The ignition switch is a very important component of a vehicle's ignition system, and replacing it can solve a lot of starting trouble that seemingly does not emanate from the battery. The ignition switch is a component that regulates and facilitates the flow of electricity in the ignition system during the starting of any vehicle.
Needless to say, the functionality of a vehicle depends heavily on the efficiency of the ignition system, and in particular, the ignition switch. This replacement is necessary because a faulty ignition switch means higher fuel consumption, increased tailpipe emission, and in most cases, failure of the vehicle to even start.
How to Replace the Ignition Switch
In an ideal scenario, this is a job that should be carried out by a professional mechanic. Or, if you are attempting to carry out the replacement yourself, you must have good knowledge about the various parts and the working of your automobile.
Experimenting with crucial components of the electrical circuit of the transport is not advisable, especially if it is your first time. These are complex mechanisms and there is a very high chance that you may mess up. So seek professional help.
In the event of you attempting to replace the ignition switch yourself, the following instructions should serve you well.
- The very first thing that you need to do is to locate the negative battery cable on the battery, and then go ahead and disconnect it.
- Next, the steering column will contain an upper and a lower cover. You need to remove these as well by opening the screws. For the replacement, you need to know where the ignition switch is located―behind the steering column.
- Now the next step is a little tricky and it perfectly illustrates why a beginner should not attempt this. You need to remove the steering wheel now. Also ensure that you remove the horn wire.
- Also, ensure that the wiring for all other devices have been removed. This includes the wipers, indicators, and headlights. Remember what goes where, as you will need to reattach everything later.
- You will now be able to see the ignition switch. It will be a big white block that looks like a circuit box. If you do not already know what it looks like, then you need to find this out beforehand.
- Unscrew the mounting screws that hold the ignition switch in place, and pull it out. There will be some wiring at the back as well, you need to disconnect that.
- Make a careful note of all that you are unscrewing, unplugging, and disconnecting. Ensure that you remember how to reattach all these nuts and screws. It is also advisable to keep all the screws carefully so that you do not end up losing them. For some people, the most difficult part of replacing is reattaching all the parts and pieces back together.
- Now that you have located the ignition switch, you need to attach the new one in place of the old one, and once you have reattached everything, the replacement is complete and your car will not face any of the old problems, if they were due to the malfunctioning of the ignition switch.
This task is easier to explain than to do, and only someone with the necessary knowledge about vehicles can undertake it successfully. Simply experimenting with such a procedure is not a smart thing to do at all.
The ignition switch is an expensive component, and the part in itself costs around $100. The labor charges will obviously depend on a lot of factors, including the amount of time taken by the mechanic, the make of the vehicle, and the size of the garage, etc.
On an average though, the entire process will cost you in between $150 and $350, and it can even go up to as high as $500. The steepness of this price is what drives some people to attempt this replacement by themselves, but the expertise required means that only an experienced individual should do so. This point cannot be stressed enough.
At the end of the day, an automobile is a complex collection of a lot of parts and processes, and each of them is an integral aspect of making the vehicle work. The ignition system is facilitated by the ignition switch, and if this switch is malfunctioning, the only possible solution is to get it replaced.