Won't start, key light flashes
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Thread: Won't start, key light flashes

  1. #1
    dgs
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    Won't start, key light flashes

    For the second time this month my wife has not been able to start our Ody. Cranks away, but will not go. No lights on the dash to indicate a computer error code. We're 170 miles from our 100K certified powertrain warranty being up.

    The first time it happened she kept trying and it did finally start. Today, at home in the garage thankfully, it just wouldn’t go. She called me and said she had been trying for about 8 minutes with no luck. She said that the ‘key’ light (immobilizer) on the dash was flashing after each attempt, which she didn’t remember seeing before. On a whim, I had her go inside and get the valet key. She did, and it started right away with the valet key. She tried again with her regular key and it started then too. The immobilizer light did not flash after the van started. Hmmm.

    Anyone have any ideas? The van was in for service about a month ago. It got some emission solenoid valve replaced (warranty) and the ignition switch recall taken care of. Could the immobilizer somehow gotten messed up during the ignition switch fix? I’m going to try to get it in ASAP just to get it on record.
    DGS (aka salguod)
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    2010 Saturn Outlook XR - Cocoa Brown with black leather interior
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    Gone:
    1999 Odyssey EX - 203,000 total miles
    1993 Escort LX - 184,000 total miles

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  3. #2
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    Wow. The EXACT same thing happened to my wife a couple years ago, a few times over the course of a couple months. Then it quit, never to re-appear.

    Go figure.

    BTW, your powertrain warranty won't cover the immobilizer system...

  4. #3
    Registered User William Wiles's Avatar
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    From the manual:
    If the proper key is used the light will come on for 2 seconds and go off.

    If the wrong key is used or code not recognised the light comes on for 2 seconds then will blink until the ignition is turned off.

    If the ignition switch is turned off the indicator will blink for 5 seconds to indicate that the imobilizer system has been set correctly then will go off.

    Large metal objects, key fobs, other imobilizer keys, and other transponders can interfer with the imobilizer signal. If an intermitent program is suspected , remove the key from the key ring.

    If you both have keys swap to determine if one is bad. It could have an intermitent connection internally. As stated take it off the key ring so nothing is interfering and don't have anything hanging around the column.......
    2004 EX Odyssey.
    All posts made by me are in reference to the gen 2 Odyssey.

  5. #4
    dgs
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    William,

    Thanks for the info. I was at work when I posted and didn't have access to my owners manual. I've since gotten home and read the same thing. I think it's either a fluke, like Adam said (maybe it's a Columbus thing ) or a bad key. It could be something interfering, I was wondering about those little store coupon cards she has on her ring. For now, she's going to carry the valet key with her just in case.

    Adam - I realized that the immobilizer would be out of warranty, but if it was something else ... Doesn't sound like it. All things point to the immobilizer.

    Thanks.
    DGS (aka salguod)
    Visit my blog.
    2010 Saturn Outlook XR - Cocoa Brown with black leather interior
    2005 Mazda3 - Sunlight Silver, 5 door
    1960 Thunderbird Convertible - Raven Black, Red leather, 17" Boyd Junkyard Dogs
    1995 Jayco 1207KB

    Gone:
    1999 Odyssey EX - 203,000 total miles
    1993 Escort LX - 184,000 total miles

  6. #5
    Registered User GenOne's Avatar
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    Setting your cell phone in the proximity of the steering might could cause trouble too.

    I went bananas at the car wash when the Odyssey wouldn't restart. . .Then noticed the 'KEY' icon blinking at me. I had swapped keys with the non-immobilizer spare, which is only good for unlocking the vehicle.

    Doh ! !
    :-) '98 Odyssey

  7. #6
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    saved me a tow

    After having transmission replaced in my 02 last week, flat tire the next day (2nd time I've had flat tire on day after honda service!). We drove all weekend no problems- When I was ready to pick up the kids from school- same thing- cranked just fine, obviously not battery- but engine would not fire. I was ready to scream. Waited 2 hours (had to ask neighbor to go get children) and it started just fine. Husband came home, tried it, wouldn't start, same deal. Decided we would try again in morning and either tow it or drive in for service. Then I read this post and tried other keychain. Voila! One key (that I have always used) doesn't work now.
    Last edited by rphjem; 11-16-2005 at 07:13 AM.

  8. #7
    Registered User GenOne's Avatar
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    Getting those keys near strong electromagnetic fields can trash them . . Even holding them against your cell phone when you press SEND can take out the chip, or setting the keys on the security tag neutralizer at the checkout of a store.

    Your dealer might be able to re-enroll your key, but they'll still charge you at least a half-hour shop time. Might as well have them do up another fresh key as well since you only pay for the extra parts.

    You know about the floppy key rings, right?
    :-) '98 Odyssey

  9. #8
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    Honda service replaced pcm and reprogrammed key when they replaced transmission, but didn't bother to tell me or reprogram other keys. They apologized and gave me a free oil change card when I went back in.
    Thanks for info about cell phones etc. I'll watch out for that too.
    Who knows how long it would have taken me to figure this out without help of forum. This is the 1st time in 4 years I had any trouble with keys, even keep key to husbands Accord on same ring.

  10. #9
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    Unhappy

    Add me to the list of keys going bad...

    4 days ago, our 01 wouldn't start. Thinking it was a bad battery, I went and got a new battery and installed it. It drove good after the battery was installed(in hindsight, it was fine because we were using my key.) Then around 9:00 pm my wife called from work to tell me the van wouldn't start Luckily we had a friend over, so I stayed with our kids while the friend picked up my wife. When they got here, I went back to the van, and it would not start. Frustrated, I had to leave the van overnight at her work.

    After getting home, I couldn't figure out what was wrong, so I went digging on this forum, and found this thread. I didn't know if it truely was my wife's key or not, so the first thing this morning I went back and tried my key, and it started right up

    After bringing it home, I shut the van off, and tried her key with no luck. At this time, I also observed the flashing key light as well. I tried for a few minutes with no luck(now none of our keys would work.)

    I then went to the local dealer, and the service manager thinks that I had flooded the engine while trying my wife's key this morning(I tried it for a good couple of minutes.) While there, the parts manager re-programmed her key to match mine. When I got home about 1 hour later, the van started right up with no problem.

    The only thing I can figure is that she had the spare key to my 00 Accord on her keychain. That must have messed up her key. The parts manager said that having another Honda key on your keychain is definately a no-no. We learned a vaulable lesson from this...
    Last edited by Justin in Ohio; 11-26-2005 at 03:58 PM.

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