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sprinkles08, Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep master tech
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 22989
Experience:  ASE Master and Advanced Certified, Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep Master Certified, Trans and Hybrid Specialist
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Vehicle: Dodge Neon 2003Problem: Won't turn off. This happened

Customer Question

Vehicle: Dodge Neon 2003
Problem: Won't turn off. This happened when ignition cylinder was turned forward to start. The self-tests performed, dash lights came on, but the engine did not fire- did not even turn over, there were NO clicking noises (as if starter were trying to engage). The car is now stuck in that state: Dash lights are on, nothing when key is turned and/or removed.
Steps I've Taken:
1. Disconnected the battery overnight.
2. Reconnected the battery and attempted to start (same results - car is still "on")
3. Disassembled and inspected ignition cylinder and switch.
4. Found several cylinder tumblers to be non-responsive to touch - replaced ignition cylinder with new part, no joy.
5. Ignition switch is in working condition.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer! The most likely cause for this would be a broken ignition switch actuator pin. With the lock cylinder on the right side of the column and ignition switch on the left, the actuator pin is what connects the two. It isn't uncommon for a piece of the pin to break at the ignition switch end and then it will prevent the ignition switch from turning along with the lock cylinder.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi thanks for your suggestion. Unfortunately, as stated in the question, the switch is working fine - the actuator pin extrudes and pushes the copper contacts housed in the switch to their appropriate places. What is required is a way to reset the car to no longer think that it is "on" - even with no switch, cylinder, or key attached the dash panel is as if the key were turned, ready to start.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
You mentioned the switch is working fine but didn't mention the actuator pin. I believe you're describing the operation of the plastic key in buzzer plunger rather than the actuator pin. Can you upload a picture of the pin?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
actuator pin is fine - see attached pic. on an ancillary note, I did find a mouse nest along with some frayed wires - i'll isolate/tape off and see what happens later this week.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
Pictured is the key in buzzer plunger. The actuator pin is the metal piece around that the drives the ignition switch.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Problem solved: Took the ignition switch in to AutoZone to see if it could be tested (they said it couldn't - hmm). Ended up disassembling it right there and saw that one of the three copper blades was lodged under one of the others which would create the open circuit which would cause the car to think it was still "on". Purchased a new switch ($17 bux), installed it - all is well in the universe again.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
I'm glad you got it repaired.