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2002 Honda Accord shut off at stop light

My sons 2002 Honda Accord shut off a couple times when he came to a stop light. The brake, SRA, and engine lights came on. The car has about 168,000 miles. His mechanic says it’s most likely an electrical problem that he is unable to diagnose unless it broke down in front of him. Otherwise the car rides smoothly. I hope someone can offer advice. Can it be diagnosed and fixed? He is considering getting rid of it and desperately for advice.

could be as simple as a bad EGR valve, but I would think the car would also experience rough idling.

I would take a close look at the idle air control valve. A bad valve may prevent the engine to adjust the rpm to go to a soft idle speed as you apply the brakes or slow down. May be more prevalent when braking hard.

Honda accords of this vintage (all accords from model years 1998-2002 are 6th generation accords) are legendary for main relay problems. There are several YouTube videos on how to find and potentially fix it yourself like this one from Scanner Danner, Ericthecarguy There is also a possibility it is your ignition switch - do you have a lot of keys on your key ring? It is best not to have a heavy key ring or it can damage your ignition switch.

Here is a good link for more details on the main relay

To find out if the problem is with the Idle Air Control valve circuit, have him get in the habit of braking with his left foot while at the same time slightly stepping on the gas pedal with his right foot.

If doing this prevents the engine from stalling, the problem is in the IAC valve circuit.


Also legendary for this car are distributor problems. I would check the distributor as well as the cap and rotor.

Those dash lights coming on, if that happens after the engine has already stalled, that probably doesn’t mean anything. Normal in other words. Those come on with the key in “on” and the engine not running to allow the owner to verify the bulb is working is all. What you got to determine is whether the engine is stalling b/c it isn’t running properly (too low of idle speed, misfiring, etc) or if the ignition or fuel system is turning off for some reason. Does it every seem to almost stall out but not quite? That would indicate the engine isn’t running properly, and maybe all that’s needed is a tune up, new plugs, wires, air filter, etc. If it seems to be running fine, then stalls for no apparent reason, that would more likely by the latter, the ignition system or fuel system is shutting off. Ask your shop to show your son how to test for spark using a spare spark plug which he’ll carry in the trunk for when this happens.

There are a few things to look at. #1 culprit with these cars is the ignition switch. #2 may need a tune up. 4 cycle I think had a distributor. V6 I think was coil pack. #3 fuel pressure regulator could be going bad, though I have only seen it while driving full speed. #4 EGR clogged port. However the engine RPMs should be surging, and there would be a check engine light.

Regardless, V6 and I-4 models have the ignition switch failure. I have personally driven a similar accord I-4 and had this happen and replacement of the switch fixed it.