How to Replace a Broken or Failed Ignition Switch On a car?

Replace a Broken or Failed Ignition Switch On a car

A faulty or broken car ignition switch can cause many problems. Your car probably won’t start, leaving you stalled on a busy road, and it can also cause various electrical problems. Where ignition repair service is easily available, most drivers ignore it initially. They will try to forcefully start and move their car, while some try to repair the switch without guidance. Most experts say that replacing a car ignition switch can be done without towing. You will either need a good mechanic that will come to your place for replacement or a repair manual to do it yourself. Most repairs are done within hours if you use custom parts, but it can take up to a day if the problem is severe. Once you find the fault, you can replace the switch using simple tools. However, before attempting replacement yourself, you should refer to the application-specific repair manual. Here is how the replacement of a car ignition switch is done.

Replacing the Ignition switch

In most vehicles, the ignition switch is located at the side of the steering column and receives power directly from the battery to direct it to all other components of the car. Also, turning the key with the ignition provides the power to start the car. Without this power, your car will not start. Moreover, if your ignition switch is broken, you won’t be able to run other car features, for example, the headlights and the radio. With the help of a repair manual, the ignition switch replacement gets easier, just like replacing some screws. Although, removing the entire steering column can be tricky. The complete step-by-step process of replacement is

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1. Removing the Battery Terminal

The first step of ignition repair service is to remove the battery terminal from your vehicle’s engine compartment or trunk. The battery has protruding plus and minus posts through which cables are connected. Using an appropriately sized wrench, remove the screw that secures the negative terminal. There is no need to remove the positive wire from the connector. Place the negative cable at the side of the battery avoiding it from touching the terminal.

2. Remove the Screws Below the Steering Column

When you check the bottom part of the steering column, you will find at least 4 screws holding it in its place. You must unscrew them to easily separate the cover of the steering column to locate the ignition switch present below it.

3. Separate and Remove the Cover of the Steering Column

The cover of the steering column is normally snapped over the panel beneath and is held by screws at the bottom. Once those screws are removed, pull it apart slowly, so it doesn’t break. For ease, you can slightly tilt the steering column to the side.

4. Remove the Ignition Switch Cover

Your vehicle may have a cover made of plastic around the ignition module. If you have located the cover, press the clips on each side of the cover. The cover is round because both clips are facing each other at 180 degrees. You can use a screwdriver to press these clips if pressing them by hand is hard. Slide the cover over the ignition module while holding the release latch. Keep it safe because you will have to place it back before installing the steering column.

5. Remove the Ignition Switch

The method of removing the ignition switch cylinder differs for each manufacturer. Most of the switches are tightly secured by screws, while some can be removed by inserting the key and sliding them out. You can take guidance from a repair manual to do this.

6. Installing New Switch

After removing the old switch, simply place the new switch in its place and secure it by tightening the screws. Some switches might require adjustment before installation. You will have to see the manufacturer’s manual for necessary adjustments.

7. Test the Switch by Reconnecting Battery

Experts recommend testing the switch before fully reassembling the steering in case something goes wrong. So, test your new ignition switch by reconnecting the battery post. Then insert the key inside the switch and try to start your vehicle. If the vehicle easily starts without any difficulty, it’s a success. However, if not, remove and reinstall the ignition switch.

If the ignition switch fails, the starter motor will not be able to draw power from the battery. Hence, you will not be able to turn on several features of your car, and it will not turn on. If the ignition switch is faulty, the vehicle cannot be switched off by removing the key. If you don’t know what’s wrong with the ignition switch and have no idea about ignition switch replacement, it is suggested to take the car to a workshop. They can provide you with replacement offers and find the solution to your questions.

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