Automotive

My Acura 1.7EL won't start -- where to bring for diagnosis and repair?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 6th, 2018 8:12 am
[OP]
Member
Aug 7, 2015
202 posts
51 upvotes
Vancouver, BC

My Acura 1.7EL won't start -- where to bring for diagnosis and repair?

Hey guys,

I have an old Acura 1.7EL from between 1995-2000. It's been unused for about one year now. It now doesn't start at all when I turn the ignition key.

I've tried several things already, including a battery recharge and a replacement of the old car thermostat. No luck which these attempts, however.

So my question is:

1) Is there a reliable shop or service that can diagnose and fix the problem?
2) Would I still be charged if the auto-shop cannot fix the problem?
3) How much would this type of service cost?

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
18 replies
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
38180 posts
24365 upvotes
Center of Universe
Check the starter.
Give it a few love taps with a hammer and see if it's enough to crank.
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 10, 2005
36455 posts
10770 upvotes
Ottawa
Any repair shop can, or should be able to get it running again. It is, after all, just a Honda Civic in disguise.
Deal Expert
Jan 15, 2006
19670 posts
20102 upvotes
Richmond Hill
Have you tried to boost it?
Deal Guru
May 1, 2012
10423 posts
11100 upvotes
Toronto
Does it crank? I mean that's the biggest question here. Does it crank or does it just go click, click, click?
Deal Expert
Feb 24, 2007
15094 posts
2697 upvotes
Niroxu wrote: Hey guys,

I have an old Acura 1.7EL from between 1995-2000. It's been unused for about one year now. It now doesn't start at all when I turn the ignition key.

I've tried several things already, including a battery recharge and a replacement of the old car thermostat. No luck which these attempts, however.

So my question is:

1) Is there a reliable shop or service that can diagnose and fix the problem?
2) Would I still be charged if the auto-shop cannot fix the problem?
3) How much would this type of service cost?

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
A lot of things could be the culprit for a car that has been sitting idle for a year or more. Not sure what the thermostat has to do with a engine that will not start but that is another question?
So my question is:

1) Is there a reliable shop or service that can diagnose and fix the problem?

2) Would I still be charged if the auto-shop cannot fix the problem?

3) How much would this type of service cost?
1) I am sure Vancouver has fairly good garage shops that can fix this. I will be forward enough and ask if you are woman or a man as I would indulge and tell you to take a man with you to the shop if you are a gentler sex.

2) Any diagnostic work will always be charged regardless if you choose to follow through or not. I would bet that any competent shop shall be able to fix your vehicle.

3) That is very hard to estimate as it depends what work requires to be done and/or parts replaced. I would estimate something around $100 to $200.

btw..my guess is that the battery does not hold charge and you need a replacement.
Last edited by eldiablo on Jun 5th, 2018 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Addict
Mar 30, 2010
3008 posts
1355 upvotes
GTA
You tried replacing the thermostat because the car wouldn't start?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 30, 2010
3318 posts
508 upvotes
My guess is the battery is dead. Like dead, dead. A battery can't sit for a year without a charge, so I doubt you'd be able to bring it back to life. Buy a new battery, see if the starter turns over. If it doesn't start up, then you go from there.

Even better is to buy a used battery on Kijiji (people affiliated with towing companies or wreckers will sell good but couple years old batteries for like $40), and make your step 1 even cheaper.

Shops usually charge like 120-150 per hour for diagnostic time, FYI.
Deal Expert
Jan 15, 2006
19670 posts
20102 upvotes
Richmond Hill
Viperoni wrote: You tried replacing the thermostat because the car wouldn't start?
I would have checked the headlight fluid first.
Deal Fanatic
Sep 1, 2004
9612 posts
9100 upvotes
LeisureSuitL wrote: My guess is the battery is dead. Like dead, dead. A battery can't sit for a year without a charge, so I doubt you'd be able to bring it back to life. Buy a new battery, see if the starter turns over. If it doesn't start up, then you go from there.

Even better is to buy a used battery on Kijiji (people affiliated with towing companies or wreckers will sell good but couple years old batteries for like $40), and make your step 1 even cheaper.

Shops usually charge like 120-150 per hour for diagnostic time, FYI.
This. Take your old battery to Canadian Tire. They will test it for you. And if it's crap, just pick up a newly charged one for $150ish.

I rescued and old 2000 Jetta that way and then goes from there.

I'm not sure changing thermostat added to problem or not. But yeah, even an honest shop, I don't see you get charged anything less than $200+parts to get it going again.
Deal Guru
Jun 24, 2006
13396 posts
7657 upvotes
I just have to ask....

Was it running properly before it sat for a year+?
Deal Expert
Feb 24, 2007
15094 posts
2697 upvotes
Gutty96 wrote: I just have to ask....

Was it running properly before it sat for a year+?
Good point. :)
Deal Expert
Jan 27, 2006
20713 posts
14172 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
LeisureSuitL wrote: My guess is the battery is dead. Like dead, dead. A battery can't sit for a year without a charge, so I doubt you'd be able to bring it back to life. Buy a new battery, see if the starter turns over. If it doesn't start up, then you go from there.

Even better is to buy a used battery on Kijiji (people affiliated with towing companies or wreckers will sell good but couple years old batteries for like $40), and make your step 1 even cheaper.

Shops usually charge like 120-150 per hour for diagnostic time, FYI.
Nobody in Vancouver uses Kijiji - it's literally a dead service with nothing.

Go on to Craigslist.org instead. There's a guy out in Surrey which will sell you an used battery for $40 which he has already charged and tested. He says he gets his batteries from the autowreckers (which are basically right next to him) and then resells them. I purchased a battery (an old Kirkland one) from him for my brother's Civic and it works fine.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 30, 2010
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craftsman wrote: Nobody in Vancouver uses Kijiji - it's literally a dead service with nothing.

Go on to Craigslist.org instead.
That's interesting...I assumed kijiji was the go-to used stuff seller. Good to know!

Either way, good information...get a good used battery and save money.
Deal Addict
Mar 16, 2015
1846 posts
324 upvotes
vkizzle wrote: Check the starter.
Give it a few love taps with a hammer and see if it's enough to crank.
I am surprised a sr member like you will give such advise.
Even if you tap with hammer , you are supposed to tap gently that too on the solenoid ( to clear any jamming) and not on the starter motor body.
Someone never done this is defnitely damage the starter just in case it is not bad.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
38180 posts
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Center of Universe
CocoJambo wrote: I am surprised a sr member like you will give such advise.
Even if you tap with hammer , you are supposed to tap gently that too on the solenoid ( to clear any jamming) and not on the starter motor body.
Someone never done this is defnitely damage the starter just in case it is not bad.
Should have said to use a wrench instead.
It's a "well known" not always affective method for us post 2000 Honda offers, after ruling out the battery.
Penalty Box
Dec 27, 2007
4399 posts
1691 upvotes
Edmonton
vkizzle wrote: Should have said to use a wrench instead.
It's a "well known" not always affective method for us post 2000 Honda offers, after ruling out the battery.
Or the proper way, put a multimeter on the starter and see the voltage when you crank. Will tell you if it's a battery problem, a wiring problem, or a starter problem.

Ollnly downside is if engine is siezed, it will seem like starter has failed
warming up the earth 1 gas fill-up at a time...
You only live once, get a v8
Sr. Member
Dec 1, 2006
948 posts
129 upvotes
Toronto
You obviously don't know much about cars.
When you say you did a battery recharge did you mean you tried to do a boost?

You should be able to tow the car to any local small mechanic shop and they should be able to get your car running no problem.

If you have CAA that might be a better option since they maybe even able to get your started or towed for free with your membership.

The charge will depend on what the parts they replace if any.

On a side note. Does your car even crank when you turn the key?

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