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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone, I have recently bought my self a white 1998 prelude VTIR 5 speed manual.

Love the car. But bought it with a problem of sometimes having a starting problem.

So, to describe the problem.. if I put the key in and turn it on to the ignition sometimes it wont crank the engine. nothing will happen when i turn it to the start. no cranking or anything. otherwise when it works it starts straight away when it is cranking.

Came to a conclusion of maybe the battery starting to fade or a loose loom.
What do you guys think?
 

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More info... Does the dash light up, does it make the beeps when you put the key in, is there any clicking when you turn the key?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
really..starter motor?? I dont think so because, when the engine cranks, no noise or problems it starts great.

The Dash lights DO light up and when I turn it to the START, I dont hear nothing at all. Just when I put the key from off to on i hear a little buzzing? sound for about 3 sec like something like a motor .

say it is the ignition switch, how much would I be looking at to get the part?
 

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I have had the same issue you are describing for about a year and a half. Irritating when you take it in for an oil change and they think you have a kill switch on it. I've told them (Honda Dealer) about the problem and now they know just to try it a few times and it will always crank.

I'm not so sure it's the ignition switch regarding the recall. I seem to remember the recall was more about being able to remove the key without turning it to the off position. Not sure if it has to do with the shift linkage position or the RFID in the key/switch etc either.

I just try it twice and if it doesn't crank, I remove the key and then put it back in and press the brake pedal and wiggle the gear stick (automatic btw) and it will always crank.

Is your Prelude an auto too?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
no, my car is a 5spd manual box...

it really is irritating, would really like to get this fixed up :/
 

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First off check all earths on engine,batt,starter,if everything is good check the power Goen to starter with a multimeter,u should get full batt voltage when cranking at the starter,if this is good take starter off for a bench test,could b ur starter solenoid is not engaging 100% all of the time,if the solenoid is not engaging it will not crank,alternatively u could just tap the starter with a hammer an a long bar when ur problem accurs,if it cracks as u ar banging it it's a solenoid problem,see how u go
 

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First off check all earths on engine,batt,starter,if everything is good check the power Goen to starter with a multimeter,u should get full batt voltage when cranking at the starter,if this is good take starter off for a bench test,could b ur starter solenoid is not engaging 100% all of the time,if the solenoid is not engaging it will not crank,alternatively u could just tap the starter with a hammer an a long bar when ur problem accurs,if it cracks as u ar banging it it's a solenoid problem,see how u go
 

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oh.. I forgot to mention earlier the dealer did the recall on my switch .. geez 5 years ago I guess. as Kronn 98SH said, go ahead and get that done to rule it out in your case.

I have no proof yet, but I honestly think my non-start problem is sensor related, i.e., what position is the transmission or brake pedal depressed in combo with the trans, etc.
 

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Hey man any luck with the solution? My girlfriends prelude started to do the same thing, ive replaced the ignition switch, bypassed the nuetral safety switch, and also changed the main relay... im about to just go to town on the damn thing with my volt meter and just start tracing after i check the starter and all...lol its got me stumped....
 

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Discussion Starter #12
hey there, i've done all sorts of things as well, looked into the electrical things at first maybe loose wires or split, starter, battery, ignition switch and coils, alternator, even looked to see if it had a clutch press-to-start switch and alllll kind of crap.

turns out it was the bloody factory immobilizer and the chip in the key. Replaced the key's chip and works fine now. spent waaaaay too much on this dam mission
 

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I have the similar problem as OP. I just bought my 1997 prelude base yesterday and it had no issues until later on in the evening when i tried to start it up. It cranked up but shut off immediately. Takes a while to get it up and running, but once its on, it stays on and runs fine. I'm also am running on a manual transmission. How much did Honda charge you to replace the chip in your key? Should i try that first?
 

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...turns out it was the bloody factory immobilizer and the chip in the key. Replaced the key's chip and works fine now. spent waaaaay too much on this dam mission
Replaced the chip in the key? I thought the only way to "replace" the chip in the key was to replace the key. I also have 2 keys and both do the same thing as far as starting 20 times just fine and the it taking several attempts to start. I would think the immobilizer chip would be the culpert. I too am interested in how much this change out cost.

BTW - as you can see I have had no luck finding the solution but I haven't needed to be aggressive on this problem since I am the only driver.
 

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Ignition switch or immobilizer in the keys, my best guess. After 13yrs, electronics can experience some difficulties. It may be that you need to fix the immobilizer circuit. Here is some info from a write up I saw on another forum.
Immobilizer System
The immobilizer system protects your car from theft. A properly coded ignition key must be used in the ignition switch for the engine to start. If an improperly coded key (or other device) is used, the engine's starting circuit will be disabled.

When you turn the ignition switch to ON(II), the immobilizer system indicator should come on for a few seconds, then go out. If the indicator starts to blink, it means the system does not recognize the coding of the key. Turn the ignition switch to LOCK(0), remove the key, reinsert it, and turn the switch to ON(II) again.

If the system repeatedly does not recognize the coding of your key, contact your Honda dealer.

This indicator will also blink several times when you turn the ignition switch from ON(II) to ACCESSORY(I) or LOCK(0).

The system may not recognize your key's coding if any other key is near the ignition switch. To make sure the system recognizes the key code, keep each key on a separate ring.

Do not attempt to alter this system(Unless you are a trained professional, know exactly what you're doing and are prepared to take care of the consequences if you mess up, or are under the direct supervision of someone who knows exactly what they are doing) or add any devices to it. Electrical problems could result that may make your car undrivable.

If you have lost your key and cannot start the engine(curious about this, what do you do if you lost your key but can start your engine?), contact your local Honda dealer."

I'm gonna stop there, following that is information on the Ignition switch positions.

The following is from the 1997-1999 Honda Prelude service manual(Helms manual, see the 5th gen resource thread for download links and other helpful write-ups), Chapter 23, page 196.
 

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ok so i was the first one to turn on the car after i washed it..took me like 4 tries...warmed it up for like 5 mins and then shut it off. when me and my dad were ready to go to advanced auto parts with it, the start up got a little worse. here's vid watch the first minute and then go to 4mins to see it finally start up

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdhmL...ature=youtu.be

and here's the OBDII
1997 Honda Prelude OBDII - YouTube
 

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Hey OP so it was the key issue? or was it the Immobilizer? I work at a car audio store, i was thinking that might be the issue, i was planning to install a remote start on my girlfriends lude anyways, i figured i'd just go ahead and do it since i would use an immobilizer bypass for the remote start, but how much did the "chip" issue set you back if you dont mind me asking?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
hey, I changed the chip by just getting a brand new key. the whole job costed 400 NZD so would be around 300usd
 

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hey, I changed the chip by just getting a brand new key. the whole job costed 400 NZD so would be around 300usd
OUCH. The key cost you a few hundred dollars??
Or is that for them to look over, diagnose, replace a few things, THEN make a new key?
Seems awfully high.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
nope just the key set me back that much.

did the diagnosis and look over the electrical side over at my work

(i work at subaru but i own a honda :pP)
we went over pretty much every possible causes and in my case we got it down to either getting a new key or rip out the factory immob but that would be a massive headache to do...
 
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