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If you cannot start up your car, there are a good many reasons this is happening. One possibility is that your ignition switch is failing. A worn-out ignition can be a hazard, so don’t ignore it. Carefully examine your automobile. In some cases, you can determine the nature of the problem yourself.

Are You Having Problems Starting the Car?

Whenever you fire the engine, the ignition coil gets its power from the battery, and sends it to the sparkplugs, which ignites the fuel so that your vehicle will run. If you’ve turned the engine over too many times, then you’ve likely drained the battery. If so, there’s no power left to start it again.

Watch for These Warning Signs:

  • you cannot get the key in the ignition at all
  • while idling, you’re prone to stalling
  • you may observe higher auto emissions
  • the key comes out, even while your car is still running
  • at times, the steering wheel sticks, or becomes immovable
  • you might see increased fuel consumption
  • you may notice car battery problems

Causes of Ignition Problems

The ignition has been faulty from the beginning. Consult the manufacturer. If your car is still under warranty, your dealership ought to replace your ignition cylinder for free. If it’s no longer under warranty, it’s time to hire an automotive locksmith.

Did you accidentally put the wrong key in the ignition switch? If you stuck the incorrect key into the ignition by mistake, don’t attempt to pull it out! You could easily cause irreparable damage. Call an automotive locksmith instead.

The transponder key isn’t properly communicating. This probably means its computer chip lost its programming. You can reprogram your existing key; or, you can hire a professional locksmith to duplicate the existing cuts and program a completely new one. An exceptional professional automotive locksmith technician will know how to do the exacting work needed to carry out this precise service.

Your car key has simply endured too much wear and tear. As time goes by, your car key will become less and less effective, and eventually stop working. If so, it needs to be remade, applying the factory key cutting codes so that it will be cut accurately and completely functional.

Your ignition’s set of wafers, which index with corresponding cuts on the key, are worn-out, or jammed up with grime, which will cause the ignition switch to fail. A thorough cleaning, or individual wafer replacement, will make a total replacement unnecessary.

Is the switch overheating? If your ignition switch is hot when you touch it, then there might be a short, which means the issue is in the electrical system. Since the ignition switch is connected to high-resistance wires, any of the terminals where the wires are connected could overheat, and may even melt the insulating base. If this occurs, your car will jerk violently and won’t start.

Is a broken-off key or other tiny object lodged inside the lock mechanism? Don’t try repairing this yourself, because unless you know what you’re doing, you might cause irreparable damage. The broken key, or whatever the obstacle is, can be removed properly by an automotive locksmith technician, so you will not need to replace the whole ignition switch.

Did a car thief attempt to steal your automobile? A bungled car theft can wreck havoc on your ignition switch and the steering column. If you’ve been unlucky enough to have this happen to you, the entire ignition assembly will require replacement.

Investigate the Ignition’s Status

One sure sign of a faulty ignition switch is that the instrument panel will not illuminate with your car key in the second position. When you insert your key into the ignition switch and turn it, there are three regular status positions:

  1. The “off” status position: No power is being transmitted to the system.

  2. The “on” status position: The dashboard lights come on, but the engine’s still off.

  3. The “start” position: You place full pressure on the key, and the engine fires up.

Monitor the dashboard lights. Normal wear and tear will eventually lead to ignition switch failure, especially on an older car. If your ignition switch begins to fail, you might not hear clicks from the main relay. If you stall out, check the dashboard lights. When you turn the car key to the “on” status position, if the oil light, brake light, charge light, and other warning lights don’t come on, then something’s wrong.

Confirm the ignition switch’s integrity. Put the car key in the “start” status position, and the second you know it’s starting up, let go of the key, allowing it to snap back to the “on” status position. If the warning lights go out when the switch snaps back, then the switch is broken. You need to contact an automotive locksmith.

Do It Yourself

If you possess some automotive expertise, then you may be able to service the ignition switch yourself. Make sure you understand exactly what you’re up against, because replacing an ignition switch is no cakewalk, particularly on newer cars, because they generally have anti-theft devices. You’ll render your vehicle inoperable if you replace your ignition switch without using the proper tools, and without taking the recommended precautions! The electrical current running through your vehicle’s system can actually cause bodily harm, so keep all metallic objects away from all the electrical wires. Prior to installing a new ignition switch, the process involves disconnecting the battery cable from the battery terminal, removing the steering column, detaching the wiring harness connected to the ignition switch, and so forth. If you still have any doubts, contact an automotive locksmith.

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