 167,000 miles
My Honda will not start. There is no power at all - no lights, no click when I turn the key, nothing. The local country shop changed the main
fuse, checked the battery, cleaned the cables, and it started there. They brought it to me Friday evening so I know it ran then. Yesterday morning it wouldn't start with the same symptoms. The shop is closed over the weekend so I can't ask them any questions until tomorrow.
Any idea?
Thanks, Nancy
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A few possibilities but start by getting a multimeter (Radio Shack; WalMart; Autozone) and checking the battery voltage with the car not running. Report back.
How old in years is the battery? If it is old and/or has been jumped many times, it may simply no longer be capable of holding a charge.
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few possibilities but start by getting a multimeter (Radio Shack;

Two different people checked the battery and said it was fine. One put his battery in my car & the result was the same - nothing, no click.
Nancy
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Then my money is on the main fuse (under the hood) having blown again. First confirm it is blown. Then it will take some diagnostics to figure out why. A wire is grounded that is not supposed to be, say. Make sure the correct rating fuse is installed. The underhood fuse cover should say what rating is needed. Should be 80 amps or 100 amps, depending.
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First, don't let anyone do that kind of major surgery again. Everything you and he needed to know comes from using the meter - as honda.lion properly described. Replacing the battery was the last thing anyone should have done.
Second, this is simplest electrical stuff. Meter measures battery directly on both terminals. It should read 12 VDC. Watch it yourself. Then leaving one probe on that battery, use the other probe to follow that wire to its last connection. If voltage disappears along the way, then what is wrong is clearly obvious. Even a teenager can do this.
Repeat same with the other probe following that other wire. Anyone who could not do this is the last person you want swapping batteries. And had he done this, then he would have never swapped batteries.
Third, chances are honda.lion is correct about the main fuse. But main fuses do not blow by themselves. That mechanic should have been looking for the failure that the fuse was protecting from.
Fourth, - and this is critically important to get the problem solved the first time. When you first got into the car -- before even trying to start it. Was there ever any lights or noise? IOW the fuse blew at a particular point. What was the exact point of blowing?
Based upon what he checked, well, was it really the main fuse blown? If so, then (if I remember this car), hazard lights and horn would still work (with main fuse blown). Or was it just some other fuse that was erroneously described as the main fuse?
Finally, after the fuse is replaced, a mechanic must use that meter to also confirm other problems do not exist; that even the charging system is outputting proper voltages. Again, he must not just replace the fuse. He must also find the failure. None of that involves cleaning cables. It involves measuring for and locating something so massive as to blow a fuse that large.
See where the second biggest cables go? To blow that main fuse involves something large enough to blow a 100 amp fuse and not blow smaller fuses. That implies a short inside a fuse box in the rear of the engine compartment right side. Same box that holds the main fuse. Is something loose and moving inside that box? Only that would explain a blown main fuse.
The point: information provided because too many people with insufficient knowledge have been 'helping' and because it sounds like (remotely possible) your help might be into enriching themselves. Provided was enough information so that you might see through a poorly informed mechanic before paying through the nose.
If he does not have a meter (as described by honda.lion), then he has no business working on your car.
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wrote:

Thanks for all the good advice, westom. I live in a very rural area with a shop that just does basic things. The person who put his battery in my car is a friend - no charge. Obviously he took his battery back. The main fuse was blown, I'm sure, as the copper wire between the two pieces was burned out. There was no power at all - no lights, no horn, nothing.
The shop people charged $100, which included changing the oil, picking up and delivering the car. If they can't fix it today I'll have the car towed to the big city.
I drove the car last Saturday afternoon/evening. It ran fine. I didn't get in the car again until Tuesday afternoon. That's when it would not start. My friend fiddled with it on Wed.; the shop guys got it Thursday & brought it back - running - late Friday. Sat. morning I tried to start it with no luck. My friend checked the main fuse again & it looks fine. We are old retired people, not professional mechanics.
Nancy
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Again, if I remember the car, there would be no lights (no power at all) but the horn and hazards lights would still work. That is if it was a main fuse.
Fuse is there so that no copper wire is burned out. If horn and hazard lights work (and no power elsewhere), then that might be a main fuse failure. If not even horn and hazard lights, then something else was wrong.
Posted are things requiring teenager (14 year old) abilities. That means it is even simpler for laymen or retired people. Nothing posted requires a professional. And if living in a rural area, owning and knowing how to use a multimeter (cited by honda.lion) is important. If you cannot use a meter, then never even go near a cell phone, coffee maker, or Ipod. Meters are sold only where the most complex equipment is sold (yes, facetious) such as K-mart, Lowes, and Wal-Mart (for less than $18). A simplistic tool for being in rural environments and remaining independent.
Main fuses do not blow arbitrarily. Power necessary to blow a main fuse is also sufficient to create a car fire or even cause a battery to explode. Find what blew that fuse - because the actual intermittent problem is that serious. Just replacing the fuse without locating the short would be irresponsible. If the main fuse blew and not smaller fuses, then a likely suspect is loose metal inside the engine compartment fuse box. But again, it does not matter if the car can be driven. If the reason for a blown main fuse is not found, then car is not driveable and could (a remote possibility) even catch fire.
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