Need New Starter at 38K miles - Unofficial Honda FIT Forums


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Old 09-09-2017, 06:41 PM
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Need New Starter at 38K miles

2015 EX Fit.
So what causes a starter to fail after only 38K miles - 2K after the warranty expired?
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Old 09-09-2017, 07:11 PM
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Really bad luck?
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Old 09-09-2017, 07:33 PM
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Really bad luck?
Seriously. I'm at 47k and still good to go. Sorry your having to replace yours
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Old 09-09-2017, 07:59 PM
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need new starter at 95k miles. Bad luck.
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:09 PM
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$560 worth of bad luck.
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:39 PM
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Well, yours went longer than mine did. I had to have mine replaced at 22,000 miles.
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Peterjens View Post
2015 EX Fit.
So what causes a starter to fail after only 38K miles - 2K after the warranty expired?

It's called Maintenance Theory of Reliability.


It's not about the miles, but how many cycles of starting the car it went through. Parts are designed to go through a minimum of life cycles before replacement. If defective they will fail at an early stage. If cycled many times and reached the end of it's life cycle it will fail. This bathtub curve will explain it.





Only you know how many times your car has been started during those miles?
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Old 09-10-2017, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Rob H View Post
It's called Maintenance Theory of Reliability.

It's not about the miles, but how many cycles of starting the car it went through. Parts are designed to go through a minimum of life cycles before replacement. If defective they will fail at an early stage. If cycled many times and reached the end of it's life cycle it will fail. This bathtub curve will explain it.
A good argument for stress-testing the heck out of anything you buy before the new-product warranty expires, though I don't think anyone would foresee something like this.
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Old 09-10-2017, 10:52 AM
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A good argument for stress-testing the heck out of anything you buy before the new-product warranty expires, though I don't think anyone would foresee something like this.

Whoever manufactured it for Honda or Honda tested it to see how many times the average starter would cycle. I'm sure they have data that cars get started X amount of times every 1000 miles driven on average? They then decided if that was acceptable longevity before using it in production.

The point I was trying to make is that if the OP works 1 mile from his house then his car is probably started more per miles driven then the average. Likewise, if a car is used as a cab, Uber or some other transportation the car might get started less per mile than the average. Again it's how many time "He" starts his car per miles driven, not that it failed at 38K miles. Take for example tires. City cars turn and stop per miles driven more than a car that has long highway commutes. Tires generally wear out faster on cars that are city driven. It's just the way it works

Last edited by Rob H; 09-10-2017 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 09-10-2017, 12:32 PM
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A starter is little more than a basic electric motor with some gears and other mechanical stuff. It has an easy life compared to starters from years ago. Oil today is thin grade so engines spin over easily. Modern electronic ignition systems provide almost instantaneous start. If you add up all the times you start your car today, at perhaps 5 seconds per start, the starter does far less than one minutes worth of total work each day. There is no reason why a starter motor shouldn't easily last the life of the car. There is always an occasional random failure, but with good design and good quality control such failures should be extremely infrequent. That's not the impression that this thread gives.
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Old 09-10-2017, 01:01 PM
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On the other hand, if the engineers realize the starter will see less load than on a big carbureted V8, and they respond by making it lighter and less durable, you won't see any increased life for the part. Might save $10 per car, though.
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Old 09-10-2017, 01:24 PM
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True. The pressure on the engineers to save money and weight (for improved fuel economy) must be enormous. The small battery used in the Fit is a good example of this.
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Old 09-10-2017, 01:32 PM
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True. The pressure on the engineers to save money and weight (for improved fuel economy) must be enormous. The small battery used in the Fit is a good example of this.
I used to work for Chrysler. Engineers told me that every 100# was good for 1mpg in fuel economy. I seen Dart production from the start to the finish. Three floor pan changes during the production run. Each to save weight. Same thing was two different sunroof reinforcement designs. You can add cost into the equation. Some guy at the plant saved like 10 cents per vehicle and was employee of the month.
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Old 09-10-2017, 10:14 PM
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Unless you're using the vehicle for commercial purposes, 38K seems awfully early for a starter to go. Have you contacted Honda corporate? No harm in trying. You might get a complete reimbursement, or they might split the cost with you.
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Old 09-12-2017, 01:16 AM
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Originally Posted by bargainguy View Post
Unless you're using the vehicle for commercial purposes, 38K seems awfully early for a starter to go. Have you contacted Honda corporate? No harm in trying. You might get a complete reimbursement, or they might split the cost with you.
OP here. The Honda Service counter man told me that he has never seen a starter fail at 38K and that I should call Honda Customer Care. He said a customer complained about a drive train failure at low miles and got his $1200 refunded.

I have more time than money so I am going to contact HCC tomorrow and plead my case. I will update you on the results.

Thanks for all the replies.
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Old 09-14-2017, 12:47 PM
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OP here.
I wanted to update you on how Honda handled my complaint. Today, they offered me compensation with a Honda Loyalty (debit) card which can only be used for service and parts at Honda dealerships only. The loaded amount is $450 which almost covers the $497 bill for the starter replacement (and labor).

I consider this a good faith effort on behalf of Honda.

Thanks for all of your responses.
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Old 09-14-2017, 01:38 PM
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Good for you, glad you got something out of your early repair.
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Old 09-15-2017, 04:47 PM
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A very good reminder for those who are in favor of stop/start engine to conserve fuel. You may save a few pennies on gas, but in the end replacing the starter will cost you much more.
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Old 09-15-2017, 05:26 PM
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I would assume that for newer cars which are designed to automatically shut off the engine when you come to a full stop and then instantly start the engine again when you put your foot on the gas that the engineers have taken this additional starter wear and tear into account and have designed heavier duty starters. ........ on second thought maybe in the future I'll just avoid buying any such cars especially since it is also additional wear and tear on other associated components like the battery.
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Old 09-15-2017, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by woof View Post
I would assume that for newer cars which are designed to automatically shut off the engine when you come to a full stop and then instantly start the engine again when you put your foot on the gas that the engineers have taken this additional starter wear and tear into account and have designed heavier duty starters. ........ on second thought maybe in the future I'll just avoid buying any such cars especially since it is also additional wear and tear on other associated components like the battery.
your assumption would be logical, but then, heavy duty starter and battery will obviously cost more when you have to replace them. The term heavy duty doesn't always implies longer lasting, but because the application requires it. When the situation arises where I want to shut down the engine, it's no big deal for me to twist that key in my LX.

Last edited by wasserball; 09-15-2017 at 05:48 PM.
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