My '99 Accord has developed a bad habit of shutting itself off while I’m driving. The first time this happened was a few months ago. The engine shut off and the key light flashed, as if I had turned the key to shut the car off. The radio and lights remained on. It started again without incident.
In the last month, it has been happening more frequently. I have noticed that sometimes I am unable to get the engine to turn over the first time. This is always followed by the car shutting off at some point while I’m driving.
Today, I was unable to start my car the first few times I tried and it shut off three or four times on my five minute trip home. The radio, lights for the A/C and windows all still had power. I had trouble restarting the car after each incident but did eventually get it going again.
Does anyone know what the problem is? Maybe it’s just time for a new car…
Your car is under a Recall for the ignition switch which can very easily cause a problem like this, although there are a number of things that can cause a random stall or failure to start.
If the Recall has never been performed you can have this done free of charge at any Honda dealer and I would advise that any other open Recalls be done at the same time.
Just call the Honda service department, provide the VIN, and they should tell you in a minute if you’re covered on this. With Recalls, there is no age, mileage, or number of owners limit.
The switches fail because the electrical engineers fumbled the football on the design…
I have a 2002 Honda Civic and experienced the same problem two years ago. Diagnostic checks at my local mechanic and then a Honda service center revealed no problems. Googling on the Internet, I came across a person who had a shutdown experience with a different model car. So I went ahead and spent over $600 for a new ignition switch. Everything was fine until a month ago, when my Honda shutdown again at a local intersection. I again took it to the local Honda service center but, again, they could find nothing wrong. Right now I have done nothing, so I have found your comment and that of the person who explained the Honda ignition switch recall to be very helpful.
Good luck to you. The fact that the Honda people cannot identify an ignition switch problem is ridiculous and shows clearly how service center have yet to keep up with all the digital crap now being loaded on automobiles.