MY 2001, 6 cylinder, HONDA ACCORD (200,000K miles) has for a couple of years randomly stalled at traffic signals. It has always been for just a few seconds, the engine will turn over, all dashboard lights are on but it has taken up to about 30 seconds to finally fire. I didn’t worry about it too much until last week when this happened only this time it wouldn’t start. BIGGER problem was that I couldn’t get the gear shift lever to shift from “Park” to “Neutral”, which meant the car was stuck sitting in the middle of the road and several burly men couldn’t budge it out of the way of traffic. After about 20 minutes, the car started and drove away like a dream. Had mechanic check it out - ran perfectly. Fast forward three days, I drive 3.5 hours seamlessly stop a couple of times with the car sitting a max of 10 minutes - no problem - stop third time with engine off, in park for only about a minute and the same situation, dash lights on, stuck in park, engine turns over, won’t start. Had lunch, an hour or so later it starts. Drive about five miles & turn up a steep grade on paved, residential road at about 25mph and the engine shuts off without any coughing, stuttering - just shuts off and I coast to the curb. Starts up in just a few seconds and has been running beautifully since, driving me and the mechanic nuts. Anyone have any ideas?
Replace the crankshaft position sensor and go from there.
I expect you have more than one problem. Are you remembering to step on the brake pedal while shifting out of Park? If “yes, you are remember to step on the brake pedal”, then for the transmission shift problem, it may be the brake interlock safety mechanism is on the fritz. Often this is fairly simple for a shop to correct.
As for the stalling problem … please explain what you mean by
“It has always been for just a few seconds, the engine will turn over, all dashboard lights are on but it has taken up to about 30 seconds to finally fire”
You say it is just for a few second, but what exactly is just for a few seconds? Do you mean the engine stalls briefly, the starts running again on its own? And if it is just a few seconds, how could it take 30 seconds to start running again? Or is that what you mean by a few seconds, on the order of 30 seconds?
Your car is under a Recall for problems with the ignition switch interlock mechanism. Hondas are also prone to ignition switch electrical current failures leading to random stalling or no-start conditions.
The interlock issue may be a freebie at any Honda dealer; the electrical issue related to stalling may not be. You might call the Honda dealer, provide the VIN, and go from there as to what can be done in regards to the Recall.
There are also other Recalls so ask that any applicable ones be done at the same time. It’s free so take advantage of it.
Thanks for the help, checked with dealer and no recall on my car
To clarify: By “seconds” I mean I have tried to start the car several times by turning the key. The engine turns, ignitions switch is strong, just won’t fire. Up until recently this only goes of for three or fours turns of the ignition then fires and no more problem for long periods of time. In one particular instance the car stalled, I cranked the engine several times (probably six to ten times) without the car starting - I let the engine sit and rest for 30 seconds ± , tried again and engine started up, car ran great. That was eight months ago, mechanic tried to find problem at that time but car wouldn’t duplicate problem.
Now engine has stalled while driving and the problem has become less of a annoyance and more of a safety issue.
There probably are two different issues going on unless there is an electrical failure that locks up the safety connected to keeping the car in park until engine is started.
Mechanic nor dealership can find the problem.
I would replace the main relay. Next time it won’t start, turn the key to on but not start for a few seconds. Turn it off and do it again. Then try to start it. If it starts, then it’s the fuel pump.
Problem was resolved by replacing the Main Relay Ignition Switch. The problem quickly accelerated to where the car was stalling every 2-3 miles in heavy traffic. Mechanic felt pretty confident that the problem was in the main relay & the car was no longer driveable, something had to be done. It has been running beautifully for several days.
Thanks for your comments, hope this discussion will help someone else!
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