Routine maintenance is a vital aspect of car ownership. It helps keep your vehicle in good condition, ensuring you and your passengers are safe while preventing unexpected breakdowns and costly repairs.
However, even if your car is regularly maintained, occasional problems may still arise. One such problem that you should watch out for is a faulty ignition switch, especially if you’re driving an older model that uses a traditional key. The ignition switch is one of the most often used components of a vehicle as it is pretty much how we start and switch off a car’s engine and accessories. Given this, it’s definitely prone to wear and tear, and you can expect it to get busted over time.
Continue reading to learn more about bad ignition switches, including the tell-tale signs of a faulty ignition switch and what you can do if you find yourself in such a frustrating predicament.
Bad Ignition Switch Symptoms
The ignition switch is where the automobile key is inserted. As you turn the key in the ignition, the system allows electric current to travel to the starter, eventually powering the engine as well as the car’s electronic accessories.
Like all car components, though, a car’s ignition system is susceptible to damage and can malfunction. This can obviously be a frustrating situation given that you definitely won’t be going anywhere with a busted ignition system.
As they say, prevention is better than cure–and identifying the symptoms of a bad ignition switch before it gets worse is the best step to its prevention. Below are some of the red flags you should watch out for:
1. The engine won’t start.
This is the most noticeable sign of a malfunctioning ignition system. If you turn the keys in the ignition and the car cranks but does not start, you may have an ignition problem.
2. The key won’t turn.
A hard-turning key is one of the indications of a defective ignition switch. Keys that won’t turn could mean significant damage and should be repaired as soon as possible. Furthermore, if it doesn’t turn, the key could get trapped inside, which is a major cause of frustration that comes with a faulty ignition switch.
3. The car stalls.
Another indicator of a malfunctioning ignition switch is a car that stalls. Although a stalling car could indicate a lot of problems, one of the most prevalent issues to look into is a faulty ignition switch.
4. The starter does not make a sound.
If the starter doesn’t make a sound when you turn the key could indicate several issues, including a dead battery, faulty electrical wirings, and, yes, a malfunctioning ignition switch.
5. The steering wheel is stuck.
Inside the steering wheel is a mechanical lock for the ignition switch. By locking the steering, this protects the car when parked. If you notice any abnormalities, such as a difficult-to-turn steering wheel, it is a good idea to get your car checked.
6. The car accessories does not power on.
If your car’s accessories, such as the radio or wipers, don’t switch on when you turn the key, it might be due to a faulty electric supply from the ignition. This might also be due to another issue, but it is best to get the car evaluated in such a case.
7. The dashboard lights flicker.
Warning lights can indicate a variety of difficulties, such as low battery charge or an oil change warning. But, if you see flickering automobile dashboard lights, it might be due to an ignition problem. A vehicle examination can help in determining the root of the problem.
How To Start a Car with a Bad Ignition Switch
Let’s go through some methods for learning how to fix an ignition switch and get out of this undesirable scenario.
Use the drill and screwdriver technique.
How can you start a car without using the ignition switch? The drill-and-screwdriver approach can be used. Drill a keyhole the same length as the key that goes into the ignition. This will damage the internal pins of the ignition system, but you will get through it. Turn the screwdriver inside the ignition as if it were a key. This should get your automobile started.
Just keep in mind, though, that this technique should only be done in emergency situations or if you’re planning to replace the switch anyway as it will completely damage the ignition system.
Hotwire the car.
Hotwiring is another excellent method for starting a car with a faulty ignition switch. If you’re experienced with hotwiring, you can figure out how to start a car with a broken ignition switch. There are various procedures for hotwiring an automobile that you should be aware of.
Also, it is critical not to attempt this procedure on a vehicle you do not own or if you do not have the owner’s permission to do so.
Use jumper cables.
Jumper cables can be used to start an automobile without damaging the ignition switch. To utilize this technique, follow the procedures outlined below:
Open the hood.
Find the battery and the ignition coil.
Connect the positive terminal of the battery to the positive side of the coil with a jumper cable.
Take hold of the starting solenoid and attach it to the positive terminal of the battery.
Remove the solenoid’s ignition wire.
Short the positive terminal of the solenoid to the location where the ignition switch attaches with a screwdriver.
These instructions should assist you in starting the automobile. There are also several more techniques to starting a car without another automobile that might be useful in an emergency.
The ignition switch is the most used car component that should always be in good condition. When it malfunctions, your car just simply won’t be able to start. It’s best to keep your car well-maintained to make sure every part works properly. Prevention is always key to ensure that you won’t have to deal with these kinds of problems.
That’s why if you notice any of the indications of a bad ignition switch mentioned here, you must act quickly and get it repaired as soon as possible before it gets worse. Some common signs of a damaged ignition switch include difficulty turning the key or starting the engine, the engine stalling or shutting off while driving, and the electrical system malfunctioning or failing to work altogether. Additionally, you may notice the key getting stuck in the ignition, or the steering wheel becoming locked.
If you find yourself in such a frustrating situation, you may use the techniques that are also mentioned here, including the drill-and-screw technique, hotwiring the car, and using jumper cables. However, if you’re not too confident doing any of the techniques, you can always call an expert for help.
Alexius Denver’s Locksmiths is here to help you.
At Alexius Denver’s Locksmiths, we understand the importance of a functioning ignition switch in your vehicle. Ignition switch problems can lead to frustrating and potentially dangerous situations, which is why we want to help you identify different signs of a defective ignition switch.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for professional and reliable Lakewood automotive locksmith services. Our experienced automotive locksmiths can quickly diagnose the problem and provide efficient solutions to get you back on the road safely. Contact us today to learn more about our automotive locksmith services!