quattro Digest, Vol 25, Issue 37

Grant gfl1 at optonline.net
Mon Nov 28 23:02:06 EST 2005

Zero keys.  Plastic key fob.  Always. Good comment though, read on.

However, driver is older, and does not have a great deal of hand 
strength. I've commented that she just might be forcing it sideways was 
she twists it. This is not a popular comment:-)

On Nov 28, 2005, at 9:46 AM, Mitchell Segal wrote:

> Hi Grant,
> I know this might not sound like a very technical answer, but since 
> you seem
> to have a much higher rate of failures than anyone else, on a part 
> that is
> basically independant of all others that you're completely replacing, 
> so the
> problems shouldn't keep coming back, perhaps it's time to start 
> looking at
> how you use the switch differently compared to everyone else, that 
> would
> cause all these failures.
> One thing that comes to mind is something I read a very long time ago. 
>  Are
> you one of these people who walk around with dozens of keys on their
> keychain?  Do you have some heavy keychain bobbles along with your 
> keys?
> All that extra weight might be causing the problems.
> The theory used to be that the extra weight puts an unneccessary 
> strain on
> the switch/tumblers, causing a heavy pull downward all the time, 
> putting
> extra strain on the switch innards / contacts, thus wearing them out 
> faster.
> First I would dump about 1/2 of them which you probably don't ever use 
> (put
> them on a second ring, leave it in the glovebox).  Do you really need 
> to
> carry around your key to the shed or to the boat 365 days a year?
> If you can't lose some keys, then try one of those key rings where you 
> can
> detach parts of it, and take off the car key when you drive.  Not only 
> will
> it reduce the weight, but you won't have that annoying jingle of car 
> keys
> rattling around and banging into your knees.
> If you have a normal amount of keys (4-5 I would think is normal), 
> then you
> might want to start thinking about what else you could be doing 
> different
> that would cause all these failures.
> - Do you use excessive twisting force on the key when starting?  
> (Holding
> the key in the start position with excessive force)?
> - Do you turn the wheel all the way and then lock it into place when 
> you
> remove the key, such that when you start the car the next day, there 
> is so
> much pressure on the lock that it's hard to turn the key without first
> moving the steering wheel back an forth, to remove the pressure on the 
> key
> lock?
> My guess is, if it's not the weight of the keys, then maybe it's the
> steering wheel lock always putting a lot of pressure on the key lock, 
> and
> you're forcing the key to turn instead of first releasing the pressure 
> by
> turning the wheel.
> When something like this fails so often for you, but so rarely for 
> anyone
> else, it usually ends up being something the driver is doing wrong.
> Like the people who complain that their brakes don't last and they get 
> poor
> mileage, and then you take a look and you see that these are the 
> people who
> drive with their left foot on the brake, but who claim they're not 
> putting
> any weight on the brakes at all.
> Hope this helps.
> Mitchell
>> Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2005 08:28:20 -0500
>> From: Grant <gfl1 at optonline.net>
>> Subject: Either odd no-start problem or the world record for broken
> ignition switches - HEEEEELLPP!
>> This is re; an A6Q 1995 (C4) auto.  Over the last <2 years, 3 ignition
> switches have been replaced.  >The original for the "non return to 
> start"
> bugaboo, and two more for a different problem - the car >would crank 
> but not
> start, or crank-catch-die.
>> This weekend #4 was replaced.
>> This is getting to be a problem, and my mom (the owner/driver) is 
>> getting
> scared to drive her car.
>> Symptoms:
>> a) car cranks great
>> b) when it does run (its intermittent) it runs great. Might stall very
> occasionally.
>> c) no pre-run of fuel pump in "run" position
>> d) no power to fuel pump/injectors/coil (e.g.: it is not a specific
>> problem in any one of those subsystems)
>> This weekend, after two prof mechanics were stumped, and after I spent
> several hors looking over
>> ECU wiring, harnesses, etc., I put a new switch in and all was right 
>> in the
> world. Starts and runs >perfectly.
>> So what could make switches die on 3-4 month intervals, after the
>> original going 8+ years?
>> Thanks all!
>> Grant

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