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Steering Column Repair/ignition problem


QUESTION: 1993 Chrysler New Yorker.  Periodically would not start when turn key - try again once maybe twice and would start.  After about ten tries the other day - nothing.  Sometime start lights would come on but on completion of turn nothing.  Then no start lights or sound or start.  Saw your post re 40amp fuse - checked that this morning and it appears to be OK.  Got in the car and it started (go figure) moved and parked it.  Turned it off and it started up again.  Do you think this would be the ignition switch and not the key part?  I am glad it started but I need to be confident that I won't get stranded somewhere.  Thank in advance for your help!

ANSWER: Hi Teresa:
Sorry about your car.
I could be either the lock cylinder or the ignition switch (or the starter itself.)
A couple of questions...
1) When you turn the key, does it feel normal, that is to say, do you feel all the same detent positions and spring back that you used to?
2) When it does not start, do the light "change channels"?  Some dash lights will go on and others will go off when you go to the start position.  I need to know if that happens ALL THE TIME.
3) When it does not start, do you hear any clicking sound under the dash or hood as you rotate the key to the start position?

With those answers I may be able to help pin it down a little more.

If you do not feel all the position (question 1) it could be the lock cylinder has a chip breaking off and thus not moving the switch far would need a new lock
If you do not see the lights change channels, it can be either the lock or the switch
If you feel everything you used to and the light change channels but there is no clicking noise, it may be the starter

Let me know

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: 1 - feels normal
2 - not sure
3 - no sound

think I will try to replace the switch first - is there a continuity test you can do on this?  Or how to tell it is bad?

Your answers are consistent with that pursuit.  
I agree, change out the switch first (it's the least expensive choice as well), and see how that works for you.  If the lock is a problem or an contributing factor, it will be obvious when you remove and install it in the new switch.

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Douglas Gan


My specialties are stolen vehicles, steering column and ignition locks repair, airbag service and installation and diagnosis. My work includes both domestic (USA) vehicles and foreign designs.


30 years owning a company that specializes in steering columns, ignition & airbag related problems

GM certified, ASE certified, 4 yrs college, Mech Tech degree
I own multiple auto repair companies and can help you professionally through any of our websites at: ---- we stock many older steering column parts and can rebuild your column if you ship it to us --- we sell airbag replacement information (no parts) -- we perform investigations for many types of vehicle claims
Please feel free to contact us through any of our websites for more information or help

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