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How to Determine if the Ignition Switch Is Faulty?


The switch of the ignition system (usually requiring a key) can freely connect or disconnect the ignition coil's key circuit, while also meeting the objective requirements of other electrical circuits. The ignition switch, commonly known as the master switch, universal key or ignition key, is the main brake of the entire vehicle electrical system. It has plug-in and knob styles. How can we determine if the ignition switch is bad?


What do the different gears of the car ignition switch mean?


The ignition switch, as the regulating hub of various circuit branches, is a crucial switch in the car electrical circuit. It can freely connect or disconnect the ignition coil. In most cases, the car basically has four gears, namely, lock, acceleration, ON and start.


Start ST or start gear to start the car, start the engine, consume fuel first, cool the air conditioning first. After starting, it will automatically return to normal state, which is ON gear.


Turn on the ON or IG indicated on the ignition instrument panel. Except for the starter, the rest of the basic equipment is basically turned on. You can unlock the steering wheel and use the air conditioning. However, the air conditioning does not have a cooling effect at this time. Because the compressor has not started yet, only the blower is rotating, so it is natural wind instead of cold wind.


Accessory block ACC, providing energy for the entire vehicle. Radio, headlights, etc. can be used basically normally, but the air conditioning cannot be used.


Lock the steering wheel shaft. If the car key is in this gear, the steering wheel is locked, and the steering wheel cannot have too much movement.


What are the symptoms of a bad ignition switch?


We often call gears the four gears mentioned above, because the ignition switch regulates the connection and disconnection of the ignition coil. If there is a malfunction in the ignition switch, the car cannot start normally.


The most direct symptom is that the ignition cannot be turned off, the fire cannot be extinguished, or the car inexplicably stalls. Even the circuit adjusted by the key cannot be used normally.


The ignition switch is the most important switch in the car electrical circuit


The ignition switch is the most important switch in the car electrical circuit, and it is the regulating hub of various circuit branches. It can freely turn the ignition coil on or off, with four gears: start, ON, ACC, and Lock. Its key functions are locking the steering wheel shaft (Lock), turning on the ignition indicator (on or IG), starting (ST or Start) gear, accessory (Acc key dedicated to radio player) gear, and addition (HEAT) gear (if used for diesel vehicles).


Among them, the starting and preheating gears have a very large working current and are not easy to be connected to the switch for a long time. Therefore, when operating these two gears, you must use your hand to overcome the spring force, pull the key, and when your hand is lifted, it will bounce back to the ignition gear. You cannot set your position by yourself. Other gears can be positioned by yourself.


A malfunction of the ignition switch can cause serious consequences because the ignition switch regulates the on and off of the ignition coil. If the ignition switch fails, the car cannot be started. The direct symptom is failure to ignite, failure to start, and even inexplicable stalls, and the circuit adjusted by the key cannot be used basically.


Many times, the malfunction of the ignition switch is caused by long-term incorrect operating methods of drivers. Some new drivers who are in a hurry simplify many processes when starting. Even inserting the key into the ignition switch and directly turning it from the parking position to the ignition position.


It should be noted that the four gears of the ignition switch are progressive, aiming to make the electrical equipment work in stages and reduce the burden of instantaneous power supply to the car battery. If the car is not parked in other gears when starting the car, it will instantly increase the load on the battery, causing great damage to the battery and the engine. In the long run, it will reduce the life of the battery and make it difficult to start the engine.


Therefore, a good starting method is to slowly rotate the key, let the electrical accessories of the car enter the state one by one, and relieve the pressure of the battery power supply. If you use a one-click ignition to start the car, you can press it first to turn it on. Then click it, the dashboard lights up, which is equivalent to the "ON" gear. The car will automatically detect, the fuel pump establishes oil pressure to prepare for ignition, and finally, the car is started.

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