How to Start a Car with a Bad Ignition Switch [Symptoms and How to fix it]

A car that won’t start can be incredibly frustrating, especially if you need to know the problem. A bad ignition switch is a common issue that prevents a car from starting. It is essential to understand the symptoms of a malfunctioning ignition switch and how to fix it to get your vehicle running again. This article will explore How to Start a Car with a Bad Ignition Switch, including the key symptoms and how to diagnose and repair the issue.

What are the signs of a bad ignition switch?

A bad ignition switch can be a significant headache for car owners. The signs of a bad ignition switch are often subtle and hard to detect, but if not addressed promptly, they can lead to more severe problems. Knowing the signs of a faulty ignition switch is essential so you can take action before it leads to more expensive repairs. Here are some symptoms of a bad ignition switch and how to start your car with one.

How to start a car with a bad ignition switch

Hard to turn the key

The most important sign that something is wrong with your ignition switch is when turning the key is complex. You should also pay attention to any grinding or clicking noises from the steering column when starting your car, as this could also indicate an issue with the ignition switch. If you hear strange sounds while attempting to start your vehicle, take it to a mechanic immediately so they can diagnose and repair the problem before it worsens.

The vehicle cannot start

Suppose you notice any of the nasty symptoms. In that case, it’s time to replace your ignition switch: Your car will not start no matter how many times you try -You hear a loud noise when you turn the key in the ignition -The switch has been replaced in the past, but the problem persisted A faulty ignition switch can cause all sorts of problems with your car, from stalled engines to security issues. So if any of these signs sound familiar to you, it might be time to take action and have your switch replaced.

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Stalling vehicle

Your car has been stalling for a long time – even after you’ve replaced the spark plugs and fuel filter. A bad ignition switch can cause problems with these components but should only cause short-term issues like misfires.

Stuck steering wheel

Another sign of a bad ignition switch is a stuck steering wheel; turning your key does nothing, and your wheel will be locked in place regardless of how hard you try to turn it. There may be other electrical issues, such as flickering lights or problems with power windows and door locks if there is an issue with the ignition system.

How to start a car with a bad ignition switch?

A bad ignition switch can be a major inconvenience, especially when it stalls your car during rush hour traffic. Fortunately, there is an easy way to get your vehicle running again without replacing the entire ignition system. It’s important to note that this process should only be done if you have ruled out any other potential causes of your car not starting.

How to start a car with a bad ignition switch


Hotwiring is a method of starting a car with a bad ignition switch. It involves bypassing the standard electrical circuit to start the engine. While it may be illegal in some areas and can cause damage to the vehicle, it can be an effective way of getting your car running again if you have no other option.

You’ll need a pair of pliers and some insulated wire to hotwire a vehicle. Start by disconnecting the battery leads from each other before removing any cables or wires from your ignition switch. Then locate the starter solenoid connection on your engine block and strip away enough insulation around its terminals to attach two pieces of wire – one that will connect directly to the positive terminal and one to the ground.

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The drill and screwdriver

The drill and screwdriver are two essential tools in any handyman’s toolbox. But did you know they can also be used to start a car with a bad ignition switch? Follow these steps to create a vehicle with a bad ignition switch.

  • Locate the starter solenoid near or on top of the starter motor.
  • Now attach one end of a jumper wire to the positive terminal of the battery and ground the other end to an unpainted metal surface away from moving components.
  • Then use a drill bit slightly larger than your screwdriver shaft size to remove screws that secure the ignition switch assembly before removing it from its mounting bracket.

Jumper cables

When the ignition switch fails to turn on the engine, jumper cables can reach the ground. Jumper cables are an inexpensive way to start your car when you have a bad ignition switch. They use another running vehicle’s electrical energy and power source to start your car’s engine. Here is how it works:

  • Locate another car with a healthy battery and park both cars facing each other with their hoods open.
  • Attach one of the red-colored cable clips to your dead battery’s positive terminal (marked +).
  • Attach the other clip of that same cable onto the positive terminal (marked +) of a good battery in the working car; then repeat this step with a black-colored line attaching negative terminals (marked -).

How do you test an ignition switch?

Testing an ignition switch is a simple process that can help you determine if the switch is functioning correctly. Trying an ignition switch when your car fails to start or has difficulty starting is essential. Below I’ve provided two simple steps that can be taken to quickly test an ignition switch and determine if it needs to be replaced.

Using multimeter

How to start a car with a bad ignition switch

This device measures electrical current and voltage, making it ideal for testing various components of your car’s electrical system. A multimeter is easy to use and can provide insight into the operation of the ignition switch. Here are the steps to take when using a multimeter to test an ignition switch:

  • You must turn off the key in your car’s ignition and disconnect its power source.
  • Then attach one end of the red lead from your multimeter to the positive terminal on your battery, then tie another limitation of this lead to one side of your ignition switch.
  • Attach an additional black lead from the negative terminal on your battery to another side of your ignition switch; this will complete a circuit between those two points.
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Using test light:

Using a test light is an easy way to troubleshoot your vehicle’s electrical system quickly, so you don’t have to spend too much time searching for the problem. Follow the following steps to use a test light when testing an ignition switch.

  • Remove the negative battery cable from the terminal to avoid any electrical shock or damage while working with electrical systems.
  • Locate the ignition switch wiring harness near the steering column.
  • Place one end of the tester on the power source and touch each wire with the other end until it lights up; this indicates that current is flowing through that wire, which means its functioning correctly.
  • Once each wire has been tested individually, all cables should be pushed together to ensure proper connectivity.

Final words:

Knowing “How to Start a Car with a Bad Ignition Switch” is essential. It can jumpstart the car when a bad ignition switch is present, but it’s a temporary solution. Replacing the ignition switch is best if you want to fix the issue permanently. This may require professional help, so if you are uncomfortable with it, seek help from an experienced mechanic.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the risks of a bad ignition switch?

Some of the risks include the following:
[1] The most serious risk is that the engine may fail to start or shut off unexpectedly while driving.
[2] It can also lead to costly repairs. If the ignition switch fails, it may need to be replaced, which can be expensive depending on the make and model of the car.
[3] A bad ignition switch may lead to decreased fuel efficiency as well as increased emissions from your vehicle.

Is there a way to prevent a bad ignition switch from happening in the first place?

Yes, there are a few ways to prevent a bad ignition switch from happening in the first place. The most important thing is to have regular maintenance done on your vehicle.

What is a multimeter?

A multimeter is a device used to measure electrical properties such as voltage, current, and resistance. It can also be used to test continuity, or the lack thereof, in an electrical circuit.