Replaced Main Relay and Still Clicking

Joined
Aug 24, 2007
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Virginia
I have battery fully charged but it is an old Honda battery. I hooked up a battery charging, up to 40 amps and tried 10 amps charging and the clicking is there still so probably not the battery?

I ordered oem SL part from Japan. Popped it in and it still clicks when I turn ignition on.

If I hold gas. The car will start and idle. But cut off again after a while of idling.

Any ideas? This is the first time in 11 years of not be able to drive my NSX headache free weekly.
 
Joined
Nov 3, 2011
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Saskatchewan, Canada
I am guessing that you have confirmed that the clicking is actually coming from the main relay because, depending on the vintage of the car there are other things that can generate clicking noises.

As MotorMouth93 notes, the ignition switch is a possible candidate. It is a bit of a back kinking exercise to get it out; but, other than that not incredibly hard to remove. Once out, it is fairly easy to pop the white cover off and examine the electrical contacts. This is mine after 20 years of use.

IMGP4082.JPG

I removed mine to repair problems caused by a previous, badly done security system installation, not because the actual switch contacts had failed. The failure on my switch wiring could certainly cause the problems you are experiencing.

IMGP4077.JPG

The contacts in the switch are quite robust and I expect that most switch problems are caused by dirt rather than actual contact wear. You can clean the contacts using a cotton swab with iso propyl alcohol and then apply some GB Oxgard (Home Depot, Lowes, ....) to the contacts. Oxgard is an electrically conducting grease which helps to block surface oxidation and reduces the resistance of the contact path. Do not use dielectric grease on the contacts. New switches are not (were not?) very expensive and given the inconvenience of switch R&R it is not unreasonable to just get a new one ahead of time and install it. However, given supply issues and price changes, cleaning may be a more attractive option.

It is possible that the switch is the problem; however, there are other possibilities, bad electrical connections being my favorite. When the clicking starts, what is happening on your dash? Is the voltmeter flickering at all and are the dash indicator lights flickering. I can't remember whether a brief power interruption will trigger the ECU to go through the power on test for the MIL. If the ignition switch fix does not fix the problem, I would check your + and - battery post clamps to make sure that they are clean and tight. Honda battery cable clams are notorious for being easily damaged. Also, check the electrical connections at the alternator.
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2007
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Virginia
I hooked up the jumper/charger to the engine bay ground posts, so this should bypass faulty front battery connection, or am I mistaken?

The dash lights flicker with the clicking which is definitely coming from the passenger side relay that I replaced.

When I get the car to start by holding gas down, the dash volt meter reads about 15ish. I have noticed that sometimes it reads slightly lower than that.

I will check the alternator connections as you mentioned and then last resort pull the ignition switch. Good to hear that it's usually just dirty contacts for this piece.
 
Joined
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Thanks for the swift reply gentlemen. 15 mins of work, cleaning the ignition switch did the job.

My symptoms before the clean was that if I was gentle with the ignition key and turned it forward a few mm, It would start and if it tapped the key just slightly, it would shut the car off and click as mentioned. My preloaded gas pedal had nothing to do with the the start up
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
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Sunny SW
Yes, glad it worked out. This happened to me as well, I was visiting a friend and when it was time to leave the car could start but would not stay on. A relative who was with me noticed something by listening after my many tries and suggested after cranking/starting, to then turn but hold the key just shy of the ON position and voila, it stayed running (i.e. held the cleaner portion of contacts in place). We were then able to drive another 15 miles with him holding the key in place. After disassembling/cleaning the ignition switch it's worked fine ever since. That was 11 years ago and the issue has not returned.
 
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Joined
May 20, 2021
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Yes, glad it worked out. This happened to me as well, I was visiting a friend and when it was time to leave the car could start but would not stay on. A relative who was with me noticed something by listening after my many tries and suggested after cranking/starting, to then turn but hold the key just shy of the ON position and voila, it stayed running (i.e. held the cleaner portion of contacts in place). We were then able to drive another 15 miles with him holding the key in place. After disassembling/cleaning the ignition switch it's worked fine ever since. That was 11 years ago and the issue has not returned.
We will try this when we start working on my friend's new NSX project. Still waiting for it to return from the tire mounting and balancing. The previous owner mentioned about the clicking noise on the passenger side. Hope it's also just the ignition switch.
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
887
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Sunny SW
We will try this when we start working on my friend's new NSX project. Still waiting for it to return from the tire mounting and balancing. The previous owner mentioned about the clicking noise on the passenger side. Hope it's also just the ignition switch.

Please keep us posted with your findings and continue to load up this knowledgebase.
 
Joined
Jan 30, 2022
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I'm experiencing similar issues, I did a search and didn't find the an article with the same behaviour as mine.

My car only seems to start with a battery booster connected, my tired battery it is expected perhaps, but bought a brand new battery today 60 amp and 550 CCA and that will only start with the battery booster.

I will check the ignition switch, where will find it? Guessing under the drivers side of the dash? most likely near the ignition key i'm guessing?

Thanks.
 
Joined
Jan 30, 2022
Messages
34
I'm having similar issue...

I might have found the cause, although the issue does still exist it's 100 times better.

Going to the positive connected, there is both the cable from the fuse box, the other goes directly to the starter motor (assuming i have read the manual correctly)

Some numpty (not shaming the garage at this point, as I've had to repair so many of their mistakes) had crimped both of mine together and then clamped them down on to the battery terminal. My battery terminal is domed and designed for a round cable to clamped down, not two cables in a large crimp. the crimp sat inside the recess but only made contact on the corners top and bottom. Meaning it had very small contact area. Made some shims out of thin metal, actually folded it in half with a smaller piece between the fold to make it fill the gap better.

It went from only starting with a battery booster to starting 9/10 times without one.

I'm going to look at new battery terminal going forward for the positive.

I also checked my grounds, the cable from the solnoid to the starter and the cable to the starter. Giving them all a clean and making sure they are tight wouldn't hurt.
 
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