Join Date: Jan 2008
Car: 2000 Legacy Wagon, 2.5L
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Starting problem - Ignition switch?
I have had intermittent starting problems in my 2000 OB for over a year and a half now. When I say intermittment, I mean it has not stranded me or my wife anywhere, and hasn't been consistent enough to diagnose. Basically, there are periods (usually extremities of temperature) when the car simply won't turn over when you turn the key, though all other electrical functions work fine. If you keep switching the ignition, it will typically kick over. Since my wife drives this car most of the time, I don't experience this when this occurs. Like most wives, mine doesn't mention a mechanical problem until it has become serious.
However, I recall the last time I had a similar problem with another car, it was on an old BMW I had. A mechanic quickly traced the problem to a worn-out ignition switch. Today, I noticed something about the OB I should noticed before: the cylinder the key slips into is not that snug. With the key in the switch, it might have 1/32" of play to move around. The wife mentioned that she got it to start by rapping the steering column! Is there any way for me to determine if the ignition switch is the problem short of trying to hotwire it?
Any suggestions welcome. I haven't the vaguest idea of how to get the a new switch rekeyed, but I assume the dealer will do this. I expect someone here has gone through this before.