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Background:
OEM starter "began" to fail about 2 months ago at 148,000 miles and 13.5 years of age. I turned the key and nothing happened. Following advice from @Drew03Accord, I inserted a crow bar through the intake plenum runners and hit the starter 3-5 times with "moderate" force to knock the pulverized electrical brush material (clogging the insides of the starter) down. This got the car started for another 30 times or so.

But eventually then the starter would turn slowly until it failed to start the car. Out came the crow bar and a small hammer, a few taps on the starter, and the starter would give me another 20 starts.

Then 10 starts....

This morning, I beat that starter like I was a pimp and it was a John that owed me money. Nothing. After 1,960 miles- and two month's time of beating the failing starter, it just died. I had the replacement "brush set"- as talked about in the write-up, ready to go. Honda did NOT have the exact part for my specific car anymore, so I ordered from eBay for $14 delivered. Also found a new intake plenum gasket for $11 delivered. These were sitting on the tool box, waiting....

I followed the write-ups on removal, re-building, and re-attachement from member @JohnNH here: https://www.driveaccord.net/forums/15-7th-generation/441482-starter-rebuild-diy.html

So it cost me $25 and 3.5 hours of time- but now that I know what I am doing I could do it in 2 hours, start to finish. The rebuilding was 20 minutes, and was exactly as described by JohnNH.

My old brush set was in bad shape. One of the brushes had cracked in half, and another was worn down to the copper wiring. How that thing even started yesterday is "unexplainable".

From what I understand, most dealers charge 2.25 hours of labor to replace the starter. They also charge you about $400 for a re-manufactured starter, or $420 for a new starter. The starter itself seemed fine- it is just the $14 brush set that wears down. If I had to do this in 5 degree F weather in Chicago in February, I would probably ask a "lower per hour rate" independent shop if they could pull the thing, give me 20 minutes to clean out the pulverized brush material and replace the brush set, then they re-attach the starter to the car.

Grateful to the forum for the advice and write-ups. I was waiting for the starter to fail. Happy that it failed in 80 degree, low humidity weather, and not in 95 degree or 5 degree weather.

In researching this impending project, I did call 10 local alternator/starter rebuild shops. Prices to rebuild were from $65 to $130, with most around $85. Most of these shops also offered to exchange with me so I would not have to wait 45 minutes as they rebuilt. I declined of course, but I did ask if these were Mitsuba "Honda OEM" starters that were rebuilt and sitting on a shelf, or some no-name brand. Most were "no-name. Many offered to sell me a shiny "new" starter for $90 (as long as I give them my Honda starter in exchange), but confided that these were low quality and would last no more than a year. They actually asked me if I was flipping the car....

In conclusion, don't buy a low-quality starter, re-build your Honda OEM. Follow the write-up, it really is that easy.

EDIT: Last time I had to bang on the starter to get 10 more starts- I was in a bank parking lot. Out came the crow bar and hammer, and I noticed people were watching me and laughing- "That idiot is trying to fix his car by hitting it with a hammer, lol. Why doesn't he take it to Jiffy Lube?"
 

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If you bang it, then go turn the key, it MAY start. If you bang it while someone holds the key in crank position, it usually starts. Good job on the fix.
 

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Excellent!

Well, consider the crime spree in Chicago these days, crow bar + hammer in the trunk actually looks the part haha!

It's dirt cheap to rebuild, compared to a "new" starter. I would not give up my OEM starter because a rebuild shop or auto zone\o'reilly\advanced auto would get it for free. Rebuilders won't tell you what parts they use, because then they leak the info to you and you won't go to them for rebuilds. Do your own research and find the parts.

I listed a site that sells OEM starter parts for both I4 and V6's starters in my V6 starter rebuild thread.
 

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Last time I had to bang on the starter to get 10 more starts- I was in a bank parking lot. Out came the crow bar and hammer, and I noticed people were watching me and laughing- "That idiot is trying to fix his car by hitting it with a hammer, lol. Why doesn't he take it to Jiffy Lube?"
I work on bank equipment and I get odd looks when I come in to a bank with a crow bar and a BFH, sometimes necessary to convince a safe deposit box that it would be in it's best interest to open. :)
 

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Background:
OEM starter "began" to fail about 2 months ago at 148,000 miles and 13.5 years of age. I turned the key and nothing happened...
Great work! I did the same thing with my accord. Yes, once you opened the OEM starter, everything inside looks solid except the worn-out brushes. I purchased the $15 part from ebay and my rebuilt starter is rock solid.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If you bang it, then go turn the key, it MAY start. If you bang it while someone holds the key in crank position, it usually starts. Good job on the fix.
That worked for a while- I could see the serpentine belt turn a few inches each time I hit the starter.

It's dirt cheap to rebuild, compared to a "new" starter. I would not give up my OEM starter because a rebuild shop or auto zone\o'reilly\advanced auto would get it for free. Rebuilders won't tell you what parts they use, because then they leak the info to you and you won't go to them for rebuilds. Do your own research and find the parts.

I listed a site that sells OEM starter parts for both I4 and V6's starters in my V6 starter rebuild thread.
For anyone else reading this, here is @t-rd excellent write-up with the site that sells genuine Mitsuba parts: https://www.driveaccord.net/forums/15-7th-generation/534929-starter-rebuild-v6-if-you-feel-like.html

Well played, Master @RickBlaine
LOL, I was thinking of how much easier the "pull and replace" procedure is for the V6 engine, compared to the 4 cylinder. They really hide that thing in the 4 banger! Some of the higher-priced rebuild shops said they needed 24 hours to rebuild- when I asked them why, they told me they need a day for the paint to dry. I laughed because you REALLY have to look for the starter on the 4 cylinder engine- nice paint job not needed.

Nice - I did not rebuild my daughters when I replaced it - crossing my fingers it lasts as long as she needs the car.
Your addition to John's rebuild and replace write-up was appreciated, thank you. Many of these places sell starters with a one year warranty or a lifetime warranty. Same exact starter, but you pay 30% more for a lifetime. Some people here have installed a new auto parts store starter and it is still going strong 5 years later....

It is true, if I had a V6 I would not concern myself with longevity because it is very easy and fast to get to THAT starter. There was a guy here last year who said he changed it out in an Autozone parking lot in 30 minutes, using Autozone's tool rental......

I work on bank equipment and I get odd looks when I come in to a bank with a crow bar and a BFH, sometimes necessary to convince a safe deposit box that it would be in it's best interest to open. :)
Ha ha, there were a few bank employees looking out the window at me- plus I am certain I was video recorded and Homeland Security/FBI probably has a profile on me now.

Great work! I did the same thing with my accord. Yes, once you opened the OEM starter, everything inside looks solid except the worn-out brushes. I purchased the $15 part from ebay and my rebuilt starter is rock solid.
Yes absolutely- other than the brush set, everything was looking "new". Nothing else was worn.
 

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The problem is almost always with the old brush crumpling or brush debris clogging and causing contact issue between the brushes and the armature arm's driveshaft surface. The day I opened the outer round cover of my starter, a pile of brush debris just poured out.
 

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Excellent work. Based on my experience and lurking around the forums it seems these starters commonly go at around 150K miles, give or take - so anyone who hasn't had a starter issue yet may be facing one soon! I also think it's pretty typical how they go... slowly then just dead.

In my prior research, I did come across a video of a rebuild. It had no instructions or dialogue. Just was someone rebuilding either the same or a similar style starter.
 

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This morning, I beat that starter like I was a pimp and it was a John that owed me money. Nothing. After 1,960 miles- and two month's time of beating the failing starter, it just died. I had the replacement "brush set"- as talked about in the write-up, ready to go. Honda did NOT have the exact part anymore, so I ordered from eBay for $14 delivered. Also found a new intake plenum gasket for $11 delivered. These were sitting on the tool box, waiting....
RickBlaine, you put me in a semi-panic there, saying it is not available. I went to my local dealer last week. The brush holder set is still available, I picked mine up today. 31210-rra-a52 ($48). The armature is also still available but I did not get it. 31207-rra-a51 (about $45).

The brush holder set includes all of this:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ahhh, sorry for the panic.

I looked up my starter online and confirmed with Paul at College Hills Honda....MY brush set part is 31210-PSA-J54 which every dealer was out of....

We have different part numbers.....Not sure if it is because I have a 2005 Coupe (4 cylinder, 5 speed Automatic Transmission, with KL "California" emissions), and you have a 2007 Sedan, or if because I am a PZEV, or what....

As for the armature, a quick and light sanding with 600 grit, followed by JohnNH's "Exacto knife clean up" procedure for the ridges, made it new....
 

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Hmmm... I wonder if I should get one of them just to have it ready for when it goes...

But the mystery of different part numbers is a mystery.

EDIT: as per Honda Parts now, 31210-PSA-J54 is indeed the right part for my 2005 Honda Accord 4 Door LX; KA 5AT
"KA" meaning not CA emissions (that would be "KL")
 

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Can you maybe explain how you hit the starter? I tried to do this with mine this morning and it seems there's a black plastic box covering it, between the starter and manifold. I didn't see this box in the YouTube video I watched on change out the starter.
 

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Can you maybe explain how you hit the starter? I tried to do this with mine this morning and it seems there's a black plastic box covering it, between the starter and manifold. I didn't see this box in the YouTube video I watched on change out the starter.
Sorry David, just saw this....

I think the "black plastic box" you are describing is actually the 3 inch X 1 inch black rubber cover that covers the battery cable line (from positive battery terminal to starter) connection.

When looking down into the 4 cylinder engine bay, you will see the starter through the 4 metal intake tubes. I simply inserted a slim crow bar between the middle two intake tubes and allowed the crow bar to rest just to the left or right of that black rubber cover. Then, I simply tapped the top end of the crow bar with a light hammer (a small hammer- not a 3 pound sledge!) As I recall, I could NOT fit a crow bar between the outermost intake tubes- the metal casting was too close and my crow bar was too thick.

While the wife was turning the ignition on, I would bang on the starter 2-3 times and the brush material would be dissipated enough to start the car.

I want to re-iterate to everyone, rebuild it yourself following write-ups from @JohnNH or @t-rd or find a shop that will re-build YOUR Honda starter and return YOUR Honda starter back to you. It is a well-made starter. No need to pay Honda $800 for a complete starter replacement job.

*Again, the starter rebuild is pretty much the same regardless if you have a 4 cylinder or 6 cylinder engine. However, the starter removal is rather quick and easy on the 6 cylinder engine, whereas on the 4 cylinder engine it takes more time as the starter is sort of hidden.
 

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Great job!

It's likely that most starter/alternator problems are due to those carbon brushes (wearable item like brake pads).
Not sure about alternators, shouldn't starters be made brushless? (like the newer generation power tools advanced to brushless from the old brushed design).

I once fixed my failing alternator for $1 on my 3rd gen. The part was ordered from Autozone with free shipping. Yeah, it was $1 shipped (by UPS). I did have to solder the brushes to the holder. 90+% of people would spend $$$ on a new alernator in the same situation.
 

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No worries. I posted this yesterday after I had already started taking things apart.

And this is the black box I’m talking about. I’m sure there’s another name for it. It keeps me from sticking anything between the tubes.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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It is called an Intake manifold chamber assembly.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #20
^Whoa, was I ever wrong! I have no idea why your 4 cylinder has that and mine (and just about every other 4 cylinder I've seen) does not.

Must investigate further.
 
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