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How to start a car with a bad ignition switch?

    How to start a car with a bad ignition switch

    When you get into your car, the first thing you do is put in your car key. Turn the key to the “start” position and wait for the starter to sound. But what if the car does not start? The first thing that may come to your mind is low battery, humid spark plugs, or no injector pulse. But that’s not always the case. It can be a bad ignition switch. An ignition switch actually gives electric current to the engine. So, if you are in a hurry or have no time for the mechanic, how to start a car with a bad ignition switch? 

    Surely, it is hard to start the car in case of a bad ignition switch, but you can do this with a couple of methods. You can either try jumper cables, hotwiring methods, or even drill and screwdriver methods to start your car. 

    If you haven’t done this before & don’t know about these methods of starting the car, then let’s get deep into the article to know about them in detail!

    How to know if starter or ignition switch is bad?

    If your car is not starting, then it can probably be a bad battery, humid spark plugs, no injector pulse, or even a bad ignition switch. So how will you know if the starter or ignition switch is bad? Here are the signs that show that the ignition switch is bad:

    1) Problem in turning the key

    You may sense that the key is jiggling or is trapped in the keyhole. It indicates that there is severe damage to the ignition switch that requires immediate treatment.

    2) No starter motor sound

    Another indication of a defective ignition switch is the absence of the sound of the starter motor when the key is turned. You can distinguish between a faulty starter motor and a faulty ignition switch if you do not hear any clicking from the starter.

    3) Stuck steering wheel

    Within the ignition switch is a mechanical steering wheel lock. It locks the steering wheel to secure the vehicle when parked. If there are issues with the steering lock, you must perform maintenance on the ignition cylinder.

    4) Sudden Vehicle Stop

    If your automobile stops working suddenly and without notice, while driving, the ignition switch may be faulty.

    Read Also: Why Does the Brake Pedal Become Less Sensitive?

    5) The vehicle does not start.

    The first indication of a malfunctioning ignition switch is a failure to start the vehicle when the key is inserted into the switch. This may occur owing to the wear of the ignition switch’s internal contacts.

    Can you start a car with a bad ignition switch?

    Yes, if your car has got a bad ignition switch, then you can still switch on the car. But surely, you have to do some hard work and go through those car wires. But you will be able to get your car to the mechanic without using a tow truck or going to the urgent work you have. 

    You can start the car with a bad ignition switch with three methods:

    • With Jumper Cables
    • Hotwire Method
    • With Drill & Screwdriver

    How to start a car with a bad ignition switch?

    If your car won’t start and you’re certain the problem is with your ignition switch, you can bypass it to get your vehicle started. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to get the job done. Just grab the right tools & follow each method’s way:

    1) Jumper Cables

    You can use the jumper cables to start the engine in most cars. First, locate the start loop and battery by opening your vehicle’s hood. Locate the positive and negative connections now. Using a jumper link, connect the positive battery terminal to the positive side of the loop.

    Then connect one end of the cable (black) to an external power source at home, such as another vehicle’s battery or charger pack; other ends connect these wires together at their respective points (red for +).

    Afterward, locate the starter solenoid and attach it to the battery’s positive terminal. Then disconnect the solenoid’s ignition switch wiring. Using a screwdriver, connect the positive terminal of the solenoid to the post where the ignition switch is connected. This will activate the solenoid and start the vehicle.

    2) Drill & Screwdriver Method

    This method will also work, but be cautious because it can completely destroy the ignition switch. It will also teach you how to start a vehicle with a broken ignition switch.

    First, using the screwdriver, pull up the black plastic cover atop the steering column. It is held in place by two screws, so removing it should be straightforward.

    Once the cover has been removed, examine the ignition switch. There should be three little holes adjacent to one another. The centre hole is for the key, while the other two keep the switch in place with screws.

    Insert the proper tool into each of these holes and rotate it clockwise using a drill or screwdriver. Take cautious not to harm anything else while performing this task!

    After a few minutes of twisting, you should have no trouble starting your automobile. Just ensure that you return everything to its original state before driving away!

    3) Hotwire method

    You might be able to use this approach if your car was built before the mid-1990s. First, locate the steering wheel column once you get in the car. After that, remove the plastic cover, revealing all the components inside. 

    Then, with pliers, remove the four bolts holding it in place by unscrewing them with a socket wrench or screwdriver. In order to reconnect the battery terminal connector on the left side panel near the airbag cover, you’ll need two wires: one red and one black.

    This will be inserted into one post, while the other will be inserted into the lower right corner post from underneath through a little hole made there by the manufacturer when the vehicle was first built – but don’t forget the ground wire!

    Connect these three components before restarting the engine because if anything else breaks during the process, everything will revert to its previous state, which is undesirable.

    Can you drive with a bad ignition switch?

    Even if your ignition switch malfunctions, you may be able to start your car in rare instances. Although the switch may provide a brief burst of power to your car’s fuel pump and ignition system, it may eventually lead to the vehicle stalling out altogether. So, you can only trust that makeshift for only some time. 

    If not repaired or replaced in time due to worn-out ignition contacts that have become more sensitive to heat and vibration, ignition switch problems may potentially prohibit you from restarting your vehicle. 

    Bottom Line

    So now you know how to start a car with a bad ignition switch. Always check for the signs if the ignition switch is worn out. If you find this problem, then try to replace it or get it repaired in time, as the makeshift car start will only work for some time. Moreover, it can even cause some bigger issues in the car. 

    We hope this article was helpful & informative. Please leave your valuable thoughts & suggestions in the comments below.

    Thank you for reading!