Ignition cylinder problems can be heartless at times! This is because you don’t find out until it’s too late that your plans are ruined! Think about it; you hop in your car, all ready to go somewhere. That destination might be your workplace or it might be a date you’ve been looking forward to. You might be going to dinner with a parent or picking up your child from school. At any rate, your mind is on your destination and what you will do afterwards; not on your ignition cylinder problems! That’s the cruel part; now your plans are ruined or at least postponed and you are facing inconvenience, extra expense and lots of stress. How do we know this? It’s because Top Notch Locksmith, LLC works with auto ignitions on a regular basis. We get the upset phone calls from local Marietta, GA drivers that are suddenly experiencing issues with their ignition cylinders. Automotive locksmith services are part of our diverse expertise but there are a few things you should know before you urgently call us or anyone else for ignition cylinder repair; you might not even need us!
How would you like to save some money and some stress and time? Before you urgently reach for your smart phone to call for professional service for your car’s ignition cylinder, try these simple tests to make absolutely sure that this is in fact, what you need. Many times it isn’t, so try our suggestions and know for sure!
Put the phone down!
That’s right; you don’t have to call for professional repair service; at least not yet! Many a service call to a locksmith, a car repair shop, a dealership service center or to AAA could have been avoided if the driver had simply followed our advice. So put the phone down and try a few simple items first. Start by applying your parking brake. Perform this simple act before you try anything else. Every year people are needlessly injured or even killed by vehicles rolling forward or backwards. These victims can include the driver, neighbors, children, pets and anyone who just happens to be in the way. There’s no need for this. Put your parking brake on! That way, you can devote all your attention to the task at hand and not on keeping your car in place.
Check your gear shift
This simple task is so easy that many people skip it and wind up regretting it later. When your parking brake is on, check your gear shift and make double sure that you are in PARK and nothing else! You can’t be almost in PARK. Neither can you be in DRIVE or NEUTRAL. Cars have a built in safety mechanism that prevents them from starting or even the ignition key from turning if you are in the wrong gear. Are you? You may have to jiggle the gear a bit to make sure but don’t skip this step.
Steering wheel check
AAA reports that every year, hundreds of people call for help needlessly on this one! The customers report that their ignition system is locked up and that the car won’t start. Furthermore, the ignition key won’t turn or come out. They panic and call for professional help as it appears that they are experiencing ignition cylinder failure. The problem here is simple, easy to fix and free. You don’t need anyone to come and work on your car. Just apply some weight on the steering wheel and move it back and forth to unlock it. This will allow you to start the car and to turn and even remove the ignition key. You just experienced a locked up steering wheel. This sometimes happens when too much pressure is applied to it. Maybe you leaned on the steering wheel too hard or moved it to the point where it suddenly locked up. No need for worry or panic; just unlock it by moving it again!
Next, you will check for a possible drained battery. This test is also simple and only takes a few seconds. You see, a drained battery can produce many of the same symptoms as ignition cylinder failure. If it is a drained battery, you really can call AAA for this one. Here’s how you check. Make sure your parking brake is on and then test one or more of these components; car radio, power seats, dashboard lights, power windows, windshield wipers, flashers and headlights. For your car radio, make sure that the volume is turned up. You can be fooled into thinking that your battery is dead when the only problem is, that you couldn’t hear it. For the dashboard lights, make sure that the dimmer switch is not turned all the way down. This too can fool you into thinking that they battery is drained.
Wrong key insertion
This one is rarer but it does happen on occasion. The wrong transponder key could have been inserted in the ignition. Just because it went in doesn’t mean that the key will turn or even come back out. It might even get stuck and the problem gets worse if too much pressure is applied to it and the key breaks off in the lock! If you discover that you’ve inserted the wrong transponder key into the ignition, use a spray lubricant and gently spritz the key so that it can be more easily removed.