How to Replace the Ignition Switch in a GMC Jimmy

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If the mechanical assembly or contact points inside the ignition switch on your GMC Jimmy have worn out, you may have a hard time providing power to the ignition or electrical system, if at all. The switch on your Jimmy is mounted atop the steering column assembly, hiding under the dashboard. You must lower the column to reach it. If you have the replacement ignition switch with you or want to remove it first to make sure you are buying the correct one, follow these steps to remove and install it.

Things You'll Need

  • Wrench
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Ratchet and socket set

Removing the Switch

  • Set the ignition key to the off position.

  • Detach the negative battery cable using a wrench.

  • Remove the steering wheel column lower trim panel using a Phillips screwdriver.

  • Detach the steering column from the under dashboard frame using a wrench or ratchet and socket. Support the steering column to keep it from falling.

  • Locate the ignition switch on top of the steering column. The switch is a small rectangular box connected to the lock cylinder---where you insert the ignition key---through an actuating rod.

  • Unfasten the two ignition-switch mounting bolts using a wrench or ratchet and socket.

  • Slide the ignition switch off the actuating rod and remove it from the steering column.

Installing the Switch

  • Make sure the new ignition switch is in the off position. Some aftermarket switches will have a pin on the switch slider, close to the base of the switch, to lock it in the off position to ensure proper installment. Verify whether your new switch has this pin.

  • Slide the new ignition switch into the actuating rod, making sure not to push the slider inside the switch.

  • Set the new ignition switch in place on top of the steering column, and start the two mounting bolts by hand. Then tighten the mounting bolts using the wrench or ratchet and socket.

  • Remove the pin (if the new switch came equipped with it) from the switch slider by hand or with pair of needle-nosed pliers.

  • Insert the key into the ignition lock cylinder; turn the key to make sure the rod is actuating the new ignition switch. Then turn the key back to the off position.

  • Set the steering column in position against the dashboard frame, and start the mounting bolts by hand. Then tighten the mounting bolts using the wrench or ratchet and socket.

  • Install the steering wheel column lower trim panel using the Phillips screwdriver.

  • Attach the negative battery cable using the wrench.

  • Start the engine to make sure the new ignition switch is operating properly.

References

  • Chevrolet and GMC Pick-ups Haynes Repair Manual; Ken Freund and John Haynes; 2001
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