The ignition lock cylinder is the part the key fits into to power on and start your vehicle. In addition, the ignition lock cylinder makes theft more difficult. Many newer vehicles are now manufactured with keyless power and starting systems, however, there are still several traditional ignition systems found in motor vehicles, as keyless starting systems are fairly new.
On some vehicles, the lock cylinder is a separate component, while for others it is a single unit including the electronic ignition switch, which sends power to start the motor to fire up the engine. The ignition lock cylinder is generally located on the right side of the steering column behind the steering wheel. Most of them operate in four positions, to unlock the steering wheel, power on the accessories, power on the computer and fuel system, and lastly to crank the engine.
Several symptoms will signal you that there is something wrong with the ignition lock cylinder.
You can’t start the car
Even though you are turning the key in the ignition, the car will not power on. You may be able to jingle the keys and turn the key repeatedly and get the vehicle to start but this may work only a few times before the unit completely fails.
Worn ignition lock cylinder
You may be able to jingle the keys and turn the key repeatedly and get the vehicle to start, but this may work only a few times before the unit completely fails.
Problems inserting and removing the key
When you repeatedly insert, remove, and turn the key, the cylinder and key will eventually wear and cause issues like jamming or binding, which can interfere with powering on and starting the vehicle.
It is just a fact of life; different parts of your car wear out. The ignition cylinder is no exception. The cylinder itself, as well as the wafers inside the lock, can wear out. When this happens, your key will no longer be able to move the wafers inside the cylinder to the correct height. Even though this is the key that has always worked with the car, the cylinder might be too damaged to work properly with the key. When this is the case, you need to replace the ignition cylinder.
The ignition cylinder of a car is just like a lock. It has internal mechanisms that must be properly moved in order to turn. It also has a sequence of steps that allow the cylinder to be removed.
You really do not want to attempt to replace the ignition cylinder yourself. If the vehicle has anti-theft devices (common in newer cars), attempting to remove the lock cylinder and/or the ignition switch without proper tools may make the car inoperable. Some ignition cylinder replacements can be quite complex, where it can be necessary to disable the airbags, drop the steering column, remove any Anti-theft bolts or other devices, and then (if necessary) reprogram the anti-theft system to work with the new key.
You wouldn’t go to a pharmacist to replace your appendix so don’t go to a parts store to replace your ignition cylinder lock. An experienced locksmith for cars has the tools and knowledge of lock systems in automobiles to complete the replacement accurately in a short period of time at a reasonable cost.
Our emergency locksmiths will arrive quickly to extract a broken key, replace car keys, create or duplicate keys and repair or replace ignition switch
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