Ignition failure is thankfully not a frequent problem for the majority of motorists but it can occur at the most inconvenient moments and when it does, you will need to fix the problem as soon as possible. We have a great deal of experience with both conventional and transponder key ignition systems and can fix a wide variety of faults in cars and commercial vehicles so if you do experience a problem at any time, please do not hesitate to contact us straight away. Meanwhile, if you would like to find out why your ignition may be causing you problems, the list of reasons below, which was compiled in consultation with our team of ignition repair specialists in Calgary, may come in handy. In it, we examine 6 of the most frequent causes of ignition failure, in both older and more modern vehicles, and the symptoms to look out for in each case.
6 Reasons Our Ignition Repair Technicians Are Called Out in Calgary
Whether you are interested in taking preventative action to avoid future ignition failures or you are trying to diagnose a problem you are having right now, the following list will give you some idea of the different types of issues that may lead to serious ignition faults and how to spot them in your vehicle.
Corroded Internal Components
If the internal contacts and other components in your ignition switch start to corrode, this can cause serious problems that eventually make it impossible for you to start your car. Corroded parts often lead to increased electrical resistance in the ignition switch, causing the cylinder, and sometimes the whole steering column, to become hot to the touch. In less severe cases, all you may notice is an intermittent fault that prevents your car from starting when you turn the key; in more serious cases, it will not be possible to start your car at all and the heat generated by the increased electrical resistance in the ignition switch will be quite noticeable. In almost all cases, the easiest solution is to replace the whole switch although it may sometimes be possible to utilize the unused contacts in the switch housing to buy yourself a little time. We normally recommend replacement rather than repair though, as the corrosion is likely to spread in the future.
Excessive Wear of the key
Over time, mechanical ignitions keys and switches wear out through repeated use, with the end result often being a key that fits so loosely into the ignition switch, it is prone to fall out. It is also possible, if a cylinder or key is very worn, that the key will no longer be able to turn the switch from the lock position and you will be unable to start your car. This is not a problem that you will encounter with keyless ignition systems in high-end modern vehicles of course but whether you have a conventional or transponder key programming, it is a problem that may occur after a number of years. Our recommended course of action for cars with worn keys or ignition switches is to replace both the key and the switch to avoid the possibility of encountering similar problems in the near future. Whilst a new key may solve the problem temporarily, it could wear out again quite quickly in the event the ignition switch is also worn.
Ignition repair services Call B&W Locksmith and Auto @403-313-7882
Worn or Broken Spring
Conventional ignition switches operated with a key are spring loaded so that after the key is turned to engage the starter motor and then released, it will spring back to the on position. If the internal spring becomes worn, corroded or damaged in any other way, this mechanism may not function properly, which can manifest itself in one of a number of ways. The most common symptom of a completely broken spring is a key that will not snap back into the on position after the starter motor is engaged and the engine has started. Whist it may be possible to manually tune the key back in some cases, it is not advisable to leave a switch in this condition. Replacing the barrel alone will not solve the problem as the spring is in the switch itself: the best course of action is to fit a new switch. Our Calgary locksmith will be happy to perform the necessary work for you at a very reasonable cost.
Worn ignition switch contacts
Worn ignition switch contacts can cause problems when the engine is running as well as when you are trying to start your car. The most common symptom pointing to worn contacts is an engine that runs normally but suddenly dies for no apparent reason. Vibration from the road can result in a poor connection when the contacts are worn, with an accompanying drop in voltage that leads to an engine misfire or complete shutdown. The easiest solution, as with mechanical wear to the cylinder and key, is to replace the whole unit. We can replace ignition switches and provide new keys for all types of private and commercial vehicles, as long as you can show proof of ownership of course. If you own a particularly rare make or model of car, please feel free to call and check whether we are able to fix it. We may have to order the parts you need but we are always willing to help out if we can.
Broken or Damaged Immobilizer Antenna Wiring
Vehicles fitted with ignition switches that work with transponder keys can suffer from issues with the immobilizer antenna wiring if it is damaged or broken. The symptoms are a car that you are unable to start, due to your key not being recognised. Once the antenna wiring is compromised and the immobilizer is no longer able to recognise the keys that you use to start your car, the only sensible course of action to take is to call your local ignition repair experts for help. In some cases, it is possible to replace the damaged antenna ring but in others, it may be necessary to replace the whole ignition switch. The reason you need to change the whole antenna ring rather than repair it is because once the resistance of the antenna ring is changed, which it will be if the wire is shortened or altered in any other way during an attempt to repair it, inaccurate RFID readings will render it unable to recognise your key.
Ignition Unlocking services Call B&W Locksmith and Auto @403-313-7882
Dead Battery in Transponder Key
A common problem, and one that is fortunately relatively easy to fix, is the batteries in transponder keys dying, with the result that the keys are no longer able to send codes to the engine immobilizers with which they are paired, and the cars in question cannot be started. This problem only occurs with transponders that use a battery to amplify the signal and replacing the dead battery will resolve the issue immediately. If your car has stopped responding to your transponder key, you should consult your local ignition repair specialist and have the battery replaced as soon as possible.
If you are having problems with your ignition switch or keys, and you live in the Calgary area, please contact us whenever convenient and we will be happy to help.