Off, Accessory, On, Start

Do you not have time to take your car to a mechanic because of work or because it’s the only vehicle you have? If you know a little bit about a car and if you know what ignition switch you need then I can say you came to the right place to look for instructions. If you don’t know which ignition switch you need then I suggest you go to your local auto part store for them to help you find the right ignition switch. Next you will need to make sure you have wrenches, side cutters, screw drivers, a paper clip, and some star bits.  If you have all the tools and you believe that you can learn on how to do this then, you’re ready for the full instructions.

Before you disturb the steering column, you need to pop the hood and disable the battery. When messing with the battery you will need to use a ¼ inch wrench and all you need to take off the battery is the negative cable. The reason behind this is so when you mess with the steering column the airbag system does not go off.  After waiting ten minutes, start by using a star bit to take off the bottom cover just below the steering wheel. When this is done, you will be able to pull off the top cover that goes around the top part of the dash. It should just snap off without any problems.

Now that both of the covers are off, start with the main steering column by taking that star bit and looking at the bottom of the steering column. There should be one screw. After you take this last screw off, the cover to the steering column should come right off. Use the side cutters to cut the zip tie that hold the ignition switch in place.

Once this is done, insert your old key and turn the key to the on position and then insert the paper clip into a small hole on the back of your ignition switch. Pull on the key with it in the on position and the old ignition switch should come right out. Put the new key ignition switch where the old one was and turn the old one to the off position. Once you have done this, you can put the rest of the covers back together. Hook the battery back up and start the car.

Now that you have finished reading my quick steps on how to replace an ignition switch do you think that it is easy enough to do by yourself? The way I see it is either way I look at it is a good thing to learn for future reference to look back on in case the auto shop you usually go to is closed for the weekend and you need a new ignition switch.


4 thoughts on “Off, Accessory, On, Start

  1. You did a good job on explaining a complicated ( to me atleast) technicological process. Although my first question is How do you know when you need a new ignition switch? Are there any specific signs that your car will give? Step by step directions are always useful. Its always an added benefit when you can handle your car troubles on your own. Without the visual aids I honestly might not have even know what you were talking about!

    • Well i guess you got me there, i forget not many people know as much about cars. Well to answer your questions i would have to say when you can start you car and pull the key out with the car still on. Another one might be when you have trouble turning the key switch. But basically if you have any trouble with it at all you know it is starting to go bad.

  2. Hey broocod,
    Taking an ignition switch does not seem that hard. I would have never known how to take the ignition out without this guide. It doesn’t seem to hard to achieve, but ever car is different and has their own quirks. I will probably have to switch the ignition in a project car somewhere down the road so thank you for this information. My one question is why wait for 10 minutes after you disconnect the battery? Other than that, it was a very good post and I’m sure people, like us college kids, will save money by doing this switch our selves.
    Emerson V.

  3. broocod,
    There is a ton of great information in here. The only thing I would change is going in depth more for some even less experienced car folks. This is a handy thing to know, especially when you are out on the road and you ignition switch goes bad. Some of the same ideas apply to changing the ignition switch in antique vehicles as well. It seems like some of the information is too specific to cover all vehicles. Overall I think it is a great post, more people need to be educated about automobiles so down the road, people can still fix them safely and properly.

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