Engine Only Runs With Key in Start Position | Why and How to Fix
If you have ever experienced the frustrating issue of your car engine only starting when the key is in the start position, then you know how annoying this can be. Not only is it inconvenient, but it can also be a safety issue if you need to quickly start your car and get on the road. In this article, we will explore why your engine may only run with the key in the start position and how to fix this issue.
Why does the engine only run with the key in the start position?
When you turn the key to start your car, the ignition switch sends a signal to the starter motor to crank the engine. Once the engine starts, the ignition switch sends a signal to the starter motor to stop cranking. At this point, the engine should continue to run on its own.
However, if the ignition switch is faulty, it may not send the correct signal to the starter motor to stop cranking. This means that the starter motor will continue to crank the engine even when the key is in the “on” or “run” position. In this case, the engine will only run when the key is in the start position because the starter motor is still engaged.
Another reason why the engine may only run with the key in the start position is a faulty ignition coil. The ignition coil is responsible for sending a high-voltage electrical pulse to the spark plugs, which ignites the fuel in the combustion chamber. If the ignition coil is faulty, it may not be able to provide the necessary spark to keep the engine running once the key is released from the start position.
How to fix the issue of engine only running with key in start position
The first step in fixing this issue is to check the ignition switch. You can do this by turning the key to the “on” position and listening for a clicking sound. If you hear a clicking sound, the ignition switch is likely working properly. However, if you do not hear a clicking sound, the ignition switch may be faulty and will need to be replaced.
Another step to take is to check the battery and starter motor. If the battery is weak or the starter motor is faulty, it may not be able to provide enough power to start the engine. This can cause the starter motor to continue cranking even when the key is in the “on” or “run” position. In this case, the battery and starter motor will need to be replaced.
If the ignition switch, battery, and starter motor are all functioning properly, then the issue may be a faulty ignition coil. To check the ignition coil, you will need a spark tester. This tool measures the voltage and current of the electrical pulses sent to the spark plugs. If the ignition coil is faulty, it will need to be replaced.
In conclusion, if your engine only runs with the key in the start position, it can be a frustrating and potentially dangerous issue. However, by checking the ignition switch, battery, starter motor, and ignition coil, you can diagnose and fix the issue. If you are not comfortable performing these tasks yourself, it is best to take your car to a professional mechanic for diagnosis and repair.
Tips to Prevent Future Engine Issues
It’s always best to prevent issues with your car engine before they happen. Here are some tips to help you avoid future engine problems:
- Regular Maintenance: Regular maintenance of your car is essential to keep it running smoothly. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule to ensure that your engine is in top condition.
- Check Fluid Levels: Make sure to check the levels of all the fluids in your car, including oil, coolant, and transmission fluid. Low fluid levels can cause serious engine issues.
- Replace Spark Plugs: Spark plugs play a vital role in the ignition process of your engine. If they are worn out or dirty, they can cause misfiring, which can damage your engine over time.
- Use High-Quality Fuel: Using high-quality fuel with the recommended octane rating can improve the performance and lifespan of your engine.
- Replace Air Filter: The air filter prevents dirt and debris from entering your engine. A dirty air filter can cause your engine to work harder, leading to reduced fuel efficiency and potential damage.
By following these tips, you can help prevent future engine issues and keep your car running smoothly.
If your car engine only runs with the key in the start position, it can be a frustrating and potentially dangerous issue. However, by diagnosing the problem and taking the necessary steps to fix it, you can get your car back on the road safely. Additionally, by following regular maintenance and taking precautions to prevent future engine issues, you can avoid similar problems in the future.
In conclusion, by understanding the causes and solutions of engine problems, you can keep your car running smoothly for years to come. If you’re experiencing issues with your car engine, don’t hesitate to take it to a professional mechanic for diagnosis and repair.