Although Volvos are some of the most reliable vehicles on the market today, they still experience common issues such as ignition switch failure. If you’re a Volvo driver, it’s important to stay informed on how to keep your car in proper working condition. This article will go over some basic information about the ignition switch, including what to look out for when the part encounters a problem.
WHAT DOES THE IGNITION SWITCH DO FOR YOUR VOLVO?
The concept of the ignition switch has changed in recent years with newer designs like push-start buttons and keyless ignitions. Besides simply implementing a more streamlined, electronic design that appeals to the masses, newer designs are meant to address the common issues that go along with traditional ignition switches over extended periods of time. If you drive a Volvo with a traditional ignition switch (one that you put a key in and turn to start your car), then you should know a little bit about how it works so you can understand how it might fail.
Your ignition switch works in conjunction with the ignition lock cylinder that provide power to the different elements of your vehicle, including allowing the car to start. The ignition switch has different settings, or positions, that perform different functions when the key is locked in. The first setting powers accessories, the second setting powers the ignition system, and the last setting is what turns the engine. As you can imagine, if something goes awry with the ignition switch, you’ll run into some significant performance problems.
WARNING SIGNS OF IGNITION SWITCH FAILURE TO LOOK FOR
Though ignition switch failure is not unique to Volvo cars, it still occurs rather frequently and is highly inconvenient for drivers. As your Volvo ages, it becomes more susceptible to certain parts failing. A failing ignition switch will elicit certain behaviors out of your Volvo that you should be able to recognize so that you aren’t stuck with a car that doesn’t turn on at the most inconvenient time. These are the two most common signs of ignition switch failure to be aware of:
If your Volvo encounters ignition switch deterioration, then stalling is to be expected—it’s just a matter of when. Stalling is usually a precursor to total ignition switch failure, so take stalling seriously!
Engine stalling may occur while you are driving your Volvo, which can be highly dangerous. Ignition switch failure causes the ignition and fuel systems to be deprived of adequate power, which leads to erratic stalling behaviors.
Shortly After Ignition
Engine stalling may occur shortly after ignition—hopefully while you’re still parked. Depending on what setting the ignition switch fails on, you might be able to temporarily provide enough power to the fuel and ignition systems to start the car, but if the failure occurs in the final setting—the one that keeps the engine running—then your Volvo won’t be able to stay on long enough to drive anywhere.
After reading about how the ignition switch causes power delivery issues, it shouldn’t come as a shock that if your ignition switch fails you might not be able to start your Volvo properly. However, you might also notice that other systems of your car aren’t able to retain power. For instance, since the ignition switch also powers the interior cabin lighting, they may not work.
WHY AN INITIAL DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS IS IMPORTANT
When encountering any issues related to power, drivers usually assume it has something to do with their battery—and automotive technicians might also. Because the symptoms of stalling and power issues can be attributed to other problems, it is important to have a thorough differential diagnosis performed to rule-out other potential causes. This will save you money in the long run in unnecessary repairs and replacement parts, and will spare you the hassle of a tedious, frustrating trial and error process trying to locate the problem.
WHAT WE CAN DO TO GET YOUR VOLVO BACK UP AND RUNNING
Autobahn Automotive Service provides specialized care for Volvo drivers from the areas of San Antonio and Longhorn, TX. As the leading dealership alternative in the area, we offer our clients expert auto maintenance and repair for lower rates, making quality automotive care more accessible. Ignition switch problems are commonly misdiagnosed, which can cost drivers time and money. If you’ve recently experienced any stalling or power issues in your Volvo, we vow to diagnose and treat the problem quickly, effectively, and affordably. Please contact us to schedule an appointment.
* Volvo XC60 image credit goes to:gargantiopa.