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Every vehicle has a special part known as an ignition cylinder. In order for your vehicle to start, operate, and stay on while you are driving, it is important that your ignition cylinder is in good shape. Unfortunately, because ignition cylinders are used every time you operate your vehicle, they can wear down over time. It is not uncommon to need your vehicle’s ignition cylinder replaced at some point, depending on how often your drive. Keep reading to learn more about the role of your vehicle’s ignition cylinder, as well as signs and symptoms to look for that may indicate that your ignition cylinder needs a repair or replacement.
While ignition cylinders are small and mostly unseen, they play a critical role in the operation of your vehicle. Your ignition cylinder sits just to the right of your car’s steering wheel. The visible part of the ignition cylinder is the circular piece of metal that has the key slot in the center. Embedded within the vehicle paneling is the rest of the ignition cylinder, which is a long and cylindrically shaped. When you insert your vehicle key into the ignition slot, you are essentially inserting your key into the ignition cylinder.
From the moment you turn on your vehicle, drive away, and then turn off your vehicle once you reach your destination, your ignition cylinder is in use. Whenever you turn your car on, off, or drive for any length of time, you can count on your ignition cylinder doing its job. Ignition cylinders not only help hold your vehicle key firmly in place while you are driving, they also are connected to the vehicle’s internal electrical system, making it so that the vehicle is alerted that the proper key is in the slot.
When your ignition cylinder is not working, it is possible for your vehicle to show a variety of signs and symptoms. While a lot of the symptoms described below are commonly seen when ignition cylinders are worn or broken, they can also be indicative of other vehicle symptoms. If at any point you are concerned about a particular issue that is occurring with your vehicle, make sure to work with a professional immediately.
This is one of the first signs that your ignition cylinder may be worn. Ignition cylinders recognize when the right key is in the slot and turned. Wiring inside of and around the ignition cylinder then alerts the vehicle to start. If there is a problem with the cylinders wiring or there is some sort of connectivity issue, you may experience this symptom. While it can be unnerving to have your vehicle refuse to start for no apparent reason, know that ignition cylinder replacements and wiring adjustments can easily be done by an expert.
Sometimes, your ignition cylinder may be wearing down, but may still have a little life left. In this case, you may notice that your vehicle will start, but eventually stalls or even stops completely. This is indicative of an ignition cylinder that is falling out of place or has loose wiring. This kind of symptom can be extremely dangerous, especially if you are actively driving down the road when a stall occurs. If you notice any kind of strange stalling or stopping, make sure to have your ignition cylinder looked at right away.
You may also notice that the dashboard or electrical paneling in your vehicle does not light up or it only flickers when you attempt to turn it on. This can also be indicative of an ignition cylinder that is loosely in place or has faulty wiring.
For some faulty ignition cylinders, you may notice that you are not able to turn your car key in the slot at all. The ignition cylinder, in this case, may be jammed or broken internally in such a way that is preventing the key slot from rotating properly. Do not try to force the key to turn, as this may cause further damage to the ignition cylinder.
It is also possible that you may experience ignition cylinder problems if the slot is blocked in any way. If you cannot get the key in the slot at all, there may be debris or some other kind of foreign object stuck in the slot. Any sort of jam will prevent the cylinder from functioning properly.
No matter what the problem is, the best way to get your ignition cylinder repaired is to call a professional mobile locksmithing service. Hiring an on-site, locksmithing assistance for things like broken ignition cylinders, vehicle key replacements, and other automotive locksmithing tasks is always preferred. Most mobile locksmiths offer 24-hour on-site services due to the nature of vehicle lockouts, lost keys, and ignition cylinder replacement needs. Contact a local mobile locksmith in your area if you suspect your vehicle’s ignition cylinder need to be repaired or replaced immediately.