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Jammed Ignition Repair Tips

Is your car's ignition acting up, leaving you stuck in the driveway or parking lot? Dealing with a jammed ignition can be a frustrating experience. But there are steps you can take to address this issue. When you find yourself in a situation where your car's ignition is stuck, the first thing to do is stay calm. Understanding what's happening and what to do next can make the process smoother. In this guide, we'll walk you through troubleshooting and repairing a jammed ignition.

Many don’t realize the number of times that we turn our car key in the ignition and start the car up. Over the course of a year, this act can be done, on average, as many as 4,000 times! Crazy number, huh?  We often take for granted that the simple mechanical motion of turning keys can jumpstart many processes to get us to where we want to go in the comfort of our vehicle. With every use of our ignition system comes the trimmings of wear and tear on the car, particularly on the ignition system itself. For this reason, jammed ignition repair is often an unfortunate but necessary evil.

When You Know

Dealing with a jammed ignition can be a frustrating and unexpected roadblock in your day. It's a situation that can leave you feeling stranded and unsure about how to get your vehicle back on the road. Begin by assessing the situation and understanding what might be causing the issue.

The most obvious way of telling if your vehicle needs jammed ignition repair or replacement is if your car is not starting up. Or if you don’t see any other internal issues that could be causing the issue. When you turn the key, and nothing happens, it signifies trouble. This might be due to a dead battery, a faulty starter, or ignition switch issues. Getting a mechanic’s second opinion on this is certainly a good idea.

Key Won’t Turn

 If your key doesn't turn in the ignition, it could be due to a worn-out key, a damaged ignition cylinder, or a steering wheel lock. Try turning the steering wheel while turning the key.

The Need for Performing Jammed Ignition Repair

But there are many other signs that can show the need for performing jammed ignition repair on your car. The first of these is what mechanics call a “sticky start.” This happens when you turn the key and the car engine stutters more than normal and finally jumps into power. This typically occurs because the ignition system has been worn down or there is a foreign object such as dirt or grime that is preventing a smooth start to the car.

Jiggle Car Keys

Another way to know that your car needs ignition repair is if you have to perform an unconventional method to get your car to start. Many drivers complain that they have to jiggle their keys or try multiple times to get their keys to start the car. This should not have to happen upon a freshly manufactured car. And shouldn’t truly be happening for at least a few years after as well.

Important to Note

Of course - sometimes there isn’t an issue with the ignition system. An issue with the key itself that is causing the ignition system not to recognize the entry and stay unaffected. Some cases of cars require rough turning of the key in order to get the car to start. It is important to note that these issues should be addressed immediately by a professional mechanic. It can only make the car experience worse conditions if left alone for long.

DIY Jammed Ignition Repair

Before spending hundreds of dollars and a sheer amount of time at the auto repair center, there are a few methods that are solely performed by the driver that may solve the ignition problem before extra help is needed.

  • Cleaning: It is very important that the locking cylinder is both free from dirt and debris, as well as lubricated properly. In order to ensure this, wipe the outside clean with a towel and use a can of compressed air to remove any debris from the innards of the key hole. Then use WD40 to spread in the key hole in order to ensure proper lubrication for a smooth turn.
  • Tapping: Sometimes the pins on the inside of the ignition system that accept the car key get jammed and need realignment. One way to do this safely is to take your key and upon inserting it, gently tap with a tack hammer until you feel the key is properly seated in the ignition.

Professional Jammed Ignition Repair

Sometimes the handyman cannot solve everything, and the experts are needed. If all else fails, locksmiths across the country are very experienced in performing jammed ignition repair.

Most of these repairs are pretty straightforward and can happen within one business day. The cost of jammed ignition repair is total of around $200, equally divided between the parts and the labor. it's depending on the relative age of the car.

In this job, the technician will perform repairs to the ignition system, and in some cases replace the ignition system entirely. The locksmith will ensure that you are all ready for the road and feeling confident about your car starting when you walk out!

Lastly… When it comes to figuring out what to do with your ignition, don’t hesitate trusting a professional to get the job done. Sometimes, the extra money you spend to get jammed ignition repair done is so much worth it; compared to the hassle of doing everything on your own.

Ignition Repair vs. Replacement

When faced with ignition issues, deciding between repair and replacement is important. Here's some information to help you understand the factors involved.

Ignition Repair: Repairing the ignition can be effective if the issue is minor. A worn key, a bad lock cylinder, or issues with the ignition switch can often be repaired. This is practical when the ignition is in good condition and the problem is isolated to a specific part. Ignition repair can save you money and get you back on the road fast.

Ignition Replacement: In some cases, ignition replacement is the more sensible choice. This is necessary when the ignition has sustained extensive damage or extreme wear and tear. If the ignition switch or lock cylinder is damaged or electrical issues are beyond repair, replacing the ignition may be best. Also, if your ignition is aging and has a lot of issues, replacement is often the best solution.

Conclusion: Making Informed Decisions for Your Ignition

It's essential to understand that many everyday factors can contribute to a jammed ignition. Before rushing to the repair center and spending time and money, there are methods you can try.

Whether your vehicle needs ignition repair or replacement depends on the issue. By seeking help, you can address a jammed ignition system. For the most accurate diagnosis and solutions, consult a locksmith or auto technician.

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We are proud to provide our locksmith and security services to these areas of Washington: Ballard, Bellevue, Burien, Capitol Hill, Edmonds, Everett, Federal Way, Fremont, Issaquah, Kenmore, Kirkland, Magnolia, Maple Leaf, Marysville, Millcreek, Mountlake Terrace, Northgate, Redmond, Renton, Sammamish, Seattle, Tacoma, Tukwila, Wallingford, White Center and Woodinville.

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