7 Ignition Switch Problems And How To Fix Them

Today, ignition switches are one of the most important parts of a vehicle. Ignition switches that are made today are now so advanced that they are capable of powering almost all of the electrical and electronic systems in an automobile. But as advanced as they can be, ignition switch problems are fairly common even in all vehicles. It could be that you are unable to turn the key or the vehicle doesn’t start when you turn it.

Having a faulty ignition switch is a big inconvenience, and you must get it fixed right away. Here are some common ignition switch problems and how to fix them:

1. The Key Won’t Turn


It’s not surprising that you experience this if you have an old car with a worn-out turn-key ignition switch. This is probably due to wear and tear caused by friction or if the turn-key switch simply broke out a piece.

There are also instances where accumulated dirt and dust can prevent the key from entering. If you notice that the key turning action is no longer smooth as it was when it was still new, then it won’t probably turn.

How To Fix It?

When you feel that the key turning action is no longer smooth, you should try sucking out whatever that’s blocking your key by using a vacuum.

If this doesn’t work, we recommend that you let a mechanic or a specialist, like car locksmiths from https://jandlpacificlockandkey.com/bend-oregon-locksmith/, work on it.

2. Using the Wrong Keys


As a driver, there are times where you accidentally used the wrong key on the wrong car, door lock, or ignition switch. This causes the key to be jammed inside the keyway.

If this happens to you, the first thing you want to is to never force the key out as it can damage the keyway, which can cost you a lot of money on car repair fees. The best thing to do is to call a car locksmith to work on the problem.

How To Fix It?

To prevent this from happening, you actually have to make sure that you are using the right keys on your car! It might seem ridiculous, but this has really happened to a lot of car owners out there.

3. Steering Wheel Lock


To help protect them from theft, most cars come with a steering wheel lock that’s paired with the ignition cylinder. However, there are instances where the lock gets stuck, which prevent you from turning the key. This usually happens when you switch off the engine while the steering wheel is turned to the left or right side or if you were turning the wheel while switching off the engine.

How To Fix It?

Fortunately, steering wheel lock problems can be fixed quickly. If your key is stuck on the ignition cylinder because of the steering wheel lock, you can free it by turning the steering wheel gently while turning the ignition key at the same time.

4. Worn-Out Key or Ignition Cylinder


Whether you like it or not, all things will tend to wear out over time. The same can be said for your key and the key cylinders in your car’s ignition system.

The number of times you insert and remove your key from the ignition cylinders every day for every year can cause it to wear down slowly. Using heavy keychains can also add stress to the ignition cylinder, which increases its wear and tear. After a couple of years, the key may fall out of the ignition cylinder on its own, or worse, you can no longer turn the key because it is so worn out already.

If your key gets stuck on the ignition cylinder when turning it or it’s so hard to remove the key, then it’s a sign that you either have a worn-out key or ignition switch. Your key is probably not connected inside the ignition switch properly, which causes it to get stuck or hard to remove. Also, this problem may also cause your car to continue running even though you’ve removed the key.

How To Fix It?

The best way to fix this problem is to get new keys and install a new ignition cylinder. Just make sure that the new lockset you’re going to get matches with your door and truck key cylinders as well.

5. The Engine Won’t Start


Another common ignition switch problem is the engine won’t start, although you’ve already turned on the ignition key. It could be caused by a bad ignition switch, or there’s something wrong with starting circuit. A worn ignition switch also causes your engine to shut off while driving, which can be very dangerous.

The ignition switch contains several contacts. They’re connected to vital electrical systems, which are needed for the car to start and run. Generally speaking, when the car is off, the ignition switch is not connected to anything. But when you turn the car on, its starter relay becomes activated. This causes the engine to turn on.

How To Fix It?

To know if there’s a problem with the ignition switch, the first thing you have to do is to ensure that the electrical system of your car is in good working condition. If all the parts of the electrical system are working, but your car still won’t start, then the problem is the ignition switch. In this case, you need to consider replacing your ignition switch with a new one.

6. The Engine Shuts Off While Driving


As mentioned earlier, a worn ignition switch can also cause your engine to shut off while driving. The worn ignition switch has worn contacts, which causes a momentary loss of voltage due to vibration, especially when you are driving on a rough road or heat. Once the ignition switch loses power, it will cause the engine to stall or shut off.

There are also times where a faulty ignition switch can cause your car to start and then suddenly stall. If you have a faulty ignition switch, your car will start and immediately stall. Right afterward, you insert the key and turn it to the ‘on’ position. The ignition switch can only give power to the fuel pump momentarily while it is still in the cranking position, which allows you to start your vehicle. A faulty ignition switch cuts off power to your vehicle’s fuel and ignition system once you turn the key to the ‘on’ position.

Ignition switches can wear over time. The more you use your car, the more you use its ignition switch. The electrical contacts found inside the ignition switch can become worn or corroded over time, which causes it to lose power momentarily.

The wear and tear on ignition switches can also become a lot worse if you have a heavy or large key chain that sways and tugs on the switch as you drive. Over time, this will cause your ignition switch to become worn quickly and fail.

How To Fix It?

Once your ignition switch is already worn, you need to replace it with a new one. Also, avoid using heavy or large key rings to help prolong the life of your ignition switch after replacing it with a new one.

7. Can’t Turn on Accessories


Another common ignition switch problem is you have trouble turning on your vehicle’s accessories, such as dashboard lights, interior lights, and center console. Aside from the engine, once a key is inserted and turned, you should expect your car’s accessories to power on as well. The same can also be said if your dashboard lights suddenly shut off or flicker while you’re driving.

If you inserted the key and turned it and your vehicle’s accessories don’t turn on, it could be a sign that there’s a problem with the ignition switch or lock cylinder. Most of the time, though, this problem is often caused by faulty wiring and electrical issues inside the vehicle.

How To Fix It?

The best way to fix this problem is to have your vehicle properly diagnosed by a professional mechanic so you can find out the exact reasons why you can’t turn on your accessories.

Final Thoughts

Noticing the symptoms of a faulty ignition switch is important in helping you prevent the problems caused by it. It can also help you ensure that you will run at a high-performance level and extend its longevity. Educate yourself about the symptoms of a faulty ignition switch so you can alert your mechanic about the new problems with your vehicle.

If you are having problems with your ignition switch, the best thing to do about it is to take your car to a car repair shop or contact a professional automotive locksmith. They will check your car to determine the cause of your ignition switch problems. They should also be to replace your ignition switch with a new one, if necessary. Don’t try to replace your faulty ignition switch on your own. Ignition switches are very hard to remove as they are designed to deter vehicle theft. Let a professional do the job for you.