How to Remove the Ignition Lock Cylinder from Vehicles

by Contributing WriterUpdated June 12, 2017

The ignition lock cylinder in your Vehicles operates in a slightly different manner from the ones installed in the typical Vehicles cars and light Vehicles. Instead of the ignition actuating the ignition switch with the use of a push rod and linkage, the Vehicles uses a lock cylinder that is connected directly to the switch assembly on the top of the steering column. Replacement of the lock cylinder requires basic hand tools, and the project is a snap Vehicles the average home mechanic.

Under The Hood:

 How to Remove the Ignition Lock Cylinder from a Saturn S-Series

Disconnect the negative battery cable using an 8 mm wrench and lay the cable aside. Remove the air bag system fuse from the under-dash fuse box. Remove the lower trim panel from under the steering column, using a screwdriver and a 7 mm wrench, and disconnect the yellow air bag connector located at the base of the steering column to deactivate the air bag system.

Remove the steering column trim covers located behind the steering wheel, using a T-15 Torx driver, then remove the five screws from the bottom trim cover. Gently pry the lock cylinder trim ring out of the column trim and separate the two halves of the column trim. Position the steering wheel in the full up position and slip the lower trim cover off the column. Position the steering wheel in the full down position and slip the upper trim panel off the column.

Turn the ignition switch to the "Run" position and then to the "ACC" position. Push the small release button on the end of the lock cylinder housing, using a small screwdriver. Slide the old lock cylinder out of the housing.

Install the new cylinder in the housing and turn the ignition key to the "Run" position to lock the cylinder in place. Turn the key to the "Lock" position and remove the key from the cylinder. Reinstall the column trim and lock cylinder bezel. Tighten the five T-15 Torx retaining screws snugly. Avoid over-tightening them and stripping the plastic trim -- they should only be tight enough to secure the trim panel.

Reconnect the air bag connector. Reconnect the negative battery cable. Watch the "Theft" light on the dash and wait for it to stop flashing. Start the engine. Reinstall the lower trim panel under the driver's side of the dash.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver set

  • Torx driver set

  • Wrench set

 How to Remove an Ignition Lock Cylinder on an Isuzu

Open the hood and loosen the retaining nut on the cable clamp running to the negative battery terminal. Then slide the negative cable clamp off of the negative battery terminal.

Drill a 3/8-inch hole in to the right of the keyhole in your Isuzu's ignition. Drill 1 inch deep into the ignition.

Pick the lock rod out of the Isuzu's lock cylinder using a pick tool.

Insert the old ignition key into the keyhole and turn the ignition cylinder to the "II" position. With the lock rod removed, you should be able to easily turn the ignition now.

Pull the ignition out of the steering column with the ignition key.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • Socket set

  • Drill

  • 3/8-inch drill bit

  • Pick tool

 How to Remove the Ignition Lock Cylinder on a 1988 GMC Sierra Truck

Remove the horn pad by unscrewing the small Phillips head screws that attach it to the steering wheel. The four screws are located on the back of the steering wheel. Rotate the small white plastic horn button connector located behind the horn pad to remove the horn wire from the steering wheel.

Remove the 13/16-inch nut that attaches the steering wheel to the steering column. Bolt the steering wheel puller to the steering wheel using the bolts supplied with the puller. Some pullers supply an assortment of bolts; the GMC uses two long 3/8 bolts to clear the steering wheel. The bolts only need to be finger-tight, but they do need to be screwed the same number of turns so they are even on the steering wheel puller. Position the center shaft of the puller in the dimple in the end of the steering shaft. Turn the center shaft of the puller until it pulls the steering wheel off the steering shaft.

Screw the lock plate tool to the steering column shaft protruding from the center of the steering wheel. Position the U-shaped press piece on the lock plate and tighten the tool to compress the spring-loaded lock plate. Remove the circlip that is exposed when the lock plate is compressed using a pair of picks from the small pick set. Slide the circlip up the steering shaft and remove the lock plate tool and lock plate by unscrewing the tool from the steering shaft.

Remove the turn signal cam located behind the lock plate by unscrewing the three lock plate screws and the turn signal lever screw with a medium screwdriver. When the turn signal lever screw is removed, pull the loose lever slide from the turn signal lever so it is doesn't drop inside the steering column. Pull the plastic turn signal cam up over the steering shaft.

Remove the retaining screw that holds the ignition lock cylinder in place in the steering column housing and slide the lock cylinder from the housing. Install the new cylinder in reverse order.

Items you will need

  • Steering wheel puller

  • Lock plate tool

  • Small pick set

  • Screwdriver set

  • Socket set

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