WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE HAVING IGNITION CYLINDER PROBLEMS
Are you having difficulties starting up your car? There are many reasons this could occur. One likely reason is that your vehicle is beginning to show signs of a failing ignition switch. If so, it’s time to investigate further. In some cases, you can discover the underlying problem yourself. A worn-out ignition can prove to be a hazard, so don’t ignore the problem.
Reasons you may be experiencing ignition problems
A very common reason that ignitions fail is that they are actually faulty from the beginning. If that’s the case check your car manufacturer. If you’re still under warranty, they’ll replace your ignition cylinder for you. If not, any reputable automotive locksmith specialist can assist you.
Your key ignition’s set of wafers, which index with corresponding cuts on the car key, can become worn out, or mucked up with dirt and grime, which will cause the switch to fail. In this case, plain cleaning or individual wafer replacement will do the trick, so you won’t have to spring for a full replacement.
If your transponder key no longer communicates properly, usually this means the computer chip has lost its programming. Or it may no longer be functional at all. You can get the existing key reprogrammed; or, you can hire someone to duplicate the existing cuts in order to program a completely new key for you. A trustworthy professional automotive locksmith specialist can help you with this type of painstaking service.
Your car key may have sustained too much wear and tear. If so, it will be increasingly ineffective, and eventually stop working. In this case, the key will need to be remade, applying the factory key cutting codes, to ensure to key is properly cut and fully functional.
If you have inserted the wrong key into your ignition switch, and it went all the way in, do not attempt to remove it! Trying to extract the key yourself can cause additional harm to the ignition and may even cause irreparable damage. Instead, call a locksmith immediately!
If there has been an attempt to steal your vehicle, what often takes place is that amateur car thieves don’t really know how a vehicle ignition works, so they often make a mess of your ignition switch and steering column. If this has happened to you, it’s time to replace the entire ignition assembly.
Do you have a broken key or foreign object lodged in the mechanism? Do not attempt to fix this problem unless you’re a mechanic! Call a reliable automotive locksmith professional right away. Otherwise you may cause irreparable damage to the ignition. Many times the key or foreign object can easily be removed by an expert, without requiring an entire ignition switch replacement.
Be on the lookout for these additional automobile ignition warning signs:
- the key comes out, even while the car is running
- the steering wheel sometimes gets stuck, or becomes immovable
- you’re experiencing some car battery problems
- you can’t even put the key in the ignition at all
- you may see increased auto emissions or higher fuel consumption
Obstacles to Starting and Running Your Vehicle
When you start up your vehicle, the ignition coil takes its power from the battery and sends it to the sparkplugs. This in turn ignites the fuel, and your car will run. If you have to turn the engine over a few times, it’s possible that you could drain your battery until it has no power left to start the vehicle. When you are idling, your vehicle may be prone to stalling.
Check the Status
Typically, when you put your key into the ignition switch and turn it, there are three positions of ignition status.
- “off” status position: no power is being transmitted to the engine or system.
- “on” status position: the dashboard lights turn on, but your engine is still off.
- “start” position: you exert full key pressure, so that the engine fires up.
One definite sign of a bad ignition switch is that your instrument panel doesn’t light up when the key hits the second position.
Keep an Eye on Your Dashboard Lights
Natural wear and tear on your automobile can lead to ignition switch failure, especially in older cars. If your ignition switch is failing, you may not hear any clicks from the main relay, which fires it up. If your vehicle stalls, take a look at your dashboard lights. When you turn the key to position 2, if the oil light, brake light, charge light, and other warning lights do not illuminate, then something’s wrong.
You can try this test to check the integrity of the ignition switch: When you get the ignition key to the “start” position, as soon as it begins to start, let go of the key, and let it snap back to the “on” position. If your warning lights go out when the switch snaps back, then for sure the switch is faulty.
If your ignition switch is overly hot when touched, then the ignition switch problem may originate somewhere in the electrical system. Since the ignition switch is connected to high-resistance wires, any of the terminals where these wires are connected can overheat, which can actually melt the insulating base. If this happens, the vehicle will jerk violently and surely won’t start. You may have a short in your system.
If you’re going to replace the ignition switch yourself, make sure you know what you’re doing! Replacing a car ignition switch is not an easy task, especially in newer models because they may have anti-theft devices. Removing or replacing your ignition switch without the proper tools, and without taking the correct precautions, will render your car inoperable! The electrical current running through the system can cause you major bodily harm, so keep all metallic objects away from electrical wires. The whole process will involve removing the steering column, disconnecting the battery cable from the battery terminal, removing the wiring harness connected to the ignition switch, and so forth, before you can install and secure a new ignition switch. So unless you know exactly what you’re doing, it’s much better to hire a professional. If you’re located anywhere here in Buckhead, Georgia, it’s a good idea to hire an expert automotive locksmith specialist, such as the staff technicians at Locksmith Buckhead.