From putting the key in the ignition switch to starting the engine, many different things must happen for your car to run smoothly. However, the ignition switch can cause major problems when something goes wrong. Ignition problems may prevent your car from starting or cause unexpected shutdowns and electrical issues while driving.
It is never fun to have ignition switch problems, especially when they keep you from getting to work or school. However, dealing with the issue as soon as possible helps you avoid being stranded. At South Pasadena Lock, we understand that the ignition is a vital component of your car’s safety features. You have come to the right place for information on replacing a car’s ignition switch.
What Does an Ignition Switch Do?
The function of a car ignition is to provide the starter system with power so the engine can start. It also controls the main electrical power source for most of the car’s electronic systems and accessories. In most cars, the ignition switch is operated by turning a key, but some newer models have replaced this with push-button ignitions. With this type of switch design, you can select different modes for different purposes. For example, accessories mode only powers lights and entertainment, run mode powers all components, and start mode directs power primarily to the car starting. In addition, security components are installed in ignition switches to prevent the car from starting without a proper key or push-button ignition. That prevents the transmission of a signal without authorization.
What Are the Signs of a Bad Ignition Switch?
-The engine will not start
-Lighting and other accessories often malfunction
-Turning the key is difficult
-The vehicle stalls while driving
The Importance of Replacing an Ignition Switch
Your car’s ignition is a key part of its overall operation. A faulty ignition can be a serious problem for your car. It can cause your engine to shut down while driving, and that can be a major safety hazard. If you have a malfunctioning ignition, it is best to get help from a car repair shop as soon as possible.
How to Replace a Faulty Ignition Switch in Your Car
Ignition problems can be tricky to fix yourself. To perform a car ignition replacement, you must remove several steering column covers and dash panels to access the ignition housing. It can be difficult to do without damaging the airbags around the switch and causing them to deploy accidentally. It is best to leave this repair to an auto shop or a car locksmith.
That being said, here is how to get to the lock cylinder and replace an ignition switch:
- Park the car in a safe location, switch off the engine, and leave the steering wheel lock unlocked.
- Use a memory saver to protect your Powertrain Control Module (PCM) from losing memory. It can help your car’s drivability in the future.
- Disconnect the battery by detaching the negative battery terminal.
- Separate the steering column that covers the ignition lock. Do this by removing the fastening screw from the bottom of the steering column cover. Then separate the upper and lower steering columns.
Note: Before attempting to repair your vehicle’s ignition switch, it is important to read over the repair manual for your specific make and model. In some vehicles, it is possible to access the ignition without taking the steering wheel off.
- Remove the dash panel around the cylinder to access the ignition switch on a vehicle with a dash-mounted ignition lock. You can do this by gently prying it off with a flat-head screwdriver.
- Find the ignition key cylinder and take it out to get to the damaged ignition.
Note: Removing an outdated ignition cylinder can be tricky, depending on your vehicle’s make and model. In some cases, the cylinder may be bolted to the ignition module. Others may have lock tabs that need to be pressed to release the switch. You may even need a power drill with a special drill bit to remove the cylinder.
- Disconnect the switch’s electrical connection after removing the ignition assembly.
- Secure the new switch in place on the ignition module. Make sure it is mounted securely before proceeding. Next, reinstall the ignition lock cylinder and put back the steering column cover.
- Tighten every screw to secure the upper and lower steering columns firmly.
- Reconnect the negative battery cable before removing the memory saver.
Follow the above procedure, and you can replace your ignition switch yourself. However, it is a great decision to have a well-experienced mobile locksmith handle this for you.
At South Pasadena Lock, we have professional auto locksmiths who can replace your ignition switch quickly and efficiently. With years of experience in auto locksmith service, one of our licensed locksmiths can install your brand-new car ignition switch without issue and maintain its warranty privileges. For emergency locksmith service and free estimates, give us a call today.