Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: The car will not start - 2003 Honda Accord

asked by on

for a few weeks, the car would only start if i adjust the hight of the steering wheel. as of this morning, no position of the steering wheel will allow it to start. the radio, lights, etc. are all functioning like normal. there is a soft clocking sound underneath the hood.

My car has 260000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there. It sounds like you may have a starter going bad. That noise you’re hearing is the armature of the starter trying to engage, but failing.

Test the battery with a digital battery tester to make sure the battery is in a good state of health and charge. Then perform a voltage drop test to the starter to make sure the proper amount of voltage is available at the starter. If the battery and voltage drop test are ok, then the starter is the most likely culprit. The steering wheel position is most likely just coincidence. If you would like to have this taken care of, a certified professional from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to diagnose the starting problem and replace the starter if necessary.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Vehicle burning up starters

The flywheel could potentially be the cause of the burning up starters. But more likely, there is a wiring issue to the starter or a poor ground on the starter. A qualified technician, like one from YourMechanic, will be able...

Q: Gearshift locked

Hello. Most of the time when this shifter gets stuck it is because of the shift interlock. Typically it will lock in park though. If the vehicle is locked in reverse then you either have a shift cable that is...

Q: Car shuts down - Cadillac DeVille

Hi there. From the description you have provided, Oil Light comes on, steering wheel hard to turn, brakes barely work, gas pedal doesn't work at all, your vehicle appears to be stalling as you exit the freeway. Not knowing the...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...