05 Silverado Ignition Switch Symptoms with Cause and Solution

The Chevrolet Silverado is a popular and one of the best-selling trucks in the USA.

The Chevy Silverado 1500 is a half-ton light-duty pickup truck, while Silverado 2500 and 3500 are heavy-duty pickup trucks.

Even though the truck is reliable, it can develop problems over time, and one of them is the Silverado ignition switch.

If you’re looking for symptoms of a faulty ignition switch, you’ve come to the right place.

Throughout this article, I have described the symptoms of a bad ignition switch, its causes, and the solution.

What is an Ignition Switch?

The ignition switch or starter is a system or assembly responsible for starting a vehicle’s engine with the correct key.

An ignition lock cylinder is included in the system that controls the whole process.

Generally, the switch is located near the ignition lock or on the right side of the steering column.

The ignition switch is a safety feature that prevents thieves and children from starting the vehicle without permission.

Generally, the function of an ignition switch is based on four positions, such as the off, accessory, run, and start positions.

The ‘off or lock’ means there is no power supply in any circuit, and the steering wheel is locked.

The transmission gear is also locked if the vehicle has an automatic transmission system.

In the ‘accessory’ position, the vehicle’s electrical components, such as the light, instrument cluster, radio, and center console, will be activated.

All components will activate except the starter if you switch to the ‘run’ position.

And in the last “start” position, the starter is turned on to start the engine so the car can move.

05 Silverado Ignition Switch Symptoms

There are 05 most common Silverado ignition switch symptoms: the engine won’t start, the truck stalls while driving, intermittent issues, the key won’t turn, or electrical issues.

Let’s discuss the bad ignition switch symptoms elaborately:

01. Engine Won’t Start

Engine Won’t Start

The most common symptom of a Silverado’s bad ignition switch is that the engine won’t start.

If you are trying to start the truck and the truck refuses, it may be a sign of the starter or ignition switch malfunctioning.

However, other electrical issues or a dead battery may also be to blame for this problem.

So, before making any decision, it is imperative to check the ignition switch properly.

02. The Truck Stalls while Driving

The Truck Stalls while Driving

The vehicle may stall while driving when the ignition switch doesn’t work properly.

A faulty ignition switch causes the engine to shut off and reduces the vehicle’s power.

A faulty ignition switch also causes poor shifting when turning on the lights and radio.

Vehicle stalling is dangerous, especially if you are on the highway.

So, take ignition issues seriously.

You can jumpstart your truck if you suddenly face a stalling problem.

03. Intermittent Problems

A bad ignition switch causes intermittent problems.

Intermittent problems mean you may experience occasional engine starting issues.

Your dashboard light may flash sometimes, and other accessories may fail to function appropriately.

Intermittent problems require a complete diagnosis of all the related components, which is time-consuming.

You can hire an experienced mechanic for the diagnosis.

04. The Key Won’t Turn

The Key Won’t Turn

This is the most common sign of a bad ignition switch.

Typically, a worn-out or damaged key, issues with the lock cylinder, and a bad ignition switch cause the problem.

05. Electric Supply Issues

If the ignition switch fails, you may experience electric supply issues, such as problems with headlights, radio, and dashboard turning on.

When these problems happen, it’s time to inspect the ignition switch and take the necessary steps.

You can watch the video for more:

What Causes an Ignition Switch to Go Bad?

Several problems can cause the ignition switch to malfunction.

Here are the most common causes:

  • Worn-out or damaged keys
  • Temperature issues
  • Broken springs
  • Manufacturer defect

The above problems can lead to a bad ignition switch, which makes it hard to start your truck smoothly.

How to Test Ignition Switch?

There are several methods of testing a faulty ignition switch.

Among them, using a multimeter to test the ignition switch is the simplest method.

Follow this 06 steps method:

  1. Remove the casing cover from the ignition switch under the steering wheel.
  2. Keep your multimeter in the 20-volt range (DC) to get an accurate result.
  3. Now, connect the multimeter’s negative/black cable to your car body and the red/positive line to the opposite side of the ignition switch.
  4. Turn on the ignition switch and check the reading.
  5. The voltage should be 12 volts.
  6. A difference of 0.5 volts above or below 12 volts can be considered acceptable, but a large difference indicates a malfunctioning ignition switch.

Check out this video of the testing process:

How to Fix a Malfunctioning Silverado Ignition Switch?

If you are experiencing any of the above ignition switch symptoms, you must identify what causes the problem and solve it.

The following steps may help you to resolve the problem:

  1. First, check your key; replace it if worn out or damaged.
  2. Inspect the battery and other charging systems properly.
  3. Checking the charging system and electrical components is complicated, and you may need mechanical assistance.
  4. Inspect the lock cylinder properly, and if there is any problem found, resolve it.
  5. If the ignition switch is faulty, replace it with a new one.
  6. Take a professional mechanic’s help if you are having issues inspecting all the components.


Is fixing an ignition switch easy?

Not really, since fixing ignition switch problems is a complex procedure.

The steering wheel has to come off to fix the ignition switch.

The airbag is also close to the switch, so be careful.

Hiring a professional mechanic is a smart idea in this case.

How much does it cost to replace ignition switch in truck?

Replacing an ignition switch costs around $250 to $300.

The parts cost about $180 to $210, and the labor cost is about $80 to $90.

How do you start a truck with a bad ignition switch?

If the ignition switch is bad, you can use jumper cables to start your truck from another vehicle.

Hotwire is another option that connects the battery to the starter directly.

Final Thoughts

Chevrolet Silverado is a reliable and durable truck, but like any other vehicle, it may encounter some problems too.

You should inspect all the necessary components when you notice ignition switch symptoms.

You can follow the steps in the article to fix the ignition switch problems.

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