harley davidson ignition switch problems

Harley Davidson Ignition Switch Problems – Symptoms and Solutions

From its classic designs to superior performance, Harley Davidson is renowned for crafting some of the world’s most iconic motorcycles. However, as any vehicle owner can attest to, even these iconic bikes are prone to occasional issues. One common problem that many Harley owners experience is ignition switch malfunctioning. This article will discuss the symptoms and provide helpful solutions to overcome this issue.

Understanding Harley Davidson Ignition Switch Problems

The ignition switch is a crucial piece of the puzzle when it comes to Harley Davidsons and all other motorcycles alike, because this single component has power over controlling electrical transfer to the starter and further down the line. Not only that, but you can use your ignition switch for starting or shutting off your ride – nothing more important than having control. Unfortunately though, if something goes wrong with your motorcycle’s ignition switch then prepare yourself for engine malfunctioning as well as various other electric hiccups.

Symptoms of Harley Davidson Ignition Switch Problems

If you own a Harley Davidson motorcycle, here are some of the telltale signs that your ignition switch may be malfunctioning:

  1. No power to electrical components: Ignition switch issues often present themselves through a total lack of electricity to the bike’s electrical components, such as its lights, radio, and any other gadgets.
  2. Inconsistent power: In certain situations, the power delivered to a motorcycle’s electronic components may be unreliable, resulting in flickering or other malfunctioning.
  3. Bike won’t start: If your motorcycle won’t start, it might be an issue with the ignition switch. When you turn on the key, either nothing will happen or only a clicking noise may greet you – that’s when you know something is wrong. In order to get back in gear and enjoy all those rides ahead of you, make sure your ignition switch is functioning properly.

Solutions to Harley Davidson Ignition Switch Problems

Here are some solutions to Harley Davidson ignition switch problems:

  1. Check for loose wires: Unfastened wires can cause major issues with your bike’s electrical components, so be sure to inspect each and every wire connection for proper security.
  2. Clean the ignition switch: As dust and dirt can build up in the ignition switch, leading to malfunctioning, it is essential to clean it using contact cleaner for optimal performance.
  3. Lubricate the ignition switch: Utilizing lubricant on the ignition switch can improve its operation and make it run more smoothly.
  4. Replace the ignition switch: If all your efforts fail to solve the problem, it is time to replace the ignition switch. You can buy a new one from any Harley Davidson dealership or online store; just remember to follow their directions for installation. When done correctly, this will get you back on the road in no time.

Preventing Harley Davidson Ignition Switch Problems

Here are some tips to prevent ignition switch problems in Harley Davidson motorcycles:

  1. Regular maintenance: In order to maintain the motorcycle in optimal condition, regular maintenance is a must. To ensure that your motorcycle stays healthy and safe, it’s strongly recommended to have it serviced by an expert regularly.
  2. Avoid overloading the electrical system: In order to protect the ignition switch from damage, make sure not to overload the electrical system by adding too many accessories or high-wattage bulbs. Keep your motorcycle running smoothly and reduce any potential of failure.
  3. Handle the ignition switch with care: Be mindful when handling the ignition switch. Dropping it or getting it wet can result in serious damage and should be avoided at all costs.
  4. Follow manufacturer’s instructions: When installing new electrical components or servicing your motorcycle, it is essential to adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines.


Harley Davidson Ignition Switch issues are unfortunately a frequent headache for any motorcyclist. These problems present in a variety of ways, from total power loss to sporadic electrical currents, and even complete engine non-startup.

Fortunately, there are several solutions to this problem that can be implemented, such as inspecting wires for slackness, lubricating and cleaning the ignition switch or even changing out the switch altogether. To ensure that issues like these don’t occur in the future; it is paramount to maintain upkeep on your vehicle, not overload its electrical system harshly and handle all switches with care.


Below are some frequently asked questions about Harley Davidson ignition switch problems:

What are the common symptoms of Harley Davidson ignition switch problems?

Ignition switch complications can manifest in a variety of ways, from the inability to power up any electrical components on your motorcycle, fluctuating electricity output and even complete failure to start.

How can I fix Harley Davidson ignition switch problems?

If you’re experiencing issues with your Harley Davidson ignition switch, there’s no need to worry. You can easily troubleshoot the issue by inspecting all loose wires, cleaning and lubricating the switch itself, or simply replacing it. With these quick fixes in mind, you’ll be back on the open road in no time at all.

Can I prevent Harley Davidson ignition switch problems?

To prevent ignition switch issues, be careful when handling the switch and follow any instructions provided by the manufacturer. Additionally, do not overload your motorcycle’s electrical system with too many components or during maintenance. By implementing these precautions you can protect against troublesome ignition problems.

How often should I service my Harley Davidson ignition switch problems?

To prevent any potential ignition switch problems, it is highly suggested that Harley Davidson owners have their motorcycle serviced regularly by a professional.

Should I attempt to fix ignition Harley Davidson ignition switch problems myself?

For best results, it is advised to entrust the fixing of ignition switch problems in your Harley Davidson motorcycle to a professional. If you can vouch for your expertise and poise as a DIYer though, then go ahead and take matters into your own hands.

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