How to Change Starter On 2001 Honda Odyssey

by admin on September 22, 2011

Is there a conspiracy in the auto repair industry?

I swear you can’t take a vehicle in for service without the cost going up over $1,000 every time.  I just had another run in with an auto repair shop.

Here’s what happened, our Honda Odyssey mini van wouldn’t start and I thought the kids had left one of the interior reading lights on.  It had been sitting for 3 months before I decided to try and start it again (its is our spare vehicle now so it can sit).

So here is what I did to get the van going again.  Starting with the easiest and cheapest options first…

Step 1)  Inspect and clean the battery terminals and leads.  CHECK (but does not start even though the starter solenoid is pulling in strong and holding).

Step 2)  Try to jumpstart.  CHECK (but does not start)

Step 3)  Load test and replace the battery in case the battery is shorted internally. CHECK (but does not start… same as before).

Step 4)  Change the starter relay.  NOT CHECK.  OK who the hell buried the starter relay back inside the dashboard behind the stereo because I am not pulling the dashboard apart in search of this thing.  I pass on this and will come back to it since swapping the starter looks easier and faster and the electrical checks make it look like the start relay is OK.

Step 5) Change the starter out myself since it has “easy” access it from the top.  UHH OHH!  About an hour into the ordeal I can’t access it from the top because the 4th bolt on the battery tray won’t come out and I don’t have the proper tools and extensions to get at the starter without pulling the battery tray.

Step 6)  Give up and call the shop for a quote on changing out the starter…  The shop says $690!  That is $95 for labor and $595 for the starter.  I feel like they were trying to cheat me at this point (not on the labor which sounded fine).

I told the guy on the phone “I just bought a starter at AutoZone for $120 and your charging me $600 for a starter!” Silence on the other end.

They said they would put the starter I bought in for the labor price but I was so pissed from them trying to cheat me I couldn’t take it there for service.

Anyway, I got the starter in and in doing so discovered the negative cable from the battery to the transmission was corroded through about 95% of the way.  It was rusted out down by the tranny where I couldn’t see with everything in its place.  Sadly, at the end of the day, the answer to the problem was just a $5 cable.  GO figure.

Not worried this winter!  I have a new battery, new starter, and new cables.  She turns over like no ones business now.

Here is a great step by step procedure for changing out the starter on a 2001 Honda Odyssey that helped me out:

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