How To Start A Car With A Bad Ignition Switch?

If you reading this post, it simply means you want to learn how to start a car with a bad ignition switch.

And if you go to start your vehicle and the engine doesn’t turn over, then there is a bad ignition switch.

The malfunction of the ignition switch hurdles the engine start, and it is frustrating for a driver or vehicle owner to diagnose this complex task.

However, an ignition switch functions as the primary activator; all the electrical systems in the vehicle allow the flow of electrical pulses required by the starter to give its first revolution in your engine.

Similarly, the ignition, on the other hand, gives the necessary electrical current to its components, such as the ECU and the ignition coil, which enhances the operative voltages to the spark plugs through its wire in a proper firing sequence.

Thus, the perfect timing of the ignition depends on all its components. If an ignition switch becomes impaired, it results from water intrusion, dirt, and debris in the electrical and mechanical connectors causing corrosion over time.

Additionally, there would be signs like stalling of the vehicle, stuck steering wheel, worn-out key or ignition cylinder, to mention a few, to indicate the ignition and its component have become faulty.

So far, this post will tend to examine and bring to lamplight these specific questions, such as; why a new ignition switch car won’t start, how to fix a bad ignition switch problem, bypass the ignition switch with push button, how do you bypass an ignition switch without the key, how to bypass the ignition switch, how to check for a bad ignition switch, and more.

Without much ado, let’s get started!

Most Common Ignition Switch Problems Symptoms

A bad ignition switch would have some symptoms, and I will explore these signs below.

Your Vehicle Won’t Start

Possibly, the first typical sign of a faulty ignition switch is difficulty in starting your vehicle as you turn on your key in the switch. The result of this could be due to wear of the internal components of the ignition switch.

No Starter Motor Sound

A faulty ignition switch would prevent you from hearing your starter motor’s sound when you turn your vehicle’s key. Perchance, you would be able to differentiate between a bad ignition switch and a faulty motor starter, as the latter will constitute a clicking noise.

Vehicle Stalls

If suddenly your vehicle stops working as you drive without a warning sign. The situation indicates a lousy ignition switch.

Hard To Turn The Key

Peradventure, you notice that your vehicle no longer has a smooth turn when you try to start the car. Imperatively, you feel the sensation of the key wigging in the keyhole or the feeling that the key is stuck.

This situation entails that the ignition switch is seriously damaged and could need attention or, invariably, replacement.

Stuck Steering Wheel

Suppose you are having an issue with your steering lock. In that case, the mechanical lock for your vehicle’s steering wheel indicates that you should check the ignition cylinder inside the switch for the proper functioning of the entire system.

Dashboard Light Flicker

If you are in motion and observe that the dashboard lights are flickering, then this sign entails that you have a bad ignition switch. However, this sign is the least common of all.

Why Won’t A New Ignition Switch Car Start?

As an experienced mechanic, if you purchase a new ignition switch and still the vehicle won’t start.

Essentially, it indicates that the vehicle’s crankshaft position sensor is faulty, as the engine wouldn’t ignite or even turn over. In effect, the ignition timing is problematic or lousy in its function. So, proper diagnoses and replacement are necessary to solve the issue altogether. Similarly, other issues like fuel and electrical problems could be responsible too. Probably get professional help, in any case.

How To Start A Car With A Bad Ignition Switch?

Starting A Car With A Bad Ignition Swtich 2

Knowing how vital the ignition switch’s functionality is if it eventually goes terrible or lousy. Here you have the steps to start a car with a bad ignition switch.

Let’s dive into these steps!

  • Turn the key in the opposite direction. It might sound strange, but it would get your engine started.
  •  Put your manual transmission in a neutral position if your vehicle has one. Then, try to turn the key.
  • Use a jumper cable to start your vehicle. One end of the wire should be connected to the battery’s positive terminal and then to the other to the positive terminal of any car battery.
  • It would help if you charged the batteries ultimately.
  • Your vehicle should start. But if it fails to start, try other methods, or you could contact your certified mechanic.

How To Fix A Bad Ignition Switch Problem?

Vehicle components can be faulty with time, and the ignition switch is no exception. So far, fixing a lousy ignition switch is more challenging than it seems, but you can still do it with little knowledge and the most suitable materials/tools.

Use the DIY procedure below.

  • Remove the negative battery wire.
  • Put off the plastic coverings around the steering wheel, as you might have removed the screw holding them.
  •  Access the top of the ignition switch as you pull off the steering wheel without destroying the steering column. Although, use your vehicle’s specific manual and proper tools.
  • Release the ignition module clips on each side of the ignition switch using a screwdriver.
  • If done releasing the clips, slide off the cover of the ignition module.
  • You should put the key in and turn the ignition to accessory mode.
  • Use a thin, long, sturdy tool to push down the release pin of the ignition module.
  • Hold down the release switch as you slide the ignition switch out with your hands or with the help of a screwdriver.
  • Once rebuilding is done on the ignition switch, you might use the original vehicle’s key.
  • The new switch gets dropped in the hole where you removed the old one. Be sure to align the release pins and the grooves on the ignition module to match up.
  •  Test the switch and replace and tighten the negative battery cable to the terminal.
  • Start the vehicle to ensure proper connection. Eventually, if the car doesn’t start, remove and reinsert the ignition switch.

Note: Ensure that you disconnect the battery before reinstalling the steering wheel, and covers and put the dashboard together.

How Do You Bypass An Ignition Switch Without The Key?

To bypass an ignition switch without your key is tricky work to do. You should be aware to avoid damaging the ignition switch. You might need a drill and a screwdriver to make this technique successful.

Check out the steps below.

  • Locate the keyhole.
  • At the same length as the key, make a drill in the keyhole. Perchance, using a drill might damage the internal pins of the ignition cylinder.
  • Put the screwdriver into the keyhole as if it is the key.
  • Turn the screwdriver in the ignition.
  • The vehicle should start up immediately.

Simple, isn’t it?

How To Bypass the Ignition Switch?

A portable jumper starter cable can jumpstart your car by bypassing the ignition switch. However, it is a straightforward way to bypass the ignition switch of any vehicle.

Let’s get into this!

  • You should fix the positive side of the ignition coil to the positive terminal of the battery,
  • Short the solenoid’s terminal to where the ignition switch fixes as you unplug the ignition switch cable from the solenoid.

Tips: The purpose of connecting the ignition coil is to give electrical power to the dash to enable the car to start through the starter solenoid.

How To Check For A Bad Ignition Switch?

Contemporarily, a lousy ignition switch is never helpful to your vehicle. But how could you check if your ignition switch is faulty? There are two methods by which you could check for a bad ignition switch in your vehicle.

Let’s dive into this without much ado!

Use of Multimeter.

The ignition switch should be in an off position. It would help if you connected the positive probe of the multimeter to the negative feed wire on the unpainted metal part of the vehicle.

Watch the reading on the multimeter as you start the car. Less than 90% on the multimeter as regards the battery indicates you have a lousy ignition switch.

Use Of A 12V Test Light.

Turn the key to the off position. Disconnect the terminal of the starter motor solenoid and the module’s cable connector to ensure that the vehicle doesn’t start.

Turn the key to the start position. Connect the red cable to the voltage and the ignition coil battery post. Start the car as you turn the key; connect the ignition switch white cable. If the lamplight turns on, the ignition switch is good; otherwise, it isn’t very accurate.

Steps On Ignition Switch Replacement?

A faulty ignition switch causes several problems, like stalling vehicles, stuck keys, and many more. Once you can identify the ignition switch as the culprit of the issue, replacing it is warmly straightforward. Still, necessarily you must have some tools and your specific repair manual.

Let’s begin right away!

Disassemble The Interior

  • Disconnect the battery’s negative terminal.
  • Remove the trim or covering around the steering wheel as you remove the screws and bolts.
  •  Pull off the steering wheel from its place. Although, in some vehicles, you might replace the ignition switch without removing the steering wheel.
  • Release the clips which are on the ignition module cover. Perchance, with the help of a screwdriver, you would press release if it is complex with your hands.

Removing The Ignition Switch

  • Insert the vehicle’s key as you turn it to the accessory position. However, the starter is engaged after the accessory position to enable you to run the electronics without the engine running.
  • With a screwdriver, push the release pin in the hole of the ignition switch.
  • You should slide the ignition switch out under the steering wheel.
  • To keep your keys, have your ignition switch rebuilt.
  • Buy a new ignition switch if you can’t rebuild yours.

Install A Replacement

  • The pin should be squeezed and released on the ignition switch flush with the side.
  • You should slide the Ignition switch into the hole.
  • Test the new switch as you reconnect the battery.
  • If the vehicle starts, shut the engine and disconnect the battery again. Now you know the new ignition switch would work.
  • In opposite order, replace the dash the way it was. Ensure to place the screws and bolts are correct.
  • Finally, reconnect the battery after the complete assembly of the dashboard. Ensure the wires are secured.

That’s simple, in any case!

How To Bypass the Ignition Switch To Start Car?

Stalling and not starting the vehicle is a prerequisite if there is an issue with your ignition switch. However, without its function, the car wouldn’t start.

So, bypassing the ignition switch to start a car requires following the tips below.

This method is known as hotwiring and is mainly for older vehicles whose ignition system was on or before the mid – ’90s.

  • Locate the steering wheel column beneath your wheel.
  • Pull off all plastic covering.
  • Identify the wiring harness connector as you would precheck its color.
  • Check the battery and the ignition switch wires on the harness connector. Perchance, the red cables are the battery, whereas the brown and yellow wires are related to the ignition.
  • Strip about 2mm on the insulation from the red cables as you twist them together.
  •  The off/on ignition wire should be fixed with twisted battery cables.
  • Electrical components would respond to the light on the dashboard.
  • Strip the starter cable about 2mm, and attach it to the battery cables.
  • Your vehicle will start immediately.

You can apply the above steps to; how do you bypass the ignition switch to start a car.

How Do I Know If My Starter Or Ignition Switch Is Bad?

Malfunctioned starter or ignition switch would cause complex issues, which are not such an easy fix when you are unfamiliar with automobile components.

The information below should be helpful.

For sure, knowing when your starter is wrong, the following signs are vital;

  • You have light but no action
  • The engine won’t crank.
  • An unpleasing clicking noise.
  • Burning smell from your vehicle.
  • Soaked oil starter, and more.

Similarly, if your ignition switch is bad or lousy, you will notice these signs below;

  • Key breaks in the keyhole.
  • Worn-out wafers.
  • Unfunctional push start button.
  • Stuck key in the ignition.
  • Stalling vehicle


It is indispensable that starting your vehicle might seem like a simple task when you turn the key and, perchance, your car turns on.

However, many actions create events as you turn your key and move off to work. And if, after a long run, the ignition switch gets damaged since it is the most used switch on any vehicle.

So, if it wears out and requires maintenance, or you suspect any failure, you must replace it or bypass it with various methods and procedures I have written in this guide.

Be that as it may, if you’re stuck in any procedure or step, don’t hesitate to contact a certified mechanic to help you, or you could get a professional locksmith.

Although, this would save you from damaging anything or worsening the situation. Do like and share this guide with others.

Bypass Ignition Switch With Push Button

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