AZ Auto Mechanic Tips: Your Car Keys & Ignition
Your car keys are essential to the proper health and performance of your car. Just try to start up your car without your keys! Yet, as important as they are, we tend to think of keys as simple accessories. We lose them all the time, and we put them in situations that could damage them.
Your ignition is just as important. You may not think about it much because you probably don’t hear many stories about it failing. But it’s important that you know how to take care of any issues if they arise.
When the Ignition Won’t Turn
One of the most common issues you’ll experience with your ignition is that it won’t turn when you put your key in. Usually, this is an easy problem to fix. Often, the steering wheel is just locked. You need to jiggle the steering wheel back and forth a bit while you try to turn the key. Eventually, the steering wheel will unlock and the ignition will turn. Just don’t be too forceful when turning the key, or you could break the ignition or the key.
The ignition may also be stuck because the battery is dead. Get a jump, and if that doesn’t help, you know there’s another problem. It might be that your key is bent or that your ignition has some problem, like an obstruction in the cylinder. You will need to call an auto locksmith to get into the car quickly.
Protecting the Ignition
You likely have a dozen or so keys on your ring right now. Do you also have keychains that people gave you or that you picked up on vacation? Or do you have about a dozen of those shopper cards or pass keys? Most people are carrying around a huge keyring with dozens of keys, cars, and novelty keychains on it.
The problem with this is that when you put your key in the ignition, all that weight is pulling down on the ignition. Over time, that can wear out the tumblers in the cylinder and can cause the ignition to fail. Take some of those items off your keyring! Or, better yet, just keep your car key separate from all the rest.
When the Ignition Fails
The key failing to turn is just one sign that your ignition is failing. Other signs that you have a failing ignition include the car failing to start after you turn the key, the car stalling after it has started up, flickering dashboard lights, and a lack of sound from the starter motor when you turn the key.
If you notice any of these signs, you need to talk with an auto mechanic right away. There are many reasons that your ignition might fail, and only a mechanic can diagnose the issue. If the problem is confined to the ignition or the keys, an auto locksmith in Mesa can also help.
When Keys are Broken or Damaged
You try to open your car door on a cold, winter morning and your key snaps off in the lock. Or you use your key to try to pry open a package, and the key bends. Or you drop your transponder key or fob, and you accidentally step on it and smash it.
There are many ways that keys can become broken or damaged, and when that happens, they will stop working to open your car or to start it. You must call an auto locksmith to get new car keys made. Even better, you should go see a locksmith and have a spare set made ahead of time so you always have it in case of an emergency. You don’t want to be locked out of your car for hours because you damage your keys and have to wait for new ones to be made.
Getting Repairs or Replacement
You might try to take the cheapest route to fixing your keys or your ignition if they are damaged. For example, if your key is bent, you might want to just hammer back straight. The problem is that even if you can get the key to fit in the ignition, it might not line up the way it should, and that can damage the ignition or fail to start it.
You should always contact an experienced professional for any repairs to your keys or ignition, as well as replacement. Don’t go to a big box retail store for new keys, even if you can. Work with an auto locksmith who has the special tools and knowledge to make the replacement key properly.
U.S. Key Service offers replacement car keys in Mesa and ignition repair in Arizona. We are a mobile auto locksmith that can cut car keys on the spot in an emergency, as well as repair door locks and ignitions. We work with all models of vehicles, and we replace domestic and foreign car keys. Call us in Arizona today to make an appointment or to learn more about our services.
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