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The ignition switch is the most critical part of a vehicle. It lets the engine spark and start smoothly. However, certain issues may make it fail to perform its functions. However, here, I will guide you to troubleshoot Mazda 3 ignition switch Problems.
Loose connections or corrosion on ignition terminals are the major issues with bad ignition switches. You may need to tighten the connections or replace the corroded parts. However, bad wiring, wafers, and coils may also cause the problem. Also, check for them.
Here, I bring up some of the most reported ignition switch issues and how to fix them.
Symptoms of Mazda 3 Ignition Switch Problem
- Car Won’t Start: If your vehicle struggles to crank its engine or fails to start, corrosion in the ignition system may hinder electricity flow due to a faulty ignition switch.
- Key Won’t Turn: When your key won’t turn in the ignition, your car won’t start either.
- Car Stalls: Stalling while driving, especially after starting, can signal an ignition switch issue.
- No Noise From Starter: If turning the key results in no response, it may be due to the ignition switch failing.
- Dashboard Lights Flicker: Rare but possible; flickering dashboard lights may indicate an ignition switch problem.
- Ignition Constantly Turned On: Unusual but possible; the car continues running after removing the key.
- Issues Powering Accessories: When the key is turned to the “acc” position, I have trouble powering vehicle accessories.
- Issues Turning or Removing Key: Difficulty turning or removing the key and engine running after key removal
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Causes of Mazda 3 Ignition Switch Problem
A bad ignition switch on a Mazda 3 can result from various factors. These issues can disrupt the electrical connection, preventing the engine from starting or causing intermittent failures. I have listed the common causes below.
- Corrosion on the terminals
- Bad wiring
- Loose connections
- WORN-OUT WAFERS
- Ignition switch coil issues
Mazda 3 Ignition Switch Problem [Easy Fixes]
Problem 1: Corrosion on the Terminals
Corrosion on ignition terminals can disrupt the electrical contact. Corrosion can accumulate due to moisture or environmental factors. It may impact the electric supply to the ignition system, and you may face difficulty starting the vehicle.
- Remove the steering column cover; remove the lower cover and then the upper, and access the ignition switch.
- Take out the ignition switch’s bolts to gain access to the terminals.
- Make sure it is clean, but if you see the corrosion, clean it. But if the terminals are too bad, it is better to replace them.
- Take compatible terminals and replace them with faulty ones.
- Once done, mount the switch and put the steering column covers on.
- Switch on the ignition and test its performance to ensure no issues.
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Problem 2: Bad Wiring
Proper wiring is a must for the smooth flow of power from the battery to the ignition system. But wrong connections or improper insulation disrupt the flow. Your ignition system may become erratic.
- Check for the ignition switch wiring and connections after removing the ignition switch.
- Make sure the wires are correctly connected to the correct terminals. If they are wrong, disconnect and reconnect them correctly.
- Once fixed, switch on the vehicle and test the switch’s performance.
Problem 3: Loose Connections
Loose connections in Mazda 3’s ignition switch can disrupt electrical circuits that may cause power issues. Loose connections can interrupt engine start. You need to check the connections to ensure proper power supply to the ignition system.
- Remove the ignition switch and look for the connections on its back. You can physically inspect the connections.
- If any connections are loose, tighten them; otherwise, they should all be sufficiently tight.
- Once tightened, reassemble the switch and switch on the ignition to confirm the issue has been removed.
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Problem 4: Worn-Out Wafers
Wafers in the ignition switch are used for secure connections. If the wafers are worn out, it can result in erratic ignition behavior. It needs immediate attention for a smooth engine start.
- Remove your ignition switch and check for its wafers. They should be in good condition and ensure proper contact with electrical connections.
- If wafers are blown or worn out, remove them and install the new one.
- After replacing the wafers, test the ignition switch and make sure there are no power issues.
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Problem 5: Ignition Switch Coil Issues
The coil in an ignition system is essential for delivering power to the ignition switch for a quick start. But over time, due to different issues, the coil may become faulty; once it becomes faulty, it cannot continue power flow to the ignition. Ultimately, you may experience issues with engine start.
- Check the ignition coil on the back of your ignition switch.
- The ignition coil should be in good condition to ensure the correct power supply.
- If the ignition coil is broken or burned, replace it. For Mazda 3, I recommend the JDMON Ignition Coil.
- Once replaced the ignition coil is replaced, reassemble the ignition system and then test its functioning. Make sure the issue has been removed.
Mazda 3 Ignition Switch Replacement
If you have basic auto knowledge and mechanical skills, replacing the ignition switch can be easy. Below is the step-by-step detail on the Mazda 3 ignition switch replacement.
- Turn your ignition switch off.
- Then, disconnect the battery connections. It will protect you from electric shock while working.
- Remove the lower steering column cover; you will need a screwdriver if the column is mounted on the dashboard.
- Once the lower column is removed, remove the upper steering column cover.
- Now, look for the ignition switch; it will be behind the ignition key cylinder. If you feel it is necessary, you may also need to remove the cylinder.
- Unscrew the bolts holding the ignition switch. Then, disconnect the wires. Once done, carefully remove the ignition switch.
- Now, take a new ignition switch for your Mazda 3. I recommend the Mazda BP4K-66-151B Ignition Starter Switch.
- Mount the new Ignition Switch and secure it with bolts. But make sure you have connected the wires correctly. Then, put the upper steering column and then lower.
- Switch on the ignition and ensure it is working correctly.
Mazda 3 Ignition Switch Replacement Cost
The price of replacing an ignition switch varies based on a few factors, including the brand of the switch, the cost of labor if necessary, and the replacement of other parts. However, the average cost for the ignition switch replacement on Mazda 3 can be between $130 and $480.
Mazda 3 Ignition Key Won’t Turn
The key won’t turn is very common among the major ignition switch issues. If the ignition key on your Mazda 3 is not turning, you may have a worn-out key. But sometimes it happens due to a worn-out switch or an activated theft mode.
- First, check for your key and ensure it is okay. If it is bent or broken, you will need its duplicate. If you don’t have the duplicate key, ask the locksmith to make a duplicate key.
- If the issue is not resolved, check for the ignition switch; if it is faulty, replace it.
- Finally, look for the anti-theft mode; if it is activated, you must deactivate it to ensure smooth key turning in the ignition switch.
Mazda 3 Ignition Switch Recall
Mazda accepted this fault that they used too much grease on electrical contact points when manufacturing cars in the past. Such a high amount of grease can carbonize, and it may also reduce the electrical insulation. Its continuous use can overheat the switches. So, they offer an ignition switch recall service for their vehicle. Almost 4.9 million vehicles fall under this cover.
If you want to avail of this recall, visit the website or their dealership to verify your vehicle number. If your VIN is verified, you will be provided with free repair service.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Can a failing ignition switch cause my car to stall while driving?
Yes, a faulty or broken ignition switch can cause a car to stall when you are on the road. It can disrupt the electrical connections, which may cause power loss to the engine. A sudden power loss may shut down your engine while driving.
Is it dangerous to drive with a failing ignition switch?
Of course, driving with a faulty ignition switch can be risky. It is more severe when you run at high speed among the vehicles on the road and your car suddenly stops. It may cause a dangerous collision of vehicles, which can be very serious. Fixing this issue before running on the road for safety assurance is better.
Can a car still start with a bad ignition switch?
Yes, it can start even if the switch is bad. But for this, you will need to direct your car’s power system to the engine. It can be risky for the engine and also not a reliable option. Only try this when you are in an emergency. Otherwise, repair the switch to ensure a smooth engine start.
Why is the Mazda 3 steering wheel locked while driving?
It can happen when you have issues with the ignition system or the steering column mechanism fails. It can be hazardous and needs immediate repair.
Repairing a faulty ignition switch on Mazda 3 is essential to enjoy a smooth riding experience. It can occur for multiple reasons, so first, diagnose the possible causes once identified and fix them as needed. Be careful and confident in your skills; otherwise, call professional assistance to fix it.