Unless you are a mechanic, chances are that you know very little about the inner workings of a standard ignition or know the scope of standard ignition parts. When you put a key into a vehicle and “turn on” the ignition, several things happen. What appears to be a simple turn of the key is, in fact, a much more complicated process.
Before panicking and calling for an expensive tow truck, a few simple checks can verify if you have a problem with the standard ignition system or if it is a minor issue. Think about the “sound” you heard when attempting to start the car or truck. If you heard a whoosh, then most likely it’s your battery. To check that:
- Open the hood
- Look closely at the battery cables
*Are they secure?
*Do they have corrosion?
*Are the wire shields completely intact?
If not, the battery could very well be your problem and a simple “jump” could solve your immediate problem. You should always follow up with a visit to your mechanic or a thorough self-check of the entire system after the important meeting. If everything battery-wise looks fine, then keep reading.
The Dreaded “click”
This can be most disheartening. The click is usually associated with a bad starter. In this case, call a cab, get to your meeting and prepare to either send the vehicle to your mechanic or delve into the problem yourself given the information found in this article, if you are up for a challenge. The starter is a key component of the standard ignition.
The Silent Treatment
When you find that the motor does not respond to the key at all, this could be several things, but generally you are looking at either the coil pack, also known as the standard ignition coil, or another one of the standard ignition products found in cars and trucks.
The ignition control module
This is a component comprised of a system utilizing a standard ignition coil, or coil pack, and is used to convert voltage into the energy needed to provide the “spark” to spark plugs. In essence, when you turn on the key, the ignition control module takes over and manages the electrical current used by the ignition coil.
This standard ignition part is essentially an induction coil. What it does is increase the base voltage of a car or truck battery to many times the voltage, thereby allowing the system to create the spark needed to ignite the fuel. A resistor may or may not be present depending on the age or make and model of the vehicle.
Once the standard ignition system and the various standard ignition parts have done their job, the spark plugs take over and provide the actual “ignition” process (the flame that ignites the fuel) to take place.