If you do not know much about cars— specially, the mechanical and electronic part, you might find yourself wondering about every single noise that your car might me making. You may ask yourself “Has it always been like that?” without having a clear idea of what to do. This usually worsens when things begin stop working and this is when we have to take it to the shop. It is better for the car to be checked by a professional or an expert. However, there some things that can be easily done even if you are a novice regarding cars. Onfe of the most common issues is to be able to tell whether the ignition switch needs to be replaced or not.
An ignition switch is usually placed on the dashboard of your car, right on one side of the steering wheel—normally on the right side. It has various functions like activating the car’s start and ignition system as well as routing the electric current to different car accessories like the radio, music system, and the controls of the doors, among others. If your ignition switch has problems it can be reflected in the unavailability to start the car or not being able to use some or any of the car accessories.
If you are having problems with the ignition switch, you might have to get it replaced.
However, as we stated before, it is possible to replace de ignition switch by yourself if you have access to the right information. Fortunately, this is such case since here we are going to give you the opportunity to learn how to replace your ignition switch.
We highly recommend you to first read this guide before attempting to replace your car ignition switch by yourself. This way, you will have a cleared idea and a panoramic perspective of what we are going to do and therefore, plan in advance in order to avoid wasting time, effort and specially avoiding any kind of injury. Considering that this guide is not only for those who always try to fix their cars by themselves and have some experience with it but also for people who are completely inexperienced in car fixing.
What is Required?
First, we need to make a list of the tools we will need in order to accomplish this task:
- A replacement ignition switch
- Some wires
- Some wrenches
- And test light
Now that we know what we will be using for replacing your ignition switch, we will proceed to begin with our process. Always remember to follow the guide step by step since neglecting in doing so, might result in damaging some of the parts and hence cause more problems instead of solution because you’re going to have to take your car to a professional mechanic shop. This is just one of the reasons why it is necessary to read the whole guide before beginning to actually change the ignitions switch as well as carefully following each one of the steps provided here.
Replacing your car ignition switch
- Remove the steering column
Step number one consists in disconnecting the battery cable from the battery terminal. This is done in order to avoid any electrical damage to the components as well as you. Then, you need to disconnect the steering column. Do this by taking out the screws. After this, you can remove and pry the fasteners as well. It is possible to do this using a socket wrench or a screwdriver.
- Detaching the wiring
On the second step you will need to get the wiring harness removed. The wiring harness is connected to the ignition switch and is located on top of the steering column. Then, proceed to disconnect the horn wire and remove the attaching nuts as well as the washers. You also have to separate the wiper from the windshield and turn the signal light switches off. Finish this step by disconnecting the wiring.
- Testing the switch
To test the ignition switch you will need to use a test light. The test light normally is usually lit when the switch is in the starting position. When on the contrary, the key is tuned to the off position; the test light should not be on. It the ignition switch was placed correctly, this test will tell you so.
- Installing the new switch
Begin the third step by detaching the nuts or the screws that normally hold the steering column as well as the ignition switch. For accomplishing this task, you might use a screwdriver or a socket wrench. This is the moment when you remove the old worn-out switch and replace it with the new operating one.
After the replacement, turn the ignition switch on and put the ignition key in. Retain the depressing pin so you can free the cylinder. Now turn the key to the lock point and then remove it. Make sure the all the holes are properly lined up. Not ensuring this will result in failing to install the fasteners.
- Securing the Switch
Begin the final step by screwing and bolting the new ignition switch to the steering column using the fastener. Then you have to attach the steering column and the wiring again to their normal position. Remember replacing and restoring the housing using fasteners again. Make sure that the cylinder is properly aligned with the assembly. Attach again the screws and the various switches.
Finally we can say that replacing a car ignition switch can be easier if you make your research in advance. It usually gets more complicated as new car models are released. Some new models perform new devices that can make more difficult to change the ignition switch. You just have to look for the way to do it. The more you get involved with your car, the easier if gets for you to understand its structure and to know how to fix it.