Why Won’t My Honda Odyssey Start?

TaxiHack is reader-supported. This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more.

Honda Odyssey is known for being a family-oriented car. In 1994, Honda launched their first minivan to cater to a family of 8. In those years, it was an ideal car for a big family traveling.

Several great adventures have been experienced at the expense of this particular car.

Honda Odyssey was known for its automatic transmission as only a few cars in that period had something similar.

Even though Honda Odyssey became extremely popular and was high in demand, it did experience certain problems.

Often, users of Honda Odyssey were found asking questions such as “Why won’t my Honda Odyssey start?”.

After extensive research, I have deduced several reasons for this issue leading to engine failure.

Listed down below are all the causes for your car not starting:

  1. Fuel Filter Requires Replacement
  2. Drained Battery
  3. Damaged Alternator
  4. Corroded Wires
  5. Faulty Starter Motor

Out of all the reasons why Honda Odyssey would not start, these are the most prominent ones. I will be looking at all these issues in great detail and providing a solution for them.

What Would Cause A Honda Odyssey To Not Start?

Let's diagnose your honda odyssey starting issues

No car has ever been formed that does not undergo malfunction. Honda Odyssey is no exception in this case as well.

There is no doubt in the fact that its audience loves it. However, at times it can give them a headache too.

I will now tap all the issues mentioned above individually and provide insights on how you can fix these problems without seeking the help of a mechanic.

You must understand that in some cases, however, professional help is the only way to fix a problem.

1: Fuel Filter Requires Replacement

What happens when the remote of your TV stops working? You change the batteries. How does your phone work? With enough battery. That is exactly the case with cars as well.

Honda Odyssey would not start if its fuel tank is broken or has any leakage. It would also not work if the fuel filter is not working properly due to any reason.

The main job of a fuel filter is to make sure that it filters out any ambiguous element detected in the fuel. This could be dust or event rust.

If your fuel filter breaks down, your entire fuel tank can be easily corroded. This leaves less room for fuel to fill in and disrupts the chemical composition of the fuel being used.

When this fuel is provided to the engine, it fails to accept and stops working. This is an issue that needs to be taken care of on an urgent basis.

If you showed reluctance in replacing your fuel filter, you would have to let go of your precious Honda Odyssey once and for all.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Your first option or solution can be to visit a mechanic. They would charge between $60 to $120 to replace the fuel filter. They would take hardly an hour to do so.
  • If you plan to clean it by yourself, you must make sure to locate the fuel filter’s exact position. This would take you a while, but it is important.
  • You can also clean your fuel filter by placing a container beneath it, ensuring that the dust can be filtered out into the container as soon as you open the clamp.

If you implement these solutions, you will be able to start your engine for the Honda Odyssey in a matter of a few minutes.

2: Drained Battery

We often find our UPS failing on us because of a drained battery. We put a liquid inside it to make sure it starts working again.

This is exactly the cause with Honda Odyssey as well. Your car is not starting mainly because of its battery issues.

The car’s engine runs on batteries, and little to no charge is provided to them.

You will be surprised that around 35% to 38% of engine problems in Honda Odysseys are linked with battery failure.

If you live somewhere where the weather is too extreme, either too hot or too cold, that can drastically impact your battery.

This is because your engine tends to consume more power, draining the battery sooner or later.

If the battery did not work, the engine would not get enough charge, which directly relates to the two.

Moreover, if you have had a Honda Odyssey for more than 4-5 years, your battery will not be as efficient as it used to be due to depreciation.

This means that you need to get it replaced from time to time.

Battery draining issues can create serious problems and need urgent attention because if it is not catered to, your car will start losing value.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Firstly, if it has been more than five years, you need to change the battery and bring in a new battery. Once you have a new battery, you need to give it time before it starts working effectively.
  • You can purchase a voltmeter and see if your battery is getting at least 12 volts of charge. If that is not the case and it shows a lower charge, you can invest in a new battery.
  • Provide a jumpstart to your battery. You give it a strong electrical charge to provide it with enough voltage. It is like bringing a patient back from a coma.

3: Damaged Alternator

We all know how important alternators are for every car. Just is the case with Honda Odyssey as well.

They need to make sure that their alternators are not damaged in any way. If the alternators stopped working, the car’s brain would stop working, which is its engine.

These two are directly related. You cannot possibly run a house without having any electricity.

The alternators in cars are important because they provide electricity to the engines of our cars.

Your alternator would only become an issue for you when you would have used the car for more than 300,000 miles. (Also, learn the average lifespan of your Honda Odyssey).

This is because alternators are particularly designed to be able to operate till this mileage.

At times, one might be unable to turn on their Honda Odyssey even though they bought a batter for it recently.

This tells you that it is not adjusting to the alternator of the car, and you might have to get a new one before this one loses value.

If we look into statistics, more than 25% of the Honda Odyssey cars have issues with their alternators and require fixing.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If you purchase a new alternator for your Honda Odyssey, it would cost you a lot of money. This is because you might get an alternator for a lower price than the labor cost of adjusting it in your car.
  • If you research enough in the market, you can find a cheaper solution for it as well. You will find people selling their used alternators, which are also in good condition.
  • It will match the engine used in your Honda Odyssey if you are lucky enough. However, you must beware of scams.

4: Corroded Wires

Energy or electricity needs a medium through which they travel in order to be supplied to the engine or the battery of that engine.

These mediums are formed by using different electrical wires. Honda Odyssey might not start because of a faulty engine.

This faulty engine might be because of a faulty alternator. This fault in your alternator would be because of the corroded wires.

Rust and dirt tend to make their way inside the components of your car pretty easily.

This often happens when you are driving in extreme weather or if you travel on a road that has salt on it. Rusting becomes an issue, and your wires are destroyed.

This means that the energy or electricity supply to your engine is haltered, which even gives a lower voltmeter reading.

It also leads to wastage of fuel one way or another and causes many different electrical problems in Honda Odysseys, such as dim lights.

It is absolutely essential to fix this before the issue gets out of hand and other wires in your car start getting corroded.

What Should You Do About It?

  • You need to make regular visits to your mechanic and service stations. Do not miss out on important schedules and touch up your car every now and then.
  • Avoid traveling on roads that have salt spread on them to reduce the impact of snow and melt it in some way.
  • Locate the damaged portion of the wire. Next, grab your scissors and cut that portion. Attach a new wire to that area and tape it to secure it properly.
  • If you can, try to prevent moisture from entering the internal components of your car because that would cause rusting.

5: Faulty Starter Motor

This is the last major problem that can stop your car from starting.

It has been reported by different customers that in 20% or more cases if their Honda Odysseys do not start, it is mainly because of a faulty starter motor.

This can be easily identified, unlike other issues which stop your car from starting. The main task that is conducted by a starter motor is to effectively rotate a combustion engine.

It allows the engine to make its own power by producing different forms of energy for it. These can be electric and even hydraulic.

In case your starter motor is at fault, you would often hear a clicking sound every now and then.

It would get worse when you would try to increase your speed or make your car put in a lot more energy.

It can also be identified while you are trying to start the car, but you hear clicking sounds coming from the bonnet.

You must understand that if this is happening after your car has been used for more than 15,000 miles, then you would have to replace your starter motor at any cost.

They are not built to be used for more miles than that.

What Should You Do About It?

  • You can first try to fix this by yourself. Try starting your car using your key. In the meanwhile, use a stick to tap on the starter. This usually tends to work for many cases of Honda Odysseys.
  • If this does not solve your problem, you can try other methods, such as consulting a mechanic. They might give you a new starter or replace it with one in decent condition but slightly used. You would be able to get it for a cheaper rate.
  • Take a trial period with your starter motors and see if your Honda Odyssey is able to adjust to it or not. This is because this is not a small investment. It can take as much as $1000 to get a new starter for your car.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why Won’t My Honda Odyssey Start With New Battery?

Often, I have heard people complaining about buying a new battery for their Honda Odyssey but even then, they experience similar issues.

This usually tends to happen if you have been scammed by the seller of the new battery and they have given you a cheap quality product.

Another issue is that your battery’s bolts or wires are a bit loose. Your alternator can fail to recognize the battery as well.

Moreover, give it a few weeks for your battery to adjust to the new engine.

Q2. Why Won’t My Honda Odyssey Start Even With A Jump?

Jumpstart is mostly used when your engine’s battery has drained.

If, after providing a jump start, your Honda Odyssey still does not start, then the issue is not with the car’s battery. It could be anywhere else.

The alternator of the car might be damaged, or the wires of the car might be corroded, as has been discussed in the above-given information.

You need a proper mechanic to figure the issue out.

Q3. Why Won’t My Honda Odyssey Start But Lights Work?

The issue in this case of the Honda Odyssey not starting is with its starter.

You might have noticed that even though your car is not starting, your infotainment system and front and back lights are working.

This means that the electrical system of your car is not faulty at all. It is mainly an issue with the starter motor.

It suggests that the voltmeter reading on the battery of the car would be low, but it would be enough to provide light for the car.

Q4. Why Won’t My Honda Odyssey Start But Cranks?

You do not have to worry about this. This cranking is what would hold some value for your Honda Odyssey.

You need to understand that if the car is not starting but is cranking, then this implies that the engine is not working, but other important systems such as electrical wiring or alternator are working just fine.

You must, however, be able to differentiate between the sound of cranking and clinking. This is because if your engine is clinking, then your starter motor is not fit for use.

Q5. Why Won’t My Honda Odyssey Start Just Clicks?

This means that your wires have probably corroded.

This can affect the entire electrical system of the Honda Odyssey, which is quite difficult to fix because of the dense wiring. This would also make the lights of your car dim.

However, this does not concern the electrical system only. This can also be an issue with the starter motor because that tends to produce a clicking sound as well.

Q6. Why Won’t My Honda Odyssey Start In The Cold Weather?

It has been established before in the article as well that during extreme weather, the engine tends to consume a lot more energy as it exerts more energy than before.

During cold weather, the battery of your car’s engine drains at a faster rate than before. It also tends to impact the fuel that you put in your car and the oil service of your car.

It becomes thicker and denser, which disrupts normal operations.

Q7. Why Won’t My Honda Odyssey Start After I Get Gas?

If your Honda Odyssey does not start even when your fuel tank is full, then this means that there is some leakage in your fuel tank or the fuel filter needs to be replaced.

You can even clean it yourself. There would be no point in constant refueling if your gas would keep leaking and not reach the engine.

Other problems might be with the alternator or the starter of your Honda Odyssey. These are a lot more expensive to fix but must not be avoided at any cost.

Q8. Why Won’t My Honda Odyssey Start But Radio Works?

This definitely means that the electrical system of your Honda Odyssey is completely fine. The wire are not corroded in any way and you do not need to open up the entire car to fix it.

It just means that the issue is with the alternator or starter motor of the car. This is a serious issue and must be catered to on an urgent basis.

Your battery or alternator system needs replacement as this is a situation of lack of voltage or power being sent to your engine.

Related: What Are The Worst Years For The Honda Odyssey?


There is no doubt that the Honda Odyssey has received a lot of compliments from its users.

It is, however, important for us to know that every car faces ups and downs, which they have to cater to in order to receive success in the coming future.

In case you have been wondering, “Why won’t my Honda Odyssey start?” then this article would have answered all your questions.

I hope you know all the problems and their solutions now.