Ignition switch

If your vehicle is having trouble starting, it could be showing signs of a failing ignition switch. Some symptoms may be similar to other problems like starter motor issues. If your ignition switch is showing signs of malfunction, you will notice a wide variety difficulties which need to be investigated to find the underlying problem.

Ignition switch

It also routes current from the battery to the starter to crank the engine. An ignition switch has four positions: The switch must be in this position for the engine to run and for the vehicle to be driven.

A key is required to turn the switch. The key portion of the switch which is often a separate component from the multi-contact electrical part of the switch works like any other lock.

Ignition switch

Inserting a key into the switch moves a row of pins inside a cylinder. If the pins line up correctly, the cylinder will turn allowing the switch to change position.

On applications where the electrical part of the switch is a separate component behind the key cylinder, removing the key cylinder allows the switch to be turned manually typically with a large screwdriver. On older vehicles, car thieves would use a slide hammer or pry bar to pop the key cylinder out of the ignition switch so they could start the engine without a key.

But all that changed when auto makers began using anti-theft systems that included a coded "computer" key. If the vehicle has a push button start system no keythe anti-theft code comes from the key fob. The same thing can happen if the smart key or key fob is defective or damaged.

Vehicles That Might Have This Problem

On some applications, the anti-theft system can be confused if there are more than one smart key on the key ring and the system is reading the wrong key. This is also to reduce auto theft. On vehicles with automatic transmissions, there is also a "shift interlock" solenoid that locks the transmission linkage so the transmission cannot be shifted out of Park.

Problems with the column lock such as binding may prevent the ignition switch from turning when the key is inserted, or it may prevent the key from being removed when you turn the engine off.

Problems with the shift interlock solenoid may prevent the transmission from being shifted out of Park. The cause may be a bad solenoid, an electrical fault between the ignition switch circuit and the interlock solenoid, or binding in the shift interlock linkage. The steering column may be binding because one of the front wheels is turned at an angle against a curb.

This puts a load on the steering linkage, which may be enough to bind the column lock and ignition switch. A worn key or the wrong key can prevent the ignition switch from turning. If you have a spare key, try the spare key in the ignition switch to see if it works.

If the spare key works, the problem is not a bad ignition switch but a bad key. Throw the old key away and get a new copy made of the spare key.

Ignition switch

If that is not an option, the key cylinder in the ignition switch will have to be replaced along with a new set of keys. If the ignition switch is binding hard to turn in either directionlubricating the switch may help. Use a nonconductive lubricant such as dielectric silicon grease or aerosol electronics cleaner.

Do not use penetrating oil or graphite because it might short out the electrical contacts inside the switch. First, do the instrument panel warning lights come on when the key is turned to the ON position?Sep 01,  · How much does Ignition Switch Replacement cost?

Get an estimate instantly. Service, parts, cost & recommendations from YourMechanic. Your definitive guide to Ignition Switch Replacement/5(). Order Switches - Specialty (Universal) for your vehicle and pick it up in store—make your purchase, find a store near you, and get directions.

Your order may be eligible for Ship to Home, and shipping is free on all online orders of $+. Check here for special coupons and promotions. The sealed key 2 position switch is a sealed ignition switch manufactured with a thermoplastic material.


The 2 position switch features an integral sealed Deutsch /AT Connector ().The sealed areas of the 2 position switch feature O-rings and ultrasonic welding for superior protection. Dorman Products - Ignition Switch Actuator Pin.

Re-engineered to improve durability, our Ignition Switch Actuator Pin provides a long service life. Now you can replace only the Pin-without installing an entirely new steering column assembly. The ignition system supplies the spark that ignites the air/fuel mixture in the combustion chambers.

For optimal performance and fuel mileage, and minimal emissions, the spark must be powerful and properly timed for all operating conditions. General Motors has notified NHTSA that it is recalling vehicles because a defective ignition switch can affect the safe operation of airbag systems.

This is a serious safety issue that should be addressed immediately by following GM’s recommendation to "use only the ignition key with nothing else.

Tech Wiki - Ignition Switch : Datsun Club