Jeep Wrangler Ignition Switch Problems: Easiest Way To Solve These Issues

A Jeep Wrangler is a simple and unique vehicle with some complex and sensitive parts. For example, the ignition switch is an essential part of any car. It helps to initiate the ignition while turning on the engine.

But a damaged switch can give you a nasty headache. Do you want to know more about the Jeep Wrangler ignition switch problem?

You’ll face engine-related issues, battery problems, on-off motor problems, and inadequate power supply to the vehicle’s electrical parts. Sometimes, the key gets stuck inside the ignition. Also, the battery drains faster, resulting in a dead battery.

Fixing the ignition switch issues isn’t a tough job. First, you have to follow some elementary methods to repair the switch. But replacing it is the best option if the ignition switch has gone completely bad.

Usual Jeep Wrangler Ignition Switch Issues

Usual Jeep Wrangler Ignition Switch Issues

Most Jeep Wranglers exhibit different ignition-related issues depending on the model and year of the Jeep. However, you’ll find some common ignition switch problems in these vehicles.

Knowing these issues thoroughly will help you to find an easy solution quickly. So, without wasting time, check out the ignition switch issues.

Engine Starting Problems

You may think the engine starting problem means misfiring. In this scenario, the ignition will give you hope of starting, but it will take some time. This is because the ignition switch fails to deliver the required voltage to the motor and the ignition controls resulting in engine stuttering.


The ignition can’t start without a proper signal, resulting in stalling. In this case, the ignition switch fails to turn on the fuel pump or supply power to the ignition.

Consequently, the engine starts to lose control while driving. Then, the car dies on the road.

The Motor Starts And Then Dies

Some of the latest Jeep Rubicon or Willy models have three spots for the ignition switch. The first position provides power to the car’s electrical devices, while the second spot is responsible for starting the fuel and ignition.

The engine turns on when you move the key to the third position. Generally, the issue starts in the second spot, which means starting the fuel and ignition. Consequently, it fails to deliver the required power to run the motor. As a result, you will face the start-stall issue.

Battery Problems

Battery problems are the most common feature of a damaged ignition key. The ECM (Engine control module), ignition, and fuel pump still run even after turning off the vehicle resulting in a less-charged battery.

Insufficient Power Supply To Electrical Devices

Since the battery drains faster due to the damaged ignition key, meaning supplying power to ignition and ECM, other electrical parts receive poor power. However, you will find issues like DRL problems or sound system problems in the JBL speaker.

But you’ll fail to navigate the location, play the radio, and run the rear defrost without enough power supply from Vehicle’s Diehard or Interstate battery.

A Stuck Ignition Key

The ignition key gets stuck due to dirt in the keyhole or the key itself. Sometimes a worn-out key can’t start the ignition, and keys with broken teeth make the situation even worse.

Dead Jeep

No matter how hard you try, your Wrangler won’t start at any cost. This happens when the ignition cylinder has gone bad. Sometimes, rough use of the key deforms the key and the keyhole, damaging the overall ignition system.

Simple Methods To Fix Wrangler Ignition Switch Problems

ignition switch replacement

As stated earlier, the issues vary depending on the Wrangler model. But the fixing method is almost the same for most Jeep Wranglers.

Most ignition switch-related issues occur due to a stuck ignition key. So, solving the fundamental problems solves the ignition switch problems.

Method 01: Slightly Pull Out The Key

First, put the key in the keyhole about 1/16 of an inch to connect to the pins. Then try to start the engine. The key has probably worn out if this method works.

Method 02: Jiggle The Key Back And Forth

It’s a temporary solution. Insert your Wrangler’s key in the ignition and jiggle it back and forth with gentle pressure. The key can contact the pins at different angles while doing it. So, it might start the ignition.

Method 03: Key Leveling

If you can identify a key, try to level it. Use a rubber mallet to fix the key. Don’t apply too much force because it might break the key. Then, please put it in the ignition to start the car.

Method 04: Slide The Key In And Out Few Times

Sometimes, the ignition system gets dirty with time. As a result, inserting the key a few times may clear the keyhole and start the ignition.

Method 05: Key Cleaning

Many drivers use the ignition key to open various things, resulting in a dirty key. So, the key and key fob fail to connect to the pins correctly. It would be best if you cleaned the dirt off the key before inserting it into the ignition system.

Method 06: Apply Air Pressure

The ignition system gets filled with dirt and debris with time. You might temporarily fix it with the key. But air pressure works like a charm. You can buy canned air from any super shop. Use a straw to apply it properly to clean the ignition system.

Method 07: Cleaning With Electrical Cleaner

Electric cleaners lubricate the keyhole. Like the canned air, use a straw on the nozzle to spray it. But avoid heavy application of these cleaners because that’ll decrease the inside temperature of the ignition system.

Method 8: Replacing Ignition Cylinder

The ignition cylinder is like the heart of the ignition system. If it goes wrong, you must replace it ASAP. It’s tough for a fresh driver to replace the ignition cylinder. As an expert mechanic, it’s simple to replace the cylinder.

Replacement Cost Of A Wrangler’s Defective Ignition Switch

Before replacing your Wrangler’s faulty ignition switch, you must consider some crucial facts. For example, your Wrangler model and year, the repair shop’s location and popularity, and the mechanic’s experience.

The average cost of replacing a damaged ignition switch is around $130 to $480. However, this price may vary depending on your Wrangler’s make and model. In addition, the mechanic will charge you 60 to 180 bucks as a labor fee. Meanwhile, the parts will cost you $70 to $300.

Remember, the repair shops will bill you, excluding the taxes and other additional costs. So, you might spend an extra few bucks while replacing the ignition switch.

Some motor shops have a fixed price with a warranty to fix a faulty ignition switch. For example, ‘your mechanic’ charges 110 to 275 bucks to replace the ignition switch with a 2-month warranty. On the other hand, Mr. Tire charges around $110 to $200 to fix the ignition switch, including labor and parts costs.

Final Words

Like any other vehicle, an ignition switch is crucial to the Wrangler. You’ll face severe problems if you don’t fix them in time. But you shouldn’t try to replace it if you’re an amateur.

We hope the analysis of the Jeep Wrangler ignition switch problems has cleared your doubts. Try to follow various methods to fix your Wrangler’s ignition switch. Sometimes unknown ignition switch-related issues may appear. In that case, you must take your Wrangler to the mechanic for a complete diagnosis.

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