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Doug, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mitsubishi
Satisfied Customers: 8607
Experience:  Mitsubishi employed and Factory trained ASE certified technician
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Mitsubishi Galant ES

Customer Question

I have a 2001 Mitsubishi Gallant ES and I have to turn the key multiple times till it starts. I have tried getting a new key cut and programmed and I still have the same problem. When I turn the key the lights come on and the key recognition is a go but until it starts there is no starting noise at all. What should I do?

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mitsubishi
Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.

When you turn the key to Start, do you get zero noise under the hood at all?
Is there any change when you place the shifter into Neutral?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No noise under the hood at all until when it eventually starts. There is no change when you place the shifter into neutral.

Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.
Fantastic, this should be a pretty easy fix.

Just a few other questions just in case:
To the best of your knowledge there is no aftermarket/third party alarm system installed?
When the problem occurs you are always able to start the car after a few more turns/repeated attempts, without ever having to do anything under the hood etc?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Correct on both.

Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.
Thanks James.

This is a pretty solid case for a bad ignition switch. These are extremely common on this model, we sometimes joke about them being part of the regular maintenance schedule they fail so often.

What happens here is that the contacts inside the switch burn on the "Start" position causing a bad contact there. When this happens, turning to the Start position results in no activity at all under the hood, like the signal isn't even getting there (because it isn't). You can almost always temporarily resolve the situation by either operating the key several times (which cleans up the contacts a little) or putting extra force on the key to push it beyond the burnt area of the contacts.

Repair is straight forward... just replace the ignition switch. If you are handy with some screw drivers you can do this yourself and save a bundle of money... it is not difficult to do.
You simply need to remove the philips screws holding the top and bottom halves of the column covers together then pop them off to expose the column guts. The ignition switch is on the left side of the column, directly opposite where the key goes in. You would just unplug the switch and remove the single philips screw holding it in, then slide the switch out and the new one in, replace the screw and put back the column covers etc and you are all done. The most difficult part is having a small enough screw driver to be able to get to the ignition switch screw, as it is lined up pretty close to the dash. A small finger-tip screw driver is ideal, or you can pull the lower dash panel off if one is not available. Otherwise... pretty easy stuff.
If you have a shop replace it, expect their minimum house charge (usually either 1/2 hour labor or 1 hour labor). The ignition switches are under $100, and available both form Mitsubishi and aftermarket (which are fine to use, no compatibility issues or anything like that).
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you I will try it today.

Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.
You're welcome, if you need further help just let me know.