Edmunds Answers

Voted Best Answer

  • avatar karjunkie 09/04/09 8:29 am PST

    There are a couple of issues that could be causing this. Look to see if the dash lights are on when the car dies. If the dash lights go out when the car dies then it could be a bad ignition switch. Wiggle the key in the switch after it stalls and see if the lights come back on. If so then that could be the issue. A heavy key chain with many keys or a heavy fob will slowly wear out the ignition switch after so many miles. The second issue might be a main relay. There is really no way to test this until the vehicle dies. The main relay sends power to the fuel pump, and if the contacts are bad sometimes power goes away and can cause the engine to stall. The main relay also powers the vehicles immobilizer system so sometimes when the engine stalls the green key light on the dash will flash and that could be an indication of a failing main relay. I would just replace the main relay as this sounds like it is the main issue in your case. Good luck and let me know if you have any further questions.

Answers

  • karjunkie 09/04/09 8:29 am PST

    There are a couple of issues that could be causing this. Look to see if the dash lights are on when the car dies. If the dash lights go out when the car dies then it could be a bad ignition switch. Wiggle the key in the switch after it stalls and see if the lights come back on. If so then that could be the issue. A heavy key chain with many keys or a heavy fob will slowly wear out the ignition switch after so many miles. The second issue might be a main relay. There is really no way to test this until the vehicle dies. The main relay sends power to the fuel pump, and if the contacts are bad sometimes power goes away and can cause the engine to stall. The main relay also powers the vehicles immobilizer system so sometimes when the engine stalls the green key light on the dash will flash and that could be an indication of a failing main relay. I would just replace the main relay as this sounds like it is the main issue in your case. Good luck and let me know if you have any further questions.

  • odysseyidiot 09/04/09 11:28 am PST

    Thanks karjunkie-here are a few more symptoms and follow up questions:

    1. Over the last 60 days, while driving, on 4-5 occasions, a few dashboard lights would come on including TCS and ABS for sure but not oil pressure or charging system; no drivability issues at all; dash lights would go out eventually, sometimes without ever stopping engine and sometimes after 3 or 4 starts/stops.

    2. Some ignition symptoms, primarily needing to work with switch to engage power to put up windows after stopping car.

    3. The stalling problem started yesterday. It first happened on slight incline; no warning at all; just shut down; pulled to side of road; two quick ignition efforts resulted in car starts and immediate shut downs; after 5 minutes, started and drove about 1/4 mile uphilll; shut down again; waited another 5 and started again driving @ 2 miles (mostly downhill) to neighborhood mechanic; idled in his driveway about 5 mins and died again; restarted and pulled codes (1676, 0730D, and 1738) and idled for 15 minutes with no issue; drove home; started this morning and drove kids to school (@ 8 miles roundtrip) with no issue.

    4. Happen to be w/i 400 miles of expiration of 2nd transmission warranty. Two of the above-referenced codes are tranmission oriented. Am planning to take it to transmission shop today for diagnostic on those issues plus heard from another that there is a transmission solenoid (?) that could be shutting engine down.

    5. Any additional thoughts?

  • karjunkie 09/04/09 2:54 pm PST

    All this confirms my initial diagnosis of main relay and ignition switch issues. As to the ABS, the P1676 code is ABS related and normally refers to a bad connection between the ECU and the ABS module. However, I think it could be caused by the main relay as well. My suggestion is that you first replace the main relay and see what happens. This is cheap and easy to do and you can do it yourself. The relay is under the drivers side dash close to the steering column. It is plug and play. Now, once the relay is replaced if you still have a problem, replace the ignition switch which is a bit more expensive to do but not a big item. By all means get the tranny checked before the warranty expires, but I think there is a good chance those codes will go away when you've replaced the main relay

  • odysseyidiot 09/04/09 8:31 pm PST

    Again thanks; drove fine to transmission place today and no one can get it to repeat; codes had been cleared last night by neighborhood mechanic and acc'd to tranny repair shop diagnostic, they had not returned; therefore, no tranny issue. They still extended my warranty w/ them for another 12K/12 mths so it was worth the effort; driven 25 miles and no issues. Will now look for real issue using your earlier guidance. Thanks. Will use neighborhood scanner again to confirm no codes before doing anything. My recollection is that all dash lights shut down immediately with engine so believe your first message indicated that pointed to ignition failure. With additional info provided, you suggest main relay first, I think because of both ease of fix and cost.

    With everything said, would you suggest movfing forward with main relay or waiting for repeat of circumstances? If wait is suggestion, is there anything else I can be on the lookout for at point of event that can help pinpoint issue?

  • karjunkie 09/05/09 8:33 am PST

    By all means replace the main relay. It really is easy to replace and may solve all your problems. Stalling is a potentially dangerous condition as you could stall on a freeway ramp or other situation that puts you at risk of an accident or being stranded in an unsafe location. As I noted, even a new ignition switch is a relatively cheap and easy fix and will keep you safe.

  • lovemyodyssey 11/02/09 4:00 am PST

    Hi, I have the same problem with my 1999 Odyssey. I don't know about the codes, but we have replaced 4 main relays so far. We bought the last one from the Honda dealer and the problem once again ensued after 1 week. The guy at the dealer said it sounded like there must be a short to the relay somewhere....that sounds like a nightmare to me! We are going to replace the ignition switch before even thinking of the short possibility! I will write again if the ignition swith replacement works. We have had this problem ongoing for a couple of years, but the relays usually lasted a lot longer than a week! If a new ignition switch cures it, hallelujah! The thought of trying to find an electrical short to the main relay really is daunting!!! Thanks for the posts on this issue!

  • mini_van_dad 11/06/09 12:29 am PST

    I have similar experience with my 99 Odyssey which started last summer and I thought it was related to summer heat.
    My wife kept telling me why is this happening to you and not to her? Your answer about the key chain was correct; I have a lot of keys attached to my key chain. I removed all the extra keys and now the car does not stall while I am driving.
    Thanks

  • annie925 10/10/10 10:51 am PST

    Had the same thing-removed all keys but one and no stalling for a while. Then replaced the main relay-the original owner had replaced the ignition switch due to recall notice. After replacing main relay it was fine for about a month. Started stalling again. I was terrified to drive it.
    Check engine light came on-had been on and off for a while. Honda dealer wanted $2700.00 to replace catalitic converter among some other things. Didn't go that route. Took it to Auto Zone and they checked the codes and told me the only thing that register was 'bad gas'. So put in an additive and it ran like a clock for months. It was wonderful. Suddenly it's stalling again. Even thought I've been adding the additive and even found a place that sells pure gasoline with no Ethanol.

    I mean the green key comes on and all power is completely gone. You can't even put on the brakes, it just slide into the intersection the other day. I can't afford a new or even used car and don't know which way to turn next. Certainly can't put children in the van. Any other information out there?

  • needhelptoo1 02/16/11 6:36 pm PST

    I have had this exact issue and I just got it solved...It was the ignition switch. I replaced the ignition switch and that fixed it. At Honda this is $106 for the part and 1 hour of labor...I was out the door for $153.


    I replaced the main relay about a month before and it apparently did something to help the problem, but I was dreaming...The old ignition the technician pulled out he handed to me adn it was fried...The solder point was completely melted and the ignition plastics were discolored throughout like it was about to, or already had, been charred by electricity way too many times. The van has 212k, probably 200k starts...that is enough to fry anything electical.

    I thought about trying it myself, it looks very easy, but there are two bolts that are "safety bolts" to uninstall and re-install the ignition (translation: Honda does not want anyone but the dealership to work on their cars..).

    The tops of these bolts are sheared off at the factory after installing it so the car cannot be "stolen".... Again, I am pretty sure they just don't want me to fix it myself. So I went with the Honda technician on this one since I didn't want to mess with those "safety bolts". He did show them to me and they are for real. The average person would have to get in there and most likely drill them out in a very small space. I just wanted the thing to run so I ponied out the 150...

  • mnasir 02/13/13 3:27 pm PST

    I have the same stalling problem. Problem goes away if I use Premium gas. Initially the dashboard lights were coming on and sometimes on the highway the car will shutdown and restart after slowing down a little bit. Haven't taken to the dealer yet. I think it is related to fuel system.

    thanks

ADVERTISEMENT

Top Honda Odyssey Experts View More

Rank Leader Points
1. Stever@Edmunds 495
2. karjunkie 475
3. MrShift@Edmunds 445
4. zaken1 210
5. morin2 190
6. texases 140
7. isellhondas 135
ADVERTISEMENT