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Having a well-functioning ignition system is the only way for you to have a timely start each time you fire up your engine. One of the components that deserve all the credit is the Ignition Switch. This device is composed of two elements: the lock cylinder and the electronic switch. They're important in accomplishing two tasks for the vehicle. First, the switch regulates the flow of electricity to the ignition system from the battery to allow you to start the engine at will. Second, it regulates the flow of electricity to the different car accessories. These functions are attained through the four positions that the switch is capable of doing: on, off, start, and accessories. To accomplish these, the switch needs to be kept in good condition at all times. You have to keep watch on the plastic housing found in the switch because this is usually the part where problems start. When the switch begins to show symptoms of failure, you should make it your priority to find a replacement immediately. You don't need to worry because premium Ignition Switch replacements are available at Auto Parts Warehouse. We offer top-of-the-line replacements made exactly for your car's make and model-so we're sure we've got one that's perfect for you. On top of that, we've got an online product catalog for easy shopping. So don't wait! Shop now and take advantage of our big discounts and affordable prices!
Getting the Ignition Switch that's Right For You
Picking out the right ignition switch is not too tricky a business. After all, it performs just one singular function that does not vary much between vehicles of whatever make and model. However, there are certain considerations that you have to take into account to make sure you don't get a new ignition switch that simply won't fit.
What is an Ignition Switch?
The reason we have to tackle this question comes down to terminology. "Ignition switch" is used to interchangeably refer to two different but connected parts: the cylinder into which you stick your key, and the electronic switch behind it that gets your car started. Sometimes, you'll find that the term is used to describe both altogether.
It is important that you determine what the catalog is referring to before you make a purchase. Nothing will be more frustrating than needing a replacement for the electronic switch only to receive a tumbler instead. The best bet, to guarantee fit, is to consider replacing both at the same time-this eliminates the possibility of having cylinder incompatible with the switch and vice versa.
There are quite a lot of parts manufacturers out there making replacement ignition switches. Some specifically churn out the combination key cylinder-electronic switch replacements, a few offer separate options. While most people look to the brand as a sure sign of fit and reliability, a better and smarter bet would be to look for one that is specific to your vehicle's year, make, and model.
It's the housing around the ignition switch that is very critical here. While the basic functionality of the ignition switch will always be standard across all years, makes, and models, the housing that surrounds and secures it in place are as varied and diverse in shape and form as the vehicles themselves. This is where online shopping is an advantage. A lot of sites have drop-down matching tools to help you out.
The Price is Right
Here's where things get a little tricky. Prices on replacement ignition switches vary with the lowest in the neighborhood of $20, and the costliest running you a good $100 and up. Don't let price be a determinant of quality, however. The key, again, is to find one specific for what you drive.
The differences in prices come down to the complexity of the arrangement brought about by differences in the specific year, make, and model of your ride. Take advantage of the parts-matching programs on many sites and you should be good to go!
Changing your Ignition Switch
A faulty ignition switch can open you up to a whole world of trouble. You could experience stalls and loss of lighting-if your vehicle even starts up at all. As far as DIY projects go, this one is a tough one. While it's recommended that you have a mechanic do it, this guide will walk you through the steps yourself-it will save you a bit on money.
Things You Will Need:
- New ignition switch
- Original owner's manual
- Screwdrivers ? smaller Philips and various flat-types
- Allen wrenches
- Pry bar
- Large socket dish
- Chalk or other etching tool to mark part orientation
The Way to Go:
Step 1: Make sure that your steering wheel is centered, the tires are straight and parallel to the body of your car, and the car itself is parked in a flat, level surface.
Step 2: Disconnect the battery and wait a half hour before continuing.
For Steering Wheels with Airbags (otherwise, skip to Step 6):
Step 3: Remove the two recessed screws on the steering column
Step 4: Slide off the air-bag assembly. Do this carefully so you do not accidentally yank out the connecting wire.
Step 5: Unplug the back of the airbag.
Step 6: Gently pull off the horn pad up front and carefully disengage the wire that connects it to the steering wheel.
Step 7: Locate the switch on the steering column-if seated in the driver's side, it should be above your right knee.
*NOTE* Some vehicles might require removal of the air conditioning ducts.
Step 8: Carefully remove the steering wheel from its mounted position using the screwdrivers and wrenches-differences between makes and models usually boil down to how the steering wheel is attached to the column.
Step 9: Look around the housing that surrounds the ignition switch and carefully note point of attachment.
Step 10: Disassemble the housing and slide it off.
Step 11: Sketch a diagram of the currently installed ignition switch and make sure you jot down the proper wiring connections.
Step 12: Remove the old ignition switch.
*NOTE* This step can be as simple or as complicated as depends on what vehicle you drive. Always take not of attachment points and try not to yank things our haphazardly.
Step 13: Grease up the end of the new switch, secure it, and reconnect all the wires.
Step 14: Reassemble your steering column by reversing the steps above and do not forget to reconnect the battery.
Step 15: Start the car to test the new switch out!
- Always refer to the owner's manual for specifics-what your manual says takes precedent.
- Be safe! At the very least, wear goggles, insulated gloves, and closed-toed shoes.
- You can test the new ignition switch the moment it's installed to avoid the hassle of taking everything apart again should it fail.