How to Replace the Ignition Lock on a Nissan Pathfinder


The ignition lock on a Nissan Pathfinder prevents unauthorized starting of the Pathfinder. Like most cylinder locks, there are pins inside the cylinder. Unlike most common types of cylinder locks, the Pathfinder uses a transponder in the key that sends a wireless signal to a switch that allows the vehicle to be started. When the ignition lock jams on your Pathfinder, it will be impossible to remove the lock without destroying it. Replacement locks can be purchased from Nissan.

Things You'll Need

  • Socket set
  • Socket wrench
  • Drill
  • 3/8-inch drill bit
  • Pick tool
  • Flat-tip screwdriver
  • Punch pin
  • Replacement ignition lock
  • Disconnect the negative battery cable. Loosen the retaining nut on the battery's negative cable clamp and slide the clamp off of the negative terminal.

  • Drill a 3/8-inch hole into the face of the ignition lock about 1 cm off center from the keyhole. Drill 1 inch deep into the ignition lock.

  • Remove the lock pin and spring from the hole you just drilled into the ignition lock using a pick tool.

  • Place the ignition key near the ignition lock and wedge a small flat-tip screwdriver into the keyhole of the ignition and turn the ignition lock to the "II" position.

  • Slide a punch pin into the access hole on the underside of the Pathfinder's ignition lock and pull the lock out of the steering column with the screwdriver. To do this properly, you may need to put slight upward pressure onto the screwdriver while pulling the lock out of the steering column.

Related Searches


  • Nissan Frontier 1998-2004, Xterra 2000-2004, Pathfinder 1996-2004 Repair Manual; Jeff Kibler, John H. Haynes; 2006
  • Photo Credit Bill Pugliano/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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