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Old 05-17-2012, 11:09 PM   #1
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Icon2 Ignition switch issue..

I've gotten a lot of help searching these forums over the past few years but have been unable to find a response to this situation.

A couple of days ago I randomly started having an issue where I would start the car it would start and die as soon as I let go of the key. After researching, it became obvious it was an ignition switch issue so I opted to try to open mine up and clean out the contact points. While I had it opened I touched the two sides together to start the car (just to get an understanding of how the mechanism worked). Anyways after doing so, I noticed a little bit later touching the 2 sides no longer had no effect on the car (starting or moving into the II position). I went ahead and bought a new ignition switch swapped it in and it won't do anything when I turn it (manually at this point with a screwdriver). So far I have checked both of the ignition fuses in the fuse box by the kick panel. What should I be looking into tomorrow? I'm guessing I might have blown a fuse somewhere or shorted something out but I'm at a complete loss of how to go about and find where the issue may be. Thanks in advance for the help.
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Old 05-18-2012, 02:38 AM   #2
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Default Re: Ignition switch issue..

Check the Main fuse under the hood.

Also what is the Year of the Teg your working on
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Old 05-18-2012, 03:11 AM   #3
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Default Re: Ignition switch issue..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solster View Post
Check the Main fuse under the hood.

Also what is the Year of the Teg your working on
It's a '96 sorry forgot to throw that in the first post. Ok I will check it soon as I get a chance. Hopefully, it's blown that's about the best case scenario.
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Old 05-18-2012, 03:25 AM   #4
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Default Re: Ignition switch issue..

Best thing you can do is check every fuse in both the under hood and under dash panals as well as checking the battery connections.

and use ether a DMM or Test probe to make sure you have power on both sides of the fuse.
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Old 05-18-2012, 04:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: Ignition switch issue..

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Originally Posted by azspd02 View Post
A couple of days ago I randomly started having an issue where I would start the car it would start and die as soon as I let go of the key. After researching, it became obvious it was an ignition switch issue
That's more of a Main Relay problem. I suggest putting the old switch back in again, and see if you can bring that car back to its original state.
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Old 05-18-2012, 05:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: Ignition switch issue..

Sorry, I am not understanding exactly what you mean when you say, "it won't do anything when I turn it (manually at this point with a screwdriver)"

So first question is, do you have any power, [do the dome light, head lights, horn work]?

If so, does the cluster light up when you turn the switch on?

Is the problem only it will not crank the engine, [starter motor not working]?

Also when you say, "I went ahead and bought a new ignition switch" do you mean brand new or just new to you?

Some info in ign. switch problems if you do not already have it...\
http://www.visualimpressions.ca/switch/
http://www.motor.com/magazine/pdfs/122002_08.pdf
http://techauto.awardspace.com/ignitionswitch.html 94
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Old 05-18-2012, 12:05 PM   #7
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Default Re: Ignition switch issue..

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Originally Posted by fcm View Post
Sorry, I am not understanding exactly what you mean when you say, "it won't do anything when I turn it (manually at this point with a screwdriver)"

So first question is, do you have any power, [do the dome light, head lights, horn work]?

If so, does the cluster light up when you turn the switch on?

Is the problem only it will not crank the engine, [starter motor not working]?

Also when you say, "I went ahead and bought a new ignition switch" do you mean brand new or just new to you?

Some info in ign. switch problems if you do not already have it...\
http://www.visualimpressions.ca/switch/
http://www.motor.com/magazine/pdfs/122002_08.pdf
http://techauto.awardspace.com/ignitionswitch.html 94
I meant I'm manually trying to turn the ignition switch with a screwdriver to see if it is operating correctly (under normal circumstances turning it would be akin to turning the key to the II and III position). Sorry about the lack of clarity. My lights and dome lights come on just fine. Basically, turning the key isn't having any effect on the car (like normally in the II position you can roll down the windows etc right now that isnt working either let alone the car starting). I meant I bought a brand new (supposedly) ignition switch from autozone. Plugged it all in and everything but no go. Seems like i have a short or something somewhere.
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Old 05-18-2012, 04:42 PM   #8
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Default Re: Ignition switch issue..

Ok so i checked the fuses under the engine bay and sure enough the ignition fuse was blown so i tried to move the light (50a) to the the ignition (also 50a) to test it out and still got no response to moving the ignition switch. I am about to go back to autozone to grab the correct size 50a that will fit and see if having it in the light and ignition changes anything but as of now I'm at a loss. Both 15a ignition related fuses are good inside the car.
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Old 05-18-2012, 04:43 PM   #9
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Default Re: Ignition switch issue..

So first thing to do is test for power on the white lead of the ign. switch harness, [ign. switch power lead].

If no power, check fuse 39 - 50A, in engine bay fuse box, if good check where ign. switch harness plugs in and confirm the white lead is lined up, [in ign. harnes plug] with the white in the dash harness plug, test for power on the white at the dash harness plug.

If you have power on the white, turn the ign. on to the run position and test for power on the black/yellow, [ign. power lead] and the yellow lead, [acc. power lead].

Let me know what you find. 94
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Old 05-18-2012, 05:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: Ignition switch issue..

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Originally Posted by fcm View Post
So first thing to do is test for power on the white lead of the ign. switch harness, [ign. switch power lead].

If no power, check fuse 39 - 50A, in engine bay fuse box, if good check where ign. switch harness plugs in and confirm the white lead is lined up, [in ign. harnes plug] with the white in the dash harness plug, test for power on the white at the dash harness plug.

If you have power on the white, turn the ign. on to the run position and test for power on the black/yellow, [ign. power lead] and the yellow lead, [acc. power lead].

Let me know what you find. 94

2 quick basic questions...Is the dash harness plug the larger of the 2 plugs and the ignition harness the one that goes into the fuse box on the inside driver side? And secondly, when you say RUN position is that II where windows would be working and such or the III where the car starts and runs? Thanks in advance for your help and advice so far.
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Old 05-24-2012, 07:13 PM   #11
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Default Re: Ignition switch issue..

Maybe this will help, maybe not.

I had a hard time getting my key out.

When I tried to start the car, the dash doard lights worked, but the engine wouldn't turn over. No sounds, no relay sounds, nothing.

I took the key out and turned the steering wheel until it locked.

I put in the key and slightly turned the steering wheel, then turned the key.

I continued turning the key and the car started.

A few days later it happened again. This time locking and unlocking the steering column didn't allow the car to start, so I put it (automatic transmission) in neutral and it started.

One of these days it will leave me stranded.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:47 PM   #12
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Default Re: Ignition switch issue..

Quote:
Originally Posted by azspd02 View Post
2 quick basic questions...Is the dash harness plug the larger of the 2 plugs and the ignition harness the one that goes into the fuse box on the inside driver side? And secondly, when you say RUN position is that II where windows would be working and such or the III where the car starts and runs? Thanks in advance for your help and advice so far.
Sorry it has taken so long to get back to you.

Not sure what you mean about the big and small plug, do you mean the plugs on the end of the ign. switch harness...
Name:  ign. switch.jpg
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Run = position just before start, [engine can run] so II, if III is cranking to start.

Again I'm not sure what your asking, waht you need to do is test for power on the white lead, in lower of the two plugs in pic.

If there is no power on the white lead, check the terminal the white lead is plugged into, unplug the ign. switch harness plug that has the white lead, test the pin the white lead would be plugged into.

You do not need to buy a fuse to confirm you have a bad fuse, use a 12V test light touch test light probe to each end of the fuse, one end will always have power, [even if fuse is blown] if both ends have power the fuse is good, if not, the fuse is bad, it's that simple.

There is not much point in doing anything untill you confirm that the white lead in ign. switch harness has power, if it does have power you can check the other leads in the ign. switch harness. 94
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Old 05-26-2012, 11:18 AM   #13
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Default Re: Ignition switch issue..

I appreciate all of the advice so far. It turns out the main ignition switch under the hood was blown so I replaced it and the car started up using the flathead directly in the ignition switch method. The problem I'm having is sometimes the switch works and sometimes it doesn't (which is why I haven't hooked everything back together (switch to key cylinder). It almost seems like sometimes it will just pop off after I turn it but if i go back to it later it'll work just fine. Pretty perplexing and needless to say but it leaves the car undrivable for now until I figure out how to get rid of this intermittent issue. The wiring under the kick panel is a nightmare with an electrical tape parade and wires everywhere so I'm guessing that's where the issue starts. Any ideas on what might be causing the intermittent problems? Could it be loose wires? I still have the old ignition switch hanging where it once was but both ends are completely disconnected any chance that's causing an issue? Thanks again in advance.
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Old 05-26-2012, 02:25 PM   #14
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Default Re: Ignition switch issue..

If the old switch is disconnected then it is not the problem

Which kick panel, pass. or drivers?

When you say, "The problem I'm having is sometimes the switch works and sometimes it doesn't" doesn't work how, engine will not crank, [starter not working] or engine will not start and run, [starter works/engine cranks but will not start]? 94
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Old 05-26-2012, 02:55 PM   #15
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Default Re: Ignition switch issue..

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Originally Posted by fcm View Post
If the old switch is disconnected then it is not the problem

Which kick panel, pass. or drivers?

When you say, "The problem I'm having is sometimes the switch works and sometimes it doesn't" doesn't work how, engine will not crank, [starter not working] or engine will not start and run, [starter works/engine cranks but will not start]? 94
It's the drivers side kick panel where the.ignition switch is and the fuse box is. Basically, when the switch works I can turn it to II and have power to windows/ac/etc and I can start it but when the switch stops working turning it does nothing (accessories do.t get power at 2 car doesn't start crank etc). When the intermittient problem with the switch is occuring its essentially as if the switch is disconnected.
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Old 05-26-2012, 04:16 PM   #16
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Default Re: Ignition switch issue..

I just went out to mess the ignition switch again and the accessory lights came on and when i turned it further to start it started cranking for a sec and then the switch like died and stopped doing anything again very strange!
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Old 05-26-2012, 05:30 PM   #17
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Default Re: Ignition switch issue..

You need to test the white lead when the switch fails to work, the problem must be either power to the ign. switch, [white lead] or your having a main ground problem.

If head lights and horn still work, [when ign. fails] then it is not a grounding problem it is a power to the ign. switch problem, that could be a main fuse or a connection problem, I'm guessing a connection problem as fuses tend to work or not work, but I have seen more then a few "defective" fuses. 94
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Last edited by fcm; 05-27-2012 at 07:21 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-26-2012, 07:22 PM   #18
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Default Re: Ignition switch issue..

The contacts in your ignition switch have been worn down. Mine was doing the exact same thing when I purchased the car. An easy and free fix is to take the steering column lower plastic off, and remove the back of the ignition switch(2 small screws).

Once to are able to pull the ignition piece away from the actual key tumbler(this part)
Click the image to open in full size.

The white plastic cap can be un-clipped, gently remove this part and clean the contacts, then slightly bend the raised portions of the tumbler up(inside the white cap) to make better contact. Re-assemble, issue fixed.
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Old 05-27-2012, 06:37 PM   #19
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Default Re: Ignition switch issue..

I had the exact same problem with the switch, but had a high point, which caused it to get incredibly hot and short out. I wired in a push start which solved all the ignition problems. Just going to accesory then pushing the start stopped all the symptoms you are having.
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