Accord keeps dying

1999 Accord, 110k mi., stalls while driving or stopped a few times a week, then takes a couple of minutes to turn over. Mechanic replaced or cleaned main relay, fuel pump, and ignition module. Could sell it but recently rebuilt tranny and replaced timing belt. Mechanic is stumped. Help!

I presume your mechanic checked the pressure at the fuel rail and found it to be nominal. I also presume you have no check engine light. That leaves three possibilities, all of which are easy to check.

  1. Bad spark plugs. Pull all and take a look.
  2. Vacuum leak. Use some throttle body cleaner to spray around. Any surge in engine speed indicates some of it is being pulled into the system. Check the intake manifold carefully.
  3. Valves needs to be adjusted. Your mechanic can check these very easily but the car needs to be left overnight since they must be checked/adjusted cold.

Hondas had ignition switch failures in those years. Some were recalled.

By turn over do you mean the starter is turning the crankshaft but the engine does not fire up and run; or the starter is turning the crankhaft and the engine starts running?

Thank you hokiedad and shanonia. Honda dealer checked ignition switch and said it’s OK. By turn over, I mean fire up and run.

No check engine light. I don’t know about pressure at the fuel rail, but I’ll ask him about that, as well as about your other suggestions.

I think naturally the ignition switch would check out OK if it was not showing the problem at the time. The Acura dealer told me they weren’t having problems with the main relay too but that’s what it was. Just saying is all. Sometimes I just take a chance and replace suspect parts instead of being frustrated. Sometimes win, sometimes lose but gets a little tiring taking it in all the time.

I have to fault the dealer a bit here. They state that they checked the ignition switch but that raises the question of how they allegedly do this on a switch that may be intermittently failing. The answer is that it can’t be done.

Your car is under a Recall for ignition switch failures which can be intermittent and may cause poor running and/or stalling out and dying. The dealer should know this of course and should have checked to make sure whether or not the switch replacement was ever done.

Revisit this switch issue and if the Recall has never been done then ask that they do the Recall.
This job is free of charge to you both as to parts and labor.
There are several other outstanding Recalls on this model so ask that they all be done in one shot and like the switch; they’re all free of charge.

Thank you Bing and ok4450, I’ll pass your suggestions on to my mechanic.

The stalling problem might caused from a defective Crankshaft Position Sensor. Sometimes these sensors can be effected by heat where they stop sending their signal to the computer. The computer then thinks the engine is no longer rotating so the computer no longer see’s a reason to operate the ignition/fuel systems and the engine shuts off.

One way to test the crank sensor for this is, locate the crank sensor. Start the engine and while it’s idling point a heat gun at the sensor. If the engine shuts off replace the crank sensor.