Most car owners fail to realize just how much work getting a car started is. In order for this process to work the right way, a variety of different parts on the car will have to work in unison. Making sure that the power from the ignition gets to the starter and other electrical components is the job of the ignition switch. This switch will also allow for the instrument cluster lights and other cabin accessories to come on. The ignition switch gets used every time that you try to crank your car up. Failing to have a properly working ignition switch can lead to you not being able to start and run your car as intended.

Much like any other switch or relay on a car, the ignition switch is supposed to last as long as the car does. The regular use that this part of the car receives mixed with the frailty of the wires that it contains can lead to it not working over. Not having a car working at full capacity due to a bad switch can be very frustrating and stressful. Rather than ignoring the warning signs that this switch is going bad, you will need to take the time to get it looked at by a professional.

There are a variety of things that a mechanic can do in order to narrow down the ignition issues you are experiencing. Not getting this type of professional help will usually lead to a misdiagnosis. Usually, the ignition switch will go out very slowly, which means there will be a number of warning signs that you will notice. Taking these warning signs seriously and getting the right repairs done will help a car to stay running like it is supposed to.

Here are some of the things that you may notice when your ignition switch is going bad:

  • The car will not start
  • The car will start but then quickly die out
  • There are various interior electrical components that do not work

When you begin to notice these signs, you will need to act quickly to get the right repairs done. Hiring professionals to replace the bad ignition switch is your best course of action.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Long Does an Ignition Switch Last? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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