1993 Honda Accord Dash gauges freaking out and car will not

Tiny
MANDYWOMAN
  • MEMBER
  • 1993 HONDA ACCORD
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 10,800 MILES
In the last 3 days, I have had problems with my car taking '3 tries' to start. Then last night, as I was driving (not idle or stopping), the dash clock started flickering, and both the speedometer and the tachometer 'freaked out' in unison. This lasted about 20 seconds, then all went back to normal. This morning I tried to start my car, and nothing would make the car stay on - it sounded just fine upon turning the key to the level III, but as soon as I let go of the key (which would put it back in the level II position for normal driving), it stalled out. No amount of accelerator pushing would help. The car is at the mechanic's right now, and I'm scared they will say it is something it isn't. The first person I spoke with said it sounded like the fuel pump, which would not jive with the dashboard gauges. Please help! I don't have money for anything right now (as evidenced by the fact that I'm still driving a '93 car). THANKS!
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Wednesday, June 17th, 2009 AT 12:27 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
Main relays area common problem on these more typical of an intermitant no start.
One way to check is to screw a fuel pressure gauge into the fuel rail, and leave the car with the windows rolled up in the sun, and wait until about 4pm on a hot day. Usually the fuel pressure will either stay at zero, or stay lower than it should, then jump up to normal. This means the main relay contacts did not connect.

Another way to flush out the main relay is tapping on the dash in the left upper corner, when it does not start.
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Thursday, June 18th, 2009 AT 4:35 AM
Tiny
MANDYWOMAN
  • MEMBER
I did some more reading online yesterday and determined that the problem was with the ignition switch. Sure enough, when the mechanic called back after the diagnostics were run, he told me that it was the ignition switch.
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Thursday, June 18th, 2009 AT 7:51 AM
Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
Glad it is solved. I would not have expected a bad switch to affect the gauges like that.
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Thursday, June 18th, 2009 AT 12:03 PM
Tiny
MANDYWOMAN
  • MEMBER
All of the reading I did online suggested that the ignition switch (particularly the electrical contact portion of the ignition switch - being the heart of the electrical junction of the car) is critical, and a switch failure could cause a shutdown of many critical systems: power steering, braking system, etc.

States that one specific symptom is that "the speedometer and tachometer drop momentarily and come back up." That's exactly what happened with my car. It also mentioned another symptom my car had: "Once started the car starts for a second and dies after letting off the key."
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Thursday, June 18th, 2009 AT 1:35 PM
Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
Auto repair is always humbling from time to time. The power we have at our fingertips today can pay off with some diligence. I applaud you on your successful quest.
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Thursday, June 18th, 2009 AT 5:59 PM

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