How To Replace Ignition Switch Without Key [DIY Auto Service]


A bad ignition switch of your car needs to be replaced to keep it up and running. The ignition switch needs a special key to replace itself, which is often lost leaving you with no option at all. But still, you can manage to replace the switch. How? Let’s see how to replace ignition switch without key. 

Ignition Switch Replacement

An Ignition switch is one of the most important parts of your vehicle which puts the main electric system in action. In a word, it acts as a starter to start the car. 

An ignition switch does the same for the car accessories like radio or power windows and therefore it’s incredibly important to keep the switch active. A faulty or dysfunctional ignition switch thereby interrupts the starting of your vehicle. That means your vehicle either takes a long time to start or doesn’t start at all. 

A faulty ignition switch should be changed immediately for the sake of your car’s health. Because struggling with the starting actually affects your car battery and even damages it. 

You can find the ignition switch just on the side of your steering or the column of the car dashboard. A faulty switch requires to be discarded and replaced with a new one. You can easily make it happen with an ignition switch key. 

Every ignition switch comes with a specific key that works only on this particular switch. What if you lose it? Don’t worry, you can even change that without a key. So let’s cut to the chase and see how we can do that— 

How To Replace Ignition Switch Without Key

To replace your car’s ignition switch without a key, you have to follow the usual steps of replacing the ignition switch except for the method of removing the ignition switch. So let’s begin— 

Disconnecting The Battery

The very first step in this tutorial is to disconnect the battery, open your engine good, and locate the battery. You’ll see the battery is connected by several positive and negative clips tightened by nuts. 

Use a wrench to loosen the nuts and remove the negative terminal only. You don’t need to disconnect the positive cable. Make sure to keep the negative cable distant from the battery so that it doesn’t come in touch with the battery. 

Expose The Ignition Switch

The second step is to remove the trims around the steering in order to expose the ignition switch. Be careful not to break any of the trim. You can use the help of your vehicle’s instruction manual to ensure proper removal. 

You should also remove the steering if it interrupts the pathway of the ignition switch. This step comes handy especially when you do not have the key because you will have to use a drill later. You may need to use a wheel steering puller to effortlessly remove the steering (Depends on the vehicle model). 

After that, you’ll discover an ignition module, in which the ignition switch stays. It might be covered with a plastic cover, release the clips, and remove the cover. 

Removing The Ignition Switch

Now to the main step, you have to remove the ignition switch. As you know, an ignition switch generally needs a key to remove itself. But you can still get away with using a drill, screwdriver, and paperclip. 

First, use your power drill to make a hole in the key slot of your car’s ignition cylinder. You have to drill it wide enough so that you can insert the screwdriver into it. 

Now use anything to clean off the debris from the hole. Then take a paperclip and make it straight. Insert the paperclip into the hole and push it to the left of the ignition key cylinder. This will prevent the ignition cylinder from starting. 

After that take a screwdriver and insert it into the hole and push it to the opposite side of the paperclip. That means you have to push the screwdriver to the right as far as you can go. 

Now pull on both the screwdriver and paperclip to slide the ignition switch out of its place. So that is how you could successfully remove the switch without a key. Then move on to the next step. 

Installing A New Ignition Switch

By drilling and poking, you have pretty much destroyed the ignition switch, so you need to install a new one. Don’t worry, the old one would come to no use at all. Buy a new one according to your vehicle. 

Take the new ignition switch and you’ll notice there is some sort of pin on the side of it. This release pin was the component that impeded the switch to come out. 

Anyways, hold the pin and slowly glide the switch into the ignition module. Wait to hear a click to confirm the placement. If you don’t pull the switch out and try again. 

If you’re successful with the placement, you’re all done. Then move on to the finishing step. 

Testing The Switch

It’s wise to test the ignition switch before putting all the parts back to their place in case the new ignition switch fails to work. Although you’ll need to complete the electric circuit. 

Since you disconnected the cable from the negative terminal of your car battery, you have to carefully place it again. Now that you’ve reinstated the electric action, put the key into the ignition, and twist it to make an attempt to start the vehicle. 

If you can start the vehicle without any issue, you’re all done with the steps. Put the trims and steering back to their place and enjoy your ride. 

So now you know how to replace your car’s ignition switch even when you don’t have the key. This amazing short trick is easily doable by even newbie car mechanics too. Don’t miss out to try this easy trick next time your ignition switch goes bad. Until then, happy riding!

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