2004 Honda Accord

I have a 2004 Honda Accord LX where the electrical system will spontaneously cut out.

This all started at least about two months ago when my wife was driving the car, and right before she turned into a parking spot the car completely stalled out. The keys locked in the ignition until a good samaritan turned the wheel, started up the car and she was able to park it.

I drove the car home with no ill effects, and replaced the battery the next day. I believe that we had a similar problem maybe a couple years ago and we also replaced the OEM battery with one from Walmart.

Today I was driving the car and pulling off the interstate when the car “flash” stalled. Meaning the radio cut out, the navigation turned off and the dash lights went out, for .1 seconds. The car did not stall completely.

When I got home, right before I pulled into my driveway, it happened again. This time I think the car came close to actually stalling.

For way of background, I verified the current battery has ~12.6 volts with the car off, and 14.1 running. There is also no corrosion around the battery nodes, and the wires appear fine.

I did not however perform the PCM idle learn procedure as I had not done that before.

So does anyone have any ideas what could be causing this? Is it possible that the first walmart battery was a dud? I live in Sacramento where it does get quite hot and the car is black.

Does anyone think I should disconnect the battery and try the PCM idle learn procedure as that could that be the cause?

Is it a bad alternator or voltage regulator?

This could be related to the electrical part of the ignition switch, which many Honda are under a Recall for.

Even if your vehicle is not one affected by the Recall keep in mind that similar make/model cars can and do suffer the same problems as the Recalled ones.
There is a lot of politics involved in Recalls and car makers try their best to limit the scope of those Recalls.

Main relays are also a problem and while it may cause a stall it should not affect the radio or lighting.
(And speaking of lighting, I think this model is under another Recall for that.)

Did you check BOTH ends of each battery cable? Cables may look OK but may have internal problems. You might try moving the cables a little when you are having a problem.

This reminds me of something that happened to me. My car would occasionally die for less than a second and then come right back. I didn’t know what to do, so I replaced the ignition switch, but that didn’t fix the problem.

I found that there was severe corrosion where the battery cable connected to the underhood fuse block, as well as inside the fuse block. Battery voltage was good, and the connection to the starter was good, but everything behind that fuse block had low voltage. I found the low voltage problem using a voltmeter to test the regular fuse block and tracked it forward to the underhood fuse block.

You should check all of the cables, as Mr. Meehan suggests. You might also check the voltage downstream in the electrical system, such as at the fuse block, since corrosion may not be visible.

Other than that, I would suspect the electrical part of the ignition switch.

Here’s the Dept. of Transportation site you want:


You can check for safety recalls related to the electrical system and even just complaints. You can also file a complaint, which can eventually lead to a recall. If you don’t tell DOT what problems exist, they won’t know.

the same things happened to my 03 Accord, after replacing the battery, then we replaced the alternator. we got a PCM code from the computer, and the dealership claimed it was because it wasn’t a certified honda battery. Honda had no idea- the car was unreliable and I no longer have it. No one is willing to do diagnostics without any error codes from the car. I would try to voltage regulator, we didn’t try that with mine!