FOR dependable vehicle operation, it’s essential, for starters, to prevent ignition system failure. That way, you won’t be left stranded by the side of the road.
How to tell
“Symptoms of ignition problems include dimming of headlights and interior lights, illuminated ‘Check Engine’ and battery lights, and failure of accessories to operate,” explained Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council—the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” campaign promoting regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair. “It’s a good idea to look into these symptoms immediately to prevent ignition failure from bringing your car to a complete stop.”
What to do
Driving habits such as frequent engine on-off cycles cause more wear on the starter than a simple trip back and forth to work. Other factors, including driving and weather conditions, mileage, vehicle age and excessive electrical draws like in-vehicle entertainment systems, can affect the ignition system as well.
Since the fuel injection system and car battery are linked to the ignition system, a problem can be difficult to diagnose because it may be caused by one of many factors, such as a dead car battery, faulty ignition switch, worn-out spark plugs, bad fuel injectors, ignition coil problems, fuel pump failure or starter motor failure.
“It’s a good idea to include an ignition system checkup in your vehicle maintenance schedule,” added White.
To help motorists follow a vehicle maintenance program, a free digital “Car Care Guide” can be found on the council’s website at www.carcare.org/car-care-guide. The guide is in English and Spanish and includes information on service interval schedules, questions to ask a technician, and tips to drive smart and save money. North American Precis Syndicate