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What is the difference between an ignition switch and an ignition cylinder

There are actually so many different elements and components that make up a car. It’s not possible to know how each and every one of them function if you’re not a professional technician. Of course, all of us know what and engine or a wheel is and we can easily identify when they start malfunctioning. However, there are many other important elements that we might not even be aware of.

For example, some of the essential details in a car are an ignition switch and an ignition cylinder. What exactly these parts are and how do they work? What is the difference between those elements and what to do if they malfunction? Find answers to these questions and some other useful information below.

What is an ignition lock cylinder

First of all, let’s discuss what an ignition lock cylinder is and what its role is in the functioning of the car. As you can guess from the name, it is a kind of locking mechanism that has something to do with ignition. Basically, it is similar to a regular door lock we’re all familiar with. It has pins, tumblers and some electrical components inside. So, just like with any other lock, you have to insert the key and turn it to activate the lock.
So, we can say that an ignition cylinder is the first element that is required to start a car. However, it’s more of a mechanical element.
New folding ignition key
New folding ignition key

Symptoms of ignition lock cylinder problems

Just like any other locking mechanism, an ignition cylinder may get worn out or malfunction at some point. What are the main ignition cylinder lock problems that you might face?
First of all, if you’re not inserting your keys in the ignition carefully, you might accidentally damage it from the inside. In that case, you won’t be able to turn the key and start the car.
Another one of the most common ignition issues is a key getting stuck inside the cylinder. It may happen if either your key or cylinder is worn out. Also, it may get stuck if the battery in your key is dead. Another cause of a stuck key is the improper setting of parking gear.
ignition lock cylinder
If you’re applying too much force when inserting or turning the key, you might accidentally break it. In that case, you’ll need the assistance of a professional to extract it. Sure Lock & Key will gladly help you with that.
ignition lock cylinder

What is an ignition switch

Now let’s talk about another core element of the ignition mechanism – an ignition switch. Basically, this part of your car is used to activate it fully. It doesn’t only start your engine but other systems of your car as well. So, when you insert the correct key into your ignition and turn it, your car starts “waking up,” in a way.
This element can be located behind the cylinder and be connected to it, or it can be completely separate. The first type is usually operated with a key and the second one with a remote or fob. In the second case, the switch gets activated when the correct signal is transmitted.

Symptoms of ignition switch problems

If you’re facing any ignition switch problems, it’s essential to resolve them as fast as possible. When your ignition switch is malfunctioning, you won’t be able to start your car and, in some cases, it might even be dangerous. Let’s define some of the main causes of it.
The ignition switch contains many small details and wires. They may stop working because of environmental problems. For example, it might be because of really low and high temperatures or humidity.
Also, your ignition switch may stop functioning because it was mechanically damaged.
Another problem is if there’s something wrong with the wiring. You may try fixing it yourself, but without the necessary tools and knowledge, you may cause more harm than good. So, the best solution to any ignition issues is to use professional automotive locksmith services.

So, what is the difference

For a car to work, it takes many elements and processes. Some of the core components of the car are an ignition lock cylinder and an ignition switch. These elements are essential for the process of starting the car. It’s really important to take care of both these components and maintain them well. In case you’re facing any ignition problems, it’s advisable to contact a professional technician right away.

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