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Discussion Starter #1
On my 1999 CRV, the battery seems good, the starter cranks well, but the engine won't run. Pumping the gas pedal doesn't seem to do anything. It worked fine the day before. Funny when I first tried starting it, all the dash lights came on as usual. I popped the hood to see if there was anything unusual. Then I tried starting it again, but now all the dash lights are out through the ACC / START / ON key process. Again the starter still cranks fine. Not sure if the cold rainy & snowy weather here has an impact on this. Any clue here on what's causing this and how I can repair it? Thanks.
 

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check the battery cables for looseness & corrosion. Check the ground points from the battery. was anything done before this happened?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
No nothing was done in the engine area. All cables on tight. Again the battery cranks the starter, shouldn't this be enough juice to start the engine? What would cause all the warning/indicator lights on the dash to go out? Not dim, completely out.

check the battery cables for looseness & corrosion. Check the ground points from the battery. was anything done before this happened?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Any help here? Any reason why the starter cranks but engine wont start? Also the dash warning/indicator lights won't come on?
 

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Only one guess--maybe the ignition switch is bad. It is actually a few switches inside the case. My guess is that the starter switch probably works in it (which is why you can still operate the starter), but the others have worn out. (It's a known issue on this era of Honda--our '99 Acura TL had a very similar switch and it, too, died.)

The switches aren't too expensive but maybe someone else here knows a way to check to be certain it is bad, before throwing money at it. There could be any number of other things wrong, including blown fuses.

In my case, in both failures, the engine would quit running and everything in the car would shut off (including the dash lights), almost as though someone had turned the key off while driving.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you Wildcat. I am familiar with the Ignition Switch recall and with its problems of the engine cutting out while driving. However this problem seems to be different with all dash indicator lights being out & the engine not being able to start at all. I never had this problem before.

Anyone aware of Honda TSBs that might address this problem?

Only one guess--maybe the ignition switch is bad. It is actually a few switches inside the case. My guess is that the starter switch probably works in it (which is why you can still operate the starter), but the others have worn out. (It's a known issue on this era of Honda--our '99 Acura TL had a very similar switch and it, too, died.)

The switches aren't too expensive but maybe someone else here knows a way to check to be certain it is bad, before throwing money at it. There could be any number of other things wrong, including blown fuses.

In my case, in both failures, the engine would quit running and everything in the car would shut off (including the dash lights), almost as though someone had turned the key off while driving.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Well I'm sadly not getting much of a response here on this forum. I was wondering if it might be some fuse, fusable link, relay, or something like that, but can't find my Haynes & owners manuals to help identify where it might be. The bad ignition switch that Wildcat mentions may be the culprit with dash warning/indicator lights not coming on at all during START. I got the CRV used 1.5 years ago and dont know if it ever had the recall work done on it for the switch. Does the recall ever expire? Since it is safety related, I hope it doesn't.

I hope just the switch is the problem as I have little money. I'll get AAA to tow it to the Honda dealer, but if it's more, it'll be very bad news for me. Anyone know if the recall would cover the 1.5 mile tow to the Honda dealer? I wouldn't think so but it would save a AAA service, of which would be #3 in the 1st three months of 4 allowed within 12 months.
 

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Why not call the Honda up and find out if it the switch will be covered.
Just for info purposes.
Have you pulled a spark plug to see if it is firing or wet?
If the spark plug is dry that means it is a fuel problem.
Why the dash warning lights don't go on sure seems like a fuse or ignition switch problem (or a broken or disconnected wire).
So, when you checked under the hood you didn't pull on any wires, connectors, etc?

More research online may tell you how to bypass the ignition switch to see if that will get it started.
I don't know if that is readily available or not, but I would think so. Could just be bad connection on one of the wires connected to the ignition switch. Not real difficult to check out.

Does the horn work? Anything else electrical not working at the same time as this problem started?
If you get in the CRV in a VERY quiet environment, can you hear the fuel pump run when you first turn the ignition to ON?

So, you have two major info points,
1) at first when it didn't fire up, the dash warning lights worked: engine cranked over fine with the Starter.
2) after that, the dash warning lights never came on again and the engine still did not start but the engine turns over with the Starter.
FUSES:
Interior Fuse Box:
#13 15A Fuel Pump (SRS UNIT)
#25 and #30 7.5A fuses for Meter and Meter Light
Under Hood Fuse Box:
#13 15A FI E/M (ECM PCM)
#14 7,5A Backup (radio) does the radio work and does the radio light work?

Owners Manual Online: 1999 honda cr-v Owners Manual | Just Give Me The Damn Manual
If you don't have one I'm sure you can find a downloadable one online.

This link may give some info on the non-starting part due to ignition:

The 99 has a timing belt so it is possible that the belt broke. One easy check is to look down into the valve cover through the oil filler cap hole and see if the valve train is moving when some cranks the engine over. Use a flashlight.
A timing belt problem won't cause the dash warning lights not to work but it will surely prevent the engine from running.

Buffalo4
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Wow thanks Buffalo! I missplaced my off-year Owners Manual I got off eBay, but the downloaded one from the link you provided is great! Sad news when I called Honda... the guy there told me that the ignition switch recall for my vehicle VIN was "closed". He couldnt tell me if it was closed due to a prior owner already doing the recall work or for something else. Would anyone here on the forum know what happened if I provide my VIN? Would a CarFax show such that someone here can provide me?

I called a 2nd Honda dealer and she looked up my VIN and verified that although the ignition switch issue was related to 1999 CRVs, it wasn't related to my VIN, and she said that recalls are more related to VINs than year/make/model of the vehicle. She said it would cost $120 to me just for them to do a diagnostic, of which they'll send to Honda, and then I guess months later the NHTSA might tell Honda to cover the repair. This is BS. In the meantime I will check out these other things you provided Buffalo, thanks.

I ended up filing a complaint anyway with the NHTSA with the following... "The ignition switch turns off the CRV while driving. It would start up again if manually turning the switch to RUN or ON, or at stop turning it to START after putting the transmission into Park/Neutral, but before this there is little control to the steering & brakes. It is especially dangerous at intersections where you need two hands to steer. This has happened multiple times over the months I've had the CRV. But today, the ignition switch doesnt seem to work at all."
137328

Why not call the Honda up and find out if it the switch will be covered.
Just for info purposes.
Have you pulled a spark plug to see if it is firing or wet?
If the spark plug is dry that means it is a fuel problem.
Why the dash warning lights don't go on sure seems like a fuse or ignition switch problem (or a broken or disconnected wire).
So, when you checked under the hood you didn't pull on any wires, connectors, etc?

More research online may tell you how to bypass the ignition switch to see if that will get it started.
I don't know if that is readily available or not, but I would think so. Could just be bad connection on one of the wires connected to the ignition switch. Not real difficult to check out.

Does the horn work? Anything else electrical not working at the same time as this problem started?
If you get in the CRV in a VERY quiet environment, can you hear the fuel pump run when you first turn the ignition to ON?

So, you have two major info points,
1) at first when it didn't fire up, the dash warning lights worked: engine cranked over fine with the Starter.
2) after that, the dash warning lights never came on again and the engine still did not start but the engine turns over with the Starter.
FUSES:
Interior Fuse Box:
#13 15A Fuel Pump (SRS UNIT)
#25 and #30 7.5A fuses for Meter and Meter Light
Under Hood Fuse Box:
#13 15A FI E/M (ECM PCM)
#14 7,5A Backup (radio) does the radio work and does the radio light work?

Owners Manual Online: 1999 honda cr-v Owners Manual | Just Give Me The Damn Manual
If you don't have one I'm sure you can find a downloadable one online.

This link may give some info on the non-starting part due to ignition:

The 99 has a timing belt so it is possible that the belt broke. One easy check is to look down into the valve cover through the oil filler cap hole and see if the valve train is moving when some cranks the engine over. Use a flashlight.
A timing belt problem won't cause the dash warning lights not to work but it will surely prevent the engine from running.

Buffalo4
 

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Another place to check is on the owners.honda.com website run by American Honda Motor Corp.
Use this link and enter the VIN of your CR-V to see what is specific to your vehicle:

 

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I don't believe that the ignition switch is too difficult to replace yourself but look for a youtube vid on how to do it.
And, I don't know if any programming is required either. Googling could really help you out.
I don't believe the ignition switch in a 99 is anywhere as near 'security' programmed.
Here is a start for you:

Video:

Wow, the guy making the vid said that when that part goes bad, you also lose all the "indication" lights on the dashboard. This could be your problem with a pretty low cost and not difficult fix. :D
NOTE: Be SURE to disconnect the battery if you are doing the repair yourself. :eek:

Buffalo4
 

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Discussion Starter #12
THANK YOU Buffalo! There is finally a break in the miserable PA weather here and I will try to pick-up & fix the switch today. I might look at the other stuff you mentioned in a prior post but I knew the switch was bad before it stopped entirely working (except for the starter). After some discounts I was able to buy the switch at AdvanceAuto.com for under $40, plus it has a lifetime warranty. I know my switch is bad, but I hope I don't have to replace the Ignition Control Module as well as mentioned by this fellow's video linked below (the same guy in the U.K. where you got your video from). Do you think it does? Any way of knowing for sure to limit the times I need friends to ferry me to & from the parts store?

I don't believe that the ignition switch is too difficult to replace yourself but look for a youtube vid on how to do it.
And, I don't know if any programming is required either. Googling could really help you out.
I don't believe the ignition switch in a 99 is anywhere as near 'security' programmed.
Here is a start for you:

Video:

Wow, the guy making the vid said that when that part goes bad, you also lose all the "indication" lights on the dashboard. This could be your problem with a pretty low cost and not difficult fix. :D
NOTE: Be SURE to disconnect the battery if you are doing the repair yourself. :eek:

Buffalo4
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Racoon. As sadly expected, my VIN's ignition switch problem was not covered at that Honda recall website either, just an airbag problem. So doing it on my own. But little old ladies shouldn't have to do this, or pay $1000+, if their VIN's aren't covered, so my complaint with the NHTSA remains and I hope others with uncovered VINs do the same so that the recall umbrella widens.

Another place to check is on the owners.honda.com website run by American Honda Motor Corp.
Use this link and enter the VIN of your CR-V to see what is specific to your vehicle:

 
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