Fault code P2533 – ignition switch run/start position circuit malfunction

Fault code P2533 is called “Ignition Switch Run/Start Position Circuit Malfunction” but in different programs it may be called differently. This fault designation applies to all vehicles equipped with OBD-II.

Technical description and explained code P2533

This Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) is a generic powertrain code. Fault P2533 is considered a general code because it applies to all makes and models of vehicles. Although the specific repair steps may vary slightly depending on the model.

Fault code P2533 – ignition switch run/start position circuit malfunction

The PCM detects a fault in the ignition work key position circuit when the ignition switch energizes the PCM, ignition and fuel systems. The most common cause of this code is an improper installation or malfunction of the ignition switch.

Normally the PCM is programmed to expect an input voltage reference from the ignition switch that is comparable to the battery voltage (12.6 volts). If the input voltage signal drops below the specified minimum, code P2533 will be stored and the error lamp may soon illuminate.

For most vehicles, it will take several failure cycles before the warning light will illuminate.

Symptoms of vehicle malfunctions

The main signal that an error P2533 has occurred is the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) is also known as the CheckEngine Light.

It can also be warning signs such as:

  1. The “Check engine” control lamp on the control panel will light up (the code will be recorded in the memory as a fault).
  2. The engine will not start.
  3. The error may be accompanied by a low battery indicator.
  4. Other related fault codes may also be present.

The severity of fault code P2533 is high, because in its presence the engine can simply not start. Therefore, it is recommended to eliminate the fault as soon as possible.

Factors that can cause this error code

The error code P2533 can mean that one or more of the following problems have occurred:

  • Improper installation or malfunction of the ignition switch.
  • The ignition switch wiring harness may be open or shorted.
  • The ignition switch circuit may have a loose electrical connection.
  • Blown fuses or fusible links.
  • Incorrect or discharged battery.

How to fix or reset OBD-2 code P2533

Some suggested steps for troubleshooting and fix the error code P2533:

  1. Connect an OBD-II scanner to the vehicle’s diagnostic connector and read all stored data and error codes.
  2. Clear the error codes from the computer memory and test-drive the vehicle to see if the code P2533 appears again.
  3. If the error code appears again, visually inspect the electrical wires and connectors related to the ignition switch.
  4. If necessary, repair or replace any shorted, broken, damaged or corroded components.
  5. Inspect the fuses or fusible links.
  6. Check the ignition switch itself.
  7. Check voltage at battery and vehicle system.

Diagnose and repair of problems

The first step in the P2533 troubleshooting process is to review the Technical Service Bulletins (TSB) for your particular vehicle. In some cases, this can save you a lot of time by pointing you in the right direction.

Next, you should check the electrical wires going to the ignition switch as well as the fuses. Then check the connectors and connections for safety, corrosion, and damaged contacts.

If the problem has not been resolved, the ignition switch should be checked, most often it is the most common cause of this code. Often the fault P2533 appears after replacing the ignition switch, the fault is due to improper installation.

On which vehicles does this problem occur most frequently

Fault code P2533 can occur on different vehicles but there are statistics on which brands this occurs most often. Here is a list of some of them:

  • Audi (A4, A6, Q7)
  • Chevrolet (Captiva)
  • Chrysler
  • Dodge (Journey)

Fault code P2533 can sometimes be found with other errors. The most common are the following: P2530, P2531, P2532, P2534, P2535, P2536, P2537, P2538.


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