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Discussion Starter #1
I bought my 2004 MDX new, now it has 128k Miles been reliable over the past 12 years,
recently I left it unused for 2 weeks, then I could not start it, the starter makes a weak sound then stop
like the battery is weak.
I switched the battery from my other car, same issue,
Next I tried jump start, same thing.
So I ordered a new starter, I tested the new starter with a 12 volt car battery to make sure it
works before I put in the MDX, after I mounted the new starter, the MDX still does not start, starter still makes
some weak sound then stop.
with key in ignition, emergency brake applied, I uses 2 screw drivers to cross the 12 volt starter terminal
and the blade terminal (both on starter), it makes stronger sound, but the engine still does not catch.
so far, I've ruled out, battery, car key, starter (new), neutral safety switch (I tried to start the car numerous time
with transmission in "PARK" and "Neutral")

what else is there to check next?
 

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Sound like starter is not operating as it should, grounding straps been checked? Bat neg to chassis, engine block to ground. There is no distributor cap, it's coil on plug, and would start on only 3 plugs.... Try grinding the start bolt to bat neg then turn key and see if any different

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Take a jumper cable, one end of black to batt neg, other end of the black to a starter bolt and try the key to see if any difference

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Turn on the lights.

Do they come on full brightness? If they do, hit the starter... do they dim out, or stay at full brightness?

If the lights are bright and don't dim much when you hit the starter, troubleshoot the cabling to the starter, or the starter itself (could easily be a defective starter).

If the lights are dim, or go dim when you hit the starter, the problem is in the battery, or the battery cables (including the one to ground, in which case Bratcop's test above will prove it).

The easy way to find the problem is to use a voltmeter to go point-to-point looking for a voltage drop where there should be none. First from the battery terminal to the cable clamp (should read 0.0 volts with the lights on). Then hook one end up to that battery terminal (+ first, then - after you check the + circuits), and just keep moving the lead one connection / cable at a time toward where you don't have the right voltage (in this case, the starter). There should be only a very tiny voltage drop from the battery + cable clamp to the starter + terminal, with the starter engaged. If you have more than 0.1 volts, look for a bad cable or a bad connection. If this doesn't show a bad voltage drop, try the same thing on the - (ground) side. If there's no voltage drop from the battery - terminal to the starter housing with the starter engaged (or key turned, at least), then the cable / connectors are good.

If you've got a strong 13 or so volts at the "big terminal" on the starter, and on the "little terminal" (while attempting to crank), and there's no voltage drop from the battery - terminal to the starter housing while cranking (or trying to), you've got a bad starter. The good news is, they're not expensive (I know because I just listed one on Ebay that I don't need since I fixed mine by cleaning and lubing it).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It can't be battery, because I switched in a known good battery from other car and slow charge it for hour.
It can't be starter because I tested both the new (before I mounted it) and old starter (after I removed it from car) and see both the solenoid and starter working.
when I tried t start the car the head light go much dimmer, I'll try Bratcop's test tomorrow (checking ground), if it still does not solve issue, I'll try the voltage drop next.

Is there any way to rule-out ignition switch?
 

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Ignition switch basically just throws a solenoid to fire the starter, if the starter turns, the ignition switch is good. Nss would also cause a no starter spin situation, so that's not it

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Spark plugs, wires, distributor cap?

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Ummm...Evetslor , you know Distributor cap's haven't been made since they brought in Fuel injectors right?
I think you mean to say Distributor Coil pack.

But if a new starter doesn't work, a new battery (swapping the wrong rated battery might not start it btw.)

Then the answers will be either ignition switch OR seized engine.
 

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Lol. Sorry, im actually new to the mdx world. I havent looked into the engine yet. I just thought it would be the same as some of the other cars. But yes check anything that deals with ignitions.

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No, this is an issue with the starting circuit. Has nothing to do with ignition.

For what it's worth, plenty of fuel injected cars did have distributors and distributor caps. Just nothing particularly recent.
 

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What is the cca of the other battery you are using? It needs to be rated at least 600. I had this issue on my old car, battery died and the one a pulled was not rated high enough to get started. I just bought a new battery and was good to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ummm...Evetslor , you know Distributor cap's haven't been made since they brought in Fuel injectors right?
I think you mean to say Distributor Coil pack.

But if a new starter doesn't work, a new battery (swapping the wrong rated battery might not start it btw.)

Then the answers will be either ignition switch OR seized engine.
How do I rule out ignition switch?
How do I rule out "seized engine"?
 

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You can easily rule out ignition if you are getting power to the solenoid when you turn the key.

It really sounds like either your new starter is defective or it simply isn't getting enough power. Have you tried Bratcop's suggestion of running jumper cables? This will tell you if you have bad cables. If you have and you're certain it's a good battery, it screams bad starter (even new ones can be defective) or improper installation of the new starter.
 

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So here is the down and dirty, putting the black jumper cable on as I said and turning the key essentially checks your grounding circuit to starter. If it is the same, it's not the ground, if it's different (better) u need to improve grounding to the engine.

Same can be done with positive, but a little more complicated.... Try grounding first

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How do I rule out ignition switch?
How do I rule out "seized engine"?
Someone here will have to help you as I haven't done it yet on the MDX, but basically:

Put the ignition to 'On'.
Make sure parking brake is set
Make sure the gear is in PARK.

Feed 12V from the battery to the Starter (This is the part I don't know how to do on an MDX, I've done it on a Jetta, but I'm sure there is more to it on the MDX and most likely easier ways to test this).

If the Car starts, then it's the ignition switch or the wiring from the relay board to the starter.

I will say again, see if someone here can detail it better. I don't know which terminal will do it (Vs the terminal that will short out your battery) and if this is even safe to do on an Acura.
 

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One step at a time Frmlcpl, try ground then we can try hot to battery.... You can do as you wish, but there should be a method to your trouble shooting...

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I'd recommend using a meter - or even just a 12 volt lamp - to troubleshoot the + feed to your starter. The starter is in a little bit of an awkward position, and trying to hook a jumper cable up to it could be "interesting" (as in sparks and flames). ;-)

Just get a 12 volt light bulb and a couple alligator clips and you'll be able to verify whether you have a good 12 volt source at the starter, or if it dips when you hit the key (the bulb will get dim). Just hook it up between the big red cable at the starter, and the - post/clamp on the battery. If the light doesn't dim, you know your + feed to the starter is good. Then move the - lead on your light to the starter housing and see if the bulb stays bright when you hit the starter. If it dims, it means you don't have a good ground. Of course, a voltmeter can be used in place of the lamp, but some people are more comfortable with using a lamp.

I should mention that the ground is made by the two main mounting bolts, and that these two bolts are a little awkward to install. Any chance that they're cross-threaded, or maybe just not tight? See if you can wiggle the starter AT ALL with your hand... any movement at all means it's nowhere near tight.
 
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