Porsches are one of a kind. Their unique design along with high quality performance and an ongoing reliability has made them a popular vehicle. However, it is easy to forget how incredibly delicate and complex a machine like a Porsche vehicle can be. Therefore, ensuring that you perform the best maintenance possible is key to guaranteeing the highest endurance and life span of your vehicle.
When you notice something malfunctioning or failing in your Porsche, it is important to address it as soon as possible in order to avoid further damage. One item that is a common pain point in Porsches is the ignition lock. Being on alert for recognizing early symptoms of ignition lock failure can help you spot the problem quickly so you can get it taken care of before the problem grows.
The ignition lock assembly is composed of several parts that can wear out with time. There are rare occasions when ignition lock issues seem to be encountered prematurely with more modern models. That is why in this article we will provide you with the main reasons why this mechanism in your Porsche is prone to failure and what can you do about it.
What’s the Ignition Lock?
The ignition lock is the mechanism that allows a car to start functioning. It is the place where you insert and turn in the key so that the ignition process begins, and the car starts running.
Many recent Porsche models come with a more modern ignition cylinder that allows the car to get started without using any key. Nevertheless, there are still many models that still have the good old turn-key mechanism which has a total of three notches. Each one, when gradually clicked as the key turns, starts a specific set of systems within the car.
It is easy to imagine how a failure in this mechanism can bring immediate difficulties, as you may run into trouble just trying to get the car started.
Causes of Ignition Lock Failure
There are various reasons for a failure on the ignition lock, the most common ones being:
Excessive, ongoing wear: This option is most common for older Porsche vehicles or cars with higher mileage. As they have undergone extensive lock and key wear, they both start to eventually wear out, causing ignition problems.
Bind column lock: This may be an obstacle as well because the ignition switch won’t turn when the key is inserted, or on the contrary, it may prevent the key from being removed when you turn off the engine.
The interlock solenoid may be damaged: This may be due to a defective solenoid, an electrical fault between the ignition switch circuits and the interlock solenoid, or binding in the shift interlock linkage.
Recognizing Ignition Lock Failure Symptoms
Recognizing early symptoms of an ignition lock failure in your vehicle can help prevent you from being stranded in a parking lot where you can’t start your vehicle. The early symptoms you should keep an eye out for are:
- Having trouble at engaging the vehicle’s power, as well as experiencing difficulties utilizing the various functions that the ignition positions allow.
- Experiencing general starting issues like having difficulty getting the key in and out of ignition.
- Struggling with turning the ignition back to the off position.
To help prevent ignition lock failure, try not to put too much weight on your keyring as this can accelerate deterioration of both the key and the tumbler part of the ignition switch. Keep in mind that in order for the ignition lock to work properly, even after it gets fixed, the car needs to have a fully functioning battery, as the battery feeds power to the ignition switch each time it gets turned on.
If your vehicle is experiencing these issues, the ignition switch might need to be partially or totally replaced. This is often a complicated procedure that might require the removal of the steering column, and should only be attempted by a professional — preferably a professional with extensive experience with Porsches.
If you suspect you may be experiencing ignition lock failure in your Porsche, come speak with our experts at Foreign Automotive. Located in Ontario, we also serve the surrounding areas, including Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge. Stop by today to speak with our service technicians about any maintenance or service needs you may have.
* Porsche Cayman image credit goes to: SusanaValera.