Back in July I wrote about my Honda Civic being 10 years old and going strong with no major issues. That apparently was a catalyst for trouble.
In September my cruise-control switch assembly failed. I use the cruise control constantly, so that was annoying. I found the part on Amazon and managed to replace it myself with only a little trouble. I stripped (about 80%) one of the mounting bolts that holds the airbag assembly to the steering wheel and only barely managed to get it removed. So I popped over to the dealer (in the van) to get a replacement bolt. And I was back in business. Total cost ~$50 and a Saturday morning. Not too bad.
But, over the past couple of months I started having trouble starting the car, but only occasionally. Then it started happening more often. Then I realized it seemed to have the most trouble trying to restart when the engine was already hot. Once it was running it was great, so I figured it probably wasn’t the battery or alternator. I could hear the fuel pump running, so I figured that made it less likely to be the culprit. My guess was on the starter. The first shop I took it to that had good reviews wanted $65 just to diagnose if it was the alternator or not. So I took it to a parts store and they tested the battery and alternator for me and said they were fine. They also said the starter was fine. But they were wrong.
Over the weekend I was talking with Jess to figure when this week would be least inconvenient to drop it at the shop (a different shop, recommended by a co-worker) to be diagnosed and fixed. A discussion which became moot when I tried to go to work Monday morning and it wouldn’t start at all. So then I had to pay for a tow truck to take it to the shop ($90). The shop called today to say it needs a starter for $403. Ouch. The price is mostly labor because it’s apparently a complete pain to get at the starter.
Here’s hoping that’s all it needs for another few years.