A bad ignition switch can throw your day into a tailspin. If your car doesn’t start, you need to try starting it with a screwdriver before committing to taking it to the repair shop. But that was never one of my top talents. Fortunately for me, my dad always knew how to get my car going again. So, on this page, I will share how to start a car with a bad ignition switch.
There are ways you can go about starting a car with a bad ignition switch, and the first is a hotwiring process, and the second is the use of a drill and screwdriver. Each of the methods will be discussed below.
Hotwiring is when you bypass the key switch to start a vehicle. It’s a common way for criminals to steal cars. Hotwire a car to start it when the ignition switch is bad using a screwdriver, wire, and a power supply from the battery.
Most modern cars have electronics that control the starting of the engine, and this method may not work with cars newer than 2000. The traditional way to hotwire a car is to find the car’s live electrical wires near the ignition or starter and attach them directly to the battery terminals.
Using screwdriver method
Locate and remove the screws that are keeping the plastic trim in place. Remove the plastic trim to have access to the ignition switch after that. Remove the bolt mounting on the steering wheels to unlock them. Turn right with the screwdriver in the keyhole. This should start the car.
Is hotwiring a car illegal?
Hotwiring a car is not illegal, per se, unless it’s a car that isn’t yours (in which case, it’s called “theft of services,” and it is illegal). You can hotwire your own car or a friend’s or family member’s car without breaking the law.
That being said, in most states, it is illegal to drive a vehicle with no key in the ignition. So, while you can legally hotwire a car, you can’t legally drive it.
If you hotwire a car, you might be violating the owner’s privacy by opening the doors without their permission. This could be considered trespassing or breaking and entering, depending on where your car is parked and whether or not there are signs indicating you shouldn’t do so.
If your own car is locked in your garage, for example, you aren’t technically violating anyone’s rights by hotwiring it to get it out. But if someone else’s car is locked in their private garage, you may be breaking the law if you open their door without permission.
You might also be violating any existing laws related to theft by taking someone else’s vehicle without their consent. If they have not given you explicit permission to open their doors and take their vehicle—no matter how short a time—you could be held liable for theft under some circumstances.
How to bypass the ignition switch to start a car?
Although you can bypass the ignition switch on your car to start it, it’s not recommended. It’s better to replace your ignition switch than to bypass it because a bypassed ignition switch is a major safety hazard. Here’s how to do it:
- Find the wires that lead from your ignition cylinder to the rest of the car. This varies depending on your make and model, but they’ll be located somewhere around the steering column.
- Identify the two wires that connect directly to your key. When you turn your key, these two wires connect together.
- Tape these two wires together, so they’re always making contact, even when you’re not turning your key.
Can you bypass a bad ignition switch?
Yes, you can bypass a bad ignition switch. There are several ways of doing so, depending on the situation and what tools you have at your disposal. And since a bad ignition switch can be caused by several different issues, your experience with bypassing it will vary from other people’s experiences.
How can you tell if the ignition switch is bad?
The ignition switch is a component that allows the key to start the engine. The switch turns on the starter circuit, which engages the starter to crank the engine and start your car. If you’re experiencing starting problems, your ignition switch may be to blame.
In order to determine whether or not your ignition switch is bad, you’ll need to test it using a voltmeter. You can purchase a voltmeter at most hardware stores for around $20-$30. Once you have one, you can perform some troubleshooting steps to see if your ignition switch is bad:
- Turn off your car’s accessories and remove the key from the ignition
- Open up your voltmeter and set it so that it’s ready to read voltage
- Set the meter’s dial to 20 DC volts
- Connect one lead of the meter to your battery’s negative terminal and connect the other lead of the meter directly onto your vehicle’s chassis (any metal part of the car will do)
- Place your key into the ignition and turn it as far forward as possible without cranking or starting the engine (this means all accessories should turn on)
- Take a reading from your voltmeter—if it reads at least 10 volts, then this means the switch is bad.
There are other few ways you can tell if your ignition switch might be bad. Some of the most common signs include:
-Lights staying on when the vehicle is parked
-Difficulty turning the key when starting the car
-Sluggish performance, stalling
-Faulty key fob signals
How to fix a bad ignition switch?
If you find that your vehicle’s ignition switch is bad and needs to be replaced, you may be able to do so yourself.
The first thing to check is the ignition switch itself—it may need to be cleaned with a solvent, or it could be as simple as replacing the worn-out key. If this doesn’t work, then it’s time to get into the guts of the ignition switch.
To replace the ignition switch itself, you’ll need to remove the steering wheel and lock plate. The steering wheel can be removed by removing a plastic cover, which will reveal a series of bolts that you can use a wrench to remove.
The steering wheel will then come off easily enough. From there, you will see a series of screws and pins that secure the lock plate in place, which you’ll need to unscrew or pop out with a screwdriver.
Once you have removed these items, you should see an electrical connector attached to your ignition switch disconnect this connector, then simply slide out the old ignition switch.
While it is out, you should check inside the housing for dirt and debris (and clean it if necessary), then slide in your new ignition switch while reconnecting all of your wires. Screw everything back together and test your new ignition.
Will a car crank with a bad ignition switch?
Yes, the car will crank with a bad ignition switch. However, you need to check if it’s actually the ignition switch that’s bad before replacing it. The same symptoms can be caused by other problems, like a dirty battery or corroded cables.
Also, it really depends on the car and what’s wrong with the switch. It’s possible that your car won’t crank if you have a bad ignition switch. The switch performs several functions, one of which is to allow current to run from the battery to the starter.
If it is faulty, you might not be able to start your car because it will not allow a charge to be sent through. However, there are other electrical components that can cause similar issues, so there’s no way to know for sure unless you get your car checked out by a mechanic.
Is there a fuse for the ignition switch?
Yes, there is a fuse for the ignition switch. It is located in the fuse panel for the car, either on the driver’s side of the dashboard or under the hood. The fuse panel is labeled, so you should have no problem finding it.
If you are having trouble with your ignition switch, check to make sure that this fuse is not blown. If it is, you will need to replace it.
Ignition switch problems symptoms
Your car is trying to tell you something. Take a look at these ignition switch problems symptoms to see what your car needs.
- No power – This can happen when the key is in-between positions, and the car may not start.
- Dashboard lights stay on – The car may be having trouble starting because your ignition switch is bad.
- Car won’t start / Key won’t turn – If your key gets stuck in the ignition or won’t turn, this could be a sign that your ignition switch is broken or failing.
Can seized engine be fixed?
Yes. If the engine is seized, it is likely because it has not been used in a long time or has been sitting for a very long time. This can cause rust and corrosion, which will make the car difficult to start.
You can fix this by taking your car to an automotive shop and having the engine cleaned and properly maintained if the oil has not been running through the engine for some time.
You can also try adding lubricant to the car first, which may help loosen up any rust or corrosion on the inside of the engine.
How do you bypass an ignition switch without the key?
To bypass an ignition switch without the key, you can try turning on the car using a flathead screwdriver. You will need to position it between the steering wheel and the lock. Turn the steering wheel left, then right, then left again, then right again to line up for the keyhole.
While doing this, push down with your screwdriver as you turn it. If this does not work, you will need to check for a wire that connects the ignition switch to the starter solenoid. Once you find it, connect that wire with a screwdriver or knife (making sure not to short out anything else) and start your car.
You can bypass an ignition switch without the key by:
- Remove the ignition switch and ignition lock cylinder
- Open up the ignition switch or disassemble it by removing the screws that hold it together
- Take out the pins from the back of the ignition and take the wires off the terminals
- Remove any other parts you may need to get to in order to access the ignition cylinder
- Use a screwdriver or small tool to remove any screws on the cylinder
- Pull out old wiring harnesses and replace them with new ones
- Reinstall all screws, reinstall the key-lock cylinder itself into place, replace the battery if necessary and start the car
How much does it cost to replace an ignition switch?
If you look up the price of a new ignition switch on [website name], you’re looking at an average of $55.65 for parts and $168.09 in labor, for a total of $223.74. That’s if your car is like most and doesn’t have any unusual features that might make replacement more expensive or time-consuming.
But the price can vary depending on your location because labor rates vary widely by region. The same goes for the cost of parts: just as a plumber might charge more to replace a toilet than someone else would, some mechanics might charge more than others for the same part.
And then there are the cars themselves. Some models have different features (especially luxury models) that might make it harder to replace the ignition switch or cost more because they’re more complicated or rarer models that require expensive specialty parts.
How to start a car with a bad ignition switch? A bad ignition switch in your vehicle can cause several problems ranging from your car stalling and all lights going dark to the radio not working unless the key is wiggled from side to side.
In some cases, if the switch is not functioning properly, it may even prevent you from starting the engine. To start a car with a bad ignition switch, you’ll need to take out the steering column panel and locate the bad switch, repair it or replace it, and reassemble the steering column panel.