Honda CRV Won’t Start

Honda CRV Won’t Start: Possible Reasons And Best Solutions

Car owners all over the world know how annoying it can be when your vehicle refuses to start. A lot of issues may be causing this problem. Here’s what to do when your Honda CRV won’t start.

Your vehicle will not start in either one of these ways. The first and most common would be when it doesn’t turn over, meaning the engine cannot move even though you keep turning the key. The other way that your Honda CRV won’t start is when you engage the starter and the engine turns but doesn’t fire and run.

However, it is easier to diagnose an engine that isn’t turning over instead of one that is cranking without firing. So if your Honda CRV won’t start, this is meant for you. We will tell you how to diagnose and solve the problems.

Common Reasons Why Honda CRV Won’t Start

Honda CRV Won’t Start: Errors/ Defects In The Fuel Supply

  • Wrong or no fuel
  • Fuel line or filter clogged
  • Fuel filter or pump is broken/is not getting enough power
  • Electrical/ignition errors

Honda CRV Won’t Start: Problems With The Ignition Electronics/Lock

  • Moisture, defects, or errors in the electronics
  • Empty car battery
  • Power supply interrupted
  • Cable break
  • Alternator error
  • Broken spark plugs or ignition coils

Honda CRV Won’t Start: Faults In The Starter

  • Broken/malfunctioning starter
  • Magnetic switch broken

More On Why Your Honda CRV Won’t Start

We mentioned some of the common reasons your Honda CRV may be displaying starting errors. Now let’s get onto what happens and why, how to troubleshoot, and possible solutions.

1. No Fuel/Not Enough Fuel

First and foremost, you must make sure whether an inadequacy of fuel is what is causing the vehicle’s refusal to start. Cars have come a long way from alerting drivers with just lights to having multiple alerts all over the dashboard, but still, some drivers would rather ignore the signs.

What’s worse is that many of them misjudge the situation. On rare occasions, the fuel gauge fails too. Then the fuel pointer will stop moving or show nothing. If your car breaks down due to the gas tank being empty, the situation can get bad quickly. For instance, you could be forced to stop in the middle of a deserted highway because there isn’t any petrol left in your car. You may also get fined for it.

Honda CR-V Won’t Start

If the result of a breakdown is consequential damage, the driver can be prosecuted for gross negligence. On that note, if you have refueled recently and found a puddle underneath your vehicle, you should get the hoses and lines inspected immediately.


For whatever reason, experts say that the first step here is to ensure that there is enough fuel in your vehicle. If you don’t know if the gauge is indicating the correct amount of fuel, it is easy to make a trip to the gas station and confirm. If the issue wasn’t resolved, you have to check other reasons behind a Honda CRV not starting.

2. Drained Battery

A weak battery is one of the more common causes of starting issues in Honda CRVs. Drivers can easily recognize a defective or discharged car battery through how the starter will either try to start very clumsily, slowly, or not turn at all. Another sign would be hearing a clicking sound when turning the key. This happens because an empty battery still contains enough voltage to allow the magnetic switch inside the starter to cause that sound.

Because the starter connecting to the battery pulls a lot of currents, causing a voltage dip. As a result, there isn’t enough voltage for the magnetic switch and you get that clicking noise.

At low temperatures, the battery’s charging capability is significantly impacted, and such issues are common in the winter. Also, especially in frigid weather, many settings are turned on in the automobile, resulting in a shortage of battery energy.

This comprises the heater, rear window, seat heating, and the blower, on top of the heating. Before starting the car in winter, consumers like seat heating or the low beam should be turned off. It can also be an issue if you leave the radio or lights on by accident, or if the car does not immediately turn off the consumers once turned off.

Honda CR-V Won’t Start

What Can You Do About This?

You can use a starting aid to bring the battery back to life. In a starting aid, the drained battery receives a pulse of current from the battery of another car. In theory that should be enough. Or, you can try charging using a battery charger but that takes a few hours.

Using a start booster is significantly quicker. These small devices are generally the size of a chocolate bar and a great alternative to otherwise lengthy jumper cables. You can get a compact charging kit like this for about $40. However, only a replacement will help if the battery has gone bad. If you want to confirm the charging status of your vehicle’s battery, that can be done via voltage measuring equipment.

Or, an alternator that doesn’t work anymore can be used too. This recharges the battery the moment the engine ignites and supplies electricity to other consumers too. If you cannot charge the battery properly or on time anymore, the battery will run out quickly and consumers will not get enough power.

Signs of a defective alternator include a new battery that cannot be changed properly and is constantly discharged. The same applies if you have to make multiple attempts to start a car and it’s still shaky. Check if your car’s battery is still capable of holding a charge.

  • The battery is Dead: The scenario is the battery is dead but tests “good” and charges back up. This is when it would be a good time to inspect the terminals or get the alternator checked to see if it is charging properly.
  • The battery is Charged: We would suggest you check out the battery cables for corrosion if the battery is charged. Otherwise, the culprit might be the starter.


A bad alternator is enough to take away enough charge for your Honda CRV’s engine so it doesn’t start. It may still retain enough energy for you to drive home but not enough to turn the engine over.

If you have confirmed that battery issues are behind your Honda CRV not starting, try jump-starting it and see if that helps. Most of the time this helps but if it doesn’t, this is confirmation that you are dealing with a defective battery that will need replacing soon.

Before deciding on buying a new battery, reach out to a certified mechanic to reconfirm the problem. After all, why should you splurge on a new car battery (and be sure to think about how long does a car battery last) if your old one can be salvaged? Batteries don’t come cheap.

3. Failed Alternator

If the battery is good, you have to move on to the next potential culprit – the alternator, as we stated once before. As the alternator has a major responsibility of supplying electrical current to the components of a car, its breaking down will have great repercussions on any vehicle. The battery only gives the initial kickstart a car needs to jump to its feet (or rev to its wheels).

It only takes a faulty alternator to drain the battery faster as a battery is not made to provide a consistent source of electrical support to a car. How would you resolve issues with the alternator then?


Sadly, fixing alternator problems required the help of a certified mechanic who can ascertain what part is malfunctioning. Plus, this part requires the usage of certain tools that home DIY mechanics may not have. In some scenarios, the mechanic will recommend you to change the whole alternator because the past one is beyond repair.

4. Faulty Starter Motor

Your Honda CRV won’t start despite having a functioning alternator and new battery? Then it’s time to start questioning the starter. Coupled with the battery, the starter ensures the engine, well, starts. If either one of the two components is defective, the process will not be smooth. But if you pay attention to the symptoms, you can perceive them early on and react timely.

Only in extremely rare cases do the starters stop functioning instantly, as signs of wear and tear become visible little by little. With clicking noises, for instance, you would know that the starter is responding but not the engine. With a malfunctioning starter, you would need to make several attempts to get the engine to start.


A pre-diagnosis is required to confirm the origin of the problem when starter issues are concerned. If your mechanic confirmed that the problem is indeed due to the starter, you should replace it.

5. Interrupted Power Supply

Perhaps no lights flash on the dashboard or no sound is made by your Honda CRV when you start it. This indicates an issue with the electrical system. However, as the same signs can show up for a deeply drained battery, you should rule out that possibility first.

When an electrical system fails, a blown main fuse stops the electricity from moving. Oxidizing or defective cables are also enough for this. The power supply can be interrupted by a marten’s sharp teeth. Damage to wires or cables can sometimes be found by checking under the hood. Loose cables are a sure-shot sign of trouble.

If the engine doesn’t respond when you try to start it (and by that we mean a completely quiet engine), it might be happening due to a bad ignition. You can check the causes for yourself but we highly suggest leaving that to a specialist if you haven’t tinkered around (successfully) with your vehicle before. You should also check if it’s the ignition coil or the distributor.

6. Bad Ignition Electronics

Another cause might be faulty ignition electronics or ignition lock. The defect is easy to see when you turn the ignition key but the engine compartment does not react, even though the radio and interior lighting operate normally.

Vehicles with a start button, such as the Honda CRV – one without the traditional ignition lock may face similar issues owing to a flaw in the chip inserted in the key. An issue like this can only be resolved by changing the ignition lock, the damaged chip card in the vehicle, or the key.

Don’t try to repair ignition locks yourself as you would need basic information about car electrics before that. But if you do want to try, here’s a video tutorial.

7. Poor Spark Plugs

Having said that, if your ears cannot pick up anything but familiar noises during the ignition process, best believe the fuel pump or spark plugs may be causing problems. The engine then fails despite trying to start since the fuel pump does not supply fuel to the ignition spark or combustion chamber. Bring your car to a workshop as soon as possible if this is the case.

Defective spark plugs are amongst the common reasons behind starting issues of a car. So there is a chance that is the answer to why a Honda CRV won’t start despite many attempts. One bad candle goes a long way in stopping the vehicle from starting. Replacing the spark plugs regularly is crucial for the gas engine to work properly.

On average, car owners should replace spark plugs every 30,000 to 60,000 kilometers. However, high-quality spark plugs are known to last up to 100,000 kilometers. You can quickly catch onto anything weird happening with the spark plugs. A changed engine operation, jerky car, misfiring or increased oil consumption are all signs of this.

Misfiring can cause the fuel to remain unburned (the smell of petrol is a good sign) in the catalytic converter, eventually destroying it. Thus, the reason behind this must be inspected as soon as possible and if needed, the spark plugs will have to be replaced. Fortunately, this one component can be changed quickly and for cheap.

Honda CRV Engine Cranks But Doesn’t Start

It can be pretty frustrating when the CRV’s engine cranks but the vehicle doesn’t start. An engine requires fuel, air, and a spark to run. Most of the time this happens OBD-II code is thrown into the mention. We recommend buying an OBD-II scanner if you don’t have one already – it will save you a fortune just troubleshooting common problems with your vehicle.

If the codes aren’t cleared, the vehicle won’t run as the engine has registered that the car isn’t in optimum condition. A simple Google search should tell you more than enough about any diagnosed code. Hopefully, your Honda CRV will be back to normal once the code has been cleared.

Fuel Issues

Crossover SUV reliability problems

If your car isn’t getting enough gasoline, or any gas entirely, it might be due to a faulty fuel pump, bad fuel injectors, or clogged fuel filters. The CRV will crank without starting if the combustion chamber does not receive the required volume of fuel.

Ignition Issues

Ignition problems are the biggest reason vehicles would crank but not start. Without a spark, an engine will not start – it cannot. Your vehicle probably has codes related to misfires stored already, such as P0300, P0301, and more. Ignition problems can be caused by a plethora of things, such as bad coil packs, bad spark plugs, computer problems, faulty plug wires, and more.

Engine Timing

The capacity of an engine to ignite the spark plug at the correct time is referred to as “timing.” Your CRV won’t start if the plugs are firing at the incorrect time, or if anything is wrong with the camshaft that would make it lose sync with the pairing crankshaft.

There will almost always be OBDII codes linked with timing issues. P0013 is a commonly used camshaft position code. Furthermore, the crankshaft sensor could fail as well. If these sensors malfunction, a CRV wouldn’t start.


New-age vehicles feature smart keys with built-in electronic protection. While this adds a new layer of protection never seen before, it also opens up a new way for thieving entities. When the security systems malfunction, your car’s computer will generate a security warning.

Other Issues

Several problems might lead to your CRV not starting. That is why it is critical to double-check everything. Here’s an excellent diagnostic chart – it covers a lot of factors.

Crossover SUV reliability problems

Starting difficulties may be a conundrum, and so you must collect all available facts and symptoms to adequately fix the issue. Let’s take a deeper look at some of the symptoms and scenarios you can see when your Honda CRV displaying:

1. Honda CRV Won’t Start But Lights Flash

If your Honda CRV won’t start but has the lights illuminated on the dashboard, the issue is most likely a drained battery. The good news is that there is still a little voltage left in the battery. A quick jump-start session can confirm or deny these issues. Unless the problem gets resolved, inspect the starter and alternator.

2. Clicking Noises

As a rule of thumb, any clicking sound coming from under the hood is due to an issue with the battery. And most of the time that’s where the issue is. The battery still has some charge so it can respond when you turn the keys, but there is a significant drop in the charge and voltage after the starter suctions all the available power.

Again, we suggest starting with jumpstarting your vehicle to ensure that the issue has been resolved. But a jump start is the best this can go so be mindful of that.

Let’s assume that although your Honda CRV won’t start it sure does crank. In that case, we can narrow the reasons down to a problem with spark plugs, wires, the rotor, or the ignition tune-up. Many mechanics recommend you start by changing the fuel filter. All that said, the problem is probably associated with the failure of an electrical component mentioned.

3. Honda CRV Won’t Start After I Changed The Battery

If your Honda CRV won’t start even though you replaced the battery, the issue is most likely with the battery itself. Many experts advise returning to the repair shop and seeing if they installed a high-quality car battery. The chances of this problem increase drastically when you opt for a secondhand car battery. However, the fault is most probably with something like the alternator or the electrical system if the battery is in decent condition.

It also suggests that your initial problem was not caused solely by the battery but rather it was a joint effort between the battery and another faulty component. And conversely, if the problems started sprouting after you installed a new battery, the fault is within the battery, or the connections were not made properly.

Examine the battery to ensure that all cables are correctly connected and that no loose connections are messing with the system. If this does not cure the problem, you may need to return to the auto repair store and request a new battery.

It is strongly advised that you only approach reputable suppliers, especially if you want to install used automotive components. It is also critical to weigh the benefits of acquiring an old part to save money against the likelihood of major issues occurring shortly. To avoid dealing with problems sooner rather than later, it may be preferable to put in a new battery rather than a used one.

Honda CRV Won’t Start Essential Knowledge

  1. Honda CR-V starter problems can be caused by a variety of issues such as fuel supply, electrical/ignition faults, starter failure, and interrupted power supply.
  2. A lack of fuel is a common cause of Honda CR-V starter problems, which can be resolved by checking fuel levels and the fuel gauge, and also ensuring that the fuel filter or pump is working correctly.
  3. Low battery charge is another common cause of Honda CR-V starter problems, which can be resolved by using a battery charger or a starter assist device, or by replacing the battery if necessary.
  4. Generator failure is another potential cause of Honda CR-V starter problems, which require the help of a certified mechanic to diagnose and repair.
  5. Defective starter motor can also cause Honda CR-V starter problems, which can be recognized by symptoms such as clicking noise or multiple attempts to start the engine.
  6. Interrupted power supply due to blown main fuse or faulty cables can also prevent the engine from starting, which can be checked by inspecting under the hood or seeking help from a professional mechanic.
  7. Faulty ignition electronics or ignition keys can also cause Honda CR-V starter problems, which require replacing the ignition or the key.
  8. Defective spark plugs can also cause Honda CR-V starter problems, which can be diagnosed by altered engine performance, vehicle jerking, misalignment, or increased oil consumption.
  9. It is important to double-check everything if the Honda CR-V still won’t start after fixing the initial problem, such as dead battery or faulty generator, as the fault can be with another component.
  10. Seeking professional help from a certified mechanic or roadside assistance is recommended if the Honda CR-V starter problems persist, and storing the number of roadside support covers on your phone or adding roadside assistance plans to your auto insurance policy can also be helpful in case of emergencies.

Final Thoughts

We’ve discussed a multitude of reasons why a Honda CRV won’t start and what’s the best course of action based on the signs. Hopefully, your car will not suffer too much from these issues, in return making you miserable. But if it occurs, use the information we provided you in this piece. Also, spend a few moments getting to know the regular noises your car produces as it starts.

If you don’t already have jumper wires, get some as quickly as possible. Who knows; you may need to jump-start your Honda CRV tomorrow, the day after, next year, or never possibly. But best to stay prepared. Maintain a regular maintenance plan and continue for a long time to extend the service life of your vehicle.

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