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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, today I parked my beloved Prelude 1988 at Ralph's parking lot her in San Diego and now... it won't start anymore. :wzbigcry:
Eventhough I have some electro technical background I am sooo European that I never drove cars too much, let alone know anything about them. But now that I am living here in the California I am driving & learning, so any help is welcome.

What to do? The car seems alive, headlights, sunroof, all electric parts seem to work. I could not find any blown fuses. when I try to start the engine it makes a 'click' sound once but that is all. I think the start motor is broken. What do you guys think? And if so, how hard will it be replace it myself? (I do have a machineshop at school with tons of tools and some blokes will probably give me a hand) Where would I get a new one from in the SD area?

help is welcome, thanks

ROB
 

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Could be the starter...could also just be a weak battery. Its very possible to have a battery that is able to have the low Amp stuff working what seems to be fine and when you go to crank it...Nothin or not near enough there. Pull the battery and take it to a parts store to get tested (not just voltage), eliminate one by one....starting with the easiest. Also, check your ground connection and all wires associated with the battery.
 

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Check the battery first.

The starter is pretty easy to replace. It is right on top of the transmission towards the front of the engine bay. It is often the engagement solenoid that goes bad. An old trick I learned was that you can bang on the solenoid with a hammer while trying to start it, and sometimes it will come unstuck. It won't permanently fix the problem, but it'll save you a tow bill and you'll know you need a new starter.

The solenoid is the smaller cylinder that is attached to the starter.
 

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Your battery is low.. Ths "click" you hear is the solenoid working but there isn't enough battery power to crank the engine. Have someone with cables give you a jump. If the battery dash light doesn't come on. your alternater should be ok. You probably just need to replace your battery or perhaps something has drained the one you have.. Did you leave the lights on ??

:tongue2::tongue2::tongue2:
 

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if its a stick, just push it off. and get it home.
I concur, i push started my car for like a month cuz my grounds were f***ed and my battery was crap of course i found that out after I sold my car for liek 3oo bux less then what i wanted to cuz of that problem...damn
 

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The solenoid is clickin so its the juice. Make sure all your wires have good connections. If thats all good try jumping as dano said. If it cranks right up your going to need that battery replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Hi all, ok so my car has manual transmission, it is a (according to my VIN number) 1988 HONDA PRELUDE 2.0SI/S (engine type 2.0L L4 FI)

I popped the clutch and the car started fine. Then I drove it home and tried to start the engine using jumpstart-cables connected to another car's battery, but that didn't help, I just got the same single 'click' sound again.

So, that pretty much means the starter is broken isn't it? Should I buy one online and try to fix it myself, or is this too hard?
 

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you could bench test it....meh no worries. If you need a new one go to auto zone or napa or something....make sure you bring your old one and give it to them so they can take the core charge.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Clean3rdGen said:
you could bench test it....meh no worries. If you need a new one go to auto zone or napa or something....make sure you bring your old one and give it to them so they can take the core charge.
wow this forum rocks! ok so I will take out the starter for a benchtest at autozone. but! is there any manual on how to replace it? could I buy such a manual, find it online, or...?
 

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It goes in the same way it comes out. Should just be a few bolts mounting it to the tranny and a few cables. Make sure you disconnect the battery when removing it tho. You dont want sparks flying. If you need help when your in the process just pm me.
 

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rockdeman said:
I popped the clutch and the car started fine. Then I drove it home and tried to start the engine using jumpstart-cables connected to another car's battery, but that didn't help, I just got the same single 'click' sound again.
i think its a connection.

most likely, a loose ground. something is not getting good contact.

bad starters 'zing' or maybe 'clunk' (with a low 'buzz') .... the 'clicking' is a tell-tell sign that its not getting enough 'juice'.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
CADster said:
i think its a connection.

most likely, a loose ground. something is not getting good contact.

bad starters 'zing' or maybe 'clunk' (with a low 'buzz') .... the 'clicking' is a tell-tell sign that its not getting enough 'juice'.
Mmm where should I check for that, like could I measure the voltage right at the starter? I need a manual with a wiring scheme. Where could I go to find/buy one?
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Hey guys, so humm I have a little problem trying to find a replacement for my starter motor.

The original is a Mitsuba SM-302-22.
According to this Uk based car part seller (http://www.woodauto.com/Unit.aspx?Man=MITSUBA&Ref=SM30222) it's for Prelude 2.0i 16V from 01/1988 to 01/1989.

Like I said I have trouble finding a replacement, or, could I buy a similar one from another brand? Is there any other one that would work? The guys at Autozone have no clue (just went there last night). Any advice?

update: I found this Bosch starter motor at drivewire.com: part number DW182720005F (see http://www.drivewire.com/hondaparts/catalog/hondapreludestarter.html ). I think this one would be a replacement, eventhough it is a completely different brand. What do you guys advice?
 

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brand should not matter (except for quality)

if the spec matches your motor, year, and tranny type, it should fit.
 
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