The ignition switch is a critical component of any vehicle. It is responsible for sending the signal to the starter motor to turn on the engine and to make sure that it runs properly. Without it, the vehicle would remain stuck in the “off” position and would be unable to start. So, it’s important to understand how the ignition switch works and what it does.
Simply put, the ignition switch is an electrical device that contains several positions with a set of contacts in each position. Each position corresponds to a different part of the starting process. The positions are typically labeled “off”, “on”, “start”, “accessory” and “run”. When the driver turns the key, it moves the switch from one position to the next in a specific order. Depending on the particular ignition system, some of these positions may not exist.
The most common type of ignition switch used today is the Briggs and Stratton ignition switch. This type of switch has four wires connected to it. The colors of the wires are usually red, black, yellow, and green. Red is usually the power wire and is connected to the positive terminal of the battery, black is the ground wire and is connected to the negative terminal of the battery, yellow is the ignition wire which turns the engine on, and green is the accessory wire which provides power to the accessories such as lights, wipers, etc.
When the ignition switch is in the “off” position, no power is sent to the starter motor, so the engine won’t start. In the “on” and “start” positions, power is sent to the starter motor, which then turns the engine over and starts the combustion process. The “accessory” position sends power to the accessories, and the “run” position keeps the engine running after it has been started.
Possible Reasons For Ignition Switch Failure
An ignition switch can fail for several reasons. One of the most common causes is corrosion due to rust and water damage. This can cause the switch to become stuck in one position or prevent it from moving at all. Another common cause is a faulty connection between the battery and the switch. This can result in insufficient power being sent to the starter motor, preventing the engine from starting. In addition, a broken or worn out switch can also cause the engine to not start.
Testing the Continuity of an Ignition Switch
If your ignition switch is not working correctly, it’s important to test the continuity of the switch. To do this, you’ll need an ohmmeter and a wiring diagram. Start by connecting the ohmmeter to the two main connectors on the switch. Set the ohmmeter to the appropriate scale. If it reads between 0 and 5 ohms, it means that the switch is working correctly. If it reads anything higher, it means that the switch isn’t working properly and needs to be replaced.
Replacing an Ignition Switch on a Briggs and Stratton Engine
If your ignition switch needs to be replaced, it’s relatively easy to do. First, disconnect the battery and remove the old switch. Then, install the new switch in the same position as the old one. Connect the red wire to the positive terminal, the black wire to the negative terminal, the yellow wire to the “run” position and the green wire to the “accessory” position. Reconnect the battery and test the switch to make sure it’s working properly.
It’s always important to take safety precautions when working on the ignition switch. Make sure you disconnect the battery before doing anything else. Wear eye protection and gloves to protect yourself from any sparks that might occur. Also, be sure to check for any loose or frayed wires before connecting them to the switch. Finally, make sure that the switch is securely fastened to the dashboard before testing it.
If your ignition switch isn’t working properly, there are several things you can do to troubleshoot the issue. First, check for any loose or frayed wires. Make sure they are connected properly to the switch and to the battery. Next, check the continuity of the switch using an ohmmeter. If it reads higher than 5 ohms, the switch should be replaced. Finally, make sure the switch is securely fastened and that all connections are clean and tight.
In conclusion, the ignition switch is an important component of any vehicle. It is responsible for sending the signal to the starter motor to turn on the engine and to make sure that it runs properly. It’s important to understand how the ignition switch works and what it does. It’s also important to take safety precautions when working on the ignition switch and to be aware of potential problems and how to fix them. By following these tips and taking proper care of your ignition switch, you can keep your vehicle running smoothly.
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