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Your car is much like a human body; the essential parts are all seemingly connected and interacting with each other. Take your ignition system, for example. You hop in your car, ready to go places and run errands or go to work. You insert the ignition key and fully expect that when you turn it, the engine will turn over and the car will start. 99% of the time, that is exactly what happens. But what about that 1% time when it doesn’t? What then?

What happened to your ignition? Does it need repair? Is it time for replacement? Is it even your ignition or something else that might be mistaken for it? Fear not; Lorain Locksmiths can help explain a little more about issues with your car’s ignition system and what you can do about them.

Ignition system early days

Ah; the good old days! We hear that term a lot, and sometimes with good reason! Things seemed simpler then; less complicated and not so rushed. Take auto ignitions, for example. It used to be that when you turned the ignition key, the cranked engine supplied the current to the car’s ignition system.

Nothing complicated about that. Nowadays the same system also powers the radio, windshield wipers, headlights, power windows, power seats, GPS system, mobile phone, heater and more. You know what they say about “more parts, more that can break!”

Warning signs

Another similarity that car parts have with the human body is warning signs. This applies to ignition system, too. You can recognize these warning indicators whether you live here in Lorain, OH or anywhere else in the country. Keep an eye out for any of these and if you spot them, you’ll know what you can or cannot do about them.

Your ignition switch is hot to the touch

After you’ve started the car, did you notice that your ignition switch feels hotter than usual? This is a sure sign that there is something wrong. It may be due to a frayed wire or a loose connection. Also, it might also be caused by damaged component in the ignition switch proper. Don’t let this go on and on! Call for professional service, right away.

Your engine won’t turn over

Okay, you insert your key in the ignition and turn it to START. Not only did the engine not turn over, but absolutely nothing happened!

Your engine turns over and over and over….

When you turn the ignition key and your engine keeps turning over and over; it may indicate a short in the ignition’s electrical system.

Try this other components test

Did you try and start the ignition and nothing happened? No results could mean a problem with the ignition system. It could also mean a run-down battery. How can you tell one from the other? Actually, it’s simple; try the radio. That’s right; see if the radio works. Be sure to turn it up. Often, people are fooled into thinking that their battery is low because they can’t hear the radio when all the while, it is just turned down. You can also try the headlights, windshield wipers, power windows or power seats. If they work, your battery is fine and your problem is your ignition.

Does your car choke out when stopped at a traffic light?

If your vehicle won’t stay running while stopped at a red light or a stop sign, then there’s a strong possibility that you have ignition issues. Sometimes, customers report to us that they have to put the car in PARK and rev the engine a bit to keep the car from stalling out while it’s stopped. If this sounds like your situation, get help as soon as possible. The last thing you want is to be driving down the street or highway and have your car stall out on you!

Stuck key

If your key becomes stuck in the ignition switch, try gently moving it back and forth to release it. While you are doing this, move the steering wheel back and forth at the same time. Doing this should release the key and enable you to start the car. If it doesn’t, you might have ignition system damage.

Your car won’t turn off

If you try and turn off the car without success, this may indicate a problem with either the ignition switch or the ignition lock itself. You may need a new key tumbler assembly or ignition switch, or both.

Red warning light

Remember when you tried to see if you could hear the radio? Did you happen to see a red warning light on your dashboard? If you did, the problem is not your ignition system but you do have a problem somewhere else. You could have faulty brakes, a run-down battery or a bad transmission. If that red warning light didn’t turn on, you may have a faulty ignition system.

Be sure you are in PARK

If your ignition key won’t turn or won’t even come back out, be double sure that you are in the right gear. You need to be in PARK in order for the car to start. Too often, folks call for help thinking that they have ignition problems when they can’t start their car. A good percentage of the time, they were simply in the wrong gear or in no gear at all and their ignitions were just fine.

Now, what should you do about it?

Are you a mechanic or locksmith? If so, you already know the answer. Maybe you like to dabble in auto repair or automotive lock service. If not, be very choosy who you get to help you fix your ignition problems. We all know friends, family members or neighbors that like to tinker around and fancy themselves repair experts. You won’t be doing yourself a favor if you let them make the damage worse; it’s your car and you have to take the responsibility for its upkeep. We recommend getting your ignition system serviced by a full service, fully certified automotive locksmith in your community.