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How to Replace the Ignition Switch on a 1997 Blazer

by Dan Ferrell; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Wrench

  • Fuse puller

  • Ratchet

  • Socket

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • Special tool J-42759

The ignition lock cylinder and ignition switch in your 1997 Chevrolet Blazer work together as a single assembly. Still, you can replace the faulty switch as a separate unit from its housing. Since the assembly mounts on the steering column, you can perform this repair job yourself safely in your garage in about an hour and save money on repair costs. Make sure you have all the required tools to replace the switch before you start.

Remove the Ignition Switch

Insert the ignition key into the lock cylinder and turn the key to the “On” position without starting the engine. Then align the front wheels so they point straight ahead. Turn the ignition switch off and remove the key from the lock cylinder.

Disconnect the battery ground (black) cable with a wrench.

Pull the airbag fuse from the fuse box under the instrument panel, on the driver’s side, using a fuse puller.

Detach the lower panel from under the instrument panel on the driver’s side with a ratchet and socket.

Look around the steering column, under the instrument panel and locate the yellow electrical connector. Remove the small pin securing the two halves of the connector in place and then unplug the yellow electrical connector. This will disarm the airbag system.

Unfasten the screws holding the upper and lower steering column covers with a Phillips screwdriver and remove both covers from the steering column.

Unplug the two electrical connectors from the lock cylinder housing.

Push the ignition switch tabs through the two slots at the bottom of the lock cylinder housing with special tool J-42759, pull the ignition switch out of the lock cylinder housing, and unplug the switch electrical connector. Look at the gears on top of the old ignition switch. The gears on the new ignition switch should be in the same position before installation.

Install the New Switch

Plug in the electrical connector to the new ignition switch and insert the switch into the cylinder housing until the switch tab snap into the slots of the lock cylinder housing.

Plug the two electrical connectors to the lock cylinder housing.

Replace the upper and lower steering column covers and fasten the screws with the Phillips screwdriver.

Connect the yellow electrical connector under the steering column and secure the two halves with the small pin.

Reinstall the lower panel under the instrument panel with the ratchet and socket.

Replace the airbag fuse into the fuse box.

Connect the battery ground (black) cable with the wrench.

Place yourself on the passenger side of the cabin and turn the ignition switch to the “Run” position and make sure the “Air Bag” lamp on the dashboard flashes seven times and then shuts off. Otherwise, take your Blazer to a local auto parts store and have them clear any trouble codes stored in the computer memory, which may have been set during the ignition switch installation.

References

About the Author

Since 2003 Dan Ferrell has contributed general and consumer-oriented news to television and the Web. His work has appeared in Texas, New Mexico and Miami and on various websites. Ferrell is a certified automation and control technician from the Advanced Technology Center in El Paso, Texas.

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