How to Replace the Ignition Switch on a Chevy

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Chevrolet, or Chevy, is a popular American car and truck maker. The ignition switch in your Chevy provides many functions, so when it malfunctions you may be inconvenienced--or at worst, stranded. The switch allows you to run accessories when the engine is off, and when turned fully clockwise allows you to start your engine. After thousands of miles of inserting and removing the key in your ignition switch and turning it on and off, it will wear and will need replacing.

Things You'll Need

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Torx screwdriver
  • Ignition switch
  • Open the hood and loosen the clamp on the negative battery cable with an adjustable wrench, turning in a counterclockwise direction. Lift the cable from the battery and set it aside.

  • Tilt the steering column all the way up using the tilt lever on the steering column, if your vehicle is equipped with this option. Now remove the tilt lever from the column by pulling it straight out away from the column. Set the lever aside.

  • Remove the two screws from the underside of the plastic steering column cover with a Torx screwdriver turned in a counterclockwise direction. Pull the cover straight down from the bottom of the steering column. Set the cover and screws aside.

  • Locate the black plastic J-shaped lever on the ignition switch, revealed after removing the plastic cover. Pull the lever toward the front of the vehicle to release the ignition switch. Carefully pull the switch down and remove it from the underside of the steering column. Unplug the wiring harness from the switch by pulling it straight out.

  • Compare the old switch to the new ignition switch. Make sure the white plastic gear is in the same position on both switches. Return the new switch for a replacement if the gear does not match the old switch.

  • Plug the wiring connector into the new switch. Push the switch into position until it locks into place. Push the steering column cover back into place, making sure to line up the tabs in the cover with the slots in the underside of the steering column. Run in the two screws and tighten them with a Torx screwdriver in a clockwise direction.

  • Push the tilt steering column lever back into its hole until it is fully seated. Insert the key into the ignition switch and turn it to the "Off" position. Push the negative battery cable back onto the negative terminal on the battery. Tighten the clamp with an adjustable wrench, turning in a clockwise direction. Close the hood.

  • Photo Credit red sports car image by palms from Fotolia.com
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