How to Change an Ignition Switch


The ignition switch is usually the first thing to get replaced when there is trouble starting a vehicle. It is easy to access and it does not take much time to replace. There are several considerations to make when dealing with a faulty ignition system. But keep in mind that the ignition switch is one of the easiest components to troubleshoot.

What Is the Ignition Switch?

  • The ignition switch is a five-phase switch that generally rests in the steering column of your vehicle. The switch has five different settings to accommodate your ignition system. The first phase is the lock phase that is engaged when your key is out of the ignition. The second phase is stop. This only occurs when you turn your key in the off position. You also have auxiliary, which runs the radio and is activated when the key is turned the other way. The remaining two work close together. They are run and start. Start is engaged when the vehicle is starting, and then it goes back to run during the duration of the running of the motor.

Locating the Ignition Switch

  • The ignition switch is generally located in the steering column of the vehicle. The switch itself is easy to remove. Removing the column requires removal of a couple of screws and sliding the column cover out from around the column. You will need to slide it out from the shifter and the turn signal switch.

Replacing the Ignition Switch

  • The ignition switch usually sits right in the column and is bolted to the column. There is a pigtail that runs right to the back of the switch. You will need to remove the wiring from the switch and reconnect it to the new switch. The new switch can go in the place where the old switch previously sat. You will need to place the steering column back together and make sure it is assembled tight.

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