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I was driving my 2002 MDX and I lost power to the instrument cluster and car died. It immediately cranked and started up. It did it two or three more times over the next two days, then yesterday it took 30 minutes of trying before it would start. It cranks, starts and then dies. I am pretty sure the instrument panel dies each time. It seems like it fuel or fuel pressure, but that doesn't explain the instrument cluster or the eventual running. I suspect it is the ignition switch because of the instrument cluster. Any other ideas? Thanks.
 

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This morning, in first and second switch position, the cluster didn't light up but it started. After it started the cluster would turn on and off with the switch. The ground terminal was a little loose so I tightened it. I would think I would lose clock and radio stations if it was a total power out.
 

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It happened again this morning. Instrument cluster goes out, no blinker out wipers, green key flashes and then rest of cluster lights up.

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There are a lot of things that could cause the instrument panel to be intermittent. Really, it's going to come down to someone with a schematic diagram for your particular car, and a voltmeter poking around looking for what's not right when the cluster goes dark. If the green key symbol STAYS on, the car is telling you it doesn't recognize the key, and will die immediately after starting (since the immobilizer will keep from activating the fuel pump).
 
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