In 2014, General Motors made headlines for a minor ignition problem that led to the recall of over 1.6 GM vehicles. This came as a massive setback to the company, and it struggled to find its footing for years after. This is a classic example of how ignition problems are not to be taken lightly.
Here are some signs that indicate that you need to get your ignition switch fixed:
Your Car Stalls While Driving
If the ignition switch fails while the engine is still operating, it cuts off the fuel system’s power supply. Usually, a bad ignition coil suddenly causes the engine to stall while it’s running. In some cases, the vehicle might not immediately restart.
If the car engine stalls while driving, the car will lose the power steering and the brakes. The best you can do is immediately apply the foot brake and then steer to the road side. Try and restart the car to see if it works. Typically, jumper cables should help start the stalled engine—if that doesn’t do the trick, you need to get the ignition checked.
Issues Turning Or Removing The Key
All mechanical things are susceptible to wear and tear. This goes for both the ignition system and the keys.
Years of rough use can wear out your ignition switch—we insert and remove the ignition key nearly thousands of times every year. This makes it hard for you to turn on or remove the key. The key may get stuck and fail to connect inside the switch. If the ignition switch malfunctions, the engine often continues running even after you remove the key. You should get the ignition inspected by a professional technician to see if the switch needs to be replaced or requires repairs.
It’s also possible that the key and the ignition cylinder don’t necessarily wear out together. If the key falls out of the cylinder, the key has likely worn out, but the cylinder hasn’t. In this case, you’ll need a new matched lockset.
Most modern car keys have small radio frequency transponders that facilitate communication with the receivers near the ignition switch. If something goes wrong with the transponder, the car system will not recognize the key and will not start. In this case, you need a technician to either reprogram the transponder key or cut and program a new one.
Another sign of a malfunctioning transponder is a problematic emergency signal. Ideally, your car’s emergency signal should not go off without a hint of cause. If you’re unable to turn off the emergency signal after it has been activated, there’s something wrong with the transponder key.
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