Troubleshooting issues with the ignition in your car

Trouble with starting your car can be frustrating and really hard to troubleshoot. It's hard to know what type of electrical auto repairs to perform if you can't even start your car. It's also daunting as you then will have to get your car towed or get a mechanic to come to your location to be able to have it repaired. To troubleshoot ignition problems, you don't have to be a professional. There are a few simple things you can simply look out for to establish what's wrong with your car; sometimes the fix is also easy enough for you to perform on your own.

Check the battery

A bad battery is the most common cause for electrical problems in your car in general. You should check the voltage in your battery to know if this is the reason for your ignition not working. The easiest way to do this is to turn on your headlights, if you have the electrical charge to do that. If they are dim or seem to be more yellow than normal, then your car's battery is probably producing a low voltage. To properly test the voltage in your car battery, you need a volt meter. The voltage in your battery should be over 12.6 volts. If it's under that, you should have a mechanic look at your battery, as this might mean you will need to have it changed.

Check the cables

If you've tested your battery and made sure the voltage level is appropriate, but your ignition still doesn't work, you might want to check the cables in your car. This can be rather complicated as you will need to get under the hood and find all the cables in your car's electrical system. Examine the cables and make sure they aren't frayed or damaged. The can also have slipped loose. Don't try to stick them harder to any outlet by using tape or other foreign material for your car's insides, as the environment under the hood might cause the plastic to melt.

The key won't turn

If your problem is that your key simply won't turn in the ignition, it doesn't have to mean you're having an electrical problem at all. It might be caused by a stubborn steering lock. This means you'll just have to wiggle the steering wheel and the key at the same time to make it unlock. It could also be caused by a worn or damaged lock mechanism. If this is the case, you should contact a mechanic (like Wollongong Auto Electrics) as soon as possible to have it changed.