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Ignition Cylinder Problems - What to do About Them!

One of the most requested services we get here at Hemet Locksmith is for ignition cylinder assistance. There’s a reason for that. Drivers everywhere want their cars to work safely and on-demand so that they can get to their destinations with a minimum of hassle and stress. No one expects to hop in the driver’s seat and have to deal with a not-working ignition! Instead, we have our destinations in mind. Whether we are trying to get to work, or to pick up a child at school, our attention is focused on the end result and not on having to deal with an unruly ignition system!

No matter what make or model of car we drive, our ignitions will not last forever and will have issues at some point. It’s smart to know how to handle this problem so that you can deal with it in an efficient and cost effective way. Read our post and hopefully you’ll find it helpful and informative!

Super-duper ignitions

Ignition systems were originally designed to provide electrical power to the car’s engine. Like most other modern inventions, they got more complicated as time went by. In today’s world, ignition systems also power windshield wipers, air conditioner, headlights, radio, power windows, GPS system, power seats, and lots more. This means more parts and more things that can go wrong. Instead of panicking and trying to find a nearby mechanic in a hurry, why not think of this post and follow our simple advice? You just might save yourself an expensive service call and lots of time!

Check your gear!

What gear are you in? If your ignition won’t turn over, the problem may not be your ignition cylinder at all! There have been many times when a local Hemet, CA resident calls in a panic saying that their ignition system has failed. One of our mobile technicians is dispatched to the scene, then finds out the driver was simply in the wrong gear.

If your ignition won’t start, do a fast check and make double sure that you are in the PARK gear and no other! Modern ignitions will not crank the engine in any other gear including NEUTRAL or DRIVE. Sometimes, the shift is not in a certain gear at all but in-between gears so move it about until it actually clicks in and is definitely in the PARK position. Now try and start your car.

Culprit #2 – Locked steering wheel

Did you try and start your car but were unable to actually turn the ignition key? It went in to the cylinder just fine but it wouldn’t turn! Again, the problem may not be your ignition system at all. This could be a classic case of a locked steering wheel. Sometimes, we can lean a little too hard on to the steering wheel and it will lock into place, and not allow you to start your engine. Try applying some pressure to it and make it move (and unlock) in the process. Your ignition key should work now!

Drained battery

Another non-ignition cylinder problem that can affect your ability to start your car is a drained battery. This is because if the battery is dead or almost so, you will be unable to turn over the engine and the end result is the same; no driving. A simple check will tell you if the problem is indeed your battery, or not. First, put on your parking brake so that your car does not move forward or backward while you are trying different tests to see if your ignition cylinder really is the problem. Next, turn on your dashboard lights and see if they light up. Be sure to check to see if the dimmer switch is on; it can be set to low and give the impression that the battery is dead when it really isn’t. Try your radio, windshield wipers or power seats and see if they work. If they do, your battery is fine and not the problem. If not, you most likely have a drained battery and not an ignition cylinder issue. Please note; if you hear a series of fast clicking sounds, the problem is your starter and not your battery or your ignition.

Oh no! A stuck key!

Sometimes, the ignition or transponder key gets stuck in the ignition switch. Many local Hemet, CA drivers have called our shop about this one! This can happen for a couple of reasons. If the correct key is used but the ignition is switched to the ON position, sometimes the key will stick. Also if the key itself is damaged or if the ignition switch is broken, it can cause your key to get stuck. Once in a while, the WRONG key is used by mistake and this too, can cause it to be difficult to remove. Try gently tapping the key with a hard surface and see if this is enough to dislodge it. Don’t hit it; too much pressure can cause key breakage and then you are faced with key extraction in addition to your other repairs and service issues. If you are able to get your key to the OFF position, remove it, insert it again, and then try to start your car.

Is it time to call for help?

If none of the above tactics worked for you, then you may be ready to call someone for help. At first, it’s natural to call for free and easy assistance. This often includes friends, family members, neighbors, or co-workers that you feel know about car problems and their solutions. This is not a bad idea if the person you get to help you really knows their business. All too often the person only dabbles in mechanics and they can sometimes make matters worse. Keep in mind that it’s your vehicle and you are responsible for any damage to it. Why not call a local Hemet, CA automotive locksmith? Many shops are affordable and offer 24-hour emergency service direct to your car’s location.