In a way, your car’s ignition system is like the heart of the car. It sends the electrical pulses needed for the battery to run and for the engine to start and stop. All is good when your ignition cylinder does its job, but what about when it doesn’t? What then? The sad part is that you usually don’t know that you have ignition cylinder issues until you are inside the car, all buckled up and ready to go somewhere! Talk about plans thrown off-course; who needs that? Here at Locksmith Service Chamblee our automotive locksmith pros service vehicle ignitions on a regular basis. We understand how vital it is to have a reliable and safe working ignition system no matter what make or model of car you drive. While you are always free to call our shop here in Chamblee, GA there are a few things you can do on your own that may just resolve your ignition cylinder problem completely. Try these tips first, and then if you don’t get the results you need, call your favorite locksmith shop!
Not my fault!
If you turn the key and the ignition doesn’t start, it’s a faulty ignition system, right? Guess again! The real culprit could be any number of things so it’s best to go down the list and check them off as you go. Let’s start with your gear shift. In order to start your car, you absolutely must be in the right gear. This means PARK and nothing else. You can’t be almost in PARK and be off just a tad; you must be firmly in gear. Modern cars are built to exacting specifications when it comes to starters, gears and ignitions; there is no “almost in gear”; your gear shift must be in the place in order to start your engine. Many a locksmith or auto repair service call has been needlessly scheduled when all the customer had to do is wiggle the gear into PARK. In fact, people are injured and even killed when their out of gear vehicles roll forward or backward onto themselves or a loved one. Always remember to put your parking brake on when doing any kind of auto work or adjustments; all it takes is a second for your vehicle to lurch forward or roll!
Check your steering wheel
Often, the ignition key won’t turn because the steering wheel is locked. It’s easy to lean just a little too hard on the steering wheel while getting in or out of the car. Sometimes, this added pressure locks up the wheel temporarily. Not to worry; some pressure on the wheel will release this lock and allow you to start your ignition or remove your transponder key from the ignition lock. AAA reports that many service calls are in fact, due to this steering wheel locking up and that all the customer needed to do was move it back and forth.
Your next step; check your battery!
A low battery can cause ignition system problems. Check the power of your battery; the symptoms are often the same as having ignition problems; stuck key and the inability to start the engine. This test is very easy. Put your parking brake on and then with the engine off, try and turn on your headlights or your car radio. You can also test your windshield wipers, power windows or power seats. If they work as usual, it’s not your battery that’s the problem.
Did you insert the right key?
At first, this seems like an odd question. Of course you did or how else could the key go in? In reality, this happens more often than people know. Almost all modern day car keys are of the transponder type and often they look very similar. If you live and work with others that have transponder keys, it’s very easy to grab the wrong one and yes, they do often go inside the lock and of course, they won’t work as they don’t have the correct chip embedded in them. Another problem with wrong key insertions is that not only do they not work right; but often these keys tend to get stuck in the lock. If this happens to you there are a couple of remedies. You can try lightly tapping the key from the top downward. Be careful; you don’t want to drive the key in too far; only to loosen it. Don’t get frustrated or too forceful; a broken off transponder key is yet another problem to fix and expense. Our best recommendation is to spray your stuck key with electrical contact cleaner. Just do a spritz or two and follow this up with a spray of silicon lock lubricant. Together, these two sprays perform a dual action that not only cleans your lock; it also lubricates it enough to release the stuck key.
Don’t call just anyone
It’s easy to say “call for help” but some kinds of help are well meaning but often, not good. We all know someone that fancies himself or herself; an expert on something. It can be cooking, auto mechanics, massage therapy, interior design, tattoos or anything else for that matter. It’s always nice to have someone that cares enough to offer assistance, but keep in mind that your car is your responsibility and any repairs or adjustments made to it can either help or offer hindrance. The burden of fixing the “repairs” is often an added expense that is simply not needed if something goes wrong.
Are you ready to say a locksmith?
There’s no shame in calling in the experts. A good automotive locksmith can be affordable, fast responding and highly convenient. Not only do the best shops offer mobile service direct to your location, they also provide same day service, free price quotes and quality locksmith hardware. Unlike auto repair shops, an automotive locksmith can save you time and money by not having to tow your vehicle in to the repair shop. Try the above recommendations and if you need to; call a locksmith pro!