DIY Ignition Switch Replacement

How to replace a bad ignition switch yourself.

With the technological revolution in automobile manufacturing, some repairs are just good to do by self. In the recent past, the world has witnessed great revolutions in the motor industry from the engine power to the sophisticated body works. Therefore, this has left a flaw for sub-standard vehicle parts. However, some vehicle parts are elementary to replace on your own at your garage. One only needs a few tools, and everything is done. This article takes you through a step by step guide on how you can replace your ignition switch without procuring a mechanic.

Car Ignition Switch Repair
A section of a car’s ignition switch removed from the steering column. Replace damaged ignition lock cylinder.

The ignition switch is carefully placed at the column of the steering wheel. This means that you will not get yourself dirty with grease and oil as you search for it. Depending on the model of the vehicle, the ignition switch will be placed strategically on the cars dashboard or the steering wheel column. The switch serves several purposes such as allowing power flow to other car’s components such as the radio. Therefore, with a malfunctioning ignition switch, one will be unable to access some of the vital functions of the car, including the ignition itself. Below are some of the guidelines to follow.

Remove the steering column cover

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It is essential to detach the battery before unscrewing the covers. This would save you the stress of shot circuiting the power system. Using a standard screwdriver, loosen the screws on the cover and gently pull it off. Ensure not to break the harnessing sockets as they hold the covers into place even when the screws are off. You can use a socket wrench for this purpose.

Disconnect the switch’s wiring

Key Stuck in the ignition
A close-up view of a standard key in the ignition. The key is stuck in the lock position and won’t turn. How to fix the problem yourself.

With great care, detach the wiring attachment that connects to the ignition switch itself. This should be done with care to avoid any chances of scrambling the wiring. To your relief, though, the different set of wiring are bunched together. The ignition switch is located at the upper part of the steering support, close to the key cylinder. Press the three tabbed wire socket to ease the switch.

Examine the switch

Test the old switch to inspect its functionality. A quicker way of testing the switch can be done using a tester screwdriver. As the ignition switch is turned on to start position, the tester light will glow. Logically, the tester light should not glow if the ignition switch is turned to off position. The proper response by the ignition switch on the tester light indicates that it is working fine or not.

Mount the new switch

You will need to unscrew the ignition switch from its secure position on the steering column. A screwdriver is ideal to accomplish this mission. After you have hold of the old faulty switch, replace it with the new switch. This should take you a few minutes as care is necessary not to tamper with the new one.

Fasten the new switch

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Secure the new switch by bolting it to the steering column the same as where the old one was. Also, attach the wiring to its right position in the steering column. Replace the steering pillar covers and restore them to their normal position. This will cost you a few seconds as there is little to worry about. However, ensure that the covers are correctly aligned with the cylinder. After that, reattach and fasten various switches and the screws.

Now your car ignition is as good as new with the replaced switch, and you will have saved yourself a few more bucks. It’s time now to replace the disconnected battery. Otherwise, forgetting that the terminal was unplugged might take you another hustle thinking that the switch has malfunctioned.

Car Key Fob Repair
A car key fob is stuck in the ignition. A car key stuck in ON position and won’t turn.

Nevertheless, ignition switch replacement is not an easy undertaking by itself, especially with the newer breeds of vehicles. This is because every innovation added to the car brand comes with its sophistication. The problem with the more modern cars is that they are installed with safety devices such as antitheft device. This makes the process of changing the ignition switch more complicated, especially for a common car owner.

You will, therefore, require to consult a local car locksmith or check out your car’s manual to learn on how to overcome devices such as antitheft. Whenever a need arises, it is always good to ask for further assistance from your car dealer as well.