What Causes Honda CRV Won’t Start and How to Fix ?

Imagine waking up in the morning to get to work and you discovered that your Honda CRV won’t start! What a frustration! It is even worst when you don’t know the reason why your Honda CRV refuses to start.

Understanding your car and the causes of some kinds of malfunctions will enable you to resolve any challenges that may affect your movement easily. You may be able to resolve some of the challenges if you are a DIYer; while, you refer other complex faults to a professional mechanic.

Let’s see why your Honda CRV car won’t start, how to diagnose the issues, and what to do to enable you to fix them whenever the need arises.

What Causes Honda CRV Won’t Start?

Information is a critical factor in everything. Knowing the reasons why your Honda CRV will not start is a stepping stone to resolving the problems.

If you are ignorant about every fault that your Honda CRV projects, you may refer minor defects that you would have been able to resolve to a mechanic and spend more money.

There are some common reasons why your Honda CRV may not start, and they are:

2017 honda crv wont start

Defective fuel supply

One of the main reasons your Honda CRV may refuse to start is due to a fuel shortage or a defective fuel supply. It is natural for any car not to start when the fuel tank runs empty.

Besides your fuel tank running empty, minor issues with your car’s fuel pump or any other components involved in the proper fuel supply may also result in a defective fuel supply.

Fuel is the life-blood of every vehicle that uses gasoline; hence, you must always ensure that the fuel supply system of your car is intact to enable the engine to start and run properly. When there is a fuel supply defect, your vehicle may start stalling and eventually stop.

If you decide to keep starting the car without diagnosing the issue to rectify it, you may end up draining the battery or extending the problem to other components of the vehicle. It is vital for you to know what to do if the 2008 Honda CRV won’t start.

Faulty starter

Sometimes, your car may have sufficient fuel in the gas tank, with other components that aid the engine’s starting process intact, but a faulty starter alters the whole starting process.

Unlike having a defective fuel supply issue, a faulty starter is subtle because you may not easily detect it. If your Honda CRV uses a key fob or remote control, you may not be able to start the car when the key fob or remote’s battery is low, except you change the battery.

Also, a broken starter will have an issue starting your car’s engine because it no longer has the required capacity to start the car’s engine and make it run. 

Defective battery

In line with the refusal of your car’s engine to start due to a defective starter, a faulty battery can also be a culprit. A drained battery is another major reason why your Honda CRV may not start. The battery powers the electrical components, including the ignition process; hence, its weakness affects all of the components.

If you try to start your Honda CRV and it produces a clicking noise that later dies down, your battery may be dead or out of charge. In this case, you may need to jumpstart your vehicle. A loose battery cable connection can also be an issue.

You must ensure that you properly check your car’s battery area to ascertain where the problem is in order to know exactly what to do. If your Honda CRV won’t start, but lights come on, you may have to consult a professional auto mechanic. Do not assume; be sure of your conclusions.

Alternator failure

A failed alternator may be the problem if you discover that your car’s battery is okay and the connections are intact. Your car’s alternator distributes electrical power to every component powered by the electric current generated from the battery.

Alternator failure will breach the proper supply of current to the appropriate quarters. If the problem involves your car’s starting process, you may find it challenging to start your vehicle. So, you may find out that your Honda CRV won’t start, but the battery is good.

You must endeavor to check the various parts of your vehicle daily or weekly to enable you to identify any faults as they try to spring up; then, you can tackle them immediately.

How To Diagnose

Knowing how to diagnose the various parts of your Honda CRV that could likely cause the car not to start is one primary approach to addressing the issue. There are simple steps you could follow to diagnose the reasons why your Honda CRV is refusing to start.

Check the battery

One of the main areas to check if your Honda CRV will not start is the battery. Check the battery connections for any loose cables, and inspect to see if there is corrosion on the terminals.

If you find any loose cables, tighten them, and clean any corrosion to enable the battery to properly transmit power to the vehicle. However, if your car has a dead battery, you may have to try jumpstarting the vehicle.

Check the car’s fuel pressure

Since a bad fuel pump, clogged fuel filter, etc., can hinder the proper supply of fuel to the combustion chamber, you should spend some time checking these components for any faults.

Use an OBD2 scanner to check out the fuel pressure trouble code, especially if your car has a fuel pressure sensor. You can as well use a fuel pressure gauge to check out the issue.

Inspect the alternator

If you find out that the battery is okay, you can proceed to inspect the alternator. To do this, open the car’s hood and locate the alternator; then, check whether the alternator belt is loosed so that you can fix it.

Some other areas you may also have to check carefully are the spark plugs to ensure that they are transmitting the spark properly; also, check whether the injectors are opening correctly. You can as well inspect the engine timing, etc.

If your Honda CRV won’t start when hot, you may have to wait for it to cool down; then, check out what could be wrong. This problem could possibly lie in the fuel pump. Check the fuel pressure when the car is still hot and see the pressure on the pump.

How To Fix The Problems

It is pretty easy to fix any problem that makes your Honda CRV refuse to start, such as a defective fuel supply, battery issue, alternator failure, defective starter, etc. The following are some of the ways to fix such problems.


Often, car owners think it is a complex problem when their car refuses to start, not knowing when it is a fuel shortage issue, especially for newbies. If you’re short of fuel, simply refill your gas tank and start your car again after a few minutes.

Replace fuel pump, fuel filter, etc.

If you have fuel in your gas tank and the problem seems to be a bad fuel pump or fuel filter, simply replace the bad fuel pump and fuel filter or contact a professional auto mechanic to replace them. If any other faulty components are affecting the proper supply of fuel, kindly replace them.

Change battery/Jumpstart

A drained battery requires you to charge again before use. However, if you have a flat battery in a location where you can’t access a mechanic, try jumpstarting your car without another car’s battery. If you own a spare battery, you can also use that. A portable jump starter can be useful here.

Replace defective starter

If you discover that your Honda CRV starter is broken or damaged, you may have to get a complete replacement to enable it to work well again. This is a simple fix that you have to confidently handle if you are a DIY person.

If you don’t know the workings under the hood, you will have to consult an expert auto mechanic to do the replacement. It will only require a few dollars. If your 2017 Honda CRV won’t start, follow the recommendations above to resolve the issues.


Q: How do you unlock a Honda CRV without a key?

To unlock a Honda CRV without a key, you can try out any of these options as the case may be:

  • If there’s anybody inside the car when it is locked, ask the person inside to press the power unlock button.
  • Unlock the car with your keyless remote. If you misplaced the key, the chances are that you may still have your keyless remote or spare one. Simply press “Unlock” from the remote to re-access your car.
  • Unlock with a wire hanger and an inflatable door wedge. Insert the inflatable door wedge into the tiny space between the car’s door frame and the door; then, inflate the door wedge with the hand pump attached to it. This helps create a small opening; then, insert the wire hanger and pull the car’s lock switch open.

Q: Can I unlock my Honda with my phone?

Yes, you can unlock your Honda car with your smartphone. Once you enroll in the HondaLink Remote Package, you can use the App on your phone to perform different operations like starting the car, turning it off, locking and unlocking the doors, etc.

Q: How do you unlock a locked Honda CRV?

To unlock your Honda CRV whenever it is locked, press the unlock side of the lock/unlock switch or button. Each door has a button that locks/unlocks the door, while a master lock/unlocks button controls all the doors from the driver’s door. You can either use the button on whichever door you intend to unlock or use the master unlock button.

Q: Can I start my car with HondaLink?

Of course, you can start your Honda car using HondaLink. After registering and activating HondaLink, you can carry out various functions like starting your car, activate climate control, etc.

If you own a Honda CRV, you may want to try it out. Register and activate your HondaLink straight away, and start enjoying the features using your smartphone.

Q: Does the Honda CRV lock itself?

Yes, it does. Honda CRV has an auto-lock feature that is programmed to activate in certain conditions. Some of the conditions include the following:

  • Shifting the gear out of the P – Park position.
  • Turning the car’s ignition switch to the “ON II” position and closing the driver’s door.
  • Activating the “Walk Away Auto Lock” function, etc.

Final Words

After reading this article, I’m sure you will no longer have a hard time figuring out what to do whenever your Honda CRV won’t start. It doesn’t matter whether you are alone or close to a mechanic; you can always find a way out before getting to the nearest auto mechanic’s shop.

However, ensure to do everything possible to maintain your Honda CRV to avoid the engine from stalling, stopping, or refusing to start after going off. Prevention is always better than cure.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

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