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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I apologize if this post is redundant, but I've scrolled through recent threads and haven't found an exact match for my situation. Was hoping someone with a bit more experience could point me in the right direction. Thanks in advance!

Our '99 Ody has begun intermittently cutting out - initially only wouldn't start when the "green key" didn't flash in the dash, but would turn over with healthy vigor.

While trying to start it, we'd have to jiggle the column around until the green light popped on or simply wait, stranded somewhere, until ol' Bessie decided to recognize our key again - inconvenient but we made it work.

Most recently however, it actually cut power to the vehicle while we were driving - driving on the highway and all of a sudden the dash went dark and we had no power steering or anything. It was dramatic, to say the least.

Ol' Bessie is currently parked until we can resolve the issue.

Initially, based on the symptoms, a non honda mechanic friend recommended replacing the ignition starter switch cable & immobilizer control module near the tumbler. I picked the cable up new and picked the Immobilizer from a salvage yard off of a wrecked 02 Ody today - uncoupled the battery terminals and installed both parts without incident.

However, upon recoupling, the dash displayed no green key light and would not start (still healthy turnover though).

When this failed to allow me to start the vehicle, I reinstalled the original immobilizer because I didn't know if perhaps each module needs to be programmed to recognize a specific key and decided to ask y'all for some help.

I traded for the starter cable but the immobilizer cost me $80 today and I dont have endless funds to throw at guessing and checking.

The yard did say if the immobilizer didn't work he'd allow me to bring it back for a credit to use on another part, but no refunds, of course - I was just wondering if that is part of the whole assembly and I just needed to go ahead and pull a salvaged steering column instead of a single part like that?

I'm out of ideas - and on a super tight budget - my brother used to help guide me through this kind of stuff but I moved recently and now I'm kinda on my own.

Several threads I read discussed some owners having new ignition switches installed by Honda bc of a recall of the ignition switch, and others later commented saying that their "fixes" eventually went bad and had to be re-reinstalled many times - does it sound like that's my issue? And if this is the case, does anyone know how I could find out if Honda will cover the replacement of a second faulty ignition switch? I called the 1800 number for Honda of America but hit a dead end when it told me to enter my VIN into the honda website (which I did - but only showed "all recalls have been addressed for this VIN") - Perhaps this was the case previously, but it has not seen a dealer while I've been driving it, except to reprogram a key in an effort to address the issue months back.

If anyone might have some advice about what it is exactly that I'll need if I wanted to try to replace the recalled item myself (like maybe which part, specificall, Ill need to order from Rockauto.Com or somewhere similar? (I was thinking purchasing brand new will be best here).

I apologize if I'm using incorrect terminology, I'll attach photos of what has been done thus far for reference.

Thank you again for any advice or reading suggestions!




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The starter switch cable thats been replaced.

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The salvaged immobilizer replaced and then removed today.

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I wasn't sure if this belonged with the immobilizer so I picked it along with and tried starting with / without replacing this as well, to no avail.

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This is what the dash looks like when it won't start (no green key).
 

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The ignition switch is a common failure which usually kills the engine at random times. Jiggling the key while it's running will sometimes make it happen. That switch is on the left side of the columns opposite the key, you can pop it off and look inside for burnt contacts. You can check if the ignition wire is getting voltage through this switch if you know which wire it is, black/yellow and yellow maybe? So which cable did you replace?

If the green key light stays on for a bit then goes out it's not the immobilizer stopping it from starting. The piece you replaced looks to be the pickup which doesn't fail often as far as I can tell. The key itself can fail as it's supposed to put out a signal. Having a second to try helps of course.

Can you hear the fuel pump run for a bit when you first turn the key? It should, if not you can check the solder joints on the main relay. Search here and you will find pictures and such of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for taking the time to read through my jumbled post.

The cable was actually provided and replaced by our mechanic friend before he sent me to get the immobilizer - but it was in the steering column and ran all the way down through it - is that the "ignition switch" the recall was referring to?

We do have a second key without a fob, but the failure to pop up the green key light in the cluster happens with both keys, unfortunately.

Right now I'm worried about driving it in case the sudden failure happens again - So tough to diagnose without taking it out to test but I don't want to risk an accident or getting stranded and have to tow it.

I'll check for the fuel pump sound as I begin tinkering tomorrow!

Thanks again!
 

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The ignition switch has something like 5 wires coming out of it. It then goes down to the fuse box near the driver's left foot. The cable is 2' long or so.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Hm, made a little progress today - while I'm pretty sure the fuel pump can be heard initially, I may still check the main tomorrow, thanks for that pointer!

In other news, it seems the random shut down is probably separate from the "green key" issue - as the dealership mechanic was kind enough to indicate over the phone that the car only sometimes showing the green key light and then at other points not showing it; points to a faulty immobilizer, but I guess the unit I'd picked yesterday does have to be programmed to the key (or vice versa?) which is good-ish news, except they were unclear as to what my options were for having that done.

I was told any Honda key should work, ( perhaps I could buy a blank and have it cut/programmed by a locksmith?)

As the vehicle will not turn on with the new immobilizer installed, Would you happen to know if reprogramming is possible to have done by a non-dealership related locksmith? Or is their software set up to ensure that one would have to visit a dealership to have it done?

I guess the other option is to get it to the dealership, sit out in the parking lot and install the new part, then go in and ask for a reprogramming? Haha

The quote wasn't bad - the dealership wanted about $90 to do one key, but the hassle of swapping in their parking lot is what gives me pause because they'd said they'll have to "approve" the part I'm installing? Idk.

What would you do? I guess I could just plan to make a few calls to locksmiths to get an idea tomorrow!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The ignition switch is a common failure which usually kills the engine at random times. Jiggling the key while it's running will sometimes make it happen. That switch is on the left side of the columns opposite the key, you can pop it off and look inside for burnt contacts. You can check if the ignition wire is getting voltage through this switch if you know which wire it is, black/yellow and yellow maybe? So which cable did you replace?

If the green key light stays on for a bit then goes out it's not the immobilizer stopping it from starting. The piece you replaced looks to be the pickup which doesn't fail often as far as I can tell. The key itself can fail as it's supposed to put out a signal. Having a second to try helps of course.

Can you hear the fuel pump run for a bit when you first turn the key? It should, if not you can check the solder joints on the main relay. Search here and you will find pictures and such of it.
I found the main relay today - i wondered if that one brown, distorted solder point on the mid right might be an issue?

Also, Is the fuel pump relay incorporated into that main relay or do i need to look in a separate area?


20190606_165320.jpg
 

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The picture is to fuzzy to see the joints. Cracked ones are usually easily distinguished. This is the only one that has issues. The programming parts I don't have much knowledge on but you have issues with both keys so not sure if spending money on a key is worth it.

You do need 12v on those ignition switch wires for it to start.
 

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The fuel pump relay is integrated into the main relay. The failure of that solder joint is very common.
 
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