Symptoms Of A Bad Ignition Switch

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Stuck key in the ignition retrieval. The key stuck in the ACC position and won't start.

Some of the signs your ignition switch is failing.

The ignition switch plays a significant role in the day to day use of any vehicle.

Whether it is a push-button or one that uses a mechanical key, they all are essential if you are to operate your car.

However, you sometimes find yourself torn between a misbehaving ignition switch or a lockout.

Ignition Switch Replacement
A clear view of the ignition and the steering column of a car. Key stuck in the ON position of the ignition

Your key could be old and fail, or the ignition switch could be old and failing.

Today, let us look at the ignition switch being part of the problem.

With a bad ignition switch, it is not always that obvious.

However, there are some signs you can look out for to know whether you are dealing with a bad ignition switch or another problem in your car.

How do you then know you have a bad ignition switch?

When it comes to the ignition switch, there are some activities you will notice, which could help you understand your car better. For a lousy ignition switch:

Your car won’t start

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Do you have to turn your key several times in the ignition before your car starts?

Does it ever fail to start completely?

If so, then that is a good sign that you have a bad ignition switch.

When you start your car, an electrical signal is conveyed from the battery to the spark plugs by an ignition coil.

The plugs, then spark to burn the fuel, which in turn runs your car.

When there is no signal sent, and the battery is in good condition, then the problem is with your ignition switch.


Once you turn your key to start position on the ignition lock, you expect that the engine will start almost immediately.

Faulty Ignition Switch Replacement
Replacing a bad ignition with stuck keys in the Lock position.

However, that is not always the case.

If there are times when you start your car and have to wait for some time before the vehicle starts running, then there is a problem.

It could be a faulty connection on your ignition switch or some loose connections.

Either way, it points out that there is a problem with your ignition switch, and you will need to consult with an expert for a dependable solution.

Flickering dashboard lights

Usually, the ignition switch has three positions; there is the off position, where the car is completely off.

Then, there is the on position, which is the intermediate state, and the dashboard lights come on.

The last position is the start position when the car runs.

When there is a problem with your ignition switch, then you will notice flickering lights on the dashboard.

That is usually because of some loose connection in your ignition switch, meaning that your car keeps going on and off.

Stuck key in the ignition
Stuck key in the ignition retrieval. The key stuck in the ACC position and won’t start.

To resolve this issue, you will need to consult with a professional automotive locksmith.

A key that will not turn in the ignition

You would expect that when you insert your key on your switch, it will turn swiftly, allowing you to start or stop your car.

However, with time, the lock becomes loose, while the key wears out.

As a result, you begin experiencing problems turning your key.

This becomes even riskier because the key could break in the lock, prompting more expenses to repair your ignition switch.

When you notice some resistance to you starting your car, then you have an ignition switch problem.

An overheating ignition switch.

An ignition switch should perform with no overheating.

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That is because there is no electrical power flowing back to the ignition once the car starts, but instead flows to the spark plugs.

However, when you notice that the ignition switch is overheating when you touch it, then it becomes a clear sign that your switch has a problem.

With the high impedance wired connecting the ignition switch, there is, however, a possibility of overheating, or arching, which would lead to the melting of the wired.

When such happens, then you know you are dealing with a bad ignition switch.

Problems with an ignition switch are not light issues and need careful handling.

That is because they are often what may cause an accident on the highway when your car stops in the middle of a fast lane.

To avoid such inconveniences, then you need to deal with the problem as soon as you notice it.

The only way to do it is to call a professional to help you resolve the issues.

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