Honda CR-V Not Starting – What to do?

Honda CR-V not starting: What to do?Honda CR-V’s are one of the most reliable vehicles on the road. But even the best car will have a problem like not starting when you’re running late for work or have a trunk full of groceries. Do you know what to do when your Honda CR-V won’t start? We’ve done the research, so you don’t need to be stuck on the side of the road wondering what to do.

There are many reasons a CR-V won’t start. Here they are along with what you should do in each scenario:

  • Dead battery: If you try to start your CR-V and get no response, the battery might be dead. Try jumpstarting your car with jumper cables, or have your car towed to a mechanic. 
  • Failed alternator: If your car starts when you jump start it, drive to a mechanic to determine if the battery needs replacing or if the alternator is bad. 
  • Failed starter: If the ignition clicks, but the engine doesn't turn over, the starter may need to be replaced by a repair shop.
  • Ignition Switch Failure: If the engine doesn't turn over, or your dash lights flicker when you are driving, it may be your ignition switch. THis requires replacement or repair by a repair shop. 
  • Clogged Fuel Filter: If your car struggles to start, or sputters as you drive, you may have a clogged fuel filter. This requires a trip to the repair shop to correct. 
  • Empty Gas Tank: Did you remember to fill up? Sometimes the simplest solution really is the answer.

That’s a lot of information to take in and absorb. We touched on the common reasons your CR-V might not start. And, more importantly, we’ve discussed what to do when you are stuck with a car that won’t start. Read on as we dig a little deeper, exploring how to get you quickly and safely back on the road.

Reasons Your CR-V Won’t Start and What You Should Do:

Dead Battery

If you try to start your CR-V and get no response, the battery might be dead. If you have access to jumper cables, try to jump-start the engine. If your CR-V starts, it’s likely you have a dying battery. Let the car battery charge for a few minutes while the engine is running, then head straight to the dealer or mechanic. If you don’t have jumper cables, call for a tow. The tow company might be able to give the car a jump as well.

Failed Alternator

If you are turning the key in the ignition and hear growling or clicking but no engine response, your alternator might need to be replaced. Try to jump-start the car with jumper cables. If the CR-V starts, it’s possible the alternator is having trouble recharging the battery. With the car holding a charge, head to a dealer or mechanic. If the charge doesn’t hold, contact a tow service or your roadside assistance service.

Failed Starter

If you hear a clicking noise as you turn the key in the ignition switch and the CR-V doesn’t crank, the starter might be broken. Jumping the battery will not help in this scenario. Have your car towed to the dealer or mechanic. If you are a member of a roadside assistance service, call for a tow and a ride to the closest repair shop.

Ignition Switch Failure

The ignition switch gets the car started and powers the electronic components like the radio in your CR-V. If your car doesn’t turn over after a few tries, the ignition switch might be faulty. Other symptoms to look for are flickering dashboard lights or flickering headlights or unresponsive A/C system while you are driving. It’s important to understand that an ignition switch can fail while you are driving. And that failure can put you in a dangerous situation, like stalling in traffic. Head to the dealer or car mechanic as soon as possible and have them check out the ignition switch and replace it if needed.

Clogged Fuel Filter

If your CR-V has been difficult to start, perhaps sputtering or barely chugging up a hill, your fuel filter might be clogged. At some point, the car will not start because there isn’t enough fuel pressure and fuel simply can’t get to the engine. A clogged fuel filter can also lead to a fuel pump failure, which will also cause your CR-V not to start. Unless you are handy with car repairs, head to a trusted source. It’s recommended that fuel filters be changed every 20,000 miles.

Gas Tank Empty, It Happens

Without gas in the tank, your CR-V will not run. Yes, we know this sounds silly, but let’s just say it can happen. Maybe the check fuel warning light didn’t signal you. Or maybe you just didn’t see it. Check the gas gauge. If you are on empty, refill the tank.

What Does it Mean When Your Car is Trying to Start But Won't?

There are a couple of likely scenarios to be familiar with:

If your CR-V is making a clicking sound when you are turning on the car but doesn’t turn the engine on, the starter is the likely culprit. This could mean a bad starter but it’s more common that the battery is failing. Your car battery might not have enough charge left to send a proper signal to start the engine.

The CR-V’s alternator could also be a problem. You might hear a growling or clicking noise when trying to turn on the car. If you were able to successfully jump-start the engine, but it dies right away, the alternator isn’t keeping the battery charged.

The battery, alternator, and starter work closely together. Get your CR-V to a repair shop right away.

What Do You Do if Your Car Won't Start in the Cold?

Your CR-V engine should start at any temperature. Extremely cold temperatures might impact a battery’s efficiency preventing your car from starting.

If you are in a situation where it’s easy to try to give your CR-V engine a boost with jumper cables—try that first. If your car starts, let the engine warm-up for a few minutes before turning on the heater, lights or any accessory. Then, head to a repair shop or the dealer and have the battery checked out. If you don’t have jumper cables or if your CR-V didn’t start after the jump, call for a tow. Or call your roadside assistance service.

Maintain your CR-V

We’ve covered a lot of reasons why your CR-V might not start and what you should do depending on the symptoms. Hopefully, this will never happen to you. But if it does, remember the advice we gave you in this post. Also, take a minute and get to know the normal sounds your CR-V makes when it’s starting.

If you don’t have jumper cables, buy a set as soon as possible. You never know when you might need them to jump your battery or the battery of a stranded driver.

Keep your CR-V on a consistent maintenance schedule, and it should keep starting a long time to come. You can read more about this car on our site -

Honda CR-V: What Are the Common Problems?

Is the Honda CR-V a Good Car?

Share this article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *