2003 Honda Element Element Intermittently Won't Start

Tiny
CHLSMITH
  • 2003 HONDA ELEMENT

Electrical problem
2003 Honda Element 4 cyl All Wheel Drive Automatic 76000 miles

For the third time in a month, my 2003 Honda Element has failed to start. This morning, I had to swap cars in my driveway, so I moved out my other car, backed the Element out, and put the other car back. When I got back in the Element, it wouldn't do anything.

No lights come on inside the car at all (no dash lights, dome lights, etc.) No sound is made when I open the door with the key in the ignition. The brake lights, flashers, and horn all work. When I turn the key, there are no sounds made whatsoever and the engine doesn't even attempt to start.

This has happened two other times. The first time, I replaced the battery, to no avail, but after a few hours, the car started. The second time, it failed next door to a dealer, so they pushed it into their garage. They found nothing wrong, but suddenly it started just fine. I took it to a Honda dealer, who said there were no errors in the event log, no blown fuses, and they couldn't find anything wrong with it.

The only other thing I can say is that today, when it failed, the dials on the dashboard had not gone back to 0. Even though the car wasn't started, the RPM dial still showed that it was at 1000 RPM. Also, the gas gauge was down to show 1/4 tank, as opposed to going all the way to empty like it normally does when you turn off the car.

Any ideas here? I don't want to keep paying diagnostic fees to just have the dealers tell me that everything is fine.

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Sunday, March 1st, 2009 AT 7:44 PM

28 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
  • 41,940 POSTS

Hi chlsmith,

Seems you have a bad ignition switch or power supply interruption to it. It could be a loose connector from main fusebox underhood to the ignition switch.

Intermittent problems are not easy to diagnose and problem has to be there to find the cause. I would suggest checking wiring connectors first, llok out for signs of overheating and loose connections.

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Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009 AT 10:12 AM
Tiny
CHLSMITH
  • MEMBER

The mechanics at the dealer think they have figured it out. The main 100 Amp fuse had a hairline fracture. Since the car wouldn't start, they were able to actually see the problem and get an error code to tell them that it was a fuse problem. They replaced the fuse and all seems to be okay.

Now it's only been 24 hours since I got the car back, so it may happen again. It sounds to me, though, that you were on the same track.

Thanks for your help!

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Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009 AT 12:26 PM
Tiny
RABL1014
  • 2006 HONDA ELEMENT
  • AWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 117,000 MILES
  • MERGED

WHEN DRIVING MY VEHICLE YESTERDAY, THE BATTERY LIGHT WENT ON. AFTER A SHORT WHILE MY WIPERS SLOWED DOWN, THE RADIO WENT ON AND OFF A FEW TIMES, AND LIGHTS DIMMED. I BORROWED A CHARGER FROM A FRIEND AND CHARGED THE BATTERY FOR 2 HOURS, AND WAS ABLE TO START THE CAR. THIS MORNING, THE CAR WOULDN'T START. THERE WAS PLENTY OF JUICE TO HEAR THE RADIO WIPERS WORKED FINE ETC. WHEN I TURNED THE KEY, THERE WAS NO SOUND AT ALL.

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Saturday, January 7th, 2017 AT 9:58 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
  • 46,998 POSTS
  • MERGED

Have the battery checked for condition including load test. Autoparts do for free

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Saturday, January 7th, 2017 AT 9:58 PM
Tiny
LIZDAN
  • 2005 HONDA ELEMENT
  • 4 CYL
  • AWD
  • MANUAL
  • 147,000 MILES
  • MERGED

Sometimes when turning the key in the ignition, all the dash lights will come on bright but no engine sound, dead silence. It will start after turning the key several times. Battery is good and starter was replaced.

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Saturday, January 7th, 2017 AT 9:58 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
  • MERGED

Battery and starter motor are good -next thing to check and test is the starter relay, transmission position switch and ignition switch

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Saturday, January 7th, 2017 AT 9:58 PM
Tiny
LIZDAN
  • MEMBER
  • MERGED

I hit a deer a few months ago and that seems to be when the problem started. Is there a cut off sensor for front end collisions? You are very helpful

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Saturday, January 7th, 2017 AT 9:58 PM
Tiny
AMBERASHBY
  • 2003 HONDA ELEMENT
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 150,000 MILES
  • MERGED

2003 Honda Element Automatic

When I try to turn the car on, it cranks and makes the noise like its going to start, just doesnt turn over. If I press the gas a little when I try starting, it will usually start. I just replaced the battery last week. What else could it be?

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Saturday, January 7th, 2017 AT 9:58 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
  • MERGED

Check and test the coolant temperature sensor and fuel pressure if its within specs-

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-1
Saturday, January 7th, 2017 AT 9:58 PM
Tiny
AMBERASHBY
  • MEMBER
  • MERGED

:) im a girl, with no guy in my life. Is this something you think I can do on my own? If so, how would I go about doing it?

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Saturday, January 7th, 2017 AT 9:58 PM

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