Ignition Switch Issues
Do You Have A Traditional Ignition Switch?
If you have a newer car, you probably don’t have regular ignition switch like older cars. Most newer automobiles (in the last 10 – 15 years)use an electronic security ignition system that requires a key FOB or a transponder key. If that is your situation, remember that the brake petal must be depressed while pushing the start button or turning the transponder key. If the car still won’t start, the sensor that relays the brake condition the the ignition system may be faulty.
That also means that this article is not for you.
Some Common Ignition Switch Issues
A faulty ignition switch can be merely an annoyance, a major inconvenience, or a deadly problem.
- Sometimes you have to try and start the car 3 or 4 times before you get it going.
- You have to be at work in 30 minutes – the car won’t start.
- You remove the key and your car keeps running.
- You stall your car in traffic and can’t get it started.
A Few Possible Causes Of Ignition Set Failure:
- Wheels turned when you stopped causing the Steering Wheel locking pin to stick.
- Bent Key
- Key broken off in the ignition
- Car battery is low.
- faulty ignition switch
Some Additional Causes
- The Key is worn
- The key is bent
- Steering wheel is locked
In come cases it is not an ignition issue at all. If you can turn the key and you hear a click but the engine won’t turn over the problem may be a bad battery or alternator.
It is safest if you have the car towed to a repair shop or call your local locksmith to test and fix your ignition switch if you determine that is the problem. Driving your car with a compromised ignition switch can cause an annoyance to turn into a dangerous situation.
Symptoms of Ignition System Failure
If you have one of these problems (symptoms), it does not necessarily mean you have a failure of your ignition system, but it is highly possible.
- Key Issues – trouble putting the key in or removing it. Key feels loose or the opposite – hard to turn. The car may not start when the key is turned or do so intermittently. The car may even keep running after the key is removed.
- Accessory Issues – part of the function of the ignition switch is the control of the accessories – allowing or denying power to the lights, instruments, etc. If you see intermittent accessory function, the problem could be a faulty ignition switch. Of course the problem could be exposed copper wiring or something else. However, don’t overlook the ignition switch as a possible cause.
- Engine Won’t Turn Over (Start) – Other than the battery, or being out of gas, the ignition switch is the most likely candidate for your car start issues. If you turn the key and nothing at all happens it is probably the ignition switch or the starter. If you hear a click but the car still won’t start, the problem is most likely the battery. Some simple multimeter testing can probably isolate the problem.
- Engine Stalls When In Motion – This is the dangerous one! If you are in heavy traffic, this could cause a wreak. Your problems are compounded if you then cannot get your car started. A freeway or interstate highway is no place to have this happen.
Fortunately, the worst of problems usually happen after ignoring the lesser issues. So, don’t let an ignition problem escalate. If you have a problem, don’t pass it off as an annoyance. You need to take action and get it fixed ASAP, before an annoyance turns into a deadly problem!