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BigBob
BigBob, Shop manager/technician
Category: Buick
Satisfied Customers: 4836
Experience:  Shop Manager with 25 years experience
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How to tell if an ignition switch is bad?

Resolved Question:

how to tell if an ignition switch is bad?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Buick
Expert:  BigBob replied 4 years ago.
Greetings,


What kind of problem are you having? No crank at all? Crank no start?


Bob
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No crank at all...I hear a tick like of electricity but not the sound that it makes when a battery is low on amps.
Expert:  BigBob replied 4 years ago.
Doe the security light stay on when trying to crank it or blink at all?


Bob
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
it blinks very dimly
Expert:  BigBob replied 4 years ago.
This is the theft system that you are having problems with. Do you have an ohm meter to test it?


Bob
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I do have an ohm tester but i am not sure what i need to test for the theft system. And why would that start to cause trouble now?
Expert:  BigBob replied 4 years ago.
The ignition lock cylinder is the most common cause of this, the security system disables the starter when there is a problem. The lock cylinder usually gets a break in the wiring and this happens. Measure the resistance of the key resistor pellet at the base of the ignition key. Next, find the two-wire harness coming from the Ignition Lock Cylinder at the base of the steering column. Insert the key in the Ignition Lock Cylinder and check the resistance at the base of the column. It should be the same as the key. Watch the ohmmeter while turning the key all the way to crank position and back to off several times. If the reading is open or it varies, the Ignition Lock Cylinder is faulty. Replace the Ignition Lock Cylinder. Bring the old key to a dealer to have it matched to a new key. There are different resistor pellets available and the key and lock cylinder pellets must remain the same value.


Let me know if I can help further
Bob
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Couldn't the break in the wire be easily repaired? And could there be any other possibilities of what could be causing this problem of the car not starting?
Expert:  BigBob replied 4 years ago.
There is other possibilities but since the light is blinking this is very common, has to be eliminated first. The wires are not repairable in the lock cylinder usually.


Bob
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Well what are the other possibilities?? Because maybe there are cheaper ones that would be able to be knocked out first which is always the best plan to try and fix something.
Expert:  BigBob replied 4 years ago.
When fixing cars you have to follow the symptoms just like a doctor. To do the test I gave you does not take very long at all. It could be the ignition switch but that would not be cheaper. I do not throw parts at cars because they are cheap, if the wires checkout then we can go further, but that will determine which way to go.


Bob
BigBob, Shop manager/technician
Category: Buick
Satisfied Customers: 4836
Experience: Shop Manager with 25 years experience
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