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SINCE CAR WONT CRANK. NOW IS THE TIME TO REPLACE THE IGNITION SWITCH KEY LOCK CYLINDER ITS BROKEN THAT WHY THE CAR KEYS WOULDNT TURN OFF CAR.DISCONNECTING BATTERY CABLES WITH CAR RUNNIMG WILL.SHORT OUT ALTERNATOR AND PCM.IF IN CASE YOU HAD TO REMOVE BATTERY CABLE REMOVE THE GROUND NEGATIVE CABLE FIRST.MAKE SURE ALL ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS OFF LIKE RADIO. AC SYSTEM OFF.THIS WILL PREVENT LARGE ELECTRICAL ARC FROM BATTERY THIS IS ONE TIME PROCEDURE IN CASE ENGINE WONT SHUT OFF ITS A GAMBLE BECAUSE IT WILL TAKE OUT ALTERNATOR AND PCM.REPLACE THE SWITCH AND KEY LOCK CYLINDER DONT KEEP STARTING CAR BY DISCONNECTING THE BATTERY CABLE YOU WILL DAMAGE IGNITION ELECTRICAL SYSTEM.
You might want to see what voltage is getting to the starter motor.
You will need a meter!!!
Check the battery voltage, and then meter ground and the large wire cable at the starter (Attatches at the solenoid) The voltage should be the same. (With the key off)
Now, check the smaller wire at the starter solenoid, as it should have battery voltage only when the key is turned to "start." If you have these, the starter is probably bad. Remove it and get it tested at an auto parts store.
When you say "turn key dash lights go out and all is dead", do the lights come back on when you turn the key back to "off"?
With key off, try turning on your headlights- are they bright?
Flip to high beams-do they get brighter?
**If lights get dim while trying this, it's the battery-(dead/needs charged or replaced-which may have been caused by a bad alternator).
Leave lights on, now turn your ignition switch to "on"-do the lights get dim or go out?
Try and start the car-anything change?
If the lights were fine until you tried to start the car, more than likely your battery terminals need cleaning/tightening.
The lights should at least get dim when you try and start the car but only while the starter turns over: when the engine is running your lights (as well as all your other electrics) are powered by the alternator.
If you do all this and lights are okay all through this procedure, your problem is probably in your starter circuit. (Starter relay, ignition/key switch)