Be aware of the keys on your ring -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Be aware of the keys on your ring

Thomas Gieryic Thomas Gieryic

A string of problems has resulted in General Motors recalling millions of vehicles in the last two months. The initial recall involved ignition switch defects that resulted in at least a dozen deaths.  

GM has more call center staff on hand for customers and is providing loaner and rental vehicle for customers driving recalled vehicles.  

At Gieryic's Automotive Repair, workers replace about a dozen ignition switches a month.   "This piece just wears out, and you hit a bump in the road and it comes off of that position," said Thomas Gieryic.  

Just this week, shop owner Gieryic replaced an ignition switch on a GM vehicle. Ignition switches are a vital component of a car that he says can cause some major problems if they're not working properly.  

"It could be your airbags that don't work, it could be your anti lock brakes, sometimes it's just as something silly as your air conditioner blower motor stops working," he said.  

2.6 million vehicles are now covered under that ignition switch recall, including the Chevy HHR and Cobalt, as well as the Pontiac Solstice and G5, and the Saturn Ion and Sky. The parts will be replaced free as they become available.  

Gieryic says in general an ignition switch replacement can cost anywhere from $150 to $600. But you can avoid that cost by doing some minor things.

Mechanics say it's not uncommon to see ignition problems in all vehicles but one thing you have to do to avoid replacing that part is lightening the load on your key ring.    

"All these keys that you don't need to operate your vehicle with, and if you take that switch and try to pinch that in your hand, that's a lot of weight and a lot of force... I've got a strong grip, and most people that do that can't even hang on to that. "  

The GM recall has been linked to at least 12 deaths.


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