Have you ever jumped in your car, turned the key in the lock cylinder, and nothing happens? Now this could be because of a number of things; however a main component that could be the problem is the ignition switch. This switch is situated behind the lock cylinder (where you insert your key), or part of the newer button start systems on your dash. If the key is turned successfully or the start button is pressed, an electrical connection is made that turns the electric starter motor in your car which starts the gas engine. This is an important part that can fail and may need to be replaced throughout the life of the car. The ignition starter switch has been around in one incarnation or another for almost a decade. Before the starter motor and switch, a person needed to manually crank their engine to start it up. As more and more electrical components were being used in everyday items, one of the first things added to automobiles was the starter motor and switch. Luckily for us, manually cranking an engine was one of the first things that needed to go!
A failed ignition starter switch
has a very simple symptom: nothing happens when you turn the key or press the start button! It can be diagnosed easily by a certified mechanic or by someone with a voltage detection device. If the device detects that the switch is the cause of the problem, it will need to be replaced before you can start your vehicle. The failure of this part isn't much of a safety issue pertaining the car, but it can be a hassle if you're in a remote location away from any parts stores or service stations. There typically isn't any warning either as to when this part might fail.
Uninstalling and reinstalling a new ignition starter switch is a relatively easy procedure depending on your vehicle.
- The first step is to dismantle the steering column shroud. This is the plastic or metal piece that surrounds the steering column in the interior of the vehicle, and houses the ignition starter switch and the lock cylinder.
- After that has been disassembled, you'll need to take out the lock cylinder and the switch.
- Once that has been removed, the process is reversed for installation. The ignition switch typically slides into a cylinder and the electrical pins on the back side plug into a connector on the inside of the housing.
- Finally, reinstall the lock cylinder and reassemble the housing. Test the ignition by inserting your key and attempt to start the vehicle. If the key moves smoothly between each position and the engine start when the key is turned completely, then you're done!
It can be quite a hassle to change out an ignition starter switch if you're at home without the proper tools, or if you're in a remote location. The best thing to do is to call a towing service to take you and your vehicle to certified mechanic or service station. If you aren't in a terrible hurry (that day), you can save a load of cash by ordering an ignition starter switch from Car Parts Discount and have delivered to either your residence, or to the shop performing the repair. We have a wide selection of ignition switches for many vehicles.