How to Replace a VW Ignition Switch

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The ignition switch on your VW vehicle should give you years of trouble-free service. However, once the ignition switch fails, you may not even be able to turn the key in the ignition. The switch itself is located on the backside of the ignition cylinder. Replacement switches can be purchased from most auto-parts stores. However, if your VW uses a transponder key as an anti-theft deterrent, you will need to get a new ignition switch from Volkswagen.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill
  • 3/8" drill bit
  • Pick tool
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Punch pin
  • Drill a 3/8" hole to the right of the ignition key hole with your drill and drill bit. Drill 1" into the ignition cylinder.

  • Remove the lock pin inside the cylinder using a pick tool. With the lock pin removed, you can now turn the ignition cylinder to remove the cylinder and the switch.

  • Turn the ignition cylinder to the "II" position using a small, flat blade screwdriver

  • Insert the punch pin into the access hole underneath the ignition cylinder and push in on the punch pin to push in on the ignition cylinder release tab. Then, pull the ignition cylinder out of the steering column and remove the electrical leads on the ignition switch. Remove the assembly all the way from the steering column.

  • Insert the key into the new ignition cylinder and switch assembly and turn the key to the "II" position.

  • Slide the new ignition cylinder into the steering column until it snaps into place. Turn the ignition key to the "off" position.

Tips & Warnings

  • For specific information about your VW vehicle's ignition switch, consult the particular vehicle's manual (see Resources).
  • Photo Credit Sean Gallup/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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