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Discussion Starter #1
I have the classic "starter turns engine but car won't start" problem for my 1999 Ody.

http://www.odyclub.com/forums/24-1999-2004-odyssey/68803-immobilizer-problems-2.html

http://www.odyclub.com/forums/24-1999-2004-odyssey/148686-oddy-wouldnt-start-but-then-did.html

Numerous threads mention the immobilizer as a suspect. I'm hoping for confirmation from you all that it is not behaving correctly.

What I have now:

2 car keys (separated from each other)
In both cases, I put the key in the ignition, and turn on such that the ignition cluster lights are illuminated, but not far enough over to engage the starter.

When this happens, the immobilizer light stays on for about two seconds, then blinks until I turn off the key. I don't recall how it used to behave before this problem began today.

When I attempt to start the car I hear the fuel pump whirring, but the engine cranks (so the starter works) but will not start.

I bought the car used, and don't have a valet key. Are the batteries in the key unit related to the problem? Could the keys themselves be physically worn out?

I've checked the 15A fuel pump fuse (and confirmed I couldn't hear the fuel pump when the fuse was removed, and *could* hear the pump when the fuse was reinserted). Are there other fuses to check?

I can shift the car in and out of park.

How can I tell if the ignition switch vs. the immobilizer needs to be replaced?

Thanks!
 

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When you are cranking at it does not start, watch the green key symbol. If it flashes then you have immobi issue. If it goes out then the immobi recognizes the key as correct.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
When you are cranking at it does not start, watch the green key symbol. If it flashes then you have immobi issue. If it goes out then the immobi recognizes the key as correct.
Yep, it flashes while the engine cranks. So, does this definitely point to the immobilizer, or could the ignition switch be at fault? Thanks!
 

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Not the ignition. It is just a switch to command the cranking of the engine. Is it possible to get the van to dealer and see if they can re-program all keys to the immobilizer again? It may van hiccuped and lost the id recognization for the keys. Wierder things have happened.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ouch, the locksmith arrived with their $8500 reprogramming machine, and it was unable to reflash the system. The Ody still refuses to recognize the keys.

Any suggestions? I'm thinking at this point get a bypass and pray that solves the problem. Otherwise, I'm guessing I'm looking at having the immobilizer unit replaced?
 

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In response to your question about fuses, there are two you can check (that could be associated with the indicator light blinking during a no-start condition):

Fuse 1 (15amp) in the driver's side (under the dash) fuse box

Fuse 46 (15amp) in the under-the-hood fuse/relay box

Since it's a quick thing to check fuses, it wouldn't hurt to make sure those are OK before troubleshooting in a more systematic way. There is a trouble-shooting procedure for the immobilizer that is spelled out in the factory service manual - those two fuses are the only ones that seem to come into play...

Good luck.

P.S. Was any type of after-market remote start unit installed by the previous owner (even if you are not using it)?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm not aware of an after-market remote start unit. Is it possible one could be there and I wouldn't see it?

I've verified both fuses are OK.

I'll be working my way through the immobilizer troubleshooting section (page 22-239) - first order of business is yanking the steering column cover. Oh, joy.

I have to say, looking at the wiring diagram on page 22-238, I'm incredibly tempted to try to bypass the immobilizer altogether, somehow providing power to the Black/Yellow wire going to the fuel pump. Has anyone done this?
 

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There seems to be a Honda TSB that might be of interest.

TSB 05162005 - Engine Cranks Won't Start, Immobilizer Light Flashes
(NHTSA ID# 10016295)
Issued May 2005. (One site I found said it was applicable to 99-05 Odyssey - and various other Honda makes/models).

I can't find the text of that TSB so I don't know any details (or whether it would seem to be of use). The best I can find is reference to a bad battery for which the voltage is low (or becomes low while cranking) and causes the immobilizer system to misbehave, but the information is sparce (on various forums). Maybe worth a bit of time to google though - maybe you can find something more solid/informative than I have been able to find.

Good luck.
 

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By the way, the thought about an aftermarket remote starter was just that - a thought. But it would seem that if one were unknowingly hidden there then it could cause trouble if some connections/components had become compromised...

If it exists, you'll see it when you get in there to troubleshoot. Who knows, you might even find your valet key...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thought I'd follow up for all the poor ba**ards who have this problem in the future.

Turned out to be a combination of a) bad immobilizer unit and b) loose wiring

So, thanks Honda. I park my vehicles in a locked garage. My 1969 Ford F-100 and 1990 Accord don't require weird complicated computer garbage to function, and replacement keys for those cars cost around $3. A replacement key for 1999 Odyssey costs an order of magnitude more. And for what???

My *STRONG* preference is to bypass the entire immobilizer junk and giving the fuel pump voltage regardless of what the computer says. However, I haven't seen anyone who has done that before.

CAN ANYONE COMMENT WHO HAS BYPASSED THE IMMOBILIZER?

Key reason I ask is I could be traveling out in the middle of nowhere and this could happen again. I've lost all confidence in the Odyssey for reliability.
 

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This is the 2nd try at trying to post to this, ugh. I have a bypass kit in my Ody for the remote starter. You cut the data line so it runs through the unit, it learns the data code and sends it as needed. With some tweaking I would think you could make the bypass kit send the code every time you turn the key or maybe only when you need it. I'm not sure which one I have but here's some info below.

http://ifar.ca/download/3579/honda-sl3_installation_guide.rev-s.pdf
Amazon.com: Crimestopper HONDA-SL3 Self Learning PATS Data Bypass Kit: Automotive

http://www.wiringinstructions.com/v2/install_guides/IntelliKits/IM05/IM05-PKH2.pdf
 
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