1998 Honda Prelude Ignition switch/cylinder

  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • 105,000 MILES
Hello Mechanic Experts,

I drive a 98 Honda prelude and my ignition switch module started acting up yesterday.
(The ignition switch generally has four positions: off, accessories, on, and start) When I put in the key the cylinder does not go back to the "off" position, it just operates in the accessories, on, and start postion. The car starts fine though. It sounds like the following happenend to me:

(When the lock cylinder malfunctions, however, the operation of the key itself will become problematic. If the tumblers become stripped, the lock cylinder may be able to turn with any key, or you may be able to remove the key when the car is on)

My questions:
1. Is this a hard job to do myself?
2. What parts do I need to order
3. Do I need a Honda technician to do the job?
4. Is it an expensive job?

Thanks in advance experts!
Do you
have the same problem?
Sunday, September 13th, 2009 AT 11:38 AM

1 Reply

Hello -

I have provided the directions below.

Your questions are pretty tough.

I don't know your level of mechanical ability so it is hard to say can you do it yourself. My suggestion is to remove the parts other than the lock cylinder and take a good look at it. If you can get to that point then you are doing well and may be able to.

Really look at the cylinder and see if it makes sense to you. Drilling the heads off and remving the shear bolts. Do you have the tools. Drill, bits. Punch. You can check out the steering wheel puller from Auto Zone.

If you feel you can based off of your know abilities. Then by all means. Jump on it.

Be EXREAMLY careful of the airbag. Static electricity can set them off so be careful to include when you carry it. You don't want it going off and you end up looking like a powdered doughnut. Much worse. Hurting yourself or having to purchase another one.

Parts. The key lock cylinder. It should come with keys, new bolts etc. Check with the parts department. ARE you sure it is that and not the key. Does it do that with all the keys or just one? Have a locksmith check your key. Maybe it is worn and needs recut.

Need a Honda tech. Well, to me if you have basic auto knowledge and understand drills etc you should be able to. Again. Practice first. At least get to the lock cylinder. Look at the part at the parts dept.

Expensive. Well my friend. They don't provide us with that data on your vehicle so you are back to the parts dept again. Give them a call to see how much one is.

I hope this helps.
Removal & Installation (Prelude)
1. Disable air bag system. See DISABLING & ACTIVATING AIR BAG SYSTEM. Remove dashboard lower cover, left knee bolster and left kick panel. Disconnect 5-pin connector from underdash fuse/relay box. Remove 3-pin connector from main wire harness. Remove steering column covers.
2. Center punch 2 shear bolts and drill their heads off with a 3/16" drill bit. Remove shear bolts from switch body and remove switch assembly. Install new ignition switch without key inserted. Loosely tighten NEW shear bolts. Insert ignition key. Check for proper operation of steering wheel lock. Ensure ignition key operates freely in housing. Tighten shear bolts until hex heads twist off. To complete installation, reverse removal procedure.

NOTE: On models with theft protection system, obtain radio security code from vehicle owner before disconnecting battery cable.
Driver-Side Air Bag
Disconnect battery cables, negative cable first. Wait at least 3 minutes. Remove access panel from steering wheel. Disconnect cable reel 2-pin connector and connect Red short connector to air bag side harness connector. On all models except Odyssey and Oasis, remove access panel from steering wheel. Disconnect driver's air bag 2-pin connector and cable reel 2-pin connector.
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Monday, September 14th, 2009 AT 4:20 AM

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