Why Won’t My Acura RDX Start?

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The Acura RDX is a luxury SUV that offers reliable, efficient performance and impressive features.

It has a sleek, aerodynamic design which looks stunning. It is powerful, comfortable, and checks all the right boxes of a high-quality SUV.

It may be great, but the RDX is not perfect. One of the short lists of issues people have faced is the SUV not starting. This has left many to wonder, “Why won’t my Acura RDX start?”.

There can be many reasons for that:

  1. An Old Or Weak Battery
  2. Corroded Battery Terminals
  3. Faulty Spark Plugs
  4. Dead Starter Motor
  5. Clogged Fuel Filter
  6. Failing Fuel Pump

Although this list may be more than enough for most readers here, I would advise you to continue reading this article.

Not only will it discuss the problems in detail, but it will also discuss what can be done after diagnosing the issue.

So, without any further ado, let’s get started!

What Would Cause An Acura RDX To Not Start?

Learn the list of issues that your Acura RDX has when not turning over

Yes, that’s right. I will not be wasting any of your time because I know it is important, especially if you are frustrated with your Acura RDX not starting.

So, the issues discussed in the introduction will be discussed here.

1: An Old Or Weak Battery

The battery in your Acura RDX is the heart of your electrical system and has a limited lifespan.

If you leave your vehicle parked for too long or don’t drive it often, the battery will start to lose its charge and power.

What Should You Do About It?

  • The first thing to do when your SUV doesn’t start is to check the battery. You can usually tell that your battery is dead by looking at the lights on your dashboard.
  • If they’re dim or flickering, then there’s probably an issue with the voltage coming from your battery.
  • You can charge your battery using jumper cables and another car or truck with a working battery. Start both vehicles together, and the engine would rev up if your Acura RDX was low on charge.
  • If that does not work, then there is a decent chance that the battery is dead. It could also mean that other parts essential for the ignition system may be at fault.
  • But if the battery is dead, you will need to get it replaced. I recommend going for an AGM battery, which is more reliable and maintenance free too.

2: Corroded Battery Terminals

Battery terminals can rust when exposed to water. If your Acura RDX doesn’t start, the corrosion may have built up on your battery terminals, preventing it from receiving a charge.

With corrosion, electricity cannot properly flow through the vehicle’s electrical system.

If your SUV is not able to start due to corrosion, there is a chance that other accessories will not work as intended. Be on the lookout for flickering lights or a resetting clock.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If this happens, you’ll need to clean off the corrosion from the battery terminals before you can get your SUV started again.
  • You can do this using sandpaper or a wire brush on both sides of each terminal.
  • Corrosion can be pretty intense too, in some cases. If that is the case with your Acura RDX, you should replace the battery altogether.
  • No cleaning will help as the posts have been eroded to the point of being unusable.
  • You should also check the cables between each terminal and ensure they aren’t frayed or broken.
  • If they are, you need to replace them as soon as possible. They may very well be the reason for your RDX not starting.

3: Faulty Spark Plugs

The spark plugs in your Acura RDX are responsible for igniting the fuel that runs through them.

They’re an essential part of how your SUV starts and runs, so if they’re not working properly, it can cause some serious problems with starting up your engine.

The expected mileage for spark plugs is around 60000. This is the norm for all vehicles. They may die sooner, but that is unlikely.

So, if you have a faulty spark plug, your engine will not be able to ignite the fuel to get your SUV to start running.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Well, you can only do one thing, replace them. Yes, I wrote that correctly.
  • Even if one spark plug is faulty, you need to replace all of them. If one died sooner, chances are that others may also be close to being unusable.
  • This is the general rule of thumb for whenever spark plugs are changed.
  • Fortunately, new plugs are cheap, and you can get them easily. Make sure to get only platinum or iridium ones as they are two of the best.
  • Copper plugs should be avoided at all costs. They last for a shorter period and just are not that reliable.

4: Dead Starter Motor

If your Acura RDX doesn’t start, it could be because of a dead starter motor. The starter motor is what turns over the engine when you turn the key.

If no power goes to the starter motor, it will not work, and the SUV won’t start up.

A dead starter motor can easily be identified. If it has failed, it will emit a clicking sound. This indicates that the motor is dead.

Another indication is that a dead starter motor will result in resistance when trying to turn the key in the ignition.

The SUV cannot be moved in this state, and the only way to get it somewhere is to tow it.

What Should You Do About It?

  • You can test your Acura RDX’s battery before replacing its starter motor by connecting it to an external charger or jump-starting it with another vehicle’s battery.
  • If these tests show that there is no problem with the battery, then you’ll need to go ahead and replace that part instead.
  • Unfortunately, replacing a bad starter motor is the only option. It cannot and should not be repaired.
  • You should get a new one installed by a professional to reduce any chances of error.

5: Clogged Fuel Filter

If your Acura RDX is not starting, the problem might be with your fuel filter.

The fuel filter is located at the bottom of the gas tank and keeps contaminants from entering the fuel line. If you have a clogged fuel filter, it can cause your SUV to stall or fail to start.

If the filter is completely blocked, which is expected after a few years of usage, no fuel will enter the engine.

Even if some can get through, it will not be enough to start your RDX or make it drive for a long time.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Although you may be able to extend the lifespan of your fuel filter by cleaning the debris, it is still recommended to replace it.
  • New filters are cheap, and you should get them yearly. This way, you can rest assured that the engine will stay free from all impurities.
  • If they were to get in, the contaminants could wreak havoc, which almost always results in complete engine failure. You really don’t want that.
  • So, change the filter once every few months to be on top of this problem.

6: Failing Fuel Pump

A failing fuel pump can cause your Acura RDX to not start. The fuel pump is what pumps the gas from the gas tank to the engine.

If it stops working, you will not be able to get any gas into your engine. This means that you won’t be able to start your SUV.

The fuel pump can fail because of age or because of a problem with its electrical connections, which can cause it not to send fuel to the engine.

This problem does arise in older models but is not too common.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If you think your fuel pump might be failing, take a look at its operation first.
  • If you notice that your engine runs rough or hesitates when you accelerate, or if your gas mileage has decreased dramatically since you last filled up, then it’s likely that there’s something wrong with your fuel pump.
  • It may seem like an expensive repair job but replacing a faulty fuel pump is cheaper than replacing your entire engine.
  • Low fuel results in the engine overexerting itself. This results in faster wear and tear. So, you should make sure to replace the fuel pump as soon as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why Won’t My Acura RDX Start With New Battery?

If your Acura RDX doesn’t start after you’ve replaced the battery, there are two possible explanations.

The first is that the new battery may be low on charge, especially if it has been on a shelf for a while before installation.

The second is that another part of the starting system may be at fault.

Q2. Why Won’t My Acura RDX Start Even With A Jump?

If your Acura RDX is not able to turn over with a jump and you don’t notice any other issues (such as a loose battery cable or corroded terminals), the problem could be a result of a faulty ignition system or a dying starter motor.

It cannot be the alternator because the SUV can turn on for a few minutes, even with it not functioning.

Q3. Why Won’t My Acura RDX Start But Lights Work?

If the light is working but you are unable to start you Acura RDX then the most likely problem is that your battery is low on charge.

This can be a result of a failing alternator, or the battery may simply be at the end of its lifespan.

Either way, it’s time to replace it! You should get them both checked before risking buying a replacement part that is not needed.

Q4. Why Won’t My Acura RDX Start But Cranks?

If your Aura RDX has failed to start but cranks over, then there are a few things to check. The most common culprit is failing spark plugs.

In addition to this, a low fuel level can also result in a cranking sound being emitted by the engine. This may be due to a failing fuel pump or clogged fuel filter.

Q5. Why Won’t My Acura RDX Start Just Clicks?

It’s possible that your Acura RDX’s battery has simply gone dead, which can happen over time. A dead battery will result in a clicking sound coming from the engine.

If you have a multimeter, you can check the voltage of the battery with the key in the “on” position and the engine off. If it’s below 12 volts, it needs to be replaced.

Q6. Why Won’t My Acura RDX Start In The Cold Weather?

If your Acura RDX is not starting in the cold weather, it’s possible that your battery is not up to the task.

The battery may be old, or it may have been designed for operating in warmer temperatures.

If this is the case, you can replace it with a more suitable one, preferably one with higher cranking amperes.

Q7. Why Won’t My Acura RDX Start After I Get Gas?

It’s possible that your Acura RDX is having problems turning over after you get gas because the fuel filter is clogged.

When this happens, it prevents fuel from going through, which can make it difficult to start. If you think this might be the issue, check the fuel filter and change it if necessary.

Q8. Why Won’t My Acura RDX Start But Radio Works?

The first thing to check is the fuses. They could have blown, preventing the electrical system from functioning normally.

You can do this by opening the hood and looking for a fuse box or checking the owner’s manual for your make and model.

If your fuse box is okay and there are no blown fuses, you might have a problem with your battery.

Related: What Are The Worst Years For The Acura RDX?


So, there you have it. You’ve tried everything, and your Acura RDX is not starting. Now what? If this sounds like your situation, I’m sorry to hear that!

But don’t worry, I am here for you. As you can see, there are a lot of different reasons why your SUV might not be starting up.

I hope that this guide has helped you narrow down the possible reasons and given you some ideas for how to proceed from here.

If you still cannot figure it out and are still wondering, why won’t my Acura RDX start?

You should definitely contact a mechanic to get on top of the issue as soon as possible. This way, you will be able to get an accurate diagnosis of the issue.