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Q: Bad ignition switch or main relay?

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On occasion, the car stalls and will not start back up or come out of park. Some days it will start and run several times but after turning the key off, it will not start back up and it is locked in park. If I wait, the shift button will fully depress and the car will start.

My car has 130000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Many of the 1998 Accords were recalled by Honda for ignition switch and interlock defects. In your circumstance, the first thing to do is confirm whether applicable recalls affecting your vehicle were in fact completed, by you or any prior owner. You can verify completion by visiting a Honda dealer and giving them your VIN number so they can access the corporate database and pull up the recall records for your car. Some of this data is also available to the public at the Safercar.gov website. If any ignition system, or interlock, related recalls apply, but your car was never presented for service, that work should be done before a diagnostic on the ignition system commences, simply because such work may resolve the issue. If you are outside the "time-frame" of the recall and Honda refuses to do it on a warranty basis, of course YourMechanic can perform the identical work, but with the usual mobile savings. In other words, although YourMechanic cannot do "recall repairs" for free as would be normally required of a "dealer", if a recall that affects your car has "expired", and you still want the car repaired, YourMechanic can certainly do the recall work with some savings to you. Finally, if your car was not the subject of the Honda ignition switch recall, or the recall repairs were already made, the recommended strategy is to request a stalling diagnostic and the responding certified mechanic from YourMechanic will determine the cause. It is not unheard of for ignition switches to fail over time but the only way to determine that is with an on-site inspection and diagnostic.

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