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Help!! Can't figure out electrical problem...(2000 Odyssey)

12244 Views 13 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  jondotcom
Ok...I am at a loss and need help.

My van has decided to stop working all together randomly. No power. I checked the battery cables and figured that was the problem because the battery itself is new. So I purchased and replaced the ground cable because it looked pretty bad. The positive cable looks ok. Once I did that it started up fine. Then when I turned it off all power was lost. Turn the key....nothing. I waited...tried again and it had power, but turned over once sluggishly and then nothing.

The weird thing is it works fine and then suddenly does nothing. It has happened to us 3 or 4 times. Runs fine one trip > next NO power > next "little" power then dies > remove battery cable, re-attach it > works normal > process repeats...

Anyone have any idea??? Is this a wiring problem? Computer problem???
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Probably not computer. Most likely battery connection or ignition switch.
I am pretty sure it is not the ignition switch. It is a total power loss, not just, lights, doors..everything. I replaced the negative cable with a new one today. Worked great, then nothing second time. Did not even touch the positive cable.
Any chance the new battery could be faulty?
At least measure the voltage at the battery and see if the new battery is the culprit. What about the so called "main relay"? Honda are known for them going bad.
I think most of the Honda relays that act up are the main fuel pump relay.
I will check the battery voltage today. I have a voltmeter, but not sure exactly how to check the voltage at all the connections from the battery...any tips?
I checked the voltage on the battery by touching the +(meter) to the + (terminal) and the - (meter) to the frame beside the nothing... however when I touch the ground wire that is screwed on I get voltage. Note that I touched the frame right beside where the ground is screwed on.

Touched the + (meter) to the + (terminal) and then the -(meter) to the block and I get voltage. Being the newbie I am, does this info help anyone??
Ok...I discovered that I was touching the painted part of the frame. Touched the unpainted part and the voltage is there. It seems that I can take off the terminals and reconnect and it starts up. Then will not start the second or sometimes third time like the battery is dead. Remove the terminals...reconnect. Starts up. Could a bad battery do something like that?? I had it checked at autozone and they said the battery was good.
ignition switch should be checked
Make sure the inside part of the terminals and outside of battery posts are clean. They should shine. If that doesn't help then put your meter on one of the main wires to the fuse box and ground (the meter) for monitoring. It should be close to 12volts or more all the time. I think the Main relay is only for fuel injection. Do the headlights work when this happens?
The headlights do not work. It is a total loss of power. I cleaned off the terminals again and followed the positive cable and cleaned where it leads off of a small fuse box. After that the van is running fine. Restarted about 10 times to check. So far things are good...we will see.
Glad it appears to be fixed. Typically if the lights go out too and then come back it's a dirty terminal.
I'd still replace the electrical portion of the ignition switch. You'll know it's that if you have a total loss of power while driving too. It's common for your van to have worn out the replacement even if your first was replaced under a service bulletin (mine had been).
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