Ignition Switch or Key ?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by SARGE, Jul 16, 2017.

  1. SARGE

    SARGE The Preacher Man

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    Her Honda developed a weird problem. Been saying it was starting weird even after having starter replaced few weeks ago. Has to turn key further than before and sometimes nothing happens until try again. I saw myself as we were out and she turned key and nothing. I turned the key all the way and nothing until I jiggled the key while turned all the way then it started. Took to our mechanic who sat there and kept starting it over about 20 times, barely turning the key each time. You know how those things happen all the time. Left there and next place we stopped, same thing. Today been ok. Is it possible the 14 year old key is worn down just enough that it's not making proper contact everytime, or does the key simply turn the cylinder and has no current passing thru itself when starting? Should she have the cylinder replaced just in case that's it? That would require 3 new keys from Honda be programmed and that ain't cheap.
     
  2. Blaster3

    Blaster3

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    try key upside down, automotive keys are doublesided for ease of use, the tumbler is single sided...

    did mech have full key ring or just the key alone, the weight of excess bs on ring wears the cylinder to one side...
     
  3. bob

    bob

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    The key turns the cylinder and contacts are made. Good key (it turns) bad contacts.
     
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  4. SARGE

    SARGE The Preacher Man

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    It's not stalling but thanks for link, I learned something anyway. As a former telco tech and guy who once worked on cars, intermittent problems are the ones hated by techs in any field. We prefer it dead now when we're there, easier to analyze and fix.
     
  5. SARGE

    SARGE The Preacher Man

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    Had her regular light key ring and I was in passenger seat watching. He had the part of key that has the buttons showing facing up, seems I saw it upside down before but I'm only in car on weekends and never pay attention to something like that. She has another key plus valet key never uses, maybe try one for a few days and see. Problem has been pretty much consistent everyday she says so if a key we should prove that pretty easily. As an aside, just think how many times an ignition switch has been turned on and off in 14 years. Heck, that would wear out my own cylinder.
     
  6. Bob338

    Bob338

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    It's most likely the 'switch' part of the ignition, the part behind the key/tumbler area. In older cars a fairly common problem. I mess with older Mercedes vehicles. I had the switch part on an '85 go out. Usually not expensive replacement. At some point it will die completely. I'd replace that switch. Not worth getting stranded in some lonely spot some night.
     
  7. glc

    glc Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    The key simply turns the cylinder. You have an issue with the contacts in the ignition switch itself. A new ignition switch comes as a complete assembly with lock cylinder, I don't know if the cylinders can be swapped. Call a Honda dealer and ask.

    Note that these switches are expensive - they are about $175 online, I can't imagine how much a dealer would charge for one, plus labor.

    I also don't know if you have an anti-theft system with a chipped key, that could make a difference.
     
  8. SARGE

    SARGE The Preacher Man

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    She had a key break off a few years ago and removing it was easy part with needle nose, using a spare to take to Honda and waiting for a few hours to have new key "programmed" to her computer. Is that what you're referring to? They made a new key then and programmed it. Other spare she's always had won't operate the alarm or lock/unlock the car but works in the switch ever since that one key was replaced.
     
  9. bob

    bob

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    Drive in to pick-a-part junkyard and they have vendors that replace broken ignitions all day long with used parts - saving your key if it is possible.
    Good place to get glass replaced when someone breaks into your car.
    With glass you can even choose new or used.
     
  10. SARGE

    SARGE The Preacher Man

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    bob, I'll refer that to galbud. She has huge beautiful green eyes that will roll as I read it to her. Then demand I pour her another glass of wine for taking up her time with such ......
     
  11. bob

    bob

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    Tell her to buy the wine in a box - it's much cheaper. :D
     
  12. SARGE

    SARGE The Preacher Man

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    My Golden Retriever is 100 pounds and occupies most of the space in his doghouse. You're expecting me to chance squeezing myself into what little space is left?
     
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  13. bob

    bob

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    You could bring the box of wine.
     
  14. glc

    glc Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    Yes, if the key had to be programmed to the computer, it has a chip.
     
  15. David M

    David M Techphile.

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  16. SARGE

    SARGE The Preacher Man

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  17. David M

    David M Techphile.

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    If you have a standard metal key (not a fob), what I hear is that is not a good thing for key switch.
     
  18. SARGE

    SARGE The Preacher Man

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    Been ok for many days then this morning wouldn't even crank. Perfect, at least at home. AAA sent wrecker to haul to our mechanic and for someone reason he asked her if he could try jump starting it to save a tow, and Bingo, started. She had already tried all 3 of her keys including valet and nothing until that jump. I was hoping they would haul it while dead and let them troubleshoot. Mechanic went to the car all day and started right up every time, he said at least 20 times and wants to keep it overnight and try again tomorrow. All the idiot lights lit up for her and radio played this morning but that is just one part of the switch I understand. As I wrote earlier the one time it did nothing when I turned it all the way, I jiggled key and started so that got me focused on the switch. She said this all began after her starter was replaced a few weeks ago (rebuilt she found out today). As a former tech troubleshooter I learned to never assume anything, to always "prove" my trouble and sometimes it just wasn't easy.

    As you guys know, intermittent problems even with a PC will drive you crazy where you may finally just start replacing everything "just in case". He told galbud if she wants to spend $500 on a new switch he will do it but rather not until he's sure. In all my years as a tech so many times the problem finally found by me after so many others had tried were usually simple. And was always about timing, being there when the line was working was frustrating because I knew there was a problem or they wouldn't call over and over. I found loose connectors in attics that would open in the heat of the day killing dial tone then close back up at night. One guy called every night and we sent tech out next day and line was perfect. I finally got the ticket on overtime and when showed up, his sprinkler system was on and soaking the telco connection. All the other guys didn't bother putting the cover back on the connection.

    Anyway, from experience I know that starting problems are the worse case on vehicles. Too many things have to be just right therefore he's keeping her Honda til the cows come home, not coming back here. Just because the battery and starter are pretty new means nothing. We've all seen new things cause problems. I hope he checks the wiring on starter, maybe his guy left a loose wire while texting his girlfriend....
     
  19. edfair

    edfair

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    Sounds like my 62 bug that intermittently didn't like to start in the summer if it was parked on a flat place. Took two years but found it when it was failing one day. High resistance crimp on a jumper on the light switch.
     
  20. Blaster3

    Blaster3

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    there's also a 'starter' relay in the power distribution box (fuses/relays/shunts), some vehicles have several distribution boxes in different locations...

    here's sample...
    Relays from Bosch - greatest reliability