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What to do; Ignition Cylinder Problems

Are you experiencing ignition cylinder problems? Are you close to pulling your hair out because you need to be somewhere but the car won’t even start? Does the thought of a big mechanic’s bill sicken you? You’re not alone! Car ignitions sometimes act up and this happens not only here in Durham, NC but everywhere in the world. It’s just that we don’t really concern ourselves about this issue unless it’s happening to us! Our Pro Durham Locksmith techs handle ignition cylinder problems regularly. Sometimes we are needed in order to get the issue solved. Other times, we are not, and the driver could easily have made a small adjustment or two and would have been on his or her merry way in no time!

Let’s go back a bit…

In the “early days” of the automotive industry, ignition cylinders helped start your car’s engine; end of story. Those were simpler times. Now, in the modern era, automotive ignitions are also supplying power to a plethora of other components. Some of these include power windows, radio, heater, air conditioner, power seats, GPS system, headlights, dashboard lights, music system and lots more. What does this tell you? It means that the more parts, the more that can go wrong! Since we like having our “extras” we’d better get used to dealing with ignition cylinder problems and expectations. One smart way to do this is to keep reading below!

Don’t jump to conclusions!

Here’s what we mean by this. If you insert your key in the ignition and nothing happens, you assume that you have a problem with the ignition. Sometimes that’s true, but many other times, it’s not. For instance, have you checked your gears? Which one is your car in? You need to be in the PARK gear in order to start the car. No other gear will do; not DRIVE, NEUTRAL or anything else; only PARK! Check it and see. Jiggle the gear shift around if needed but make double sure. Not only must you be in gear in order to start your car, but you run the risk of rolling forward or backward if you are in NEUTRAL or in-between gears. People are injured and even killed every year by not checking this. Be sure that anytime you are working on or adjusting items on your car that you put the parking brake on; don’t take chances!

Another culprit

Here’s another culprit that often leads to the ignition cylinder being blamed; the steering wheel. It’s a little known fact, but steering wheels do lock up at times. This is usually when they are leaned upon too heavily or jerked roughly. No problem – simply move the steering wheel back and forth to unlock it. Note – on some car models you may have to apply some force in order to do this so don’t panic and call for a >repair tech. It’s a side effect of steering wheel lock-up – your ignition key won’t turn and this gives the impression that your ignition cylinder is damaged when in fact, it isn’t.

Time to check your battery

Believe it or not, your car battery can affect your ability to start your car. A drained or dead car battery will not have sufficient power to let your engine turn over. Your ignition key will do nothing once turned to the START position and this too can look like your ignition switch is damaged. For an accurate check, be sure to see if your headlights, radio or windshield wipers are working. If they are, it’s not your battery.

What if my key is stuck?

If your transponder key is stuck in the ignition, this can lead you to think that your ignition cylinder is damaged. Our Durham, NC automotive locksmiths sometimes get calls saying that the customer’s damage ignition switch won’t let go of the key. In reality, the wrong key was used. This is easily possible as some households have more than one car and many transponder keys look similar. While a different ignition key might go in; coming out might be a problem if it sticks. So what can you do about it? Try tapping the top of the key and hopefully it will loosen it enough to allow it to come back out. Be careful to not hit too hard as you risk key breakage and then you have another problem!

How can you avoid accidentally grabbing the wrong transponder key and using it? Try putting your car keys in the same place when not using them. It might be on a nail or on the dresser but if you get in the habit of keeping your transponder keys in the same place, it will just “feel” wrong when you pick up someone’s else’s set by mistake.

Call a friend; NOT!

Be careful when calling friends, co-workers, and family members for help. All mean well, but they may not be experienced, trained, or qualified to actually be of help. Just because someone dabbles or is interested in auto mechanics doesn’t mean that they actually are. Keep in mind that it’s your car that is involved and you are the one responsible for any damage or breakage caused by others. What you CAN do is call them and let them know that you are having a delay in your driving plans. Many times the act of speaking to someone on the cell phone can act as a calming effect to lessen the stress of automotive locksmith issues.

Call a pro!

If you have tried the above to no avail, it may be time to call for help. A mechanic won’t come to you after-hours and may recommend tow charges to his shop. Why not call the real pros and get help from a local Durham, NC automotive locksmith? Most full service shops offer round the clock service with mobile convenience that comes directly to your car’s location. Your ignition cylinder may be a car part, but it is also a piece of lock hardware and no one can service it like a licensed, bonded and insured lock professional!