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How to Remove an Ignition Switch From Chevrolet Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

Many people confuse the ignition switch and the key switch. The key switch is the part where you stick the key in to start the engine. The ignition switch in a Chevrolet car is the electrical part of the system, and resides below the key switch, inside the steering column. The ignition switch provides power to several accessories when the key it turned on or into the accessory mode. When the key is turned to the start position, the ignition switch activates power to the starter through the starter relay.

Under The Hood:

 How to Remove an Ignition Switch From a 1977 Chevy Truck

Unbolt the steering column from the dashboard with the 1/2-inch ratchet and socket. Carefully lower it away from the dashboard to access the top of the ignition switch.

Unplug the wiring to the switch. Insert the key in the ignition and put it into the "Lock" position.

Unscrew the switch from the column using the Phillips-head screwdriver. Pull the switch off of the column and replace it with a new unit.

Items you will need

  • 1/2-inch ratchet and socket set

  • Phillips-head screwdriver

 How to Remove the Ignition Switch on a '66 Chevelle

Park the Chevelle and set the parking brake. Use a wrench to disconnect the negative battery cable.

Insert the key into the ignition and turn to the "ACC" position.

Insert the mini-screwdriver into the small hole in the face of the ignition lock. Push in on the pin inside the hole and turn the key to your left, past the "ACC" position. Pull out the ignition lock.

Place a flat screwdriver in one of the slots on the side of the ignition switch trim ring. Gently tap the screwdriver with a small hammer to turn the ring in a counterclockwise direction. Once the ring is loose, you can finish removing it by hand.

Reach under the dash and pull the ignition switch back and away from the dash, then lower it under the dash. Use the flat screwdriver to pry up the two clips on the electrical connector and pull the switch away from the connector.

Items you will need

  • Wrench set

  • Small mini-screwdriver

  • Flat screwdriver

  • Small hammer

 How to Remove the Ignition Switch From the 1998 Chevrolet 1500

Remove the steering column shroud halves. They are plastic and should be able to be pulled off or pried off with a screwdriver. If they are bolted on, use the appropriate socket or screwdriver to remove the bolts or screws.

Remove the bolts under the steering column that hold the column up to the dash, using the appropriate socket. As you loosen the bolts, the steering column will drop down, so loosen them slowly so as not to damage the steering column or whack yourself in the head with it.

Remove the key alarm switch, if your vehicle is equipped with it, by prying the retaining clip with a small screwdriver, then rotating the alarm switch one-quarter turn and pulling it off.

Turn the key into the "Lock" position if it is not already there. If the key switch is out, pull the switch rod up to the "Stop" position and push it back down one detent. Disconnect the actuating rod from the switch. Remove the two screws that hold the switch onto the column, using the appropriate socket or screwdriver, depending on the type of bolts or screws holding it.

Items you will need

  • Set of wrenches

  • Set of sockets

  • Screwdriver

 How do I Remove the Ignition Switch on a '55-'56 Chevrolet?

Insert the key into the ignition switch and turn it to the "LOCK" position.

Straighten out a small paper clip.

Insert one end of the paper clip into the small hole in the face of the ignition switch right under the key.

Jiggle the paper clip while pulling out on the key gently to work the ignition switch from the lock cylinder.

Remove the key from the old switch and discard it or place it aside.

Items you will need

  • Ignition key

  • Small paper clip

 How to Remove the Ignition Switch on a Geo Metro

Open the hood to disconnect the battery. Unbolt the negative cable from the battery.

Open the driver side door to ensure plenty of room to work while removing the switch.

Unbolt the steering column shroud with a flat tip screwdriver. Pull the shroud off the console once the screws are removed. Pull the top off once the bottom is removed.

Disconnect the wiring harness leading to the back of the switch. The switch will be located next to the ignition key lock.

Unscrew the two screws holding the switch to the column with a Phillips head screwdriver. Pull the switch away from the column.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • Socket set

  • Flat tip screwdriver

  • Phillips head screwdriver

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.

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