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Car Ignition Repair

Chicago Car Key Ignition Repair

Ignition Repair ChicagoIs your car not starting?  Does the key does not seem to be connecting?  Is your key stuck in the ignition?  Does the key go in but doesn’t turn?  Sometimes a key can become worn, or the transponder malfunctions and is not able to communicate with the car computer.  Something, even a key, can become stuck in the ignition, resulting in a car that doesn’t start.  Don’t try to remove a jammed key, you might cause more damage to the ignition and end up needing a more expensive replacement rather than a simple repair.  Our technicians are trained in a wide variety of car ignition issues, and we say you the tow truck cost by coming to you.

Your car’s ignition is an important and complicated part of your car, don’t risk further damage and expense by allowing an inexperienced budding DIYer fiddle with it.  Call the professionals to ensure proper and guaranteed repairs.  We have the latest training and technology and we will fix your ignition, reasonably priced and quickly.

Ignition Key Issues and What To Do

New Auto Key vs Worn Auto KeyCar keys serve the function of opening your doors and trunk, and starting your car. But like any mechanical device, they are subject to wear and the occasional malfunction. One can get stuck at the most inconvenient time because the tumblers in the lock or the ignition switch won’t turn.

Although a key blade doesn’t have any moving parts, the companion tumbler it engages is a fairly complex mechanical device. There are many ways the ignition switch on a car can fail. While wear is the first thing that comes to mind, abuse, attempted theft, or foreign object intrusion are also causes of ignition failure. Something as simple as spilled soda dried inside the lock can prevent the ignition from functioning.

Sometimes, a seemingly faulty ignition circuit can be traced to absent-mindedness, where the driver has forgotten that the transmission must be in park for the ignition circuit to activate. With age, even the key itself can fail, due to thinning or the wearing down of the ridges that engage the wafers in the lock tumbler.

Solutions for ignition key and switch problems

ignition lock cylinderDepending on the issue you find with your ignition switch or key, there may be multiple short term solutions to the issue. If your key is worn or you find yourself with a sticky switch, a DIY solution might be a possibility. With a worn key, wiggling it a little while inserted in the keyhole may help. Pulling slightly on the key while attempting to turn it to start the car may help align the key with the ignition. In cases where the switch is sticky, a short burst of a lubricant (e.g. WD-40) may help un-stick the mechanism. Bear in mind that these switches aren’t normally lubricated with oil but with graphite powder. Liquid lubricants will promote dirt buildup over time, and can actually shorten the life of the mechanism. If you have a transponder key, then checking that the battery is still good is something you can try. Note that all of these options are intended as short term solutions to keep you on the road. It is highly recommended that you address the root of the issue before the short term option stops working.

Here is a list of things that can go wrong with your key or switch.

● Key won’t turn even when inserted fully – if you’ve tried wiggling it a little or spraying a small amount of lubricant, then the tumbler is obviously jammed. The key ridges may have worn down to the point where the wafers inside the tumbler aren’t fully engaged. Effectively, you already have a key with the wrong teeth. Do not apply excessive force as you may risk having blade snap, leaving a portion of the key inside the tumbler.
● Ignition frozen due to winter temperatures – this has been known to happen, and the simplest solution is to apply a little heat to the area with a hair dryer.
● Attempted theft – a wrong key or a jimmying tool may have been used in the ignition switch and the mechanism has been damaged to the point where replacement is necessary. You may opt to replace the whole mechanism, or a specialist locksmith can disassemble the tumbler, repair the damaged wafers, and put you back on the road without having to replace your existing keys.
● Foreign object intrusion – Grime, dirt and grease may have been pushed into the switch. This can happen most in dirty and dusty environments. A can of compressed air may work to restore function but in some cases, a locksmith may have to disassemble the tumbler for cleaning.

Wear and grime are the two most common causes of ignition key issues. With a worn key, the simplest solution is to have a key re-cut. Of course, if you use the worn one as the pattern, then the new one might not work. A best practice is to have one cut from a fresh spare and store it for future use.

Why go to an auto locksmith instead of to the dealer?

Key with IgnitionWhen deciding between a dealer and locksmith specialist, the dealer is not necessarily the ideal choice. While a dealer may provide parts from the original manufacturer, but that may be the only perceived advantage. The dealer may not have your particular blank in stock, in which case you will have to wait for the part. Also, being generalists, the mechanic may not necessarily have the same degree of skill as a someone who only works with locks. A locksmith specialist will typically have a higher degree of knowledge and experience with your lock issue, and will address your issue more efficiently and most likely at a cheaper price.

Dealers may not also entertain you in a timely manner. When your ignition becomes non-operative, or you snap your key in the lock, then you obviously have an emergency situation. A locksmith offering mobile services is your best answer.

Consider these possibilities when choosing between a dealer and a specialist locksmith:

● Mobility – being their primary business, locksmiths will almost always offer mobile services to go to where you are, saving you the cost of towing.
● Availability – a lot of locksmiths offer round-the-clock service; all you need to do is to have their number on your phone.
● Value – compared to a dealer, specialist locksmith services will be considerably cheaper.
● Expertise – specialist locksmiths work on locks, safes, and transponder fobs day-in and day-out; a junior factory technician will only follow what it says on the factory service manual.

If you have an ignition issue,  Chicago Car Keys can help you get back on the road, faster.

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