Ignition Lock Cylinders & Keys
The ignition lock cylinder is what the key is placed in and turned to start the vehicle. It initiates a charge from the battery to be transferred to the ignition system which then amplifies the voltage until it is enough to be transferred to the distributor. The distributor then sends the charge to the spark plugs and the engine starts. When the ignition lock cylinder goes bad the vehicle will not start. There may be no reaction when the key is turned, or it may crank but not start. Or it may be difficult to turn the key at all, as if it is jammed. All of these symptoms may be the ignition lock cylinder. To replace the cylinder, the steering wheel may need to be removed. That requires special tools and this job might be best left to one with experience. Some vehicles have the ignition in the dash or in other locations.