Car Ignition Switch Problems

by Andrea Stein

Cars rely on several electrical and mechanical components, including an ignition switch, in order to start properly. The ignition switch can experience electrical problems, due to faulty or corroded components, which can adversely affect the car’s operation.

Definition

A car ignition switch, also known as a starter switch, is a mechanism located in the car's engine. The switch is designed to engage, or start, the car’s major electrical systems.

Process

The car ignition switch connects to the car’s starter mechanism, which is connected to the battery. The switch is activated when the key is inserted into the ignition, which contains a lock cylinder. When the key is turned inside the lock and moved to the correct position, the switch activates and sends a signal to the battery. The battery sends an electric current to the starter, which activates the engine.

Problems

A car ignition switch can experience problems due to bad electrical connections or faulty or corroded contacts inside the switch. Problems with the ignition switch can cause the car to fail to start. Ignition switch issues can also result in problems with car accessories, such as malfunctioning or non-functioning headlights and windshield wipers. Under these circumstances, the ignition switch should be professionally inspected and repaired or replaced.

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera yellow car, a Honda Japanese sport car model image by alma_sacra from Fotolia.com