What is wrong with my VAN? Need your mechanical advice, please!

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Sunny Side Up, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I wonder if those of you who know about cars can help me here. We are so desperately broke and need to remedy this problem for the lowest cost possible.

    My 2003 Honda Odyssey van is having problems with the ignition switch. Many times I can just insert the key & easily turn it on, or easily turn it off & remove the key. But every 5-10 times (seems to be happening with increasing frequency) the key gets stuck in there, or it is very difficult to turn on. When that happens I have to twiddle & fiddle with it, praying & pleading, and after about 5 minutes or so finally get the ignition to turn on. Sometimes when the key is stuck after turning the van off I can wriggle it a bit and pull the key out, but it hasn't turned all the way off (the door buzzer beeps when opened, as if it senses that the key is still in there).

    A friend who works on cars says that I need to replace the ignition switch, and on that vehicle involves replacing a whole big part that includes the switch. And that he couldn't buy & replace that part for me in my driveway, that I need to have it done at the Honda dealership so they can also re-program the invisible computer chip that's in my key.

    Do you agree? Or is there an easier way to remedy this? Preferably using something like WD-40, duct tape, & zip ties. This is our family's only vehicle, and we live in a semi-rural area miles away from town, with no public transportation available as an alternative. I fear getting stuck somewhere, unable to re-start the van again. Please let me know what you think should be done. Thank you!
  2. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    As a completely non-mechanical person that knows a just a wee bit about car trouble, I think you got good advise. Now I am going to put your issue into perspective for you. Ken lost his job, which mean he lost his company truck,so we had one vehicle. It blew a rod. Car value in good condition $1500. Cost to repair the rod> $3000. Sooo, we have a new truck AND a payment that we didn't have before. On one salary. Count your blessings.
  3. geepy

    geepy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2009
    central FL
    Sounds like the advice is right.
    In my opinion I think getting it fixed is cheaper then a car payment, depending on the mileage and condition.
  4. Reyvaughn

    Reyvaughn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 10, 2011
    Northeast Pennsylvania
    I gotta agree with the advise you already got. I'm not sure if you have a "U-pull-it" junkyard around you and I am not sure about today's technology (I miss carbureted vehicles that I could work on myself), but maybe you could get another ignition from there. You'll have to carry 2 keys though. One for door and one for the ignition.
  5. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    First thing, check to see if there has been a recall on that part. Even if you aren't the original owner, they should fix it.

    Other than that, I have no clue, even though I had a Honda truck for years. [​IMG]
  6. Spookwriter

    Spookwriter Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 23, 2010
    Setting here knowing I should go to bed. Going to be a long night.

    Meanwhile, do you happen to have TWO ignition keys to this van?
    Both keys show the same problem?

    Inspect the key. Does it appear worn or dirty? Clean key.

    You can spray a light lube into the cylinder. May help. Don't put the
    whole can in there.

    Never had an Odyssey.

    Put a new ignition in the dodge pickup the other day, $85.00 or so
    with no chip. Two piece ignition, took only simple tools.

    Ignition key broke off in a Dodge van. Could start it with a screwdriver
    untill I bought a new key from Dodge with the correct chip. Only $28.00

    Had the ignition mess up in Mom's Mercedes a few years ago. That one was
    bad news, cost a few dollars.

    Put one in a Pontiac in my yard...had to tow it to the dealer to have the new
    lock programed. Charged me the two, set lock for free.

    Either way, not the worst thing that could happen.
  7. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    Needs graphite dust sprayed in to the key hole... You can buy it or just scribble with a pencil till you make a bunch of dust.

    Graphite is the preferred lubricant in key ways. I would pass on the WD40.
  8. Spookwriter

    Spookwriter Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 23, 2010
    Graphite is probably best in the ignition, or any lock.

    I tend to use WD-40 in the door doors on the big trucks.
    They just seem to gum up to the point that I'll even pull the
    door pads so I can get to the rods inside the doors.
  9. Carols Clucks

    Carols Clucks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2010
    I would make sure you just have a couple of keys on the ring, too many keys and bobbles can ruin the switch

    Also check with a lock smith and see if they can fix

    or call the dealer and see


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by