Fixing a car door buzzer

I was recently in Floriad and happened across a mexican place while heading to the Florida Aquarium. This place called the Tack Bus was a fine place is a transitional neighborhood.

Anyway, the guy working there was a helpful type of guy looking to provide good service, so I decided to put a tip in the tip jar. Well I only had a 5 Dollar Bill and wanted to tip $2, so I asked him for change. They had none and I confessed that I wanted to give him a tip. He looked in the back and did not have any singles so I asked if he personally had any singles?

We went to his car and made the deal.

He was happy and I was happy assuming he’s a minimum wage guy in a poorer neighborhood.

So he happened to mention and lightly ask: “Why is my car buzzer going off when the keys are not in the ignition?

The problem solver in me was shaken awake. So this one is pretty straight forward… there is a switch in the door (a sensor) and one in the ignition key slot. I knew the one in the door was working because the buzzer was going, so surmised the one in the ignition that detects the presence of a key was defective. Apparently people who leave heavier bunches of keys hanging from their ignition key slot over time wear out the mechanism from the dangling and swinging weight.

I mentioned to him that is the most likely cause of the problem… and to jiggle the ignition in order to confirm. He did and with amazement, he said “that was it!”.
I followed up by telling him to spray come contact cleaner inside his ignition switch and turn it a few times, and maybe that would fix it. If not, he would need a new key switch.

I assume I saved him probably $200, certainly the bigger tip. I was happy to help a struggling guy out.

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