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Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Ignition Switch

If your car can not start, starts but dies quickly, or has electrical components that stopped working, the ignition switch can need to be replaced.

One of the most significant electronic components typically found on many road-going cars and trucks, is the ignition switch. It is usually situated on the steering wheel, just behind the cylinder of the ignition switch. The two work together to switch the vehicle on and start. The ignition switch has several positions that power on different systems as the key is turned. The majority of ignition switches trigger the

  1. Auto stops while driving
    One of the first symptoms of an ignition switch problem is a vehicle that suddenly stalls while the engine is running. If the ignition switch fails while the engine is in operation, the ignition and fuel systems may be cut off, resulting in the engine being stalled. The vehicle may or may not be able to restart a short whi, depending on the exact question

2. The engine does not start

An engine that refuses to start can be another sign of a bad ignition switch. The ignition switch sends power to the the starter motor, engine controls, and ignition controls. These systems may not receive the power they need to start up if the ignition switch isn’t working properly. An engine not starting could be one of them.

  1. Car begins and then stops abruptly
    Another symptom of a problem with the vehicle’s ignition switch is a car that suddenly starts and then stalls. If at the “on” position the ignition switch fails, the position meant to control the fuel and ignition systems, the vehicle will start and then immediately stop. The ignition switch must provide the fuel pump with momentary power

4. Issues powering on the accessories

Another symptom of a faulty ignition switch is trouble powering on the vehicle’s accessories. When the key is inserted and turned to the “acc” position the ignition switch should power on the vehicle accessories such as the interior lights, dashboard lights, and center console. When the key is inserted and turned and the accessories do not power on, it may be a sign of an issue with the ignition switch or lock cylinder. Similar symptoms can also be caused by fuse and wiring issues, so having the vehicle properly diagnosed is highly recommended.

5. Issues turning or removing the key

If the ignition key gets stuck when turning on the car or removing the key, it may be a sign of a worn out ignition switch. The key isn’t connecting inside the switch properly. Additionally, a switch going bad may cause the engine to continue running even after you’ve removed the key.

Ignition switches are one of the most frequently used switches on a vehicle, and like all electrical switches, can eventually wear out and require service. If you suspect your vehicle may be having an issue with the ignition switch, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician to determine if it should be replaced.

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