Help! My car hates me

honda
accord

#1

I’ve been having problems with my car for the last year, at first it was randomly not starting and I did not really notice a pattern, the engine would try to turn but not start and I would have wait 5-15 min( maybe once a month). Now after the summer it has gotten worse, it is more frequent, it does not like to start if it is too hot or cold, if I turn it off to run something inside a store or get gas and now it’s stalling. I did not know an automatic could even stall. Within the last month my locks, windows and blinkers have stopped working on the right side of the car and smells like rotting nacho cheese. Did a small animal crawl inside my car, eat some wires then died from the electrical shock. I am a clueless girl that is kinda broke. My car is a 1998 Honda Accord LX

L4 - 2.3L 2254cc, what can you suggest?


#2

Critters are well known for chewing on wires and vacuum lines. They may well be the problem. They don’t die from the 12V shock, but moving auto parts and maybe falling out on the highway is not uncommon.

What you describe does sound like one or more animals. Have a mechanic you trust (or one someone you know trust) and let them take a look at it. This can turn into an expensive repair. Check your insurance, it might be covered. I have never looked.

Congratulations on providing a very good description of the car and the problem. However I might ask if the car is garaged or parked outside. Is it an area where such animals are around?


#3

So does it smell like rotting nacho cheese all the time, or only after driving it? (there is a reason I’m asking besides morbid curiosity)


#4

When was the last time you had new spark plugs put in the car? What kind of maintenance and repairs have you made on the car in the last 2 years?

The running problems could be due to a need for some new spark plugs and plug wires. The smell could be a dead mouse. The locks and windows not working could be chewed wiring from the now dead mouse, or just stuff wearing out. A '98 Honda is getting old (13 years old in fact) and stuff does eventually break and wear out.


#5

A faulty ignition switch could cause this and it’s a common problem. Your car should be under a Recall for this problem and if it has not been performed then you can get this done at the Honda dealer free of charge.
There are a number of Recalls on this car so it would be a good time to get all of them at once and since some of them are related to exterior lighting maybe the other problems are tied in with that.
Keep in mind that all of these mandated Recalls are free of charge to you, both as to parts and labor.

After that, the stalling could be due to a faulty main relay, which although related, is not under a Recall.
Maybe this smell that you notice is the ignition switch burning.