Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: when i turn key it starts then when i let off it cuts off

asked by on

When I turn key it starts then as long as I hold the key n a certain place it will stay running but when i let the key go it shuts off

My car has 275749 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

This is most commonly the ignition switch electrical. It is an important distinction to make. There is the "electrical ignition switch" and the "ignition lock cylinder" that the key inserts. It is very common for Honda’s to exhibit this symptom. The ignition switch gears wear or break, causing the correct electrical contacts to move their position resulting in you needing to hold the key in an awkward place.

The ignition switch electrical is mounted on the opposite side of the steering column as the ignition lock cylinder. If you were to draw a line straight through the lock cylinder, along the same plane as the key, you will find it. It is attached to the lock cylinder housing which the lock cylinder is mounted in as well. You will need to remove the plastic column covers to access it. Once you have removed the covers, there will be two small screws or bolts holding the round ignition switch in place. The round switch will have several wires soldered to it.

It is not uncommon for the ignition lock cylinder to have problems as well. But the easiest place to begin looking is to remove the switch and see if it does the same thing when disconnected from the housing. You should be able to turn it with a flat head screw driver and it should click into a number of positions. The problem should be fairly obvious at this point, but if not, this is the time to remove the lock cylinder and look for signs of wear anywhere in the ignition housing and or lock cylinder, but the ignition switch is by far the most common failure for this symptom.

Good luck. I hope I have helped you. If you feel like these check are too overwhelming, feel free to contact a certified mechanic who can help you diagnose this ignition problem firsthand to get your Accord starting again.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. when i turn key it starts then when i let off it cuts off

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: There's a clank sound in axel area, car won't start suddenly, and power steering fluid seems to spin more than usual.

Hello, thank you for writing in. The vehicle may be having several issues at once. You want to start by addressing the starting problem, as it is the most likely to cause issues with other systems in the car. Start...

Q: 2006 Chevrolet cobalt wont start.

These symptoms sound much like that of a failed alternator. The alternator is responsible for running all the electronics in your vehicle while the engine is running as well as charging the battery for the next startup. If the alternator...

Q: I think my alternator is bad

Hello. Coincidentally, I also have a 2003 Honda Odyssey. From my own experience and as a certified auto technician, I can say that when all of these lights are on, it does indeed indicate an issue with the alternator. A...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.