I recently replaced the head gasket and timing belt on my F22B2 (non-VTEC, 4 cylinder) 97 Honda Accord. I got everything put back together, but now the ignition switch doesn't have the same results it used to in the on position (position II).

Here are the ignition switch positions and the result I'm getting.

0 - off, head lights, rear and interior lights work

I - Radio can turn on

II - everything should be on at this position, the Battery and Oil light should go on briefly but only the interior/exterior vent light flashes for less than a second, no other dash lights turn on.

III - engage starter, In this position the dash lights come on (battery and oil pressure light), internal/external vent light stays on, I can hear the gas pressurize, the starter works, the engine turns over but does not start.

I have installed brand new spark plugs, distributor and battery. Battery is at at least 12.6 volts. I replaced the battery connectors. I had to remove the two ground connections to the valve cover and engine to do the work, they have been put back and tightened to the proper torque. I think all of the electrical connectors were reconnected properly. I'm pretty sure that I didn't touch any of the other chassis ground connections.

The ignition switch worked fine before doing this work. I don't think that is the problem but I'll test it just to make sure.

  • Has anyone had a similar issue?

  • Why don't the dash lights come on in position II like they should until I'm about to engage the starter in the ignition switch position III?

  • How would I go about trying to find where the weak connection is?

I'm sure there may be other things that would prevent the engine from starting. I think this electrical issue needs to be resolved first, so that's the issue I'm looking for any ideas on.

Thanks.

  • have you had any luck in your troubleshooting efforts? – DucatiKiller Dec 8 '15 at 20:54
up vote 2 down vote accepted

It is common for the ignition switch on this model to fail. It was the subject of a US federal government recall.
The way this switch is wired, if it fails, it can supply power to some systems and not to others. It has one power wire in and four out. In the on position it powers many systems with the black/yellow wire, the heater controls are powered separately from the yellow wire. The starter signal has its own wire, and the ACC position has its wire. lack of power to the PCM is the most likely cause of the no start. The evidence for this is the lack of check engine light.

Has anyone had a similar issue?

Yes, it is common.

Why don't the dash lights come on in position II like they should until I'm about to engage the starter in the ignition switch position III?

The contacts for the one switch position are worn.

How would I go about trying to find where the weak connection is?

Check for voltage on the black/yellow wire at the ignition switch wire harness connector with the switch in the on position. There should be around 12 volts. No power here means no power to the PCM.

That said, I can usually get the engine to start by not letting the key snap back to the run position but holding it just off the start position. This depends on the severity of the contact wear.

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