Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: When I put the charged battery in the car, the engine started and the vehicle moved with no key. Why?

asked by on

I charge my battery and i was putting the battery back in my chevy i screwed the negative in first then the positive and thats when the car started to turn over and move forward. The car had no keys in the ignition.

My car has a manual transmission.

Hi there. There is a short to the ignition switch in the steering column. The starter relay wires to the ignition switch may have shorted to the main power to the ignition switch. This would cause the engine to start with no key in the ignition switch. I recommend replacing the steering column actuator and also looking at the wiring under the steering column for any wires burned together. Fix any wires that are burned. Make sure that you have the battery disconnected before working on any wires. If you need further assistance with your vehicle starting without the ignition key, then seek out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you.

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
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. When I put the charged battery in the car, the engine started and the vehicle moved with no key. Why?

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Bad instrument cluster

With a reoccurring issue like this, you can almost guarantee that another malfunction is causing the failure. If this cluster has failed, you will end up needing another one. But do not replace it until you know what the main...

Q: Reconnect cable airflow heating

Thank you for asking about your 1990 Geo Storm. Hire an experienced technician to remove the heater control assembly to inspect the linkage behind the device for any breaks that may have led to your symptoms. A technician from YourMechanic...

Q: Ignition tumbler going bad

The term 'ignition tumbler' could actually mean many things. Are you having an issue turning the key? If so you may require an ignition key replacement. Security improvements in newer vehicles require a lot of work to install this item....

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...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...