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Jared D
Jared D, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Honda
Satisfied Customers: 1813
Experience:  Shop Supervisor at County Fleet
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I was having alarm issues this morning; alarm kept going off

Customer Question

I was having alarm issues this morning; alarm kept going off and would turn off with remote. Frantically tried to get it to stop. That's done, but now when I put my key in the ignition, the car won't start.
JA: Have you tried locking and unlocking the driver's side door using the key itself?
Customer: I'll try it now
JA: What is the model/year of your Honda?
Customer: 2008
JA: Are you fixing your vehicle yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: No, I'm very unmechanical
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: The alarm seems to be the issue
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Honda
Expert:  Jared D replied 7 months ago.

Good moring,

Is this a factory alarm or an aftermarket alarm?

Expert:  Jared D replied 7 months ago.

To get the horn to stop honking on a factory alarm try turning the key to the on position for 3 seconds and then back off 3 seconds 4 times.

Then we'll see if we can figure out why it's going off.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
The alarm has been taken care of, but now my car won't start.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
My payment info is correct because you guys have already charged the initial $5. Use the same info for the $26 call please.
Expert:  Jared D replied 7 months ago.

The alarm was probably going off because the battery was low. I attempted the phone call but there was some kind of error. If you prefer we could communicate here. That's ok by me- the phone call request is automated.

Expert:  Jared D replied 7 months ago.

Can you check to see if the headlights and radio come on?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Battery is fine. Fairly new. Car started fine until the alarm went haywire.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
they both do
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Could it have been me inserting the key into the ignition while the alarm was going off? I know I did that once.
Expert:  Jared D replied 7 months ago.

Is it the factory alarm or aftermarket?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Factory
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I've made no aftermarket changes to the car at all.
Expert:  Jared D replied 7 months ago.

This system is designed to make the horn go off whenever a low battery is detected- it sounds the horn in case someone is trying to remove the battery in an attempt to steal the car.

If the battery is getting low sometimes it will sound the horn for no reason at all.

When you try to start it does it just click or does it do nothing at all?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Everything lights up on the dash; I hear the beeping for the key being in the ignition. There is no engine click.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Just to be clear, when the alarm is going off, I'm trying like crazy with my remote to stop it. I can get in and out of the car, but it'll stop then start again. I got it to stop before I sent my message for help.
Expert:  Jared D replied 7 months ago.

Try resetting the security system by turning the key in the ignition as I mentioned and see if anything changes in the way it goes off.

When it's dinging like the key is in the ignition, the key is in the ignition right?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
When I turn the key, nothing turns over, but I've definitely got power. Is there a click? If you're asking does it make a nice when try to start it, I guess like a normal turning the key click, yes, but not a click click click sound like I've heard on past cars with starter problems.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
the key is in the ignition when that happens.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Tried to reset with your turn off instructions and nothing happened.
Expert:  Jared D replied 7 months ago.

Ok. I need to run through the schematic for the factory alarm on this car. What is the model?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
2008 Honda Element EX
Expert:  Jared D replied 7 months ago.

It looks like the element doesn't have a hood switch or anything that would normally keep it from starting.

It still seems like a low battery condition might be causing it to act up.

Do you have a multimeter to do some testing so we can see if the starter is ok?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I don't. If you truly think it's a low battery, I can have AAA come and install a new battery. By doing that, will it cause any other issues like with the alarm?
Expert:  Jared D replied 7 months ago.

It might need to be reset by turning the key on and off again, but it shouldn't cause any other issues.

I would need to see readings for a multi-meter to be sure. The alarm system on this car isn't very sophisticated so it shouldn't be preventing the car from starting.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Well, since I don't have one, it seems your suggesting that changing the battery is the best bet, correct?
Expert:  Jared D replied 7 months ago.

Without being able to do any testing, yes. Sorry, don't mean to be non-committal here but, yes.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Okay, that's what I'll do then.
Expert:  Jared D replied 7 months ago.

Please let me know if you need additional info.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
AAA just got here and they are going to test starter, alternator and battery before replacing the battery. Once the battery is confirmed needing to be replaced, if car doesn't start, I'll send another message.
Expert:  Jared D replied 7 months ago.

Sounds good.

Expert:  Jared D replied 7 months ago.

Here is how they test the starter if needed:

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Wasn't battery, starter or alternator. Something interesting happened when I closed the hood: there was a quick horn sound that went off 3 times.
Expert:  Jared D replied 7 months ago.

There might be a factory remote start (not very common on this car) that has a hood switch that is keeping it from starting. You will need to look around the edge of the hood for a small contact switch.

Expert:  Jared D replied 7 months ago.

This is what it looks like on the honda odyssey:

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Expert:  Jared D replied 7 months ago.

No, that's the AC switch. It should be somewhere on the edge of the hood that contacts the hood when it is closed.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I don't anything like that anywhere near the hood.
Expert:  Jared D replied 7 months ago.

When they checked the starter did they check to see if the starter was getting a trigger signal on the S connector in the diagram?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I wasn't outside with him when he did it. I saw his readout that showed the readings of all three things and they all showed they were in the correct state.
Expert:  Jared D replied 7 months ago.

Did he just have a battery tester?

He wouldn't be able to test the starter with just a plug in tester. He would need to check for 12 volts with the key in the crank position at the terminal I sent the picture of.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
No, he has a multi-meter not just a battery tester.
Expert:  Jared D replied 7 months ago.

Did he do anything at the starter test connector?

If we aren't getting 12 volts at the test connector then we need to go backwards from there and see what is cutting volts to the starter trigger circuit.

If he is getting 12 volts to the test connector then the starter should crank, unless it's out.

If he did not see 12 volts at the starter trigger wire in the connector, how did he test the starter? Did he jump 12 volts to the starter to see if it would crank?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I honestly can't answer that. You're going way over my head now.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Is there anyway to bypass the alarm?
Expert:  Jared D replied 7 months ago.

According to the factory starting diagram the alarm can't keep the vehicle from cranking.

Do you have another key you could try?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I can't find my spares. The key indicator on the dash indicates the car accepts the key. I'm getting that directly from the owners manual.
Expert:  Jared D replied 7 months ago.

Is the green light flashing vehicle cranking?

Expert:  Jared D replied 7 months ago.

I'm sorry, while trying to crank.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
No, it turns off
Expert:  Jared D replied 7 months ago.

Something in the starting system is malfunctioning. You'll need a multimeter to test to see what the problem is. You could remove the starter cut relay and replace it, but again, without a meter you won't know if that the problem for sure.