Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Ignition Lock Assembly

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Cost of Replacing a Bad or Failing Ignition Lock Assembly

If your key is stuck in the ignition, won't go in, or can't start the car, you may need to replace the ignition lock assembly. Our certified technicians can come to you and diagnose the problem. You will receive a $30 credit towards any follow-up repairs that result from the diagnostic. Following are example prices for Ignition Lock Assembly Replacement. Click on the button below to get an upfront quote for your car.

Cars Estimate Parts Cost Labor Cost Savings Average Dealer Price
2003 GMC Jimmy $70 $0.00 $70.00 34% $107.50
2010 Pontiac Vibe $70 $0.00 $70.00 34% $107.50
2005 Toyota Highlander $70 $0.00 $70.00 34% $107.50
2007 Audi A6 $98 $0.00 $98.00 34% $150.50
2005 Acura TL $98 $0.00 $98.00 34% $150.50
2009 Tesla Roadster $70 $0.00 $70.00 34% $107.50
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How to Diagnose a Bad or Failing Ignition Lock Assembly?

ignition lock assembly

The ignition lock assembly, also known as the ignition lock cylinder, is the cylindrical tumbler that is used to turn on and start the vehicle when the key is inserted and turned. While many newer vehicles are now being manufactured with push button or keyless starting systems, traditional tumbler and key ignition lock assemblies are still commonly found on many road going vehicles. It is usually located on the steering column, to the right of the steering wheel.

The ignition lock assembly functions in a similar manner as a regular door lock assembly, however instead of locking and unlocking the doors, the ignition lock assembly is used to power on the vehicle and start the engine. The assembly is matched with a specific key that will turn in the cylinder, and has different positions of the key that will do different things. Most ignition lock assemblies have four positions, the first unlocks the steering wheel, the second powers on the vehicle’s accessories, the third powers on the vehicle’s fuel pump and engine management system, and the last cranks the engine.

When the ignition lock assembly has issues it can cause problems with powering on and starting the vehicle. Usually a bad or failing ignition lock assembly will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver of a potential issue.

1. Issues powering on the vehicle

One of the first symptoms of an issue with the ignition lock assembly is problems powering the vehicle on. Over time, as the ignition lock assembly is repeatedly turned every time the vehicle is powered on, it may eventually wear out. This may lead to one or more of the positions having difficulty properly engaging, and in turn may lead to issues with powering on the vehicle. A worn ignition lock assembly may fail to power the vehicle on when the key is turned an inserted, or may require the key to be jostled for the position to engage properly.

2. Car is not starting

Another symptom of an issue with the ignition lock assembly is a no start condition. The ignition lock assembly is usually connected to a an electric ignition switch. The two are interconnected, and work together to power on the vehicle and start the engine. Over time the ignition lock cylinder can wear and eventually break. If it breaks and is unable to turn the ignition switch, this will result in a no start condition due to the inability to provide power to the starter.

3. Problems inserting or removing the key

Problems with inserting or removing the key are another symptom of an issue with the vehicle’s ignition lock assembly. Over time, as the key is repeatedly inserted, removed, and turned, both the cylinder and the key will eventually begin to wear. A worn key or ignition lock may result in difficulty turning the key when it is inserted. The worn lock or key may cause the lock assembly to jam when the key is inserted, and may bind when attempting to turn the key. A worn cylinder or key may also cause the assembly to jam or stick when attempting to remove the key. This may also lead to issues with unlocking the steering wheel when first inserting the key.

While newer vehicles are starting to utilize keyless, push button symptoms, ignition lock assemblies are still commonly found on the majority of road going cars and trucks. While replacing the ignition lock assembly is not generally considered routine service, if you suspect that your ignition lock assembly may be having an issue, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to determine if the ignition lock assembly should be replaced.

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Recent Ignition Lock Assembly Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Ignition Lock Assembly Replacement Service

Average Rating

4.6/5

Number of Reviews

29

Rating Summary
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Scott

33 years of experience
434 reviews
Scott
33 years of experience
Scott provided excellent service for multiple appointments. He swapped out the oil sending unit, did an oil change, replace the ignition lock assembly, and provided an general inspection. I feel I can trust Scott with any future repairs my Jeep may need. As for YourMechanic, I think their customer service can use some lubricants to make their scheduling and communication run a little smoother. There were a few hiccups in scheduling that had nothing to do with Scott and I kind of felt sorry for the guy a couple of times. They even scheduled service for one day without consulting me. However, scheduling and communication issues aside, I'd definitely rely on Scott's help again.
2005 JEEP WRANGLER - IGNITION LOCK ASSEMBLY - MESA, ARIZONA

Peter

40 years of experience
972 reviews
Peter
40 years of experience
Peter worked on my car again today and like usual he was a 1/2 hour early. Honest, courteous and trustworthy. He worked on my car and I asked him, to please get me back on the road, because I needed the car for work. Peter went above and beyond to fix my car. He found the parts for my car, which was not easy to find, but with determination he found them. Thank you so much Peter. And to all, this mechanic is the most honest mechanic I have ever met in my entire life. Abe
1994 DODGE SPIRIT - IGNITION LOCK ASSEMBLY - CHANDLER, ARIZONA

Tien

20 years of experience
694 reviews
Tien
20 years of experience
Tien was very professional and knowledgeable. He fixed my vehicle quickly and let me know of other existing problems.
2000 NISSAN SENTRA - IGNITION LOCK ASSEMBLY - OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA

Chet

38 years of experience
383 reviews
Chet
38 years of experience
Came on time,knocked out the job in short order, and check my fluids and tires. Even gave a heads up on a future repair, very happy with Chet and Your Mechanic.
1999 FORD CROWN VICTORIA - IGNITION LOCK ASSEMBLY - EL CAJON, CALIFORNIA

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