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ignition lock getting hot


Seafoam65
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I drove back from a car show today, about a 30 minute drive, and when I removed the ignition

key on my Riviera it was very very warm. I touched my fingers to the face of the ignition lock and it felt

like it was almost hot enough to burn my fingers if I held them on there. I did have the A/C on next to high

blower with the controls on vent. Anybody have this problem and what did you find....bad switch? burned

connector on back of switch? There is no burning smell, just lots of heat on the ignition lock. It would seem

odd that I would have a problem on the ignition switch at 56,000 miles.

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The obvious answer (Ockham's razor) is that there is too much amperage passing through the ignition switch.

This would normally mean you have too many accessories turned on that pass through the switch.

Since it seems you never had this problem before, it could mean the one of the accessories are using more current than it has in the past. This could be something like the bearings going bad in the fan motor.

It's important to figure out. First comes heat. Then comes smoke. Then comes fire.

Edited by Dwight Romberger (see edit history)
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I drove back from a car show today, about a 30 minute drive, and when I removed the ignition

key on my Riviera it was very very warm. I touched my fingers to the face of the ignition lock and it felt

like it was almost hot enough to burn my fingers if I held them on there. I did have the A/C on next to high

blower with the controls on vent. Anybody have this problem and what did you find....bad switch? burned

connector on back of switch? There is no burning smell, just lots of heat on the ignition lock. It would seem

odd that I would have a problem on the ignition switch at 56,000 miles.

Check the plug at the rear of the switch. Chances are the terminals lost their tension thru heating and cooling cycles and are arcing causing the heat. Replace the terminals and all should be OK but the long term fix is to wire in an accessory relay.

Tom Mooney

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I drove back from a car show today, about a 30 minute drive, and when I removed the ignition

key on my Riviera it was very very warm. I touched my fingers to the face of the ignition lock and it felt

like it was almost hot enough to burn my fingers if I held them on there. I did have the A/C on next to high

blower with the controls on vent. Anybody have this problem and what did you find....bad switch? burned

connector on back of switch? There is no burning smell, just lots of heat on the ignition lock. It would seem

odd that I would have a problem on the ignition switch at 56,000 miles.

Mine does that also.

Half of the fuses in the little fuse panel feed through the switch (wipers, radio, A/C, etc.). The other half of the fuses feed directly from the battery (hot all the time). That puts a lot of current through that switch. Just a few ohms of resistance will generate a lot of heat.

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Over the years I have notice the warm key experience on a few cars, mostly 1960's Cadillacs. There can be a lot of current through the ignition switch and I attributed that to be the cause. I toyed with the idea of an ignition relay as a way to reduce the current. That is the most constant flow. The design ampacity of the switch should prevent the heat so resistance is building up somewhere. Visual inspection or and ohmmeter should find it.

My idea of a relay was to reduce the possibility of failure of a hard to get ignition switch.

Bernie

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Seafoam, I have found (by personal experience) that if you attach some modern electronics via the cigar lighter socket (or supply line) you can get this condition - like a GPS, Sat Radio, cell phone charger, Modern Sound Amplifier. You can use a relay to set up a new circuit to power the electronics. I decided to go with a small 12V Battery Backup battery (I got tons of them around for a business I have) with a completely independent circuit, that incidentally can be removed in seconds for any shows that may frown on that in their judging. Incidentally the connector that was attached on the back of the ignition switch had signs that it was starting to melt - I replaced all of the connections with spade connectors along with the separate 12v circuit for modern electronics and it runs cool.

Thought I would share my mistake to potentially avoid any potential meltdowns and fires that could destroy one of these old girls and could cause bodily injury.

I see that you are from Plano - I used to travel there regularly when I worked for the GM subsidiary that was purchased from Perot.

Rock On

gord

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