Dodge Ram 1500 Ignition Switch Problems (How to Troubleshoot & Fix Them)

It feels natural to get into your Dodge Ram 1500, turn over your ignition switch, and zoom off like many other cars. The bad news is that that isn’t always the case with Dodge Ram 1500.

The vehicle has some history of ignition switch problems, which are attributed to minor design flaws. At the same time, other causes could result from the user’s maintenance habits or driving experience.

The good news is that the issues with Dodge Ram ignition switch, despite being associated with other common notorious issues like your fuse blowing, ignition wearing out, or immobilizer problems, have some pretty exciting solutions.

We’ll take you through some of the Dodge Ram 1500 ignition switch problems and what you can do about them.

READ MORE > Dodge ram 1500 3 inch lift after and before guide.

What are the Symptoms of Ignition Switch Failures?

Your ignition key is one of your truck’s most vital and indispensable electrical components.

For vehicles that aren’t keyless ignitions, constant use of the ignition key is prone to wear out over time, creating numerous issues for the driver.

You can look out for some telltale signs when the ignition problems are about to set in.

01. When driving, the car occasionally stalls.

One of the first things you notice when your vehicle’s ignition has begun to malfunction is your vehicle stalling when it’s operating. Many drivers dread this sign a lot due to how frustrating it can be.

The mechanism behind this is that if the ignition switch abruptly fails while the vehicle engine is still running, it most likely would cut off power to the fuel systems and ignition.

Depending on how serious the problem is, your car may not come on after serial trials until after a while.

02. The car comes on but stalls suddenly.

A symptom similar to the above one is your vehicle actually starting and suddenly stalling. At the “on” position, if the ignition fails, your vehicle may start and then immediately stall.

This is because the ignition switch technically turns on the fuel pump and ignition system, and when it fails, the abruptness causes the engine to turn itself off at once.

Also, the mechanism is that power is momentarily provided to the fuel pump in its cranking position. This may initiate the vehicle starting.

However, if the ignition falls at the “on” position, power will automatically be cut off to the fuel as soon as you move the key to the “on” position.

This means that you may achieve some success cranking the car, but once the key is now in its resting state, it may not stay that way.

03. The engine fails to start.

Even though an engine refusing to start could indicate a wide range of issues, one of them is commonly a bad ignition switch.

The ignition switch is responsible for sending power to the engine controls, the starter motor, and the ignition controls.

All these systems may not start if they don’t get the power they need to,  caused by the ignition not functioning properly.

Sometimes, the battery is the problem, but it may stay unresolved after jumping off the vehicle. This could be a pointer that the problem lies with the ignition.

04. The accessories are difficult to power.

Another common pointer to bad ignition is when you have difficulty powering the car’s accessories.

Normally, when you insert the key and turn it to the “acc,” it should cause the interior lights to come on and other electrical components, including the dashboard light.

If after you’ve inserted your car key and tried turning it to the “acc” and it fails to come on, there are two most likely probable causes – the ignition switch or the lock cylinder.

Bear in mind that an issue like this can also be caused by wiring or the fuse. So you may need to have your vehicle diagnosed first.

05. Difficulty turning or removing your car key.

If you notice your ignition key always getting stuck when turning on your car or attempting to remove the key, it may be a pointer to a worn-out ignition switch.

The most probable cause is that the key is no longer hooked rightly inside the switch.

A precautionary measure you should be aware of is that a malfunctioning switch could cause your engine to keep running, even after the key is pulled out.

Ignition switches are, among other switches in a vehicle, one of the most frequently used ones.

Like many other vehicle electrical components, they can wear out and need replacement. You should schedule one if there’s a need.

Common Dodge Ram 1500 Ignition Switch Problems

01. Blown fuse

As far as Dodge Ram vehicles are concerned, this is one of the most common ignition problems you’d face as a user.

There are different types of fuses, as well as there are different things that could lead to a fuse blowing up, and a bad ignition switch is always associated with it.

Since fuses work in a pretty basic way, it’s not too difficult to identify this fault. So, how do you know your fuse has blown up?

Well, the first thing you notice is that the backlight of your Dodge Ram might cease working. You may also notice that you have difficulty using your radio. In worst-case scenarios, you may lose a turn signal.

A common way to diagnose if there is a blown fuse is to check for an electrical short circuit. You can also examine your strips to see if they’re fine or have melted a little. Also, ensure all the wires are checked.

Many reasons can cause your fuse to blow. It could be the distributor being faulty; other times, it could be caused by fuel injection. Other problems are problems with wiring or with the coil.

Solutions to a blowing fuse:

  1. Look for the fuse that’s gone and the point where power is lost. Then turn off the lights from the malfunctioned points, and have other appliances disconnected.
  2. Using the electrical panel disconnects the major source of power.
  3. Look for the fuse box.
  4. Examine the state of the fuses and try identifying the bad fuse.
  5. After you have identified the bad fuse, replace it with a new functioning one.

02. The entire ignition switch fails.

One notorious thing about Dodge trucks is that the vehicle’s entire ignition can fail. Many things can result from this, and one of them is temperature.

You may then ask, how do I know my ignition switch is bad? Well, you may be very unfortunate to have your car refusing to obey ignition commands when you try turning it on. First sign!

Another way you may know is no noise coming from the engine after you’ve turned the key. Flickering dashboard lights are also a printer to this.

Ignition switches Dodge Ram varies according to years and models. So, if your Dodge is refusing to start,  call a mechanic to have the ignition switch examined.

Solution to ignition failure:

No need to dwell too much on this. If you have a bad ignition, your only solution might be to change the whole ignition switch.

Considering the cost of Dodge parts, it may cost you some pocket-drilling amount of bucks, but driving with a faulty ignition switch may cost you your life, so what would it be? Choose!

03. Your ignition cylinder gets worn out.

The manufacturers did not immortalize your Dodge ignition cylinders. They could wear out.

So if you notice the to turn itself out of LOCK, or it’s often falling out of the cylinder, then you’ve got a pretty serious ignition switch problem.

Solution to worn out cylinders:

Try purchasing a new lockset and keys. If it’s so bad, you may have to buy a new cylinder too. Our suggestion is that you go for a matched lockset that includes the door as well as the trunk cylinders.

04. Immobilizer problems

Another common type of ignition switch problem is issues with immobilizers. Some Dodge Ram 1500 use transponder keys, which usually are caught in a problem like this.

To make this clearer to you, models like this require that whenever the key is inserted, it has to match the vehicle, which identifies it by a code.

So what problems do Dodge immobilizers cause? With a bad immobilizer, you will deal with locking and unlocking issues in your truck.

Your keys would also refuse to turn, which apparently would cause your engine not to start.

If your vehicle has an alarm system, it would also not work. If you’re faced with issues like this, you may have immobilizer issues.

So what could cause immobilizer problems in the Dodge Ram 1500? A common culprit is usually an unprogrammed key code or a damaged key.

Also, if your immobilizer antenna wire is broken or you have a dead battery, the codes won’t match.

Solution to immobilizer problems

If you have a dead battery, then you need to replace it. But first, you have to make sure it’s the battery. How to do this is to test the voltage.

If it’s more than 12 volts, it’s fine. If you have a battery life lower than that, you need to change it.

If you want to diagnose an immobilizer problem, you have to take the vehicle to a technician to have it looked at.

Dodge Ram 1500 ignition switch replacement and replacement costs

Replacing your Dodge ram ignition isn’t as difficult as you may have imagined. You will find this resourceful if you’ve got a little bit of auto-technician training or basic awareness.

Step 1: Disconnect the battery

This is done to minimize the chances of an airbag deploying accidentally. You have to remove the black cable and allow the car to idle for about 30 minutes.

Step 2: Take out the panels of the steering column

On the bottom part of the cover of the steering column, use a T20 screwdriver to take out the two screws you find there, then remove one screw you find near the tilt lever.

After this, please take out the tilt lever handle by dragging it down, then remove the covers finally.

Step 3: Take out the ignition switch

The ignition switch is always held in positions by two Torx screws and is always behind the lever mechanism.

Using a T25 Torx screwdriver, take out one screw beneath the lever mechanism. After doing this, take out one screw from beneath the ignition switch.

On the ignition switch connector at the rear, drag back the red tab and disconnect it from the wire of the dash harness. Then, drag back the tab on the front switch, and unplug it.

Step 4: Install the new ignition switch.

You have to do this in a reverse mechanism of the old one.

If you’re going to hire a mechanic to do this for you, you have to make it ready, between $200 and $290. This includes the cost of labor, which may cause you between an $80 and $110 deficit.

Bear in mind, however, that the price may vary depending on the year model and that taxes are excluded too. Nonetheless, you should be able to find a decent peg around that price range.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I start my Dodge Ram even with a bad ignition switch?

You can start your truck if your ignition switch is bad. All you have to do is connect the vehicle’s solenoid to the positive terminal of your battery.

Remove the ignition wire plug of the solenoid, then connect it to where the ignition switch is, using a screwdriver. This will activate the solenoid and rev your car to life.

Where is the ignition key located in Dodge Ram 1500?

Where you insert your key isn’t your car’s ignition switch. It’s the lock cylinder. This is what houses the key. You’d find the ignition switch beside the lock cylinder.

 Can I troubleshoot my ignition switch myself?

Once you’ve identified the problem with the ignition switch, you can troubleshoot the switch yourself. All it requires is simple DIY steps, which you can find here.

Conclusion

Dodge Ram 1500 can have several ignition problems, of which some are life-threatening. Once you’ve identified the ignition problem, the next step is to apply some of the fix hacks provided in this post to repair it.

If it doesn’t work, consult a professional technician to have it fixed. We strongly recommend you don’t carry out the hacks if you don’t know how to go about it.

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