Ignition Switch Replacement: Full Guide

If your key gets stuck in the ignition switch then this article is for you. Here you will get to know how to replace an ignition switch in your car. Sometimes the key gets stuck in the car and won’t come out. A broken or faulty ignition in your vehicle can cause a lot of issues such as car stalling.

The ignition switch provides power to the starter and if the ignition switch is broken then the starter will not crank. So the best approach is to replace the faulty ignition switch before facing any trouble. Let's get started!

Ignition switch repair

How to Change an Ignition Switch?

First of all, when the ignition is failing, the vehicle may sometimes start and sometimes won’t start. If you jiggle the key or tap on the ignition switch the vehicle may start but it will cause a problem later on. Sometimes the vehicle is turned off while driving and the interior accessories do not receive power i.e. radio and interior lights.

Replacing the switch is simply a matter of trading out an old part for a new one, however, it sometimes can be a costly and time-consuming task. You probably know how complex your vehicle's ignition framework is, and that can give you a thought of what end of the value range your fixes will fall into.

The method for replacing an ignition switch varies from car to car but still, there is some information mention below which is helpful for everyone.

Ignition switch replacement

Tools Required for Ignition Switch Replacement

The tools that are required for ignition switch replacement are:

  • Screwdrivers
  • Safety glasses
  • Awl, pick, or small screwdriver
  • Repair manual

Additionally,  you can buy an ignition switch on Amazon. Have a look at these ones.

Removal of Broken Ignition Lock Cylinder

Broken key removal

Simply follow the below-mentioned steps if you want to remove the broken ignition cylinder from your car.

  • First of all, wear your safety glasses
  • Then disconnect and cut off the negative battery cable carefully
  • While removing the broken ignition lock cylinder, you can also observe a cover or a trim panel blocking contact to the lock cylinder. One can easily remove it by using a screwdriver
  • After this, simply remove the trim panels from the vehicle
  • Now insert the key and turn it to the START, RUN, or ACC position
  • After this, make use of awl, pick, or small screwdriver into the lock cylinder lodging to liberate the lock cylinder retaining tab
  • Now again move the key to the run or start position
  • Now pull the lock cylinder out of the board

Keep in your mind that the tools which are required for the replacement of the old/broken ignition lock cylinder and the installation of the new one vary from car to car.

Installation of New Ignition Lock Cylinder/Switch

ignition lock cyclinder

After removing the broken ignition lock cylinder successfully from your car now it’s time to install the new one. The steps you should take are:

  • First of all, make sure that the new lock cylinder looks the same as the old one
  • After this, you should put the ignition key to the run or start position
  • Now push the new ignition lock cylinder carefully with the keyway in the board
  • You should now reinstall all the trim panels that you removed while replacing the ignition switch
  • Now reconnect the negative battery cable and you are done

In certain vehicles, you might have the option to replace the ignition switch without eliminating the controlling wheel. However, in case you are unable to replace the switch because of the steering wheel then simply remove it from the place and reinstall it after the installation of the ignition switch. If you want to see exactly how ti looks like you can have a look at this video:

Different Ignition Systems

Here we will be talking about three different ignition arrangements. Each one is different from the other in terms of its features, installation process, pricing, pros, and cons. It includes the High Energy Ignition System, Coil-on-Plug Ignition System, and Distributor-less Ignition System.

High Energy Ignition Structure

High Energy Ignition structure

The other name used for this ignition system is "electronic ignition arrangement". High energy ignition frameworks utilize an electronic lever inside a start module that likewise handles the undertaking of setting off the start loop to create a current of high voltage. The high energy ignition system has an average quality, however, which means it will ultimately wear and require replacement, adding to potential fix costs.

Advantages of High Energy Ignition Structure

Some of the prominent advantages of this ignition system are as follows:

  • The utilization of this control mean gives a predictable, high voltage flash, which means fewer discharge failures
  • It is easily accessible

Coil-on-Plug Ignition Structure

Coil-on-Plug Ignition Structure

This is also known as a direct ignition system. This framework puts a start loop straightforwardly on the highest point of each spark plug and is ideal for present-day motors. The entirety of the start timing is taken care of by the Engine Control Unit, in light of contribution from different sensors. Since each flash attachment has its committed loop, high-voltage spark plug wires are disposed of.

Advantages of Coil-on-Plug Ignition Structure

This ignition system is helpful for various reasons. Some of the prominent advantages of this ignition system are as follows:

  • There are no moving part
  • It requires lower maintenance coast as compared to another ignition arrangement
  • Using the Engine Control Unit, this framework should create a high voltage, and the start timing can be restricted precisely for subordinate emissions

To learn more about ignition coils, check out our other blog post here.

Distributor-less Ignition Structure

Distributor-less Ignition Structure

The other name used for this ignition system is "wasted spark ignition system". Here various start loops are utilized – one for every brace of cylinders. This framework utilizes a desecrate flicker for a combined chamber, blending two cylinders present at the crest right on the target simultaneously.

Unfortunately, an absence of stirring parts implies that it tends to be a lot harder to analyze and is more costly than a conventional ignition system. This ignition system also requires twofold platinum plugs because of reverse termination.

Advantages of Distributor-less Ignition System

Some of the prominent advantages of this ignition system are as follows:

  • This ignition system can create high voltage
  • By making use of this ignition system, the starting moment can be decisively proscribed for lower discharges

By the way, if you want to learn more about the brake disc which is also a super important part of the car, check out our other blog post here.

Common Ignition Switch Problems

ignition problem

Like most drivers, you probably don't think about the unpredictable series of steps that happen when you move in your vehicle and drive away every morning. In any case, if your vehicle has ignition switch issues, you will be unable to start the vehicle. Some of the common ignition problems are as follows:

Using Wrong Car Key

The normal car key only has two or three hundred thousand blends. On the off chance that an automaker sells 200,000 vehicles every year, odds are very acceptable that you could accidentally open another person's car door. However, on the off chance that you access the vehicle itself with your key, you probably won't have the option to turn on the ignition because of so many additional tumblers.

What's more, if you do turn the start chamber, the immobilizer won't permit you to begin the vehicle, since it's secured by many transponder codes. You can read more about this issue here.

Dashboard Lights Waver

Another common symptom of a bad ignition switch is that the dash instruments of your vehicle shut off unexpectedly. Sometimes the dash lights start to flicker while driving down the road. If you face any of these issues then there might be a chance of an ignition switch problem. If this happens that you probably should not wait and replace the old one with a new one following the steps we described above.

Worn Ignition Cylinder or Key

It's an unavoidable truth that mechanics will ultimately get broken, and this also the case with car keys and key chambers used in your vehicle's ignition framework. The reason is that you may put and take out the key a large number of times each year or two, wearing the key and tumblers marginally without fail.

Weighty key chains can put much more pressure on the ignition cylinder, expanding wear. Sooner or later, the key could drop out of the chamber or won't be able to exit the lock position. The best way to deal with this issue is to get a new lockset. This one on Amazon seems like a great deal.

Steering Wheel Strap

The ignition chamber is precisely associated with the steering wheel lock. Because of this, a potential thief can't steal the vehicle without the key. On the off chance that you turn off the car engine with the guiding wheel turned, the controlling wheel lock can bind and stop you from turning the ignition. You can solve this problem easily by turning the wheel back and forth until you loosen the ignition cylinder.

Starter Motor Is Not Working Well

To find out the ignition switch problem simply listen to the sound of the starter motor actuating. If you are unable to hear any sound then there are chances of ignition switch problems. The reason is that a bad starter motor will generally fabricate a click, versus no sound at all. If this happens, then you should go ahead and replace it.

Broken or Faulty Ignition Switch

Broken or Faulty Ignition Switch

The ignition switch itself is associated with the start chamber by a shaft or switch. Within the ignition switch, numerous contacts associate crucial electrical frameworks expected to start the vehicle. When in "OFF", the start switch doesn't connect with anything; whereas in the "ACC", the fan or radio might get started; in the "RUN", the motor control module is a little bit energized; and lastly, in the "START", the starter relay is somewhat adjusted.

Temperature issues, broken springs, or worn ignition switch contacts can source the ignition switch to fail because of which you’ll be unable to start your car. A bad ignition switch can sometimes make the car engine off while driving. The best approach is to get a new ignition switch for your car before you face any trouble.

Immobilizer Tribulations

Immobilizer Tribulations

Present-day vehicles that have immobilizers use transponder keys to engage the vehicle's engine. The key chip sends a particular code. On the off chance that this code coordinates the ones modified into the car, the engine will get started.

A mistaken key code, for example, would stop the engine from starting. Electrical issues, for example, broken immobilizer radio wire wiring, which for the most part encompasses the start chamber, can forestall the immobilizer from processing transponder codes. At last, a few keys come with battery-enhanced transponders, therefore a broken battery may keep the codes from being processed.

This issue can be resolved by replacing the battery of amplified transponders or by making sure that all the keys which you are using are programmed to your immobilizer.

Final Thoughts

The ignition switch permits the vehicle to turn on and actuates the engine when you turn the key. It also works in a combination of different frameworks, permitting them to start once the vehicle begins. A faulty or broken ignition switch can cause a lot of issues. When the ignition is failing, the car may sometimes start and sometimes cause problems.

If you tap on the ignition switch the vehicle may start but you will face issues along the way. One can easily purchase a new ignition switch and replace it easily on their own. Hopefully, this guide will help you to replace your car's ignition switch.

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