How Do I Replace My Car's Ignition Switch?

replace-car-s-ignition-switch Credit: jeff_golden/CC-BY-SA 2.0

To replace a car’s ignition switch, one must remove the steering column, disconnect the wiring, test the switch, and install the new switch, according to DoItYourself. This task requires a replacement ignition switch, a test light, a screwdriver, a ratchet, wires and wrenches.

To detach the battery cable from the battery terminal, states DoItYourself, one must remove the steering column’s screws, and use a socket wrench or a screwdriver to pry the fasteners. Next, one should unfasten the wiring harness connected to the ignition switch, and remove the nuts and washers after disconnecting the horn wire. The windshield wipers must be disconnected, and the signal switches must be turned off after disconnecting the wiring.

The mechanic should use a test light to inspect the ignition switch, recommends DoItYourself, and check if the test light glows when the key is placed in the off position, and see if its output indicates whether the ignition switch is working well or not.

To install the replacement switch, one should use a wrench or a screwdriver to remove the nuts or screws holding the ignition switch and the steering column, says DoItYourself. The new switch must be turned off to insert the key into the switch. The individual should then depress the retaining pin to release the cylinder, push the key to the lock point and pull out the key.

Finally, a fastener should be attached the new ignition switch to the steering column, states DoItYourself. The mechanic should secure the steering column and wiring to their original positions, and fasten all necessary switches and screws.