Let’s start by stating the obvious – cars are complex vehicles. If you’ve ever had an issue with your car (and we’re willing to bet you have), you don’t need a tonne of specialist knowledge to know that it could be any one of a thousand different things. It’s a truth we’re all too familiar with here at RAW2K, as the vehicles on our online salvage car auctions come to us in various conditions – which you’ll know if you’ve taken even a brief look through them! Almost all types of damage is repairable, if you’re willing to go far enough – it’s actually just a question of whether or not it’s worth the cost and effort to repair. And when it comes to your car’s ignition system, that’s a pretty pivotal question! 

What does the ignition do?

As you’ve probably surmised, the ignition in your car is the mechanism that starts the engine. When you turn the key, it triggers the ignition switch and this puts in motion the process that creates a voltage that sparks the engine and ignites the fuel to start the car. We’ll spare you the detailed mechanical rundown – all you really need to know is that without the ignition, your car wouldn’t drive. It is very much the flame that sparks the firework.

How might I know there are faults?

This may sound very obvious, but you’ll know if there’s a fault with your ignition if your car doesn’t start. While the car not starting could be a symptom of other problems, the ignition switch would be one of the first places to investigate.
Before changing your ignition switch, you will want to check a few things first. To start off with, you’ll want to make sure that it isn’t your battery that is dead. You can do this in a couple of ways. One is by turning the lights on to your car. If they shine brightly, you know the battery is fine. If they’re dim on the other hand, or don’t work at all, then it’s likely you need to charge your battery. You can also check the battery by connecting a vault meter.
Another way to narrow down the issue is to check your key isn’t worn or faulty. If the ignition to your car seems like it isn’t working, it could be because your key is just past its prime. If you feel grating or gnashing in the key port, this could be the problem. If you have a spare key, ensure you try this before changing the ignition switch.

How can I avoid issues?

Honestly, if you’ve not got tonnes of professional mechanical knowledge then it’s mostly a matter of hoping nothing goes wrong inside your car. Otherwise, the biggest thing you can do as a driver is simply to take care of your key. Wherever you buy your car, you’ll still need to continuously make sure the key is in good working order. Similarly, using WD40 or another lubricant could help keep the switch running smoothly, especially in cars that may be a little older or have a few more miles on the clock. Of course, if you’ve got the mechanical expertise then you may want to give it a shot a fixing it yourself – but you’ll be doing that entirely at your own risk!  
If you’re having trouble with your ignition, and you think it may not be worth investing in getting it fixed, our online car auctions are always a good place to get rid of an old motor. Whether you’re looking to sell, scrap or buy, here at RAW2K we’ve got a number of great options for you to choose from. Our auctions are refreshed on a daily and weekly basis, so there are always new deals to be had, and we’ve got vehicles from a range of leading manufacturers including BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen. Why not take a look around, and see what you can find?