2010 Honda fit won’t start

It’s not the battery or alternator. It will start but sometimes not. The mechanic can’t find the problem until it doesn’t start. Has anyone had a similar problem?

ETA: when you say “won’t start” - what is it doing?

What diagnostics have you done so far?

My troubleshooting steps usually include the following (with “try to start it” after every step):

  1. loosen, clean, and re-tighten terminal clamps and battery posts.
  2. look for loose or corroded connections between battery and starter
  3. check battery, replace if bad
  4. check alternator/diode, replace if bad
  5. check ignition switch - this one can drive you crazy
  6. Check other starter lock-outs (clutch, transmission Park switch)

* Insert “curse and throw tools across garage” where appropriate.

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Battery has been cleaned, it isn’t the alternator since it was replaced just two years ago. Yesterday I drove it 25 mins then today it wouldn’t start. The mechanic can’t find the problem until it doesn’t start.

Possible starter? Hard for me to guess without looking.

Edit: Does it make any noise when trying to start but won’t start?

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Just because the alternator was replaced 2 years ago, doesn’t mean it cant be bad again. Ive seen many parts that are new not even work.


It doesn’t make any noise. A year ago I had something in the ignition replaced that needed the key to be rewritten. Do you think that could have something to do with it?

going to leave this lying here…

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So you’re saying you put the key in, turn it and absolutely nothing happens? It doesn’t turn over or even try to start?

If that is the case the first thing I’d do is check voltage at the starter relay while someone tries to start it. If you aren’t getting anything there then your ignition switch (or its connector) is probably bad.

If you consistently get voltage at the relay then the relay could be bad.

Basically just start testing things starting at the ignition switch and making your way toward the starter.

Sure sounds like a bad connection to me, either inside the switch or somewhere downstream of it. I had an ignition switch go out on a Honda CRX and it would intermittently just fail to crank. I had to hotwire it in the middle of a 1500 mile road trip.

If your problem is that it’s cranking and failing to start then ignore everything I just said.

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I had this problem with my car. It turns out that there was an imperceptible gap between the battery terminals and the posts on the battery.

All I had to do was twist the terminal so that it pressed against the post, instead of hanging loosely, and it would start. If you can rotate the cable/terminal even the slightest bit around the post, that’s likely to be the problem.

Alternatively, when it acts up again, I’d try removing the battery terminals and connecting them to the battery posts with starter cable. See if it cranks then.

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While I hate to interject because my info is rather dated, I’d vote for the ignition switch. Electronic parts are goofy and weird when they fail. I had an ignition module cost me a job. That one would quit giving the engine power when it got to a certain level of hot. Of course, by the time a wrecker came by, it was cool again and looked like it worked fine. That one was a 1979 Dodge Aspen. And I’ve forgotten what year the Ford Escort was – '80’s something – and it wouldn’t start when it was hot. I had to make sure that I got gasoline when I didn’t have a timeline, because I’d have to let it cool before it’d start again. I nearly tossed a shop guy through a window on that one. I left it in the morning, and the supervisor and I had agreed on what the problem was, and that it would be replaced regardless of symptoms when cool. I come back after work, on my way to the 2nd job, and the mechanic had Done Nothing because he couldn’t reproduce the symptoms on a cold engine. Next chance I had I bought a book and an ignition module…

Is your ignition switch the ‘push button’ type?
If so these have a fairly high failure rate on most Honda models.

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