Our company logo

phone icon

The Most Frequent Ignition Issues And How To Fix Them

It takes only a few seconds to start a car, but there are a whole set of actions that take place in your vehicle. When we put a key into the ignition and turn it, we don’t think about what actually happens that allows us to drive. However, when something suddenly goes wrong and the car doesn’t work, we certainly recognize this immediately. Even though there are hundreds of different car models, they almost all share the same reasons as to why the ignition doesn’t work. Sure Lock & Key has prepared, for you, a list of possible problems and helpful suggestions on how to fix them.

You Used The Wrong Key

All car keys look alike. If you don’t have a recognizable key chain to which your keys are attached to you can easily mix it up with someone else's keys. Inserting a wrong key into the ignition will, many a time, cause damage, the chances are quite high and especially if you are in a hurry, you can easily apply a little bit more effort than usual. A car ignition cylinder has more tumblers than a regular door lock, which means the mechanisms are more vulnerable to mechanical damage.
The solution, simply put, is to check if you took the right key and grow accustomed to gently inserting and turning the key.

Need more information?

The Key Or Ignition Itself Is Worn Out

All things tend to wear out, in time, and careless use can hasten this process. The older your car is, the higher the chances that your ignition will stop working due to plain wear and tear. So, how can you protect yourself? Typically, there’s no way to avoid such a situation except through careful use. Otherwise, you will eventually have to replace the ignition. You can ask your automotive locksmith professional to check whether everything is alright to ensure that such trouble won’t catch you, by surprise, at the most inconvenient or stressfull moment.
We have a professional secret we want to let you on. Our recommendation, for pre-empting or minimizing the damage of constant use, is to avoid heavy keychains. While attached to the key, a heavy key chain, presses on ignition tumblers and in time damages them.
car key in the ignition
car key in the ignition

Immobilizer Issues

Modern cars are equipped with immobilizers that communicate with transponder keys or smart keys. When you insert such a key into the ignition and turn it, it transmits a unique code. If the immobilizer recognizes this code, the engine will start. If an issue arises it may appear because of the immobilizer itself or the key has malfunctioned. It happens that due to different reasons, your key may transmit a weak signal, so you need to call a locksmith to have it re-programmed. If the key is alright and the signal is fine, then it’s the immobilizer that needs to be fixed. Once again, you need to call a locksmith.

Steering Wheel Binding

The ignition cylinder and the steering wheel are connected, so there’s no chance a thief can steer your car without a key. Sometimes in stressful situations, we park our car quickly and can turn the engine off with the steering wheel being turned. That may cause steering wheel lock binding. Also, turning the steering wheel after you’ve turned the engine off may cause the same problem, but don’t worry, you don’t need to replace the ignition or a whole steering wheel. All you need to do is just turn the wheel back and forth until the ignition is freed.
black key with fob in the ignition
black key with fob in the ignition

Ignition Switch Issues

The ignition cylinder is an advanced mechanism which houses many small details inside it which is connected via various wires to the car’s electrical system. Needless to say, it can break due to different reasons such as a car’s temperature problems or broken springs. This issue is extremely dangerous because the engine could shut off while you’re driving. To fix this type of issue, you need your local locksmith to replace the ignition switch. The good news is that it won’t be hard to find a 24-hour locksmith company, because Sure Lock & Key is available throughout the year 24/7.

You may also like