How to Replace the Ignition Switch on a Chevy Lumina

by Lee SallingsUpdated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Socket set

  • Wrench set

  • Screwdriver set

  • Steering wheel puller

  • Lock plate removal tool

In the Chevy Lumina, the ignition switch is separate from the key lock cylinder mounted in the steering column behind the steering wheel. In the Lumina, the ignition switch is mounted low on the steering column and actuated by a gear and rod mechanism attached to the end of the key lock cylinder. The heavy duty contacts in the ignition switch control the supply of electrical energy to the starting, charging and accessory systems in the car.

Turn the ignition switch to the lock position and remove the keys. Disconnect the negative battery cable located under the windshield washer reservoir on the driver side of the engine compartment. Wait 10 minutes before continuing. This will prevent accidental air bag deployment and serious injury.

Remove the screws that attach the sound insulation and lower trim panel, located under the driver side of the dash, using an 8 mm socket, 10 mm socket, Phillips screwdriver and ratchet. Lay the panels out of the way.

Remove the two 15 mm nuts that attach the steering column to the column bracket under the dash and lower the steering column. Unplug the electrical connector on the ignition switch located on top of the steering column about half-way down the column. Remove the two 8 mm nuts that attach the high-beam headlight switch to the top of the column and ignition switch.

Remove the two 10 mm studs that attach the switch to the column. Pull the switch up off the column slightly and use a small screwdriver to pry the actuating rid out of the bottom of the switch.

Slide the new switch over the actuating rod and install the studs to secure it to the column. Position the high-beam switch onto the stud and install the retaining screw and nut after inserting the high-beam actuator rod into the end of the high-beam switch. Plug the electrical connector into the new ignition switch.

Lift the steering column into position and install the retaining nuts. Tighten the nuts securely. Reinstall the negative battery cable. Try to start the engine. If the engine won't start, adjust the new switch by loosening the studs and sliding the switch down the column until it will start. Reinstall the lower trim panel and sound insulator.


Many large auto-parts chains offer the steering wheel puller and lock plate tool for rent or will even loan them out.


Wear safety glasses and work gloves to prevent cuts caused by sharp under-dash parts and eye injury from falling debris.

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