Honda Civic vti coupe 1999.

Car previously used to keep stalling and I fixed it with a second hand ignition switch(from here on i will refer to the faulty switch as switch a and the second hand replacement switch as switch b).

Within a few months car started stalling again. Just in case it might be because ignition switch b became faulty too I decided to clean the carbon off switch A, install it and see if that made a difference. It made no difference and car keeps cutting out.

When installing switch A today The symptoms got worse because it seems either I did something during the install or the original cut out problem coincidentally got worse:

Before I started work today(with switch b in car) when i turned the key to accessory on position dashboard lights would come on, you would hear the fuel pump and a click at the end, electronics eg windows would also work. However after I installed switch A What’s happening now is that when I turn to accessory position no dashboard lights, or fuel pump noise, or windows but u do hear a click at end. It is only if you push AND HOLD the key slightly past accessory position do the dashboard lights come and and u hear the fuel pump, windows work etc but if you let it go car cuts out again. At this point I thought maybe switch a is damaged from opening/incorrect cleaning so I’ll just revert back to switch b and the accessory lights should come on as it was before the replacement.

Unfortunately reverting to switch b didn’t fix the dash lights, fuel pump etc issue so i guess it means I did something during the initial switch change that introduced this problem or it could be the original cut out problem coincidentally got worse/worse with tampering and now even the accessory position doesn’t work unless u wiggle it just past accessory. Previously with switch b if I held start position I could maintain running but now even that doesnt work. Is something misaligned?

I did the install while the battery was connected don’t know if that did anything

Based on the above can you figure out what I may have done wrong(tbh switch replacement seems pretty straightforward besides wrestling some harnesses in) or/and what the current problem may be? It think it would be wrong to blame it on me opening and cleaning switch A because I did revert back to switch b where accessories did work and which I had never opened, but despite this reverting to the accessory position doesn’t work properly now.


Just to add a year and half ago my car key was so worn I had to fiddle it about to get it to open the door and switch the car on. I lost said keys and automotive locksmith made me a new pair which worked nicely. I think I read somewhere that both the key and the lock need to wear together otherwise might not work. I dunno but just mentioning this history in case it is related. Thanks again.

  • It is not unlikely that the second-hand switch's contacts have worn in the same way as the original one, but from your previous posts here and here you may have damaged the original one by cleaning it harshly. Commented Jan 10, 2021 at 9:55
  • @Weather Vane that’s fine however the dashboard lights etc were always coming on with the second hand switch. It’s only when I installed the cleaner one the dashboard lights etc problem started. I then reverted to the second hand one(which I didn’t open) and the dashboard light problem remained. Therefore wouldn’t this suggest I newly introduced this dashboard problem and it’s external to the switch itself or the original problem coincidentally got worse during the install and it’s showing more symptoms eg dashboard lights issue? Thanks. Commented Jan 10, 2021 at 11:16
  • "I reverted back to the original switch in case there was a problem with my cleaning." But the original switch was the one you cleaned? It's not clear in the post which switch does what. If you call the original one (which you cleaned) switch A and the second-hand one you bought switch B that would be easier to follow. If all the key functions operate by one or the other of the switches in some contrived position or another, it looks as though they are both faulty and you need a new switch. Commented Jan 10, 2021 at 11:50
  • Thanks for the clarification. Perhaps cleaning switch A also changed the profile or shape of the contacts. And if the switch contacts are worn, cleaning isn't going to 'unwear' them anyway. If the dash lights and other switch functions do work under some conditions with one switch or the other, perhaps both switches are too badly worn to be servicble. Commented Jan 10, 2021 at 12:49
  • @Weather Vane I apologise for my poor explanation. I have reworded it. Hope it’s clear now. Thanks. Commented Jan 10, 2021 at 12:50

1 Answer 1


You can help diagnose this issue by finding out whether the problem is from the ignition switch and after or prior to it eg to do with alignment, ignition lock cylinder etc.

Unscrew the electronic side of the ignition switch. Insert key and turn to start position. Use a flathead to manually turn the inside of the ignition switch. If the car starts or at least the dashboard lights come on at the right time then your Problem is not the switch and it meNs your switch installation has been poorly aligned(hence not turning like the flathead) or maybe the cylinder parts have worn. Chances are based on description switchnus poorly aligned, it cannot be sticking out even a little or off axis as that’s enough to cause the symptoms you are describing.

As for whether switch B is faulty and maybe the cause of your no start, you can always remove the switch cover and see if carbon has developed. There could be other reasons for an intermittent start including worn relays so if the switch seems ok do check those out too.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .