What does it mean when the ignition switch is turned to lock?

Asked By: Gernot Kollert | Last Updated: 13th January, 2020
Category: automotive auto parts
4.8/5 (563 Views . 45 Votes)
Ignition Switch. If nothing happens when the key is turned in the ignition lock or no dashboard lights come on when it's turned to the On position, those are signs that an ignition switch has failed or there's a problem with the wiring from the switch to the starter or other electrical components.

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Subsequently, one may also ask, what happens when the ignition switch is turned to lock?

- Turn the ignition switch to "LOCK" and remove the key. This locks both the ignition switch and steering control. Removing the key from the ignition switch while driving locks the steering. This can cause you to lose control.

Also, what are the 4 positions of the key ignition switch? There are different ignition switch positions in a car. The traditional vehicles with standard ignition system have four key positions.

What Happens When You Turn On The Ignition Switch In A Car?

  • Lock – First Position.
  • Accessory/ Acc – Second Position.
  • ON Or Ignition – Third Position.
  • Start – Fourth Position.

Consequently, what does it mean to lock the ignition?

Noun. 1. ignition lock - a restraint incorporated into the ignition switch to prevent the use of a vehicle by persons who do not have the key. lock. ignition switch - switch that operates a solenoid that closes a circuit to operate the starter.

How do I know if my ignition switch is bad?

Auto Electric: Ignition Switch Problems

  1. Car Fails to Start. One of the most obvious signs of a failing or faulty ignition switch is if the car won't start when the key is turned.
  2. Key will not Turn. If you cannot easily turn the key in the ignition you may have a bad ignition switch.
  3. Vehicle Stalls.
  4. No Noise from the Starter Motor.
  5. Dashboard Lights Flicker.

34 Related Question Answers Found

What is wrong when you turn the key and nothing happens?

If nothing happens when you turn the ignition key to the "Start" position, it means that the starter motor doesn't turn over the engine. Most commonly this could be caused by a dead battery; here is How to check the battery. The starter solenoid control wire could have a bad connection.

Where is the ignition switch?

Your ignition switch is typically located right behind the key cylinder (where you insert your key). This may be in the steering column or in the dash. You will need to remove any covers or dash panels to access the switch.

Can you jump a car with a bad ignition switch?

Yes and No, if the switch contacts at the start position we're bad and the contacts in the run position were good, you would be able to push start a car with a bad ignition switch.

How much is a ignition switch?

The average cost for an ignition switch replacement is between $185 and $231. Labor costs are estimated between $87 and $111 while parts are priced between $98 and $120. Estimate does not include taxes and fees. When would you like to drop off your car?

What is turning on the ignition?


When you turn the key once, you power up the battery. This allows you to run the stereo, headlights, wipers etc. When you turn the key twice, you connect the spark plugs in the engine to the battery and the ignition coil. When you turn the ignition of the car all the way to the end, it powers the electric motor.

Does a new ignition switch require a new key?

The new lock cylinder does come with new keys but you would have to use the original key to open the doors or have all of the lock cylinders on the doors and trunk match the new ignition lock cylinder.

How much is a new ignition lock cylinder?

The average cost for an ignition lock cylinder replacement is between $200 and $259. Labor costs are estimated between $83 and $106 while parts are priced between $117 and $153.

How do I unlock my key ignition?

Wiggle the wheel back and forth while turning the key.
In order to unlock the steering wheel, insert the key into the ignition and attempt to turn it. While applying light pressure to the key, wiggle the steering wheel back and forth until the lock disengages. This will allow the steering wheel and the key to turn.

Can a locksmith replace an ignition cylinder?

Yes. A locksmith is fully capable of performing an ignition switch replacement. This is sometimes required after the diagnoses from one of our auto locksmiths. If there does not seem to be an issue with the ignition cylinder, then ignition cylinder replacement will not be enough.

What are the five ignition positions?


3 The ignition system has five positions
Start: draws power from the battery to the engine. Off: turns off the engine but does not allow the key to be removed. Lock: locks the ignition switch and steering wheel. Accessory: lets you use electrical equipment without running the engine.

How do you replace a ignition lock cylinder?

Insert the key into the new cylinder and turn it to the accessory position. Remove the cylinder from its casing and then remove the key. Use a small screwdriver to remove the first tumbler closest to the key side.

What is a key lock cylinder?

The ignition lock cylinder is the cylindrical tumbler and key that is used to power on and start the vehicle. While many newer vehicles are now being manufactured with push button and keyless power and starting systems, traditional ignition lock cylinders are still commonly found on many road going cars and trucks.

What does ACC mean in car ignition?

An ignition switch has four positions which transforms into making a car to move: OFF Or LOCK position; Turns off power to the engine and electrical accessories. ACC – Accessory position that provides power to electrical accessories only, not the engine.

How do I turn a key into an accessory position?

The ignition switch can bind in the LOCK/OFF position with the wheels turned off center. If this happens, move the steering wheel from right to left while turning the key to ACC/ACCESSORY. If this does not work, then the vehicle needs service.

How do you drill out an ignition cylinder?


How to Drill Out Ignition Lock Cylinders
  1. Test fit a drill bit in the lock cylinder. You want a bit that is just smaller than the cylinder.
  2. Lock the drill bit into the drill chuck and tighten the chuck.
  3. Drill a starter groove into the lock cylinder. Start the drill on a low speed and create a groove in the end of the lock cylinder.

Is it bad to leave ignition on?

In addition to that the constant power running through the ignition coil itself can cause the coil to overheat and get damaged. However, all of that being said, leaving the ignition on without the engine running will eventually cause the battery to go dead. That's never a good thing.

How does a car key ignition work?

As the key slides into the slot, it pushes a set of tumblers in the ignition into a precise pattern to allow the key to be rotated to close the ignition circuit. That circuit then delivers power to the starter motor, which turns the engine so the spark plugs can fire and the engine operates.