Introduction

I originally posted this writeup on Honda-Tech forums but have migrated it here since I could better explain the procedure.

(Higher-resolution images help as well.)

A couple of years ago my 1998 Honda Accord Dx started shutting itself off at random times -- on freeway onramps, while parked and idling, etc. -- so I did some research and found that the electrical portion of the ignition switch had been recalled. I called up Honda of America and found that my car had already been serviced for this recall, meaning I was on my own to fix this problem.

So I did some more research on the internet to verify that the ignition switch was indeed the problem. At that point I had two choices: I could pay the dealer $100 for them to figure out the problem, and *possibly* honor the recall a second time(provided they found the problem in the first place). Or I could buy the part for $61 and do the repair myself. I chose the latter since I really want to learn about cars as much as possible, and I will be assured that the job was done properly (or at least learn from my mistakes ).

DISCLAIMER: This posting is for educational purposes only, and I take no responsibility for your actions. You can't blame me if your car blows up or if your airbag deploys, or for any other reason whatsoever. Perform this repair at your own risk.

The tools and materials you will need:
  • The tools and materials you will need:

    • 10 mm Wrench

    • Phillips Screwdriver

    • Flathead Screwdriver

    • Electrical Tape

    • Multimeter (not shown)

    • Electrical portion of the Honda Accord ignition switch

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Disconnect the battery. This is especially important because you're going to be working near the airbag.
  • Disconnect the battery. This is especially important because you're going to be working near the airbag.

  • Do not touch any yellow wires under the dash -- they're for the airbag (or so I've heard).

  • As you can see, I keep my battery in tip-top shape. The grime acts as a blanket layer of protection against the elements.

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  • Remove the driver's side fuse panel cover.

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  • Remove the two Phillips retaining screws that hold the driver's side lower panel to the dash.

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  • Use a flathead screwdriver to pry off the left side of the panel immediately below the radio surround.

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  • Remove the last Phillips screw securing the right side of the driver's side lower panel.

Great app!does anyone know if switch problem applies to 91hondas?mine is shutting down randomly as well. Thanx

Jeffrey A Phillips - Réponse

  • Now the driver's side lower panel can be removed. Begin on the left side and gently pull it off, so that all of the retaining clips are released.

What is that black button/switch? I have it too.

Michael Aviles - Réponse

  • The ignition switch can now be unplugged for testing. The switch connects to the rear of the driver's side fuse panel. Shine a flashlight and find the connector highlighted in red.

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  • Users are reporting a variation of the ignition switch positions on the pictured diagram that corresponds to these numbers:

    • LOCK: All Open | ACC: 1 + 5 | ON: 1+3+4+5 | START 1+2+3

  • Now it's testing time. The key should be placed into the ignition switch and turned to the appropriate position; you should test for continuity between each of the points as outlined in the guide.

  • I want to mention that this testing should be performed as thoroughly as possible, since the switch may appear to be fine at first. I got lucky in the sense that the switch immediately failed one of the tests. The best way to test the switch is to plug in the multimeter leads into the 1 and 4 terminals, and then to cycle between "On" and "Start." Eventually the multimeter should read "no continuity" in the "On" position, indicating that the switch is bad.

The heading says 1998 - 2002 Honda Accord Ignition Swithch Replacement. I have a 1999 Honda Accord EX. Its has 3 different fuse boxes. One on the driver side, one on the passenger side, one under the hood. Even with the diagram from the 1999 Owner's Manual clearly labeled each and every fuse box, I still can't find the equivalent connectors described in your instruction. Thank God, I decided to check the system out before making an uneccessary trip to the local Autozone for a replacement ignition switch.

cd_1016 - Réponse

  • Of course proceed at this point only if the switch failed one of the continuity tests. Also, make sure that the ignition switch is in the "Lock" position before proceeding any further.

  • Lower the steering wheel adjustment lever all the way down.

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  • Remove the three Phillips screws on the lower steering column cover.

  • Pop the lower steering column cover off the top cover, giving you access to the electrical portion of the ignition switch.

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  • While in the general ignition switch area, make sure not to touch the steering column adjustment grease. I found it to be very greasy, as grease should be.

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  • Unscrew the two Phillips screws that hold the ignition switch cover (and switch itself) in place.

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  • The cover should be loose on the switch, however there is another screw holding it in place behind the steering wheel.

  • I found this screw by feeling around for it after realizing the cover was still held in place by something. It was not completely necessary to remove this screw to replace the switch, so I'll leave it up to you whether or not you want to remove it. The screw is in such a difficult place that I figured it would be harder to screw it back in place after removing it than just bending the ignition switch cover backwards and removing the switch.

  • Other users have partially broken the cover since they did not fully remove the third screw. You've been warned.

I found it was possible to remove and replace the screw using a very small straight-blade screwdriver, and working off-axis on the left side of the screw (toward the centerline of the car), since I could not get a Philips screwdriver to engage the screw on-axis.

ceich62 - Réponse

  • Gently rotate the black cover aside and pull out the ignition switch.

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  • At this point you can test the new switch for continuity, just to make sure it's 100% functional before putting it into the car. Follow the same steps outlined in step #7 except use the flat blade screwdriver to switch between ignition positions. You'll notice that the switch clicks just like it does when you insert your key into the steering column ignition. If the continuity tests pass, you can proceed with installing it into your car.

  • Once you remove the old switch from its cover, plug in the new switch connector into the rear of the fuse panel and connect the other side to the steering column.

  • Make sure that the new switch is in the "Lock" position. To make sure it is in the "Lock" position, use the flat blade screwdriver to gently twist the switch counter-clockwise until it will twist no more, ensuring that the switch is in the "Lock" position.

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  • Route the wiring in the same manner the old switch wiring was routed, insert the switch into the steering column, and put back the ignition switch cover and screws.

  • Use the electrical tape to corral any of the loose wiring. Put all paneling back the way it was by following the above directions in reverse. Make sure that the rubber O-ring around the ignition switch is properly seated against the switch when putting back the lower steering wheel cover.

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Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

34 autre(s) ont terminé cette réparation.

33 commentaires

Installed an autoparts store ignition switch using this guide. Unfortunately, the engine wouldn't start. Electronics worked fine, but got absolutely nothing when I tried to crank the car. No ignition, let alone engine turn over. So, basically nothing... no sound or anything. Just the key turning in the ignition. Almost as if the anti-theft had kicked in. However, the immobilizer indicator didn't come on, so I'm ruling that out. Maybe it was a bad switch, right out of the box. Again, had to take it out and put the old one back in. The car fired right up. Anyone else experience that?

kenneth smith - Réponse

That's really strange, Kenneth. I replaced my failing ignition switch with a dealer part, and didn't encounter any such difficulty.

I can't say for sure -- I'm no Honda expert by any means -- but it could be that the original switch has some additional safety/anti-theft feature that the non-OEM lacks, preventing the non-OEM from working properly. However, I'm pretty sure I've heard that other folks installed auto-parts store switches and they worked just fine.

Miroslav Djuric -

Well i just bought a swith and all new ignition and installed it and had the same result. Turns over and nothing else. Everything turns on but it wont start

lawleew37 -

i actually just want to thank you for posting this on cus i just bought a 98 honda accord and already had put $1000 to fix it in it already. then it was going to cost me $300 to get a mechanic to do it. I found this and my dad and I did it together and only had to pay $57 for the part and hour of our time to do it. So thank you very much in saving that much money. Now my car runs fine again and hopefully i dont have to deal with it dying anymore. Heather F. Pueblo, Co

Heather - Réponse

I got the part at Autozone for 57...and it took me literally 15 mins to do...just because I had gone over this. So when it came down to it, it was so easy. Thank you for your time and kindness to post this up. =)

Jen - Réponse

Thank you so much, this guide helped and I had the same issue with the recall already being serviced. I think I'm going to report this to the NHTSA.

Also, when I tested my switch I found the terminals to be exactly as described but in the reverse order from left to right, i.e. 1,5,4,3,2 when going counterclockwise. Perhaps there is a mistake here.

Dan Mittelman - Réponse

Thank you so much for posting this guide. Ii had the same problem with my 1998 Honda and I spent only just about an hour to fix it only because I can be meticulous. The part cost $57+tax at autozone.

Jay

jgeeday - Réponse

Awesome guide! The best one I've read period. The pictures were perfect and thank god for the red arrows/shapes which helped a lot. Thanks again man! Orlando, Florida.

odessa - Réponse

Thanks for the post Miroslav. Nicely done. It inspired me to do it myself. My car is a 98 Civic EX so there are different details than your Accord but similar enough for this guide to be helpful.

jem - Réponse

Out of desperation I held the key in position III and noticed it almost started. I then held the key between position II and III. Next I Googled this symptom and found this great article.

I called around and no one had the part except AutoZone. They sold the actual switch bundled with the harness for $100. I was going to install the new switch and harness but the bolts for the starter bracket where too difficult for me to remove. Removing the old harness was the hardest part but after 15 minutes of tugging it came out. To plug in the big connector I had to lay upside down on my back in the drivers seat. The mating end was upside down ant at an angle. Before I put the panels back on I tested the ignition switch... To anyone reading this; make sure you pay it forward, help someone with a technical issue and let's make the world go round.

LALA LALA - Réponse

Thanks a lot, I was able to replace my 1999 Accord Ignition Switch, after Honda, and the Dealer refused to acknowledge my vehicle was qualified for the ignition switch recall issue.

rameshrrao - Réponse

I just found this while cleaning up old bookmarks, and it's a keeper!

I started experiencing these exact problems last summer, but interestingly just after I had blown my rad and overheated the car a couple of times. My mechanic listened to my account of the problem and was genuinely upset for me that I had wrecked the engine - it was starting to randomly shut down on me.

However, I had noticed that fiddling with the key seemed to help somehow, so I started searching the net for forums and posts such as these. When I found this excellent, cogent post on my EXACT issues, I felt 99% sure this was the cause.

$68CDN later, again with the help of this post, I had installed the new switch, and have not had this problem since. I saved easily $1000 in repairs last summer doing this and my rad myself!

If you go to the author's bio page, you'll find out who the super cool guy is who posted this lol

https://www.ifixit.com/User/17/Miroslav+...

Thanks Miroslav! You're an awesome fellow!

Pay it forward, all!!

Doc Zaius - Réponse

Did anyone have to deal with getting a new key engineered? Did you use the original key? I'm about to order a new ignition switch, but I read that there's a chip in the new key that comes with the ignition switch that you have to get programmed with your original key... Anyone?

van potes - Réponse

It's just the switch that needs to be replaced. Not the lock. I replaced my switch. It was quite easy with this wonderful guide and my car is back to normal.

w3bjunk -

I just got a copy of my master key (the only one I have and already very worn) yesterday at a Home depot. Cost: $39.99 plus taxes. That price included the cutting and transponder programming. Some problems in the cutting (maybe because my master is kind of worn) but at second adjustment trial (filing details in the new copy), it was PERFECT!!! Now I'm relief wit a copy of the master and a copy for all doors and trunk. I saved the near $200 that cost to get it from a Honda dealer.

gusdrink2003 -

Just replaced my ignition switch with your guide. Perfect instructions.

seismicdoom - Réponse

Did anyone else have the immobilizer to the old one? Do to the new does not have it and all things on Honda accord ex says that you have to reset the code

Joker - Réponse

Had same issues with mine 99 accord would turn off out of nowhere then one day had idling and turned off would not turn on anymore checked battery was good changed starter still nothing then found this article which it was the ignition switch changed part out no problem started right up but I got the part on Amazon for 38$ was going to get someone to look at it for 100$ saved me time and money thank you.

Benny - Réponse

This is the best step by step ever. Thank you so much I just fixed our 1998 honda accord. Replaced the ignition switch and replaced 50A fuse fires up and doesn't turn off anymore.

Tina Lopez - Réponse

I am really lost with trying to change the ignition switch. I don't know what the previous owner did but it made it harder to change out the ignition switch. Also, I don't know much about cars. I followed the steps. I went to look at the wires that come out of the ignition switch. Someone stripped and connected other wires that connect to the ignition switch. Some type of bypass for custom work. I am not sure. So, I don't know what they are for, should I disconnect them, or\and retach the wires similarly to the new ignition switch wires. I wish that I could post a picture to show what I mean.

Cam - Réponse

I have a 1998 Honda Accord LX V6.

This is a great tutorial. I found this thread by googling "1998 Honda Accord V6 not starting"

I followed step-by-step and I also replaced the main relay since I was down there. The car fire up and started! Turn it off & turned it back on: it started. I put all panels screws back and about an hour later I went to drive it and it was back to cranking and not starting.

Up to this point I have replaced 7.5a, 15a, & 20a fuses, fuel pump, ignition coil, temp sensor, coolant thermostat, distributor, crank shaft sensor, timing belt, water pump, ignition switch and main relay... is there something I'm missing? It seems electrical. Is there a fuse or sensor I'm missing? I checked the spark plugs and they're fine.

This all started when one morning I warmed up the vehicle. Needing to lock the dead bolt on my house, I turned off car and when I came back it wouldn't start. I asked for a jump but that didn't work. After an hour of cooling down it started.

Spectagirl - Réponse

waiting for it to cool down before it starts points to that one electrical board I think under the steering wheel. its a very imfamous problem, basically the solder joints cracked and isn't making contact, when your board cools down it makes contact and can then start. you have to reflow the solder by touching the tip of the iron to the joints or add more solder and it will fix it, easy fix, but huge headache. forgot the name of the board/ relay, it's a computer electrical board just like your dash lights electrical board except its under the steering wheel

nbruce55 -

1998 Honda Accord LX V6

It has a little over 168,000 miles. I am original owner, I purchased in October 1997. Performed routine maintenance, recalls were fixed, it's been a great car up until now.

It has a Karr Alarm. I know: POS. I've been trying to research how to take it out or dismantle it. There were some wires spliced into old ignition switch indicating the alarm was an after factory installation OR spliced when I had ignition switch recall fixed the first time.

Looking at other websites I'm gonna replace EGR valve, carburetor, fuel injector, O2 sensor. I'm gonna pull alternator and have it tested.

Do I need to reset anything? Pull a fuse e.g. 50 amp ICM and replace? How can you tell if the larger fuses are blown?

After this I will be at my wits end.

It should be mentioned that it's not talking to my multimeter. FML please help!

Spectagirl - Réponse

Is it possible to program new switch yourself?

Jess Jessica - Réponse

I do a lot of my own work a lot of times cheaper & it's cool to know I can do this! I really like the way you did this video don't have to go back and try finding that part where you said something,I'll be back often!

Gloria. Gutmans

girlsparkie2 - Réponse

I have a 99 Accord.

I found your tutorial very informative and think the ignition might be my problem. My car will turn over with the key and I can hear the fuel pump run but no start. The reason I believe this to be the problem is the check engine light never lights up. Can you tell me if this is the right assumption?

jamesdbarnier - Réponse

I replaced the ignition in my 1999 honda accord and it will turn over but will not crack is there any way I can over ride the computer with out having to take it to Honda to do it ????

Brandie billiot - Réponse

I have a 2002 Honda accord this the best information I have found. I was testing it wrong. THANK you great job

John Coccia - Réponse

I replaced my ignition switch and main relay. It made my car worse. Now my car won’t start at all? Can somebody help me out here please?

Carlos - Réponse

Put the old parts back in. Make sure connections are secure. try again.

ergg36 -

So i had all the same issues. Car dying at random times. Freeway, stop signs cruising ect. I changed alternator, it worked for a day , changed batteries it worked for a day. I decided to go eith this post since all symptems were the same. Changed ignition and thought yes its solved. 2 days later, bam same sh!t. I found out my fuel pump was not kicking in when i turned the key over. I pulled the fuel relay switch and opened it up. Sure enough busted solder. I re soldered it put it back on and presto problem solved.

Robert Matthews - Réponse

You people need to check your FUEL RELAY SWITCH also. That could be the problem also. Solder goes bad on that. Causes starting problems.

ergg36 - Réponse

THE INCORRECT SCREW IS CIRCLED IN STEP 14. The correct screw is the one above and to the right of the one circled. Other than that it was a great help.

Andy - Réponse

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