ignition switch

Your Best Bet When Having Ignition Switch Problems

Every car has an ignition switch which is nothing but a low voltage electric switch with a multipole. The switch is turned on by a car key and not a knob or a paddle.

Four states of the ignition switch:

Every ignition switch has four states: off, accessory, start and run. Even when the switch is in off position many car accessories like the radio, wipers, hazard lights and indicators are supported.

The start position triggers the ignition process. The key has to be turned to the right and held in the same position for it to turn the circuit ON. When the key is released to the former position, the spring acting puts the car in run. Start position differs from run. In start, the starter motor is first powered followed by the activation of the solenoid which pushes the car into flywheel. The click noise that is heard when the keys are tuned while the car is running is the connection that the start position is trying to make. By doing so, there are high chances of burning out the starter.

The run position activates the electrical circuit apart from the starter circuit. Cars of an older model operate on a coil circuit. They battery can be jumped with ease unlike new cars.

Fixing an ignition switch problem

  • Ignition related problems are fairly simple to rectify, in most cases. A problem in the system arises when a component is faulty. There are three important supporting components- steering wheel, battery and gear selector.
  • A dead battery will not support the ignition switch. The first step of troubleshooting must be checking to see if the battery is dead.
  • The gear selector problem is faced only by those cars which are automatic. The inherent system is such that the ignition switch will not fire up till the car is in neutral or park gear.
  • When the steering wheel gets stuck, the keys get lodged. Till the time the keys are released, the car is ceased. To loosen the keys, try moving it to the left and right to release the pressure built up.
  • If the supporting parts aren’t a problem, the culprit can be the car keys. Check to see if the key is bent. Straighten out the key by hammering it down gently. If the grooves are worn out, use a replacement key. This should solve the issue. Also, it goes without saying that the car will not start if the wrong keys are used.
  • In a few cases, the problem lies in the ignition lock cylinder. Check to see if there any foreign particles lodged inside the system that is preventing the keys from making contact.

Call for help if the problem persists.

car keys

How Easy Are Car Keys To Replace?

Absentmindedness is something that most of us are victimized by. There is a clear demarcation between irresponsibility and being unmindful. However, in most cases the latter is branded as the culprit even while the former is the cause. Everyone who is unmindful has lost their keys at one point or another. The serial key misplace-rs are cautious enough to keep many sets of spares handy. But, what about the rookie who can’t seem to place where she left her car keys? Did she leave it at the table where she sat for lunch? Or did she drop it when she dug into her hand bag looking for her ringing phone?

The initial paranoia sets in when you realize that you’ve lost the car keys. The next logical train of thought is arranging for a replacement. Back in the day getting a spare set of car key was as simple as dropping off soiled clothes at the laundry. Now, the story is slightly complicated as the functionality of the car keys now extends to unlocking all the doors and deactivating the anti-theft alarm apart from starting the car.

The question now is: How easily can car keys be replaced?

Replacing car keys are not difficult but isn’t easy either. When you lose your keys, you will need to go to an authorized dealer to get a fresh set of keys or seek out an auto locksmith.


When you lose keys, you lose money

You will not know how much a car key is worth till the time you lose one. The price can be as high as a couple of hundred dollars. On an average the cost of replacement ranges from $200-$700. Apart from this unreasonable high price, there is the waiting time for key ordering and coding. There have also been cases reported when the cost ran in thousands for the internal ECU had to be reset.


The alternative

Instead of approaching a car dealer for the replacement keys, you could find an independent auto lock smith who offers the same services as the former. You also save on time as the independent dealers work at a quicker pace than the dealership. These trained professionals also charge lesser than the dealerships. The replacement keys offered by them are genuine and authentic.

To avoid the tensed predicament of losing your only set of car keys, ensure that before you sign for the car delivery ask for a spare set of keys. Keep this key accessible should an emergency arise. If the keys you’ve lost are of the keyless entry type, there is no other choice but to visit the dealership a get a costly replacement.