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Car engine runs without key in ignition!

Remember the really bad ?B? movie, ?Christine?? Well, my car runs under its own power, too ? without the key in the ignition. And I can’t turn the engine off when I turn the ignition to off position and pull the key out! I took it into the shop; stumped all the technicians. Only way to kill the engine now is to yank the fuel pump fuse. But then the instrument panel lights and gauges stay on, which drains my battery. Only way to kill them is to disconnect the battery, which will activate the car alarm upon reconnecting. A real nightmare!

What are the possible diagnoses for my troubled car and the range of costs to fix it? By the way, my car’s a 2000 VW Passat 4Motion 4DSedan. 106K miles.

My guess is you need a new ignition switch. This is just a guess, but everything you posted leads me to believe the ignition switch may be the problem. Just a guess.

If all the technicians are stumped, you need a new shop.

Range of costs? It’s a Passat. You will spend money. That’s just the way it is.

If you can find an independent mechanic who understands Volkswagen you may be able to save some money. If you go to a VW dealer you will pay. Big time.

I agree with mcparadise. Unfortunately, VWs are known for phantom electrical problems that can be very hard to track down. You definitely need a new foreign car specialist who is experienced in the quirks of the electrical system of these cars. The ignition switch is definitely a possibility, but it could wind up being far more complex than just that part.

It’s one of three things… The switch is shot, they are usually located on top of the steering column between the pedal arm(s). The switch is connected to the key lock by a sliding rod that runs down through the steering column. The linkage at the lock mite be worn out, so switch can no longer be turned off. Or there is a short between the ignition lead and a hot wire, perhaps behind the fuse block. None of this stuff is easy to gain access to or work on for obvious reasons…A column tear-down is a major job best left to experts…If they want more money than the car is worth, you can buy a “universal” ignition switch, unplug the original, and with the help of a VOM and a wiring diagram splice in the new switch. This new switch can usually be installed along the bottom edge of the dash. The original lock now serves as a column lock only…