How to Replace a Toyota's Ignition Lock Cylinder

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The lock cylinder is connected to the ignition switch in your Toyota and is used to help you start your engine. If your lock cylinder stops working you will be unable to start your car. If this occurs, replace your lock cylinder as soon as possible. You can find your lock cylinder housed within the steering column.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • Replacement lock cylinder
  • Open up the hood of your Toyota. Locate the battery. Use a wrench to loosen the bolt fixed to the negative battery terminal. Remove the negative cable away from the terminal.

  • Enter the drivers seat. Remove the steering wheel cover from the wheel. Unclip it from its connectors around the edge of the steering wheel with your hands. If you are having trouble removing them, use a flat-head screwdriver to pry it from its connectors.

  • Locate the horn and airbag (if your Toyota model has one) wiring. Follow the wiring until you locate their connectors within the steering wheel. Remove the connectors from the steering wheel and lift the horn and air bag out of the wheel. Use a Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the screws attached to the steering column sleeve. Slide the sleeve away from the column.

  • Find the ignition switch. Use a wrench to remove the mounting bolts attached to the switch. Insert your key in to the ignition. Turn the key to the locked position. This will give you access to the retaining pin. Unclip the retaining pin with either you hand or a screwdriver and lift the ignition switch and lock cylinder from the steering column.

  • Disconnect the ignition switch from the lock cylinder by unclipping the tab. Attach a new lock cylinder to the ignition switch and lock it in place with the locking tabs. Reattach the ignition assembly to the steering column and put the steering wheel back together by following the removal steps in reverse.

References

  • "Toyota Pickups and 4-Runner, 1979-1995"; John Haynes; 1998
  • "Auto Repair for Dummies"; Deanna Schlar; 2008
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