Dead engine? Supply sufficient power to your car and enjoy excellent auto performance by using an Ignition Lock Cylinder or Ignition Key Lock Cylinder now.
Since the era of voice-activated cars is still millenniums away, your ignition system will continue to rely on one of its main components to start your engine. This component is the Ignition Lock Cylinder.
The Ignition Lock Cylinder is an assembly that consists of an ignition switch tumbler and an equivalent set of keys. It's not considered the electrical switch of your ignition system, and most of the time, you'll see it placed at the right side of your steering column. This assembly helps start the engine by igniting compressed gasoline. For superior durability, ignition lock cylinders are made of heavy-duty die cast metal.
As with all parts, this component is bound to wear out overtime. Prolonged use can cause this component to jam. Worse, it can become unusable if you happen to snap the key while it's still inserted. These scenarios will prevent you from starting the engine. That's why you should regularly check your ignition key lock cylinder, and replace it when necessary. You can find suitable replacements on the Web. This component is offered by many online retailers. Different assemblies are compatible with different makes and models, so be sure to check specifications before purchasing a replacement.
The Automobile Basics: Ignition Lock Cylinder
The Ignition Lock Cylinder is the keyhole wherein your car keys go into to turn the ignition switch on. It contains the pattern that your key is molded from, allowing only you, the key holder, to turn it on.
The common symptoms or problems given by a bad ignition lock cylinder are the following: (1) Ignition switch not turning, (2) Issues with turning the key, and (3) Car not starting.
- Finding the perfect fit is impeccable, utilize CarParts.com’s filters and find the one most readily available and perfect for your car to ensure a hassle-free repair.
Before the release and mass production of the keyless “Push to Start” vehicles that started just recently, keys were needed to be inserted into the ignition chamber and turned in order to start a car. These keys and ignition switches acted the same way padlocks do now. It exists in order to deter thieves and other unwanted personnel from entering and actually stealing your car. Car doors are the first line of defense your cars have against them; however, when these features get bypassed or compromised, the ignition lock cylinder serves as a second line of defense. You may lose your personal belongings, but the main purpose of such part is to prevent the loss of the car itself.
What is an Ignition Lock Cylinder?
When you look at your car and decide to start your engine, the muscle memory that was embedded into you is to grab your key, insert it into the keyhole resting behind your steering wheel, and turn it. That keyhole (and the small parts within it) is an important part of your ignition switch as it serves as the mechanism that prevents unwanted people from using your car. The specific part that acts as your second line of defense is called the Ignition Lock Cylinder. It is a mechanical part that functions much like the components inside a lock. It contains wharves and ridges that match your key, making it possible for you to turn the ignition switch.
Common Ignition Lock Cylinder Problems
All locks experience wear and tear, some experience physical damage due to attempts to get into your car. If the latter did not happen to you any time recently, listed below are the common problems you may encounter due to wear and tear;
Ignition Switch not turning
If this happens, it’s either your keys have dulled down through use, or the other way around. Friction happens every time you insert and remove the key from the ignition switch. This causes the eventual dulling of both parts that come in contact with each other. If and when you realize that your key won’t turn despite using the right one, do not use force to turn it, as the key might break. Be mindful of this as it may leave you with both a broken ignition lock cylinder and key.
Issues with inserting the key
The possible explanations for your key not gliding smoothly into your ignition switch is that either your key is damaged, meaning it was bent unknowingly, or a hard object dulled and bent a ridge. Another culprit is a broken ignition lock cylinder, while the worst-case scenario is that a small part of your key chipped. To be safe, be sure to examine both your key and the lock and determine which one is problematic.
The ignition lock cylinder is attached to the electronic ignition switch, the part that reads the code in your key and “tells” the electronics in your car to start. These two work together to start and power the vehicle. Please note, though, that your car not starting might be caused by many other things. The best way to address a problem like this is to have your car checked by the nearest mechanic.
These problems often compound with each other, meaning there might be a chance that the ignition lock cylinder is not the only problematic part, and even that it isn’t the problem at all. It would be wise to run a full diagnostics on your car first before replacing certain parts one by one.
This is important especially if you find out that the key is the actual problem. If that would be the case, then a mechanic and an ignition lock cylinder replacement wouldn’t be the cheapest solution for you but rather a professional locksmith.
How Much is an Ignition Lock Cylinder Replacement?
An Ignition Lock Cylinder costs about $6.50 to $595. This would depend on whether you would want an OEM or an OE Replacement, and whether you would like to purchase one that includes a key or not.
Finding the Right Fit
Working with cars has taught many that not all the parts will fit universally across different makes, and even if they are the same, the difference of their model and year would matter all the same. Finding the right fit matters, especially if compromise is not an option that you would like to consider. Luckily, CarParts.com offers a simple solution to the tedious task of finding the perfect Ignition Lock Cylinder for you and your car. Simply provide your car’s information (year, model, make) on the filters, and let the site do the work.
The Automobile Basics: Ignition Lock Cylinder
Car theft is one of the biggest concerns for vehicle owners. Professional thieves can strike without warning, and in just a few seconds they can already drive away with the stolen vehicle. Car manufacturers are very much aware of this problem, which is why most cars produced today have additional security features like the ignition lock assembly. One of its parts is the Ignition Lock Cylinder. This lock cylinder prevents thieves from starting the vehicle without the key. It's important to keep this part in good condition to maintain your car's security. And when it becomes damaged beyond repair, there is no other way to go about it other than replacement. If not replaced, however, it would be difficult to turn the key, there will be trouble stopping the engine even if the key has been removed and there would be a hitch in locking or unlocking the steering wheel. Actual replacement of the Ignition Lock Cylinder can be a bit complicated. First, the trim panels around the steering wheel must be removed. Next thing to remove is the tamper-proof hardware that links the ignition lock assembly to the steering column. After that, the ignition lock assembly is taken from the column and the Ignition Lock Cylinder is replaced. When it's done, put back all the parts that were removed. Once properly in place, regular maintenance must be done to it to ensure it long and continuous service.
Important Facts You Need to Know About Ignition Lock Cylinder
As soon as you settle yourself into your car's driver seat, what's the first thing you usually do? Most drivers stick the keys into the ignition lock cylinder. There's a reason for that.The lock cylinder acts as an anti-theft device for your car. If you don't insert the key into the lock cylinder, there's no way to turn the steering wheel. Once the key is in the lock cylinder, you can turn the key to the start position and crank the engine.Its protective nature requires that you replace the ignition lock cylinder once it starts to malfunction. A faulty ignition lock cylinder may be unlocked with any key (not just your car's keys). Or worse, the damaged lock cylinder may refuse to turn even if the car's key is inserted.To avoid all the hassle, check the lock cylinder once it becomes difficult to use. For your convenience, you can browse our catalogs at CarParts.com for replacement ignition lock cylinders.
• The lock cylinder prevents your car from being driven without the keys.
• All our ignition lock cylinders come with matching keys.
• Our ignition lock cylinders are covered by a limited lifetime warranty.
Tips When Choosing an Ignition Lock Cylinder
Waking up in the morning feeling refreshed is a good way to start your day. Getting into your car, you look at the dashboard and insert the key into the ignition--it doesn't start. You twist the key again, but the ignition isn't responding. Anxiety starts to creep in as you keep on twisting the key, then, snap! The key breaks and you put your head on the steering wheel.
Choosing the right ignition lock cylinder for your vehicle is very important because keeps it safe from theft. If the wrong ignition key is inserted into the cylinder, it's impossible to release the lock from the steering wheel. Also, the ignition lock cylinder has an electrical component which supplies power to your vehicle's windshield wipers, radio, power windows, and starter motor. Without it, you won't be able to start the engine.
Find the Right Fit
Looking for the right replacement ignition lock cylinder to fit your vehicle is important. When you find the right replacement part, make sure to check the assembly before purchasing it. It's best to check your vehicle's service manual to know the correct part type and number. A properly fitted and installed ignition lock cylinder provides a smooth start for the vehicle's engine.
Safety is the Key
Safety should be your top priority and with the right ignition key, the vehicle's engine should start without hitches. In the event of attempted theft, a good quality ignition lock cylinder can guarantee security and protection by locking the steering wheel. Make it a habit to check product reviews before choosing a brand. Always choose the manufacturer with the best reputation for quality and durability.
Die-cast vs Stainless Steel
Ignition lock cylinders are commonly made from die-cast steel for durability. Chrome or bezeled die-cast metal is also a material of choice but the most durable is stainless steel. Ignition lock cylinders made from stainless steel prove to be stronger and more durable. Pick a product made from the highest grade materials to ensure durability and proper function.
Depending on your vehicle's make, ignitions lock cylinders are good anti-theft deterrents as well as being integral to the vehicle's power supply system. Shop, ask, or read reviews before purchasing anything. If you decide to buy a replacement part, make sure that it's reliable, durable, and easy to install. It all boils down to getting an ignition lock cylinder that will keep you, and your vehicle, safe and sound.
Car Engine Basics: Replacing an Ignition Lock Cylinder
Ignition lock cylinders do more than just secure your car against theft; they also activate your vehicle's cigarette lighter, windshield wipers, radio, and other components. They undergo normal wear and tear due to constant use. Broken car keys or attempted theft can damage ignition lock cylinders, and that will lead to bigger problems.
Replacing an ignition lock cylinder will take time and patience. We have prepared the list of steps, tools, and reminders that you need when removing and replacing the ignition lock cylinder.
Tools that You'll Need:
- Paper clip
- Adjustable wrench
- Replacement ignition switch cylinder
- Let the engine cool before working on the ignition lock cylinder.
- Check your replacement parts and make sure that they are compatible to your vehicle's make and model.
- Consult your vehicle's owner's manual its model and make before purchasing a replacement part. It's important to know the exact type and part that you're replacing.
Step 1: Open your vehicle's hood to access the battery. Use an adjustable wrench to loosen the negative battery terminal's clamp nut. Remove the cable and push it aside as far away from the battery as possible.
Step 2: Insert the key into the car's ignition and turn it to the "accessory" position. Take out the paper clip and straighten it out.
Step 3: Locate the ignition lock cylinder's hole at the key slot's base, then stick one end of the straightened out paper clip.
Step 4: Turn the key to the "off" position while holding the paper clip steady into the hole.
Step 5: Pull the lock cylinder slowly from the ignition switch cavity and set the paper clip aside.
Step 6: Inspect the new ignition lock cylinder assembly for any signs of damage. Put the key into the new ignition lock cylinder, and insert it into the ignition switch cavity.
Step 7: Secure the new cylinder into place by turning the key to the "accessory" position and then back to the "off" position.
Step 8: Proceed to the engine compartment, and put the battery cable back into the negative battery terminal. Use an adjustable wrench to secure the battery terminal's clamp nut. Close the hood, and start the engine to test the new cylinder.
Installing a new ignition lock cylinder will take about 30 minutes for an expert DIYer and around 45 minutes for a beginner. Be careful and have fun with this project!