Last post on Jan 31, 2012 at 2:39 PM
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Honda Accord, Electrical, Interior, Coupe
#5 of 44 A "How To" to fix this
Jul 09, 2007 (2:09 pm)
Alright, hopefully this helps someone else out; I had to compile info from multiple sites to figure this out.
Car: 2003 Honda Accord 4cyl 2/dr coupe
NOTE: Should be the same for any model Accord around this same generation.
Primary Problem: Wife's car will not shift from park. Button on the center console shifter depresses maybe half way, but will not release the gear lock. Car is stuck.
Secondary Problem: Investigation reveals that all three rear brake lights are not working. (previously worked fine) All fuses checked and are fine.
Diagnosis: A part called a "break light switch" or "stop light switch" has gone bad. This part tells your car when you press your break, thus activating your lights and also telling your transmission that the car is in a braked positioned, and is safe to be shifted out of park.
Step One: First, if you need to move your car (like I did from Walgreens parking lot). There is a small plastic tab on the upper left side of the shifter face. (just northwest of the "P" for park) This is the shift lock override. Use a piece of cloth to protect the plastic and stick a flat screwdriver in the open slot and pry the plastic tab out. Now, take your car key, shove it in the hole, thus releasing your shifter. Now put the car in neutral and depress the brake (obviously). Now put the key in the ignition and start the car. Put it in drive and go. (have someone follow you. remember, you have no break lights which is a major safety hazard, as well as a traffic violaion)
NOTE: If the shift lock overide doesn't work you may have a bad cable running from the shifter to the tranny. See a trained mechanic for this.
Step 2: Get under your steering column near your pedals. You'll need to pull out the plastic protective cover (pretty easy, it's just snaps in and out of place)
Follow the brake pedal's arm up. About 3/4 the way up, you'll see a plastic piece with a plunger on the end, that depresses when the brake is un depressed. It's about a 2 inch part with a fat end that a wiring hub plugs into. Unhook the wires (press tabs and pull). Now grab the fat end and twist it (clockwise *I think) about 1/4 of a turn and it will release from it's plastic mounting piece.
Step 3: Pick up or order a "stop light switch" from your local auto store (cost me $11.88+tax at Advance Auto Parts).
NOTE: The ordered part may look different that the original, which worried me at first too, but it's fine as long as you order the part for your car's specific specs.
Step 4: Back under the dash, pop out the plastic mounting piece from the metal part that sits in front of the break pedal arm. You new part has a round "female" part that will insert into this spot. It just snaps into place.
Step 5: Plug the new part into the wiring hub. The part recognizes your breaks are activated when the plunger end is out (natural position). So with it just plugged and not installed your brake lights should be activated and if you start the car, it should shift. I'd check this before going farther, to make sure it works.
Step 6: Insert the male plunger piece into the female part until the plunger is fully depressed by the brake pedal arm (do not touch the brake pedal, just leave it alone) With the small plunger thing depressed turn the part about 1/4 of a turn (counter-clockwise now *I think) and it will snap into place (with plunger depressed)
Step 7: Have someone check your lights while you hit the brake and test the shifter. Assuming it works, put the cover back on and you're good to go (not to mention an extra $150 in dealer labor plus towing charges in your bocket)
Time: (Had I not had to do 2 hours of research to figure all this out) about 45 minutes from taking out the old to installing the new
Difficulty: Easy (and worth it). I'm no mechanic, but consider myself fairly handy, especially with simple tasks. This really wasn't that difficult. Hardest part was getting under the dash in a small 2/dr coupe.
Hope this helps. Good luck.
#6 of 44 98 accord electrical problem
Jul 18, 2007 (2:46 pm)
HAve a 98 accord. While driving, the engine will just die. No warning. Coast to the side of the road and it will restart and I'm on my way. Seems to be worst in rain. Any thoughts??
#7 of 44 Re: 98 accord electrical problem [zek7717]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Jul 18, 2007 (7:29 pm)
Fuel pump or fuel pump relay would be my first guess. These are the kinds of problems that could drive a man nuts.
#8 of 44 Re: 98 accord electrical problem [Mr_Shiftright]
Jul 18, 2007 (7:50 pm)
My gut says it is an electrical problem......
#9 of 44 Re: 98 accord electrical problem [zek7717]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Jul 18, 2007 (9:02 pm)
Not so sure. Electrical things generally don't go on and off like that...if it fries, it's fried. But a relay might stick.
#10 of 44 Re: A "How To" to fix this [ucfphi225]
Jul 21, 2007 (5:15 pm)
Thanks for saving me the research! I will try that. Just found out that my brake lights weren't working last night and I have been checking fuses and bulbs this afternoon.
#11 of 44 BRAKE LIGHT SWITCH/STS
Aug 01, 2007 (8:06 am)
I have an issue with a 03 coupe accord the sts light keeps coming on, can this be because the brake light switch needs to be replace if so hiw come? or what's the reson for this?
#12 of 44 Ignition Switch Problem
Sep 23, 2007 (10:42 am)
Question? I just bought a 2003 Honda accord lx v6(auto). Sometimes when I part the key in the ignition it will not show the gear I am in such as park, reverse, and etc...The air condition will blow out hot air, showing that car is not working properly. What I do is turn the car back off and then it will work properly. Is this a problem that car be fix?
#13 of 44 Wipers don't stop
Oct 02, 2007 (12:29 pm)
Can anyone give me some ideas on why my wipers stay on, while the switch is off. I just bought the 96 accord coupe 30 days ago. Within a week of buying the car, I noticed occasionally, when driving over a hard bump, the wipers would come on briefly and then stop.
Now, for the past 2 days the wipers have stayed on constantly. They only stop when I turn off the car
Any ideas ?
#14 of 44 92 Accord Electrical Problem
Oct 24, 2007 (4:29 pm)
I seem to be stuck here. My Dash/meter lights, hazard lights, and temp gauge have stopped working. Also the heater only works on full blast. All this seemed to have happened at once. I checked all the fuses which were all good. Before I give up and take it somewhere I thought I would check with you guys, any ideas?