How to Start A Car With A Bad Ignition Switch in 2023 [Symptoms & Solutions]

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Start a Car With a Bad Ignition Switch

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Having a lousy ignition switch is the most irritating thing that can happen to your car. It causes many problems in starting your engine, indicating the weak performance of your vehicle. 

But how would you know if the ignition system is not working? Or if you know, what’s the solution? How to start a car with a bad ignition switch, then?

You can do so in multiple ways, such as using your key in the opposite direction, applying a jumper cable, fixing the battery wire, manually transmitting it, and many more. 

Before calling a tow truck or taking it to the mechanic, let’s check out what are the symptoms of a bad ignition system and how to start a car with a bad ignition switch.

How Does The Ignition Switch Become Faulty?

Well, your ignition switch controls your vehicle’s battery, starter, and ignition coil. If the connection or electricity doesn’t flow correctly, these things won’t work, and eventually, your engine will become broken.

Now, the reason why the switch gets damaged is because of the water interference. If by any chance any water intrusion happens, corrosion occurs, which leads to bad ignition power. All the connectors and wires get damp that time and the shock happens. 

No matter how many times you try to turn it on/off, it’ll work like a tortoise.

Moreover, there are other reasons why your ignition switch can go bad as well. For example, the loose connections of the wires are something to consider. Often our vehicles act like they’re not in the mood (we mean after years of use), which also leads to different types of issues. The ignition switch issue is one of them. 

If you don’t get your car checked every 6-12 months, the problem can arise easily.

Signs of Ignition Switch Problems

Now the question is, What are the symptoms of a bad ignition switch? Following are some bad ignition switch symptoms that’ll let help you to solve the problem of the electrical accessories and regain your engine control.

1. Your Car Won’t Start

The first and most common thing about a faulty ignition switch is that it’ll not start. No matter how many times you turn your key, the engine will fall, and it won’t respond.

It happens because your ignition switch might not be able to send all the power to the engine controls, starter motor, and ignition controls. The issues can be both mechanical and electrical; hence it’s better to find the exact problem with the help of a professional.

2. The Key Turning will be Difficult

If the key gets stuck while you’re trying to turn on the car, my friend, your ignition switch needs to be checked.

Likewise, if you’re facing trouble while removing the key, it’s the faulty ignition switch.

In this situation, the key won’t be able to notify your vehicle that you’re trying to start it, and you’ll be confirmed the issue is with the switch.

3. Your Car Will Start and Then Suddenly Will Stall

For this one, you have to be observant enough. 

Like, if you’re driving and suddenly your car stops working, go check the dashboard at once. If the lights are all dying simultaneously, know that your ignition switch is the main villain.

4. Flickering Lighting and Blinking Dashboard

As I said earlier, if you notice the car is stalling, you need to check the lights on the dashboard.

But the fact is, you shouldn’t only check the dashboard system only if your car stalls. Instead, you should notice the flickering light or other accessories from time to time.

If they don’t work like previously, your ignition switch has gone bad.

5. Your Car’s Ignition Keeps Turned On

The ignition switch is also considered faulty when you’re trying to stop the ignition, but the car is still running. In this circumstance, even if you remove the key, the car won’t stop immediately.

6. Starter Motor Goes Silent

Last but not least, your starter motor will go properly silent when it’s trouble with the ignition switch. You won’t hear any clicking sound whenever you’re turning it on. 

If this happens, be sure that the concern is with the switch.

How to Start a Car with a Bad Ignition Switch

It may seem like a daunting task, but starting a car with a defective ignition switch can actually be quite simple. Let’s check out how you can bypass the faulty ignition switch and be ready to hit the open road once more. Just remember, if you encounter this problem often, it may be time for a replacement ignition switch. Happy motoring!

Jumper Cables to Start a Car with a Bad Ignition Switch

Jumper Cables to Start a Car with a Bad Ignition Switch

Whether it’s because of wear and tear or a faulty design, a bad ignition switch can leave you stranded with a dead car. But before calling for a tow truck, there is another option: jumper cables. 

That’s right, with the help of another car and some basic electricity knowledge, you can bypass your ignition switch and get your car running again. Connect the positive (+) cable of one battery to the positive (+) terminal of the other battery, and connect the negative (-) cable of one battery to the negative (-) battery terminal of the other one. Then, try starting the car.

Of course, this should only be used as a temporary solution until the issue is properly fixed. So next time your ignition switch leaves you stuck on the side of the road, grab those jumper cables and jump start your way to freedom. And don’t forget to take your car in for maintenance- even superheroes need tune-ups every now and then.

A Drill and Screwdriver to Start a Car with a Bad Ignition Switch

Did you know that with just a drill and screwdriver, you can start your car even if the ignition switch is broken? All it takes is a little know-how and some handy tools. 

First, remove the panel on your steering column to expose the ignition cylinder. 

Then, insert your screwdriver in the cylinder and turn it until it clicks. 

Next, take your drill and place it over the screwdriver handle – be sure that the drill’s power is set to low – and turn on the drill. It’ll internally destroy the pins so you can put the screwdriver inside the keyhole and turn the ignition.

Voila! Your car should start right up. 

Now, this little trick may not be ideal for every day use, but it’s a great last resort for those times when your trusty ignition switch just won’t cooperate. 

And hey, at least you can impress all of your friends with your newfound auto knowledge!

Hotwiring to Start a Car with a Bad Ignition Switch

Hotwiring a car may seem like something out of an action movie, but in reality it can be a helpful skill to have. Whether your ignition switch is busted or you lost your keys, hotwiring a car can get you on the road again. 

But before you try it, make sure to check your state laws – some states specifically outlaw hotwiring cars. If it’s legal where you are, here’s how to do it: 

First, locate the two wire bundles going into the ignition switch. 

Next, strip and twist the ends of the wires together so they make contact when the key is turned. 

Finally, turn on the accessories and then start the engine. And congrats– you’re off to ride off into the sunset (or wherever your destination may be). 

Just remember to replace that faulty ignition switch as soon as possible for future hotwiring attempts.

Some Additional Tips to Start a Car with a Bad Ignition Switch

  • You should always try to turn your car key in the opposite direction once it’s a problem with the ignition switch. If the clockwise factor doesn’t work, try the anti-clock strategy, it’ll magically fix the issue.
  • Try to use your manual transmission in neutral. This way, the gear will simply stick between the 3rd and 4th speed. The car will also start running.

You can also check the following video on how to diagnose a no-start condition:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=o17kWtp6jbE

Ignition Switch Replacement Cost

Are you tired of having to start your car with a paperclip or playing “the key dance” every morning? It may be time to replace that faulty ignition switch.

While the cost may not be ideal, it’s nothing compared to the potential consequences of driving with a defective switch. Not only can it lead to difficulty starting your vehicle, but it could also potentially cause issues with the electrical system and airbags. 

But, how much does it cost to fix the ignition switch?

It actually depends on the model of your car and the availability of the required tools. If you want to get it replaced from a local repair center, it might take around $60-$180. But if you go to a well-known repair shop, they might take $130-$480. 

The reason behind this much cost is that this work takes hours and hours to identify the real issue. Then after so much consideration, the professionals fix it.

Don’t wait until you’re stranded on the side of the road – take care of that ignition switch before it takes care of you. Trust me, in the long run, it’ll save you time and money (not to mention peace of mind!). So go ahead and bite the bullet – schedule that replacement and start enjoying smooth ignition every time.

Tips to Keep the Ignition Switch Problem Free

The ignition switch failure is one of the most important problems in starting your car. Luckily, there are several easy things you can do to keep it in tip-top shape.

Let’s give you some tips on never to face this ignition switch problem. 

  • Take your car to the repair shop from time to time to check. Just like us, our cars need a checkup too.
  • All the wires should be clear and free of corrosion to avoid this ignition switch issue, as water interference leads to the problem here.
  • Always check if there are any connection complications. This can cause danger in the long run. Try to replace weak connections if you find any as soon as possible.

Now that, you are aware of how to start a car with a bad ignition switch. You may also like to know how to test a battery isolator for your car.

FAQs About Starting a Car with a Bad Ignition Switch

Can I replace the ignition switch by myself?

Yes, you can replace the ignition switch by yourself. But it’s a very tough job to do if you don’t know anything about car stuff. You need to know about the wires first and then have to detach the steering wheel. Plus, you have to find the ignition wires, strip and twist them.

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

Well, the ignition cylinder is the place where you put on your key to turn the engine. On the other hand, an ignition switch is something that conveys the power to your car engine to get it started.

Can ignition switch cause battery drain?

The ignition switch on your car may seem like just a small, insignificant button, but it actually plays a crucial role in regulating the flow of electricity. When the key is turned to the “off” position, the ignition switch cuts off power to certain components, including the headlights and radio. 

However, if the ignition switch is faulty or not functioning properly, it may fail to cut off this power and continue draining your car’s battery even when the key is removed. So next time you’re experiencing a drained battery for no apparent reason, consider checking your trusty ignition switch for any problems. 

So if you’re having repeated issues with a drained battery, don’t just blame it on leaving your lights on – check to see if your ignition switch is functioning properly. It could save you more than just a jumpstart.

Bottom Line

Trying to start your car with a faulty ignition switch is like trying to start a fire using wet wood – it just ain’t gonna happen. 

And while a match may cost just a few cents, replacing your ignition switch can be a much pricier endeavor. That’s because the process requires disassembling part of the steering column in order to access and replace the switch. 

It’s also important to choose a switch that’s compatible with your specific make and model, as switching out an incompatible part can lead to even bigger (and more expensive) problems down the road. 

So save yourself the frustration and potential damage by investing in an ignition switch replacement sooner rather than later. Your wallet (and car) will thank you.

That’s all. 

You can either start a car with a bad ignition switch or replace your vehicle’s ignition switch. 

The choice is yours. 

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