Question about 1999 Acura TL

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What do u mean by

The problem description of sudden engine cutoff and able to restart immediately sounds like same problem I'm (starting) to have. I'm not sure what you mean by "ignition harness", though. Are you talking all of the plug wires, etc?

Any opinion on whether this could be addressed by an old recall? NHTSA # 02v120000 - "worn contacts could cause the engine to stall without warning . . . Dealers will replace ignition switch"

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  • Craig Beske Dec 17, 2008

    I have had several occasions (once every 3-4 months?), with no regularity or known commonality, where the engine just cuts out while I'm driving. I can't say that it's after I've gone 5 miles or 150 miles, or because it's always hot outside, or any other known common circumstances. I put the car into neutral, and it starts right up, and I continue my trip with no further incident.

    Acura had a recall back in '02 or so (NHTSA # 02v120000 - "worn contacts could cause the engine to stall without warning . . . Dealers will replace ignition switch") which sounds like the same symptom. This recall replaced the ignition wiring harness (from the key to the power supply - part# 35130-S84-305 ~ $65). This is a different recall than the one where you can remove the key without being in 'park'.

    My guess is that this is the cause of my problem, which implies that the part replaced in that recall will eventually need a second replacement. Note that I don't recall ever having the problem back in '02 - I had them do the recall during a normal maintenance appointment.

    My question boils down to: Should I just bite the bullet and spend $175 to replace the "ignition switch" in my '99 3.2 TL, or might there be some other cause I should investigate?

    Thanks for any advice.

  • Craig Beske Feb 10, 2009

    I'm convinced! I will proceed with buying the part as described in the original recall NHTSA # 02v120000.

    I, too, took a shot at Acura, trying to get them to cover the cost of re-doing the recall - and met with the same response ('you are on your own').

    I agree that this was a serious enough issue to recall once, and should be recalled a second time. I had the recall originally performed at 75K miles, and I now have 201K miles on my '99 TL.

    Thanks, Doug for posting your experience!

  • Craig Beske Jun 23, 2009

    I gave up trying to get Acura to replace the part described in the recall a second time, and bought the equivalent part elsewhere (~$70). Easy to put in by myself (saved $100). Have not had recoccurrence since.

    Problem fixed!

  • Marvin
    Marvin May 11, 2010

    U can't assume anything, when it stalls find out what losses power (if anything), the fuel pump? the ignition system? ask the dealer what system the ignition switch recall affects, don't guess, that can get very expensive very fast, also how many miles at recall/ repair, was stall an issue then? how many miles since then? does engine restart right away? does it stall at low speeds like coming to a stop?

  • Marvin
    Marvin May 11, 2010

    Since I don't know what was the original problem or solution provided can't know what is going on, please explain all that again, always use the same thread so we can see all the original info.



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I had the exact same problem described here. Here's the full details:

I was driving home from work when the car just died on the freeway. I'm about 90% convinced that when it did, the green key light in the dash flashed 3 times, just like when you remove the key from the car. Restarting the car on the freeway worked fine. When I got home and shifted into park, the car died again. When I tried to restart, it started up just fine, but died within about 1 second. I tried this several times. I went in the house to get organized, then came back out to troubleshoot. I had it in my mind that it might be related to the key, given the key light flashing. I fiddled with the key and noticed the dashboard light flickering. I continued playing with the key, and pretty soon couldn't reproduce the problem.

Thinking that the problem was "fixed" by my fiddling with the key, I took the car out again. About 15 minutes into my trip, going 65MPH on the freeway, the car freaked out. A few dash lights came on (I think including the key light) and the gauges (speed/RPMs) went full for an instant. ...then, the car recovered. I pulled over. When I tried to start the car, I again got the symptom where it would die after about 1 second. Finally, I was able to start the car and went home.

I took the car to a local mechanic who specializes in Honda. He couldn't find anything wrong and couldn't reproduce the problem. Did the same with the local Honda dealership. Same thing. Both were very nice and didn't charge me for this and said to come back when the problem was happening more often. That scared me, since having a car die on the freeway is very dangerous!

I did my research and found this (and similar) stories. ...even though my records indicate that the recall was fixed in my car years ago during a routine maintenance, I was convinced that I was experiencing the problem now (with 115K miles on my 1999 Honda Accord). I took it into the dealer and insisted that they replace the part, even though they couldn't diagnose anything. They did, charging me $166.31. I also asked them to look at signs of failure in the old part.

When I picked up the car, the dealership gave me the old part, and pointed to some melted solder on it, indicating that in the past it probably got really hot. He thought I might have been right that this was the failing part. I took the part home and opened it up. On the inside, I see burnt plastic under the melted solder. Clearly the part had been sparking, which heated it up and melted the solder. I'll try to attach pictures.

I'm not sure why my part is failing, but best guesses are that one of these three things happened:

1. The part was never replaced, even though it says so on my record. This could have been because the dealer / mechanic was lazy, or it could have been an honest mistake.

2. The part was replaced, but was replaced with the wrong part. The dealer might have had a box of old (defective) parts lying around and replaced my part with one of those. Again, this could have been on purpose, or an honest mistake.

3. The new part is also defective.

I'm currently in the process of trying to get Honda to pay for this under the recall 02V120000.

Anyway, hopefully this email will help others.

Hopefully you can see from this picture, but the solder on the upper-left joint is all wrong as if it's been melted...
What do u mean by - 46333a8.jpg

Here's the inside of the switch. Note the blacked plastic. This isn't black grease--it's actually burned plastic!


Posted on Feb 02, 2009

  • dianders Feb 10, 2009

    Just FYI: Honda said that they wouldn't cover it under the old recall. The guy I talked to on the phone said that he had no doubt that it was a manufacturer's defect, but just that it's now out of warranty. He said that the part has clearly worked well for the last ~6 years with no problems, and that's past what the factory warranties the part for.

    I guess I can understand this, but I'd really think that this problem is such a serious safety concern that they really ought to be issuing another recall, or at least informing their mechanics of this problem. Maybe it's just me that's experiencing it, though.

    Anyway, hope all of this has been useful to someone and that it helps some other person diagnose their problem.



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