Okay, I have a 95 Honda DelSol with a 1.5L inline 4.
As I'm driving to work yesterday, it just cuts off. All of the gauges go straight to 0. I reach up and as I coast down the highway, I try to start it again. It starts right up, no problem. Go about 10 more miles, same thing. Radio keeps playing, clock still works, but gauges go to 0, and I'm coasting. It starts right up again no problem.
At work I checked the battery cables/ terminals. Cleaned and reseated cables.
Go to lunch, and it quits again twice in the span of maybe 5 miles.
Going home, not a single burp or problem for the whole 20 or so miles. I'm trying to cause problems (hard acceleration, picking the potholes, wiggling the key in the ignition, turning it off and on at speed, turning it off and on at idle, etc.)
I get home, think the problem is solved(????), turn off the car and for shits and giggles try to start it. It turns over, catches, revvs to about 900 rpms and everything shuts off. Battery is apparently still good, 'cause it cranks it pretty quick with the lights on, and radio blasting. Car still refuses to do anything but rev to about 900 rpms and shut down, so I'm in the Silverado today.
I'm thinking the ignition switch in the steering column has given up the ghost, but I also know that these things have an ignition module in the distributor. I will problably replace a few things in the ignition system anyway, but it would be nice NOT to have to disable the airbag, and crack the steering column open to put a new switch (read: yet another key to keep track of) in.
(ABOUT THE CAR )
most likely the Distributor...the coil and ignition module inside...to be more exact, although Hondas are known for destroying their distributors as well....pull the cap...if you see a rusty residue.....time for a distributor...if not....replace the ignition module.
Put an ignition switch in it. You can change it without pulling the steering wheel. Buy just the electrical portion of it. Remove the upper and lower column covers and unplug the switch connectors. Remove the 2 screws holding it in place. Reverse order to install. Some of those years they don't offer just the electrical side. (Needs the whole lock cylinder assy for about $200) Don't buy it, tell the dealer you want the recall switch for the 96 Civics. and just swap a few wires around. (match the colors and pin placement.)
Thanks for the reply, Ch0wd3r. I took the steering column apart and saw the electrical switch on the back. I also found the wiring diagram and test in chapter 11 or 12 of the Haynes manual (seemed an odd place for it??).
I ran a test, and found out that was it. The mechanicals of the ignition were good, and I was somewhat amazed at the ease with which this and related vehicles were to start without a key; with some tme and a phillips head screw driver.
I cracked the plastic housing in the electrical switch, sanded and polished the contacts, stretched the springs on the rings inside, greased the grooves and moving parts and put it back together.
Worked like a charm.
Thanks again, and anywhere from $100 to $300 dollars saved!!
Good deal, glad I could help.
And yes thats exactly how they steal so many Hondas.