Symptoms of Car Ignition Issues
A car’s ignition does much more than power everything up: it’s actually an important automotive security mechanism in its own right. In the old days, hotwiring a car was all it took for thieves to make a quick getaway. Newer technologies have made this a thing of the past – it’s much harder for someone to crack the coded systems inside a vehicle. Essentially, in order for a car to function, your key fob needs to transmit the right signals, and the key itself needs to match the ignition’s pins.
But what could happen if your ignition malfunctions? In this blog post, we’re going to cover some of the most common signs and symptoms of problematic ignitions – and what to do about them.
On that note, let’s look at some of the issues you might be faced with.
Powering on the vehicle becomes much more difficult
Ignition damage tends to be the most likely culprit in this situation. Over time, your ignition cylinder’s inner mechanisms will start getting worn and torn because of age. This is an inevitable reality for all car owners, and one that needs to be taken care of immediately. Otherwise, your car won’t respond to the key properly, and you’ll eventually lose the ability to power on the vehicle.
But it’s not just an ignition fault that could cause your powering on troubles. If your car relies on a transponder key system, your issues might be as simple as reprogramming the key fob to transmit the right signals. An automotive locksmith will be able to inspect everything and tell you why your vehicle isn’t turning on as it should – your best bet is to talk to a qualified expert as soon as you start experiencing these problems.
You’re having difficulties inserting and removing your car key
This is another common symptom of ignition wear and tear. As the cylinder ages, the stress it is constantly put under will make the pins less malleable – meaning the key will get bound in awkward positions and simply won’t budge. Eventually, wear and tear might mean your key no longer fits inside the ignition. This isn’t just an issue of getting your key stuck in a cylinder, though – if not replaced accordingly, a worn out ignition will cause electrical faults that will render your vehicle inoperable.
If your key gets stuck after you’ve turned off the engine, see if turning the wheel from side to side (i.e. removing it from lock position) releases it. Otherwise, contact an automotive locksmith to remove the key for you – for all you know, it might have broken inside.
The car won’t start, period
Now, this can be a sign of various issues. When you can’t get the car to work at all, you might have a flat battery, a faulty sensor or, in some cases, an electrical fault related to your ignition. For the latter, you’ll need an ignition cylinder replacement – something an automotive locksmith can easily do for you. Talk to an expert and tell them your suspicions: once again, they will inspect everything to confirm your diagnosis, and will provide you with the right solutions for them.
Your ignition cylinder turns and the engine cranks – but the car won’t start
This is even trickier to diagnose as it could signal problems with an ignition, a glitch in a theft protection device, or a fuel system issue. The first thing to check is whether the anti-theft lights are flashing – that’s a sign you’ll need to reprogram your key, as it’s no longer being recognized by the vehicle. If that’s not where your issues lie, you’ll need to talk to an expert.
The engine fails as you’re driving
A common fault caused by a faulty ignition switch. The electrical contacts inside an aged ignition cylinder can easily become corroded, leading to a loss in voltage that will halt your vehicle’s operations. Low contact can also cause the engine to stumble or misfire in some cases.
One thing to remember is that, while wear and tear is unavoidable it can be slowed down. The more stress your cylinder is put under, the faster the process – the best way to keep this from happening is to ensure your keys aren’t kept in heavy rings with multiple fobs and pendants.
Resolving your ignition problems
Now you know all about the most common symptoms of ignition cylinder damage, it’s time to cover the best way to address your issues.
Calling a locally-based automotive locksmith will be the best course of action in this situation. Their solutions tend to of very good value for money and will save you the time and hassle of getting specialized parts and repairs from your nearest car dealership.
It’s always best to plan in advance for these situations. Try to keep a couple of locksmith business names handy in case your car malfunctions, or you experience an ignition issue in an inconvenient time. Make sure to check that the locksmith you are hiring specializes in automotive repairs, and always ask them about their charges (including after-hours costs, as many locksmith businesses will charge extra for these). Never hire a business that has no verifiable address, who asks for full price payment upfront (partial deposits are legitimate), and refuses to provide essential details like a full company name, license and insurance information and client references in the area.
Do you happen to live in Castle Rock, CO? Then the 24/7 Castle Rock Locksmith crew is always here to be of assistance. We don’t charge for consultations and price quotes and, as our name suggests, we’re available around the clock to attend to all local automotive issues. Feel free to inquire about our ignition cylinder solutions with our licensed and insured experts – we’ll make sure to provide you with all the information you require before you take our services on board.
No matter where you live, though, we hope this blog post has been instructional in helping you resolve some of the most common ignition cylinder troubles around. If in doubt, make sure to consult with a qualified auto locksmith in your vicinity.