How to Start a Car with a Bad Ignition Switch

Having a bad ignition switch can be frustrating, especially when you need to start your car urgently. However, you don’t have to panic as there are ways to start your car with a bad ignition switch. In this blog post, we will discuss various techniques you can use to start your car without replacing the ignition switch.

What is an Ignition Switch?

An ignition switch is an essential component in your car’s electrical system that controls the power supply to the engine and other electrical components. When you turn the key in the ignition, the switch sends an electrical signal to the starter motor, which starts the engine.

Why Would Your Ignition Switch Go Bad?

There are several reasons why your ignition switch may go bad. One common cause is wear and tear due to daily use. Over time, the electrical contacts inside the switch may wear out or become corroded, causing the switch to malfunction. Another reason could be an electrical short, which can cause the switch to fail altogether.

Techniques to Start a Car with a Bad Ignition Switch

Use a Screwdriver

If your ignition switch is completely dead, you can use a screwdriver to start your car. Insert the screwdriver into the ignition keyhole and turn it as you would with a key. This method works with older car models that have a physical ignition switch.

Use a Jumper Wire

You can also use a jumper wire to start your car with a bad ignition switch. First, locate the starter solenoid under the hood of your car. Then, connect one end of the wire to the positive terminal of the battery and the other end to the starter solenoid’s positive terminal. This will bypass the ignition switch and send power directly to the starter motor, starting the engine.

Tap the Ignition Switch

If your ignition switch is faulty but not completely dead, you can try tapping it to get it working. Sometimes, the contacts inside the switch may be stuck, causing it to malfunction. Tapping the switch can free up the contacts and allow the electrical signal to pass through.

Use a Remote Starter

If you have a remote starter installed in your car, you can use it to start the engine without using the ignition switch. Simply press the remote starter button, and the engine will start. This method is also useful if your ignition switch is in a hard-to-reach location.

Check the Battery

Before trying any of the above methods, make sure your car’s battery is fully charged. A weak battery can cause the starter motor to malfunction, making it difficult to start the engine. If your battery is weak, charge it or replace it before attempting to start your car.


A bad ignition switch can be a real headache, but it doesn’t have to keep you from starting your car. By using the techniques discussed in this blog post, you can get your car running without replacing the ignition switch. However, it’s important to remember that these methods are temporary fixes, and you should get your ignition switch replaced as soon as possible to avoid further problems.