rob_lewis UltraDork
6/1/20 6:20 p.m.

Can't figure out the right search words to get what I need, so I thought I'd ask the hive.

2008 Fit, new to us, rebuilt title car.  Except the A/C going out, it's been very reliable so far.  Son just called and said it takes 5 seconds or so to start. Specifically, he turns the key and it takes 5 seconds before the starter engages and it starts to crank.  Once it cranks, it'll fire up no problem, just the delay between turning the key and starting to crank.  No issues in the morning when temps are cool, only occurs when it's hot outside.

I'm thinking a weak battery.  The Fit battery is tiny, and combined with heat it just doesn't have the initial cranking amps to kick the solenoid on immediately.  It still works, but if the battery is dying, I'm concerned with it leaving him stranded.  Told him to swing by a parts store and get the battery tested. 

Any other ideas?  He thought he needed a new starter.  I'm not sure it is.  He has tools to do parts replacement, but not much in the way of diagnosis.


outasite HalfDork
6/1/20 7:39 p.m.

Remove and clean battery cables and battery terminals first. Does he have a terminal cleaner? If not, I highly recommend it. I carry one in my car tools and have rescued many no starts over the years.

GameboyRMH MegaDork
6/1/20 7:44 p.m.

Could be a weak battery or dirty terminals, after you clean them, a light coat of dielectric grease or vaseline will keep them from getting dirty again. The terminals on the power lead to the starter itself might also be worth checking.

I might not have even thought to keep trying to get any life from the starter for 5 whole seconds.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
6/1/20 7:57 p.m.

It's probably the starter, failing solenoid.


I admit to never having had to replace a Fit starter, but a lot of newer units use the solenoid to send a small amount of current to the motor, which rotates a little in such a way that it assists the throwout fork, and the motor only engages fully once the fork is fully out.  If this is bindy, or the starter is getting weak, that could definitely cause those symptoms.


I'm kinda curious now, if the Fit used a starter relay or ran the starter through a MICU (unified failure module).  Again, never had a poorly starting Fit so never had reason to look into them...

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