2007 Civic "cold" start problem - Honda Civic Forum



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Old 11-03-2013   #1
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2007 Civic "cold" start problem

Hello everyone,

I'm experiencing a weird problem that I can't quite figure out yet. My civic is having a "cold" start problem. When I say cold I mean how long the car has sat although the problem is slightly more amplified when the outside temperatures are colder. (Honda Civic EX Civic coupe)

So after my car has sat for 8-10+ hours, it hesitates to start almost as if the battery is dead/engine is starved for gas. It will turnover a second or two and then will make that dead battery click noise. When the weather is above 55 degrees F I can simply turn the car to the on position first, wait 6 or so seconds and then turn to start. The car will start right up and always runs perfectly.

Now what I'm experiencing in the less than 55 degree temps (today was 45) is I'll turn for 6 seconds then try to start and same problem, but if I press the gas peddle a little it will start right up.

So, I'm stumped. The battery is less than a year old and I recently had it tested as well. Alternator also test good. It just seems like the engine is starved for gas. The engine doesn't run rough or idle rough so I'm less likely to suspect fuel filter.

Can anyone shed some light on this problem? Any will be appreciated! Thanks!
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Old 11-04-2013   #2
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Re: 2007 Civic "cold" start problem

Quote:
The battery is less than a year old and I recently had it tested as well.
That doesn't mean it is good, and that doesn't really indicate what is happening at the time it doesn't want to start. Passing the test only means all was well at that single point in time.
Quote:
It will turnover a second or two and then will make that dead battery click noise.
I'll assume this is a lack of electric power here, since a lack of fuel cannot cause this symptom.

Kinda need to check things at the time it doesn't want to start. Battery voltage during cranking?
Something could be draining the battery overnight. Light left on, AC clutch relay stuck on, etc. Easy check would be to disconnect the battery before it sits overnight, then reconnect it before you start the engine. If it acts properly in the morning, then the car might be draining it when left connected. Listen for if the AC clutch makes a loud click when you disconnect the battery, that's been a huge problem (stuck relay).

Battery cable connections,
Connection where the ground cable attaches to the body: rust and corrosion on the cable and that little bolt has been a common cause of total electric power loss. Ground connections between the body and engine/trans, there is one right near that battery cable.
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Old 11-04-2013   #3
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Re: 2007 Civic "cold" start problem

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Originally Posted by JohnnyBxo View Post
So after my car has sat for 8-10+ hours, it hesitates to start almost as if the battery is dead/engine is starved for gas. It will turnover a second or two and then will make that dead battery click noise.
You are holding your key at II, so it wont get better conditions then that to fire....but only turning over for a short time before rapid click sure sounds like a bad batt, or you have a drain pulling it down overnight.

I honestly think the original batt in my 2010 was bad from day one, used to get starts that just did not sound right (not strong) after 44 months or so it died, by far the least I've ever gotten from any original equipment lead acid.

Ended up with another Johnson controls Interstate damn it. Last Interstate bought lasted exactly 3 years, mechanic buddy got off the truck and had no slip.
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Old 11-05-2013   #4
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Re: 2007 Civic "cold" start problem

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That doesn't mean it is good, and that doesn't really indicate what is happening at the time it doesn't want to start. Passing the test only means all was well at that single point in time.

I'll assume this is a lack of electric power here, since a lack of fuel cannot cause this symptom.

Kinda need to check things at the time it doesn't want to start. Battery voltage during cranking?
Something could be draining the battery overnight. Light left on, AC clutch relay stuck on, etc. Easy check would be to disconnect the battery before it sits overnight, then reconnect it before you start the engine. If it acts properly in the morning, then the car might be draining it when left connected. Listen for if the AC clutch makes a loud click when you disconnect the battery, that's been a huge problem (stuck relay).

Battery cable connections,
Connection where the ground cable attaches to the body: rust and corrosion on the cable and that little bolt has been a common cause of total electric power loss. Ground connections between the body and engine/trans, there is one right near that battery cable.
This is a really good point. I'm going to investigate this this weekend. Does it make sense that the colder temperatures drain this down faster? And if it is this drain that is happening, how come a bit of gas or turning the key to the on position for a few seconds can remedy this issue? I have to admit that I'm not a car guy, but I like to try and take on these little challenges of troubleshooting. I appreciate your response back!
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Old 11-06-2013   #5
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Re: 2007 Civic "cold" start problem

Quote:
Does it make sense that the colder temperatures drain this down faster? And if it is this drain that is happening, how come a bit of gas or turning the key to the on position for a few seconds can remedy this issue?
I can't answer because I have no clue what the actual problem is yet.....



To add to the previous post, I have seen instances where a faulty battery can discharge itself in a day or two, without being connected to anything.
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Old 11-06-2013   #6
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Re: 2007 Civic "cold" start problem

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Originally Posted by CraigW View Post
You are holding your key at II, so it wont get better conditions then that to fire....but only turning over for a short time before rapid click sure sounds like a bad batt, or you have a drain pulling it down overnight.

I honestly think the original batt in my 2010 was bad from day one, used to get starts that just did not sound right (not strong) after 44 months or so it died, by far the least I've ever gotten from any original equipment lead acid.

Ended up with another Johnson controls Interstate damn it. Last Interstate bought lasted exactly 3 years, mechanic buddy got off the truck and had no slip.
Yea I may have made the mistake of buying a new battery from Honda, but it all honesty I never had a problem with my original batter until one time last year it wouldn't start at all. The battery was donzo, so just replaced with a new Honda one.

The drain makes sense as you said and as the first responder said, but may by I'm not entirely converse it's that. So let's say my car has sat all night. It's a beautiful morning about about 75 F degrees out. I'll attempt to start it, cranks once or twice for a second then the clicking noise. That noise I know to be specifically from a dead battery. I stop trying to start it when I hear that click. So what I do is turn the key to the on position. I hear the pump pressurize, radio comes on, fans start running and I count to 6. One one thousand, two one thousand etc. I'll then first my key turn to the start position and it starts perfectly without a hitch. That's why I originally suspected it being fuel starved based on how I remedy it, but the symptoms definitely sounds more battery drain like you and other poster said.

I guess I just expect that if it was a battery drained that everything wouldn't fire on after what seemed like my battery was dead when starting as well as waiting for few seconds in on allowed it to start right up. :/
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Old 11-06-2013   #7
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Re: 2007 Civic "cold" start problem

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Originally Posted by ezone View Post
I can't answer because I have no clue what the actual problem is yet.....



To add to the previous post, I have seen instances where a faulty battery can discharge itself in a day or two, without being connected to anything.
Interesting. I will be sure to check out the ground cable connecting to the frame as well as when I disconnect the battery I listen for the relay click. I'd love to solve this soon!
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Old 11-06-2013   #8
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Re: 2007 Civic "cold" start problem

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Originally Posted by JohnnyBxo View Post
I listen for the relay click.
You would hear the loud click of the compressor clutch disengaging if it does anything. You'd never hear that little relay because it'd be stuck with the contacts closed.

That being stuck on is just a guess, but it's been a fairly common problem. There's a bulletin mentioning it, and an improved relay is available.

I also look for the compressor to be running when I KNOW it shouldn't be.
Or evidence of the high pressure relief valve opening.




Or, use an ammeter to measure draw when the car and key are off. After a 15 minute wait period: draw of under 50mA is industry standard, and these cars normally show less than 30mA draw when I measure on a good one.

Any little bump can make the relay let go and come unstuck, then it will work normally for a while again.....
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Old 11-06-2013   #9
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Re: 2007 Civic "cold" start problem

I read one time about something with the key needing to be near the car for the fuel pump to turn on, or something as such.
Perhaps that could have a fault somewhere in it making it take longer to recognize the key signal?
Try going to the car and just sit in it for 30 seconds, without putting the key into the ignition, before trying to start it and see if that resolves the problem.

Just an idea, i don't know all too much about this subject.
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Old 11-06-2013   #10
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Re: 2007 Civic "cold" start problem

Quote:
I read one time about something with the key needing to be near the car for the fuel pump to turn on, or something as such.
Perhaps that could have a fault somewhere in it making it take longer to recognize the key signal?
You're talking about the immobilizer system? That shouldn't be OPs problem this time.

The immobilizer reads the chip inside the ignition key when the ignition switch is turned on.

The immobilizer decides within about two seconds if fuel should be disabled or not. If it disables fuel because it didn't recognize a registered transponder chip (key), the green key symbol on the gauge cluster would flash angrily as long as the ignition is on....
But the starter will still operate normally through all of this.

OP hasn't mentioned anything about the green key light flashing at him.
Quote:
Just an idea, i don't know all too much about this subject.
Here's some info on the immobilizer system used in that particular car, clicky---> http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq/misc/...am/A06-011.pdf

HTH
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Old 11-06-2013   #11
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Re: 2007 Civic "cold" start problem

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Originally Posted by JohnnyBxo View Post
fans start running
What fans ??

Make sure your heater blower is off and there should be none running.

A few seconds of cranking and then rapid click is not normal for sure.
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Old 11-06-2013   #12
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Re: 2007 Civic "cold" start problem

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What fans ??

Make sure your heater blower is off and there should be none running.

A few seconds of cranking and then rapid click is not normal for sure.
I tried that this morning. I turn the fan to off before starting and the same condition arose. I always keep my fan on the lowest setting to keep from mold and stuff from settling in the air system.
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Old 11-06-2013   #13
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Re: 2007 Civic "cold" start problem

If you just turn the key to II and do nothing else do any fans run ?? (there are 2 outside)
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Old 11-07-2013   #14
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Re: 2007 Civic "cold" start problem

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If you just turn the key to II and do nothing else do any fans run ?? (there are 2 outside)
I haven't check any of the fans under the hood, but the cabin fan turns on at the II position. I will check tomorrow morning!
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Old 11-07-2013   #15
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Re: 2007 Civic "cold" start problem

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If you just turn the key to II and do nothing else do any fans run ?? (there are 2 outside)
I turned the key to the II position today before starting and the only fan which is running is the cabin fan. I didn't hear any under the hood.
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Old 11-07-2013   #16
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Re: 2007 Civic "cold" start problem

I would have the blower off at start... but, that is still not enough to give you only a few seconds of cranking then rapid clicking though.
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Old 11-07-2013   #17
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Re: 2007 Civic "cold" start problem

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Battery cable connections,
Connection where the ground cable attaches to the body: rust and corrosion on the cable and that little bolt has been a common cause of total electric power loss. Ground connections between the body and engine/trans, there is one right near that battery cable.
Here's pics from one I have the engine out of right now.



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Old 11-08-2013   #18
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Re: 2007 Civic "cold" start problem

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Here's pics from one I have the engine out of right now.
I took a picture under my hood today looking at that same contact point. It looks rusted up like you suggested might be.

The weekend is finally upon us! I will have the opportunity to disconnect the battery overnight to see if the car is draining it like you suggested. What's typically the fix for this kind of rusted contact point? Thanks!
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Old 11-08-2013   #19
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Re: 2007 Civic "cold" start problem

Take it all apart. Pull out the battery if you need more room to work.
Wire brushes and lots of elbow grease. Wire wheel. Maybe a fresh bolt too?
Need clean shiny metal contacting clean shiny metal at every point, whatever it takes to make that happen...... and then I like to slather it all with Silicone Dielectric grease to avoid more corrosion later.

-------

FWIW, right now I have an 06 Civic in here that has a software update available for it, called something like 'cold hard start' as the title, but did not find any documentation about what it is or what it does, or what all cars this might apply to. I cannot say that it could be even remotely related to your issues.

It likely only addresses some starting-running condition rather than any battery related issue.
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Old 11-09-2013   #20
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Re: 2007 Civic "cold" start problem

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Take it all apart. Pull out the battery if you need more room to work.
Wire brushes and lots of elbow grease. Wire wheel. Maybe a fresh bolt too?
Need clean shiny metal contacting clean shiny metal at every point, whatever it takes to make that happen...... and then I like to slather it all with Silicone Dielectric grease to avoid more corrosion later.
Check! I just completed this repair. Everything is bright and shiny, even replaced the bolt plus a little dielectric grease. Time will tell if this solves it. If I get the same symptom tomorrow I'm going to disconnect the battery overnight from Sunday to Monday.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ezone View Post
FWIW, right now I have an 06 Civic in here that has a software update available for it, called something like 'cold hard start' as the title, but did not find any documentation about what it is or what it does, or what all cars this might apply to. I cannot say that it could be even remotely related to your issues.

It likely only addresses some starting-running condition rather than any battery related issue.
Interesting. This may come up again if the problem continues, but like you said it doesn't seem battery related. Thanks for the help! Fingers crossed!
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Old 11-10-2013   #21
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Re: 2007 Civic "cold" start problem

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Take it all apart. Pull out the battery if you need more room to work.
Wire brushes and lots of elbow grease. Wire wheel. Maybe a fresh bolt too?
Need clean shiny metal contacting clean shiny metal at every point, whatever it takes to make that happen...... and then I like to slather it all with Silicone Dielectric grease to avoid more corrosion later.
Well, I tried to just start it this morning and it fired right up. The temperature was 42 F degrees and it had been sitting for 18 hours. So this is a good sign. I'm not going to disconnect the battery tonight. I'm going to just leave it and see if I get the problem again since cleaning up that ground connection. I'm a science guy, so three consecutive days would convince me that it's fixed. I'll keep you updated, but for the moment I am incredibly happy and thank you for your help!
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Old 11-10-2013   #22
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Re: 2007 Civic "cold" start problem

That's a good sign....Fingers crossed
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Old 11-13-2013   #23
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Re: 2007 Civic "cold" start problem

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That's a good sign....Fingers crossed
It was 22 F degrees today and it started right up after two turns of the engine! I think it's pretty good for the moment. I'm going to keep track of it for a while, but I really appreciate your help and guidance!
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Old 11-13-2013   #24
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Re: 2007 Civic "cold" start problem

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It was 22 F degrees today and it started right up after two turns of the engine! I think it's pretty good for the moment. I'm going to keep track of it for a while, but I really appreciate your help and guidance!
I think the man has nailed yet another.

Congrats on the fix, and thanks for update.
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Old 11-25-2013   #25
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Re: 2007 Civic "cold" start problem

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That's a good sign....Fingers crossed
Who has their thinking caps on today??? I have an official update now that it's been a while.

So happily the original problem is fixed and I no longer have that issue. However, the cold temperatures is now giving me starting problems. After it's sat a bit in the cold, 8 hours+, I go to start it and the engine turns over once, then nothing. I turned it off, wait a moment and turn it to start again. It will turn over 1, 1 and half, 2 times, then no sound at all. I turn it to off, wait another moment, then I try to start again. And wa-la starts right up. Is this a safe assumption that this is a different issue and not the battery because I'm not getting the rapid battery clicking noise when this symptom is happening? When I say I hear nothing, I mean I hear nothing going on in the engine. The radio and everything else electric pops right up. The temperatures that this really seems to be an issue has been between 15F and 35F. Anything warmer than that, it's not an issue.

As always, I appreciate everyone's help and feedback! Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-25-2013   #26
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Re: 2007 Civic "cold" start problem

Can you post a video of it?
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Old 11-25-2013   #27
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Re: 2007 Civic "cold" start problem

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Can you post a video of it?
Of course. Stay tuned! I will get to it within an hour.
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Old 11-25-2013   #28
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Re: 2007 Civic "cold" start problem

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Can you post a video of it?
[YOUTUBE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGw6NKrT-Fs&feature=youtu.be[/YOUTUBE]

Took four tries today. Sorry about the seat belt beeping. I didn't think to put it on, but I still think you can hear the engine sounds ok.
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Old 11-27-2013   #29
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Re: 2007 Civic "cold" start problem

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGw6NKrT-Fs&feature=youtu.be

Took four tries today. Sorry about the seat belt beeping. I didn't think to put it on, but I still think you can hear the engine sounds ok.
my problem is virtually identical.


I have had that exact same thing happen a couple times.


One time I just held the key in the start position until it eventually started doing something and slowly turned over.

On another occasion it did crank several times before it got going.

Another time using remote start it did not start but all the electrical functioned along with what should happen during a remote start.
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Old 11-27-2013   #30
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Re: 2007 Civic "cold" start problem

Well I can't hear crap on this laptop.

Dash stays lit up when you twist the key to crank it, and no noises at all from the starter? No heavy clunk, not even a whirrrrrrr?

A few electrical checks of the starter and wiring would be in order (gotta check while it is acting up though) but I'll guess it's a typical intermittent starter failure.
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