You don’t have to be a mechanic to know that you are having ignition cylinder problems. After all, you put in the ignition key and nothing happened! Either you couldn’t turn the key at all, or you did and the car didn’t start. So what do you do? If you are like most; you start to panic. You have plans, or else why were you in the car in the first place? Maybe you were on the way to pick up your child from practice? Or, you might have had a dinner date. Notice we said “had” - that’s because you are going nowhere unless you get your ignition cylinder problem sorted out and solved. At Ahwatukee Locksmith AZ we often get calls for ignition cylinder service. Many folks panic and call us right away. Others do so after trying numerous remedies which didn’t work. Here, we offer some pointers that may just save yourself a service call, and get you back on the road running errands like before!
Originally ignition cylinders were strictly for starting your engine. In more modern times, ignitions also help supply power to your power windows, car radio, GPS system, power seats, headlights, windshield wipers, air conditioning system, heater, and lots more! You know what they say – “The more parts, the more that can go wrong!” That really holds true in this case as ignition cylinder problems can occur more easily and with greater frequency now. Since we aren’t ever going back to simpler times, it’s smart thinking to know what to do when you next experience that frustrating feeling of not having a working auto ignition.
What else could it be? You can’t turn on the car so it must be the ignition, right? Actually, there are other factors that often get confused with ignition cylinder issues. For instance, take your gear shift. Which one are you in? You need to be in PARK and nothing else! Your engine won’t turn over, in fact the transponder key won’t even turn if you are in NEUTRAL, DRIVE or anything else but PARK! As a matter of fact, you can’t even be in-between gears. Not only will your car not start, but it may even roll forward or backward so be extra careful when checking. Many people have been injured or even killed by getting out of their cars and having the vehicle move and pin them against something. While checking your gears, always be sure to have the parking brake on – better safe than sorry!
Were you in PARK? Great; now let’s move on to the next possible culprit – your steering wheel. It’s not a well-known fact, but steering wheels do lock up sometimes. If this happens, you won’t be able to turn the transponder key and start your engine. Just remain calm and apply a little pressure on the wheel so that it moves again. Don’t worry – you won’t break it so keep pushing and your wheel will unlock. Once it does, you can turn the ignition key again and get results.
Callers of our Ahwatukee, AZ locksmith shop often overlook another possible problem area; their battery. This might seem obvious to some, but many call for locksmith help first without checking their car battery to see if it is working or drained. Again, put on your parking brake. Then, proceed to turn on your headlights, dashboard lights, car radio, or power windows. The goal is to see if you have battery power or not. If your battery is dead or nearly drained, there won’t be sufficient electrical power to work your engine and your ignition simply won’t work. Now, if your battery is fine and you hear a series of rapid clicking sounds, it is your starter that is the problem; again, not the ignition!
Sometimes, local Ahwatukee, AZ residents find that their ignition key is stuck. Naturally, the ignition cylinder is blamed but often, it turns out that the wrong key was used! Wait; how can the wrong key even go in the ignition? The truth of the matter is that it can and it often does! Some households have more than one car and many transponder keys look similar. During our hustle and bustle of going here and there, it is actually easy to mistake the keys and insert the wrong one in the ignition. Yes, they do go in and yes, they often get lodged in the ignition switch. Here’s where you need to be careful; too much pressure on the key right now can break it and then you have broken key extraction to worry about. Lightly tap the key and see if it comes loose. Apply some pressure, but not too much. You may have to use a hard surface to do the jarring and not just your hand but again; use caution!
That warning may offend some but we mean this in the best way. Relatives and acquaintances are often well-meaning and sometimes have experience with mechanical things. If you call them, always bear in mind that any damage caused is still your responsibility to fix as it is your car; not theirs.
Have you exhausted your options? Here’s what you do. Make a call to your local Ahwatukee, AZ lock and key shop. You are always welcome to call ours but if you have one that you’ve worked with before and trust, by all means, use them. Look for certain traits in your locksmith shop of choice. They should be licensed, bonded and insured, as well as available to you 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Ignition lockups can happen any time; not just during working hours! Of course, it always helps if your locksmith is fast responding, affordable and expert in all manner of automotive lock and key services!
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