These 9 Symptoms of a Bad Ignition Switch Are Harmful to Your Car

Written and Checked By:

4 minutes
Changing Bad Ignition Switch
Changing Bad Ignition Switch

Did you know that a faulty ignition switch can cause your car to stall, lose power, or even catch fire?

GM recalled 2.6 million cars with faulty ignition switches that caused engine and airbag failures. Learn more about the GM car recall scandal that killed at least 97 people.

But how do you know if your ignition switch is going bad? What are the symptoms and the causes of a failing ignition switch?

In this article, I will discuss the 9 signs of a bad ignition switch, such as difficulty turning the key, engine stalling, blinking dashboard lights, and more.

Symptoms of bad ignition switch

Signs of Bad Ignition Switch
Signs of Bad Ignition Switch

If your car’s ignition switch isn’t working right, it can cause various troubles. Here are some usual signs of a problematic ignition switch:

1. The car won’t start or takes several tries.

When you turn the key, but your car doesn’t start, it could be the ignition switch acting up. A rusty electrical connection can slow things down and make the engine crank slowly.

2. The key gets stuck in the ignition.

If your key gets stuck and won’t turn to start the car, it might be an ignition switch problem. This happens more with keys that have a rounder shape. Over time, the key’s edges can wear out, making it hard to work the pins inside the ignition.

3. The car stalls while driving or idling.

Sometimes, your car might stall while you’re driving, not when it’s parked. If your key is in the ‘on’ position and this happens, it could be the ignition switch.

4. The starter doesn’t make any noise or just a clicking sound.

When you turn the key, and nothing happens, it might mean the ignition switch can’t send power from the battery to the starter motor.

But remember, it could also be a dead battery. You can check by seeing if other things like the radio or power windows work when the key is ‘on.’

5. The dashboard lights flicker or dim when you turn the key.

Sometimes, you might see the lights on your car’s dashboard or other electric stuff flickering or going on and off by themselves.

This usually means there’s something wrong with the ignition switch. It could be because of rust, or it’s just worn out.

6. The car makes a strange noise or smell when you turn the key.

When your car’s ignition switch is having problems, you might hear weird sounds. These sounds can tell you that something is wrong with the electrical system in your vehicle. Here’s what the sounds might be:

  1. Clicking: Fast clicking when you try to start your car means there might be bad electrical connections.
  2. Grinding: If you hear a grinding noise, it could be because some parts of the ignition switch are worn out or broken.
  3. Whirring/Whining: Whirring or whining sounds might come from electrical issues or resistance in the switch.
  4. Buzzing/Humming: Buzzing or humming noises can mean there are problems with the electrical circuits or shorts in the system.

7. The ignition is constantly turned on and it drains the battery.

When you take the key out of the ignition, but your car keeps running, it’s usually because of a faulty ignition switch. It’s not something that happens a lot, but it can happen.

8. The accessories (such as radio, lights, or heater) don’t work or they work intermittently.

When you put the key in and turn it to the ‘acc’ position, the ignition switch is supposed to turn on things like the interior lights, dashboard lights, and center console in your car, if these things don’t come on, it could mean there’s a problem with the ignition switch or lock.

9. The key is hard to turn or remove from the ignition.

If your car key gets stuck when you turn it on or take it out, it might mean the ignition switch is getting old.

The key isn’t fitting well in the switch, and a failing switch could make the engine keep running even after you’ve taken the key out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *