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2002-2005 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2002 P38, 4.6l, in the US, 160,000 miles on the clock.

Insert key into ignition, turn and nothing happens. At first I thought maybe my batteries had died, grabbed a volt meter, both are at 12.8v. Checked that the terminals are tight, and that the other ends (ground, fuse box, etc) are tight - everything good.

Insert key, turn, fires right up. So I think maybe it was just something with one of the battery cables.

Go to store, shut down. Come out, insert key - nothing. Remove key, insert- starts up.

Has happened one more time.

In the past with other vehicles I would just assume that the ignition switch is going bad and replace it.
I did a quick search and cant seem to find that part for the P38, what I have found is a complete steering column with switch and new lock and keys.

Does this sound like a switch issue or should I look at something else?

If yes is there some sort of maintenance I can do to the switch? I have found how to remove the lock tumbler, remove tilt mechanism, and remove switch in the manual.
 

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When you say it does nothing, do you mean absolutely nothing? In pos 1, do the electric windows work? In pos 2 does the dash light up and it just doesn't engage the starter. Or are you saying absolutely nothing?
 

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2002-2005 Range Rover P38A
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95 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Correct sir, absolutely nothing in any position. No dings, no dash, etc. Acts like a dead battery.
 

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Check the post in the fusebox under the bonnet where the cable from the battery goes. It isn't unknown for the joint to break where it is fitted to the pcb. If that looks OK, check for power on the thick brown wires to the BeCM. If you've got power there, it could well be the actual ignition switch itself. Don't expect to see power there though, it switches a ground to the BeCM. You should see a ground on the black wire, when in position 1, the ground will appear on the White/Pink wire, in position 2 it will be on the White/Pink and White and in position 3 it will be on the White and White/Red.
 

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2002-2005 Range Rover P38A
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95 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you I will look into those items :)
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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79 Posts
I've seen a similar issue with an old Astra.
Towed in, no life whatsoever. Nada, Zilch.
A couple of days later put the key in to unlock the steering and all works perfectly. Take it for a drive, stop, start, can't fault it so returned to owner.
Week or so later, towed in, no life whatsoever. Nada, Zilch.
This routine continued for months, sometimes it went, sometimes it didn't. Anyhow on one of it's many test drives it needed fuel. Drove onto the pump, fuelled up, and nothing. Came back to it with a rope and it started without hesitation.
So, what was going on? The keyring had two identical keys on it. Both turned the key barrel - but only one had the chip in it!
 

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2002-2005 Range Rover P38A
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95 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've seen a similar issue with an old Astra.
Towed in, no life whatsoever. Nada, Zilch.
A couple of days later put the key in to unlock the steering and all works perfectly. Take it for a drive, stop, start, can't fault it so returned to owner.
Week or so later, towed in, no life whatsoever. Nada, Zilch.
This routine continued for months, sometimes it went, sometimes it didn't. Anyhow on one of it's many test drives it needed fuel. Drove onto the pump, fuelled up, and nothing. Came back to it with a rope and it started without hesitation.
So, what was going on? The keyring had two identical keys on it. Both turned the key barrel - but only one had the chip in it!
That is funny. I wish that was my issue.
 
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