We’ve all made the mistake of assuming that our car would start just because we turned the switch on. It always happened when I was in a rush to get to work or some other meaningful engagement if you’re like me. You turn the key and hear that incredible noise from under your hood, but no matter how many times you crank the engine, it just won’t come to life.
In the past, if you were lucky, you would notice a wrench light on your instrument panel or know that your car’s starter wasn’t working when you tried to start your car with a remote starter. When electronic ignitions first came out in vehicles in the early ’90s, some drivers didn’t even know that they no longer needed a key to start a car. These days, all it takes is a quick glance at your dashboard or a tap on the brake pedal, and you know if your vehicle’s starter isn’t working.
When was the last time you checked to ensure your ignition switch works as it should?
If you can’t remember then, it’s been too long. The truth is, most people never check to make sure their ignition switch works until it’s too late and they get stranded somewhere in the middle of nowhere – or worse yet, in the bay area traffic!
The encouraging news is that you can avoid being stranded again with a bit of preventive maintenance because your ignition switch doesn’t work. And in most cases, the part only costs about $250.
Bad Ignition Switch Symptoms to Watch Out For
- When you turn the switch on, your car doesn’t start, and all of your electrical components stop working.
- Your instrument panel goes dark and stays that way until you restart your car or until your battery dies.
- You’re driving along, and suddenly everything in the dashboard starts flashing as if you just pulled out a magic wand from under your hood and waved it around.
- Your engine revs really high whenever you turn the key, even though your car won’t start. This can be especially dangerous if you’re trying to merge onto a busy freeway during rush hour!
- Your hazard lights stay on no matter what position your ignition switch is in, even when you’ve turned off your car.
- Your car key gets stuck in the ignition switch and won’t budge, even when you try to remove it.
Why Would My Ignition Switch Suddenly Stop Working?
Your ignition switch is only as good as your car’s key. A worn or broken key can damage your ignition switch until it stops working altogether, and the only way to fix the problem is by replacing both parts. So if you’re stranded on the side of the road with a bad ignition switch, it’s because you’ve been probably driving with a faulty key for days, weeks, or even months.
How to Prevent Your Ignition Switch From Going Out
The best way to prevent a worn-out key from damaging your ignition switch is by keeping both parts as clean as possible. That means checking up on the condition of your key every so often and cleaning it with a bit of soap and water or rubbing alcohol to remove any built-up dirt from its grooves. If you notice that your key is starting to get worn down, replacing it with a new one will make both of your parts last longer
Note: Your key should unscrew from your ignition switch if you pull on it hard enough. And since today’s keys are made out of sturdy metal alloys, you can twist and bend them as much as needed to remove them from your ignition switch without worrying about damaging the key… or your car’s ignition switch.
How do You Start a Car With a Bad Ignition Switch?
If your ignition switch stops working altogether, you’ll need to start your car using jumper cables or another vehicle. You can also use an electronic device like a Slim Jim to bypass the ignition switch. But before you go out and buy an electronic device, make sure that your ignition switch is actually the problem.
How to Fix a Bad Ignition Switch?
If your ignition switch is faulty, don’t waste money on expensive car repair services at the dealership when you can call a mobile locksmith to come straight to you and fix the problem on the spot. The truth is, most of these car repair services are just looking for an easy way to suck money out of your wallet because they know that this kind of job requires specialized tools that only dealerships usually have access to.
But with mobile locksmith service, you’ll never need to worry about paying a high price to get your ignition switch fixed because these mobile locksmiths drive around with the same types of tools that car dealerships have in their service garages. Their auto locksmith technicians are also specially trained to diagnose every make and model of vehicle, which means they can quickly tell what’s wrong with your car whenever you call for a locksmith near you.
Can a Car Locksmith Replace an Ignition Switch?
Yes, car locksmiths can replace ignition switches, but not all of them know how to make a brand new key for your car. So if you need a replacement ignition switch, call a licensed auto locksmith and ask if they can make a new key as well before you schedule them to come to fix your problem.
Ignition Switch Replacement Cost in San Jose and the Surrounding Area
The cost to replace an ignition switch depends on your vehicle’s make, model, and year, but you should budget anywhere from $250 to $500 for the part and labor.
Note: If you need a new key for your car, budget anywhere from $150 to $350 per key (includes key programming).
Can I Fix my Ignition Switch Myself?
Replacing an ignition switch doesn’t require any specific tools or expertise, but it can still be dangerous if you have no idea what you’re doing. So unless you’re skilled in electrical testing and have a complete set of spare ignition switch parts in your car, you should probably just call a mobile locksmith for help instead.
Looking For a Car Locksmith Near You?
Call Buddy’s locksmith today at (408) 315-2063 for fast and reliable service with a smile! We have a team of skilled locksmiths who can help you out around the clock, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.