Honda Odyssey Ignition Switch Switch In the Near Future

My family and I are proud owners of a Honda Odyssey. The Odyssey is a great van. The van drives and runs good and has a lot of room. This is the first vehicle that I have ever owned, used or new, that I do not have any complaints about…well, until now.


Our family Honda Odyssey hit the 30,000-mile mark in the past few weeks, so today I delivered the van to the Honda dealer in Waterloo for the 30,000-mile checkup. As many of you know, this is the comprehensive check to ensure all is working correctly complete with oil change; various filter replacements and other items on a very long detailed list, which is why it is best to leave tasks like this to the professionals.


When I delivered the van, I told the service rep that we were having an issue with the ignition switch. The Honda Odyssey came with three Keys. Two keys are the master keys that open all the doors, are used to start the van and have the keyless entry remotes located with them. The third key is used if you ever use a valet service. For the record, the third key has never been used  nor could I tell you what is different about it from the other keys. I recollect that it only opens the door and starts the van; however, it cannot open the glove compartment. I guess I will have to try it out sometime.

I explained to the service rep that when the van is shut off and you remove the key from the ignition, 90 percent of the time, the ignition switch fails to sense that the key has been removed. Big deal right? BUZZ.


The van comes with a feature that stops you from locking your keys in the van if you accidentally leave them in the ignition. So… You stop, shut off the van, remove the key, the ignition switch sticks still incorrectly sensing the key is in the ignition, you get out of the van and neither the remote nor manually locking the door works as the safety system kicks in and unlocks the door automatically. It was funny the first five times but…..


The only way to fix it is to gently tap on the ignition switch until you hear a very soft sounding click. Once you hear the click, you can lock the door/set the alarm and go on about your business.


Since the van is under warranty, there is no cost to me to get this fixed. The service rep figured they would replace the ignition switch and set it to work with our keys and all would be fine. Well, what we learned is that if we replaced the ignition switch, we would have to have a key for the door and then another for the ignition. That was fine on my 1978 Pontiac Bonneville I used to own but not on my van, especially when it is still under warranty.


The service rep was supportive; in fact, he did not even give me a chance to complain. He first explained the easy cheap way (multiple key solution) and then he went right in to the solution to fix the issue correctly. The solution, believe it or not, entails having to change out all the locks on the van as well as the ignition switch which would then allow me to still have the two main and one (still unused) valet key.  To do this, I had to wait for him to get clearance from Honda.


I left with the van and will now wait to hear what happens next.

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