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I have an 06 Acura MDX. My truck from time to time just clicks but won't crank sometimes. It would start find for like a month and then some days it doesn't start. Sometimes it takes five minutes sometimes I have to wait for the next day. It has brand new battery and starter. Got the battery starter and alternator tested they all passed. I checked the fuse box with a test light they all was good. The key light on the dash turns on so it's not the key. Ive had 2 different keys with this truck and same thing would happen from time to time. Any ideas what to check next?
 

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With a voltmeter, it's dead simple to figure out what's wrong. Well, as long as it's in the "not starting mode" (hard to troubleshoot a starter that's working).

1) Measure the voltage at the small red wire going to the starter (the solenoid power wire). It should be battery voltage when you're trying to start the car.
2) Measure the voltage at the big red wire - it should be battery voltage, and not dip more than a few tenths of a volt when you engage the starter.
3) If both of those check out OK, measure the voltage between the BATTERY terminal (not the cable clamped onto it) and the starter housing. It should be only a small fraction of a volt when you're trying to start the car.

Alligator clip leads will make this a lot easier, and will allow positioning the voltmeter where you can read it from the driver's seat. If you don't have a voltmeter, you can get one for chump change from Harbor Freight - or even free (they have a coupon for a free meter several times a year). Or you can spend a few bucks more and get one any number of other places - but they're indispensable for working on cars.

Sometimes the immobilizer will cause a car to not start, but you won't get a click if that's the case.
 

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If battery voltage is good and connections are clean, a faulty starter solenoid is likely. Internal solenoid contacts are worn and not delivering a good connection. The solenid "throws" and clicks but no current is passed to engage starter. Only solution is a new starter.

good luck
 

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I went through this recently and it was the starter. The click you associate with starting the car should be the solenoid, but I found, when troubleshooting mine that the other dings and sounds inside the cabin made it hard to tell if that was what made the click so to be sure you actually have a solenoid pulling in, you need to listen at the starter while someone else turns the key. And you say the starter, solenoid, and battery are all new. Is that “new” as in, “just installed?” Or new, like “in the last year?”

Habbyguy is right, but maybe was giving too little detail, if you don’t have and use a multimeter. Voltage is the difference in electrical potential. So, you check voltage differences. Most of the time you are checking a powered device which you will usually want to be around 12 volts against ground, which should be 0 volts.

In the list on hanbyguy’s post, on 1 and 2, you are checking each of those wires against ground. So the black lead on your meter goes on the block or the negative battery terminal, and the red lead goes on the wire or connector. On 3, he’s saying to check between the positive battery terminal (red) and the starter housing, while it’s being started.

If I had to guess, and you have actually eliminated the key chip (ignition immobilizer), starter, and battery, I would say that you have a loose connection in your starter circuit or a bad ground. It could be a bad ground to the battery, the frame, or the block, but that would fit the bill for being an intermittent problem and still starting other times.

If you had not said you had a new starter, I would have said your starter is bad, because that can happen the same way and might do it for a year before it completely stops working.
 

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Oh, also, on 3, you should be watching the meter as the key is turned. I believe the meter should read 12volts before the key is turned and should drop to 0 volts when the starter circuit is engaged...
 

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Oh, also, on 3, you should be watching the meter as the key is turned. I believe the meter should read 12volts before the key is turned and should drop to 0 volts when the starter circuit is engaged...
#3 is actually a test of the negative lead, not the positive lead. Actually, it should read 0 volts with the key off, and just a tiny bit above 0 volts with a (working) starter engaged. This measurement is telling you only how much voltage drop there is on the negative lead between the battery terminal (not cable clamp) and the starter housing. If there IS a significant voltage drop, then it's just a matter of figuring out if it's between the battery terminal and clamp, in the cable itself, or at the terminal that connects it to the engine block (or body, depending on what you're trouble-shooting).
 

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[quote/]#3 is actually a test of the negative lead, not the positive lead. Actually, it should read 0 volts with the key off, and just a tiny bit above 0 volts with a (working) starter engaged. This measurement is telling you only how much voltage drop there is on the negative lead between the battery terminal (not cable clamp) and the starter housing. If there IS a significant voltage drop, then it's just a matter of figuring out if it's between the battery terminal and clamp, in the cable itself, or at the terminal that connects it to the engine block (or body, depending on what you're trouble-shooting).[/quote]

Right on. I thought you were saying to put the leads on the positive terminal and the starter housing which should be grounded. I figured that would check your ground and whether your starter circuit was closing when the starter was engaged.
 
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