2006 Honda Pilot acted like it turned on...while already running?

While driving my car acted as if it had just turned on. The motor remained running but all the lights went on as if the car just started. There was also a lerch that felt as if it was trying to get in gear. It has done this twice now while driving. Any idea what is going on?

It sounds like the engine is momentarily stalling.

How many miles are on the car?
Is the maintenance up to date?
Has any work been done recently?
Have you gotten a Check Engine Light?
Are there any other anomalies?

There is 230,000 miles on it. The matinance is up to date and there has not been any recent work done. Last work was about six months ago, tune up for 200,000 miles done.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Just for fun, run by an auto parts store and ask them to check for codes. We don’t want to assume there aren’t any, when it could just be that the CEL bulb isn’t working.

You mean the dash warning lights came on for a moment? That sounds like a malfunction of the ignition switch. KInda iffy to diagnose. If you have a different key, try it, without other keys dangling from it, and see how it goes.

Does that happen when first starting out from a cold start? Cold start means the first start of the day. If it only happens then, and not once the engine is warmed up, that might provide some clues for the folks here. I’ve had a similar symptom on my Corolla when it is cold on cold starts where I’ll get going, then all the dash-lights come on and it feels like the engine is stalling, b/c the engine rpm got too slow and the engine computer thought it had indeed stalled, so it turned the dash lights on. In my case the problem is that the cold idle rpm is too low.

This could be simple problem of the battery cables or the posts are corroded and this causes a momentary loss of power from the battery.
A momentary loss there would light up all the warning lights as if you just switched off the key and turned it right back on as fast as you could.


My first thought was an ignition switch problem. Not unheard of for Hondas.

Some Pilots are under a Recall for the switches but that had to do with the Interlock; not electrical contacts. Many Hondas have/had issues with electrical contacts in the switches.

However, many cars not under a Recall suffer the same problems as the Recalled ones. Recalls are heavily political with the end game being to have as few cars called back as possible. It’s all about the money.