Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car trying to start without key in ignition

asked by on

I recently replaced the battery and had to have my car jumpstarted. I took it in to see what was drawing the battery down and it was determined that it was the alternator. I had that replaced and saw a puff of smoke, from the solenoid, when I went to start it. I replaced that and now my car tries to start from the battery and bypasses my ignition altogether, without the key even in the ignition.

A: Sounds like your starter solenoid may be in...

Sounds like your starter solenoid may be installed incorrectly. The solenoid has several wires going to it. One to the stater, some coming from the battery, and one form the ignition switch. If the wires are connected on the wrong terminals, you can deliver battery voltage to the starter causing it it crank without the key. I suggest seeking help from a mechanic to help you correct the installation of the solenoid and fix the issue you're having to get the car started.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Dash light flicker, light switch hot

Hello there, thank you for asking about your 1984 Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais. There is the possibility of a cross connection inside the switch due to a failure in the assembly or corrosion going across the switch contacts. This may explain...

Q: Alternator not charging

All the battery cables and engine ground cables need to have a voltage drop test done to determine whether one or more cables are not making a good connection, or the cable has a defective connector crimp. I recommend that...

Q: Car stalls when driving it

It is possible that the carburetor may have an issue. It is also possible that the ignition system could have an issue. The engine needs fuel, compression, and ignition to run. If the engine runs fine for a while it...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...