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Chevrolet Faulty Ignition Switch

Signs of Faulty Ignition Switch in Your Chevrolet

by Dutch Silverstein November 27, 2020

The ignition switch in your car is a critical part of your car’s electrical system. At some point, most of us have experienced the heart-dropping feeling of turning the key in the ignition lock but nothing happens. When we’re in a hurry to get somewhere, this can be a stressful thing to deal with. If the situation is bad enough, you might have to get the car towed to a service center at considerable expense.

The Importance of the Ignition Switch

The ignition switch is a part of what’s known as the ignition lock cylinder, which is usually situated just behind your steering wheel on the steering column. The ignition lock cylinder is what you insert your car key into to crank the engine to start.

There are multiple positions on the ignition lock; the first to unlock the steering wheel, the second to power accessories, the third to supply power to the fuel system and ignition, and finally the fourth to crank the engine to start.

An ignition switch is a heavily used part of your car and will gradually wear down to the point of failure and require replacement.

Warning Signs of Failure

There are several important signs to look out for a faulty ignition switch in your Chevrolet. It is important to be vigilant for these indications that your switch is on the way to failure. When you see any of these, get your car to a service professional as soon as possible, or risk being stranded somewhere with a car that won’t start. It’s far better to be on the lookout for these than to require an expensive tow to an auto service center because you reacted too late to the warning signs.

The Car Won’t Start When The Key is Turned

When your car doesn’t turn over when you turn the key, the ignition switch is often the cause. There is a possibility that it might be the starter motor, so listen for a clicking sound when you’ve turned the key all the way. A failing starter motor will make a clicking sound, not too loud, but you should be able to hear it in a quiet car. No sound at all points to the ignition switch being the culprit.

Unable to Turn The Key

The ignition key might lock up when it fails, which prevents you from being able to turn the key at all. Try giving the steering wheel a jiggle and see if that solves the problem. If it doesn’t, you need to get the car serviced by a professional.


An early sign of a failing ignition switch in your Chevrolet is when your car will start but stall suddenly afterward. What is going on here is that while the ignition is being “cranked” (turned all the way) it is providing power to the fuel pump and ignition system. This may be fine to get the car started, but as soon as you let the key fall back to the “on” position it fails and stops sending power to these systems, causing the car to stall out.

Accessories are Not Receiving Power

When your key is in the ACC position in the ignition lock, your accessories should power on. This includes things like the lights inside the cabin or the stereo system. If your key is turned to ACC and these don’t power up, then the lock cylinder in the ignition system could have stopped working correctly. Other signs to keep an eye out for are flickering lights on the dash.

Chevrolet Faulty Ignition Switch Fix

Let A&M Auto Service Take Care of You

A faulty ignition switch is certainly not unique to Chevrolet vehicles, but General Motors has a history of faulty ignition systems in pre-2014 models, so it’s worth paying attention to these symptoms so you can catch them early.

Whether your problem is a faulty ignition switch, failing starter motor, or anything else, A&M Auto Service can offer you the best customer service at an affordable cost. Our ASE-certified technicians will diagnose and repair your Chevrolet to get it back on road as soon as possible.  We’ve been servicing satisfied Chevrolet owners in the Pineville, Charlotte, and Greensboro, NC area for over two decades.

Call us today to make a convenient appointment or to speak to one of our friendly technicians. We look forward to serving your vehicle for your service needs.

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