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94 honda accord: it wont start..dashboard..tach and speedometer drop

My '94 honda accord turns...
My '94 honda accord turns over and starts for a second, but won't continue running.
Every now and then it does fire and run and when it does, it runs flawlessly.
Turn it back off and it won't start again.
I just replaced the main fuel relay under the dashboard and that did not help.

Not sure if this is related or not, but in the past couple of weeks, I have also have 2 instances where the tach and speedometer drop to zero and bounce back up while driving.
All these symptoms are new within the past month.
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Answered in 1 minute by:
6/3/2012
Kyle N.
Kyle N., Honda Master Tech
Category: Honda
Satisfied Customers: 5,229
Experience: Honda Dealer Tech, ASE Master Auto Tech
Verified

Kyle N :

Hi, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Honda expert here at JustAnswer.com. I'd be glad to help you with your question.

Kyle N :

Is the engine a V6 or 4 cyl.?

Customer:

4 cylinder


 

Kyle N :

Okay I think I know what the problem is

Kyle N :

When it does start do you have electrical on at the dash?

Kyle N :

doesn't start I mean

Customer:

when it does start, everything runs fine. All gauges and lights.

Kyle N :

When it doesn't start do you have lights on the dash?

Customer:

When it starts & dies, the tach still moves. I have the idiot (warning) lights that typically come on.


 

Customer:

In case I hadn't mentioned, this is a 5-speed.


 

Kyle N :

When it happens again hold the key without letting go. Normally you turn it to start the engine turns over then when it catches you let go right? Don't let go when it happens again. Let it go slightly so the starter doesn't grind but don't fully let go. If it runs let it run for like 10 seconds and let go. If it dies immediately it's a bad ignition switch causing the problem.

Kyle N :

I think you have worn out contacts in the ignition switch causing the problem

Kyle N :

That's why the tach and speedo drop out/bounce, etc..

Kyle N :

The are losing power because the ignition contact is worn out

Kyle N :

Pretty common failure on that year

Kyle N :

About $70 at the dealer for that switch. You only need the electrical portion

Kyle N :

It's bolted to the back of the part where you insert the key to start it.

Customer:

I was attempting to do that test, as I read in a post somewhere that might be the issue. I'm not sure I'm doing it right as I end up either grinding the starter or it just dies again.


 

Kyle N :

You'll know it's not hard. you can get away with a little grinding just ease off pressure on the key until it stops

Customer:

I have tried moving the key around to different positions, in/out up/down to see if it helps, but it doesn't seem to.


 

Kyle N :

Moving the key shouldn't do anything. The key can't move the contacts closer or anything.

Customer:

Alright, I will try it again and see. So I'm straight here, your saying if I hold the key (without grinding the starter), the car should stay running while I do that. When I let go, if it dies immediately. It's the ignition switch. Correct?


 

Kyle N :

Yes correct!

Customer:

Ok, if I need to get back to you (it will take a few minutes for me to go try this) is there a way I can do that?


 

Kyle N :

yes. You can accept now or later it's up to you.

Customer:

I'll test things first. Then come back and accept if you've nailed this thing (which I think you have).


 

Customer:

Klye - You are very good. You nailed that sucker. Guess that's why you get the big bucks.


 

Customer:
Kyle N.
Kyle N., Honda Master Tech
Category: Honda
Satisfied Customers: 5,229
Experience: Honda Dealer Tech, ASE Master Auto Tech
Verified
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Kyle N.
Kyle N., Honda Master Tech
Category: Honda
Satisfied Customers: 5,229
5,229 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Honda Dealer Tech, ASE Master Auto Tech

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