Ignition Switch

Can you replace an ignition switch yourself?

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Last updated on November 5th, 2022 at 09:23 am

If you are reading this post, it simply means you want to learn how to replace an ignition switch yourself.

And If you have the right tools, you can replace an ignition switch. However, if you need to know what you’re doing, you could damage your car and get injured.

You will have to remove the ignition switch, disconnect the battery cables, open the hood, remove the steering column, and disassemble the steering wheel.

Changing the ignition switch is something that you can only do with proper training or experience.

Therefore, you should only attempt this task if you are sure that you can handle it safely. To learn how to change the ignition switch for your safety, you will have to follow these steps:

  • Remove the steering wheel and the pedal assembly from the vehicle.
  • Disconnect the battery cables from the battery terminals.
  • Locate the ignition switch.
  • Pull the ignition switch out of place.

How much does an ignition switch cost to replace?

An ignition switch replacement price depends on your vehicle’s make and model.

The cost of replacing these switches ranges from $18-$297.

Depending on the make and model, it may not include some parts in the ignition switch replacement.

These include the steering column, steering wheel, airbag module, and wiring harnesses.

You should check with your local auto parts store to determine if they carry the necessary parts to complete the job.

 Can You Replace Ignition Switch Yourself

What is the difference between an ignition switch and an ignition cylinder?

An ignition switch is a device that turns the engine on and off.

Ignition switches are electronic devices that control the flow of electricity to the starter motor and other components of the vehicle’s ignition system.

An ignition lock cylinder is part of a car’s ignition system. It is not located inside the ignition switch attached to the vehicle’s steering column.

When the ignition key is turned, it causes the ignition switch to close, turning on the starter motor

The ignition switch then signals the ignition lock cylinder to open. The ignition lock cylinder reads the code on the ignition key and unlocks the ignition if the correct code is entered.

If the wrong code is entered, the ignition lock cylinder won’t open, and the engine won’t turn over.

How do you reprogram an ignition switch?

  • Remove the battery terminal cover (if present) and remove the negative battery cable connector.
  • Disconnect the positive battery cable connector.
  • Place your hand over the ignition switch and turn it to the “On” position.
  • Leave the ignition switch in the “On” position for about 10 minutes.
  • Turn the ignition switch to the “Off” position.
  • Within 45 seconds of turning the ignition switch to the off position, turn it back to the “on position.”
  • Repeat Step 6 twice more.
  • After completing Steps 6-7, turn the ignition switch to the off position again.

The programming procedure was successful if the vehicle typically starts after completing Steps 6–8. Otherwise, repeat Steps 6–9 until the car starts usually.

Once the vehicle starts, typically reconnect the positive and negative battery cable connectors to their respective terminals.

Can a bad ignition switch cause fuel pump problems?

Yes. A bad ignition switch can cause fuel pump problems, especially when the ignition relay is faulty. The ignition relay is located inside the engine compartment and is responsible for turning the electrical current on and off to the fuel pump and the coil packs.

If the ignition relay shorts, or burns out, it will prevent the flow of electricity to the fuel pump and coils.

This will cause the engine to stop running and not start again until the problem is fixed.

How long Do ignition switches last?

The durability of ignition switches rests on how you use your vehicle. Ignition switch replacements should be done at least after 100,000 miles.

When should I replace my ignition?

You might notice that your car seems to run fine, but once you stop, the check engine light comes on.

Or maybe you’ve seen that your vehicle runs poorly at idle but performs well under load. Either way, it’s time to look closely at your ignition switch. Here are some things to watch out for:

A clicky sound comes from the ignition switch. This means that the lever inside is stuck in either the “on” or the “off” positions.

No clicks at all.

This could mean the switch is broken or the contacts inside are corroded.

A clicking noise, followed by no clicks. This indicates that the switch is damaged but still works intermittently.

An intermittent clicking noise is followed by a complete loss of contact between the contacts.

This is the worst possible scenario since the switch has failed and is no longer functioning.

A sudden loss of power while driving down the road. This could indicate that the switch has failed or that the wiring harness is damaged.

How much does a new ignition cost?

The cost of a new ignition system varies depending on the brand and model. Most people spend around $50-280 dollars for a new ignition system. If you want something nice, you should spend at least $300.

Does a new ignition cylinder have to be programmed?

A new ignition cylinder will require programming. If you’re replacing the entire ignition system, then you should program the new ignition cylinder to match the original ignition system.

Otherwise, you may need help using your old keys.

The ignition cylinder programming ensures the ignition system works properly with your vehicle’s computer. If you’re replacing a lock/ignition cylinder, then you’ll need to program the new ignition cylinder before installing it.

You’ll also need to program your new keys when replacing your ignition cylinder. To do this, you’ll need to use the programming tool provided with your new ignition cylinder. Before doing this, however, check the owner’s manual for instructions on programming your new keys to ensure they function correctly.

Do I need to disconnect the battery to change the ignition coil?

Yes! It would help to permanently disconnect the battery before changing any engine parts.

If you don’t do this, you could damage the car’s electrical system and cause it to overheat. Subject to the ignition system, you’ll need to remove the distributor cap before changing the coil.

Consider replacing the spark plugs if they’re old or dirty.

Can you replace just one ignition coil?

Yes!

You can replace a single ignition coil. On the other hand, if you must replace just a single coil, you should also replace the spark plugs. The rationale is to prevent you from having to change coils within a short period.                                                               

How do you test an ignition coil?

Primary Circuit Testing.

  • The first step in testing an ignition coil is to check the primary circuit.
  • To do this, connect the multimeter to the positive terminal of the ignition coil. And measure the resistance between the positive terminal and the ground.
  • If the resistance is not up to 1 ohm, the ignition coil is faulty and should be replaced.

Secondary Circuit Testing

  • Follow the same steps above to test the secondary circuit, but connect the multimeter to the ground this time.
  • Follow these easy steps:
  • Use a digital multimeter (DMM) to measure the voltage across the coil’s primary winding. A DMM should have at least two ranges, one for AC and one for DC volts.
  • If you don’t have a DMM, use a volt-ohm meter instead.
  • Connect the positive lead of the meter to the hot terminal of the coil. And connect the negative lead of the meter to the ground.
  • Start the engine and turn the ignition switch to the ON position.
  • Turn the ignition switch to the ACC position and start the car.
  • Measure the voltage across the primary winding.
  • Repeat steps 1 through 4 until the voltage reading stays constant.
  • Recheck the voltage after the car has been running for 10 minutes.
  • If the voltage remains consistent throughout the test period, the ignition coil works appropriately.
  • If the voltage drops significantly over time, the ignition coil may need to be replaced.

Conclusion

You can replace an ignition switch yourself if you have the right tools. If you need to gain experience doing this, I recommend hiring someone who does.

The best way to replace the ignition system is to take it to a professional mechanic. That’s what they’re trained to do. However, if you want to try it yourself, follow the steps in this post.

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