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Discussion Starter #1
My 2003 Odyssey has eaten my key and won't unlock those jaws of death in the tumbler OR LET ME START MY OWN CAR! AAARGH!. Why you ask? Well, I wish I knew but I can tell you it has something to do with the fact that my Van, even though the shift indicator indicates that it is in P, it is not. If it were truly in P, it would lock my steering wheel (and it's not) and it would let me have my dang key back. Anyone know what is to blame here? Electrical? Mechanical? Electromechanical? Brake switch possibly as is common in the Accord from this gen? I wish I would have checked that when I was at my stranded car but did not think of testing my brake lights to see if they work (which would confirm functionality of brake switch which is connected to the process of putting the vehicle all the way in Park and releasing the key.

Or... it could be something completely different.

I've heard Honda really ate it hard with this generation and key cylinder issues and premature failure. Totally unacceptable as they charge between $7000 - $900 to fix it and take advantage of a customer in distress.

COULD SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME WITH THIS!? Thanks in advance guys!
 

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Try the shift lock release under the small rectangle black plastic cover on top of the steering column. See if that frees up your key or allows you to shift into P to remove your key.
 

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Did you try starting it in neutral or anything near it in case the linkage is messed up? It sounds like the linkage may be your issue. I'm pretty sure having a brake switch issue would mean you couldn't get it out of park but wouldn't stop you from putting it into park.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The key is actually completely stuck, in position and in not being able to take it out. It is stuck between true "0" and the 1 position and will not move no matter what so we can't even start the car. Does this help?
 

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Ah, I see what you are saying. You may want try a locksmith. May be cheaper and some will go to you. It's definitely not the brake switch, maybe a jammed tumbler. You could try tapping on it to see if it will release, the keys are pretty strong. BTW, the common ignition issue is the actual switch which is on the opposite side of the column. Unless it somehow fried I'd assume it's the key side. The bottom cover is easily removed so you can look at the mechanism with a flash light. I changed the switch on mine in under an hour, would have been much quicker but one of the wires is tough to route. Attached is a picture I pulled from Bernardi Honda, #8 is the switch and you can see the key easy enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Exactly what went wrong with your Oddy requiring you to replace the ignition switch? Was it slow and building or all of a sudden?

It very well could be tumbler related as my wife tells me it has become increasingly more difficult to put the key in and take it out. She thinks our youngest was putting the mail key in the ignition and screwed it up internally. But I know these ignitions fail all the time without anyone doing anything to them.
 

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The symptom I had was the engine would sometimes shut off while driving. If I wiggled the key enough the engine would die. The actual movement of the key has always been smooth on ours. Keep us posted, kinda curious ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I will indeed keep you posted. I think we are going to have to order a new cylinder and key.

My question is, do I need to have the key removed from this current cylinder in order to remove the entire thing?

Or can I just remove it and slap in the new cylinder, which Honda calls a Combo Switch part number 35100-S0X-A12. Just doing the ignition, not the entire car like the guy in this post did:
http://www.honda-tech.com/showthread.php?t=2843229

It's really a shame Honda couldn't build this part right using harder more resilient metal/materials so this part would not wear out. If they wanted to, they could have made this part bullet proof for 1 million miles by spending only a few more bucks. Sorta pisses me off a company like Honda pulling this stunt and not accepting responsibility for it. Honda of N. America since about 99 has been pulling crap like this. Same with Toyota, same with Nissan, (The American car companies were doing it long before then). It's just unacceptable.

I'll let you know how this fares. Advice appreciated.

http://www.hondaautomotiveparts.com...EX&catcgry4=KA5AT&catcgry5=COMBINATION+SWITCH
 

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Have you tried putting in a small "puff" of powdered graphite?

It's worked for me before on stubborn locks. It doesn't gum up stuff like a spray. Just pondering a way out for you. It's available at Kragen type car stores.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I did try the graphite, no dice. It is really stuck in there good -- whatever tumbler fell down it aint moving. bugger and bollocks!
 
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