---- — Q: I have a 2006 Honda Accord EX-L, 55,000 miles, under extended warranty, with an erratic starter problem. I turn the key on and nothing, no noise except the dash lights come on. I turn the key off and on again, and it starts. This happens once every few weeks, and the pattern is always the same. This has been going on for quite a while. The dealer at first said we had to put in a new battery. This did not solve the problem. I took it back in January, and they replaced the starter. Since January, it has happened three times. What else could be causing the problem besides the starter? At this point, I am beginning to wonder if they replaced it at all.
A: The only way to accurately diagnose the problem is to be able to duplicate the problem in the shop and make the appropriate tests. When you ask me what else could be causing the problem, there are at least a dozen things that will make this happen. A good shop with certified master technicians will be able to solve the problem.
Q: I have a 2007 Honda Ridgeline, which generally has been a good truck. I noticed a rattle/banging in the front of the truck and initially thought it was the sway bar or end links. The service department at my dealer thought the same and changed the bushings, but the sound still existed. Finally, the tech noticed that the heat shield over the right CV was loose. The tech replaced it, and it drove quietly for about two days. Then it came back, and it was replaced again. It lasted a week and was replaced the other day once again. The sound came back three days ago and has really frustrated me as to why it keeps coming loose. I asked the tech to check the threads on the mounts, and I was told they were fine. Then, I wondered if maybe when it is installed, the heat and cold are working out the bolts, and maybe it needs to be re-torqued once after. Either way, I want your opinion and maybe some information I can take to the tech to help solve this problem. This issue is still covered under the factory warranty.
A: It is great that you and the dealership have isolated this problem to the heat shield. If the only problem is bolts backing out, this is easily resolved by using rivets, self-tapping bolts, or even a few welds on the shield.
Car Care Tip: Expect to need brakes about every 30,000 miles on an averagely driven automobile.
Larry Rubenstein is a master technician who owns a North Shore service station. His column appears every Saturday. Write to Larry at The Salem News, c/o Auto Scanner, 32 Dunham Road, Beverly, MA 01915, or send an email to email@example.com.