How to Replace the Multi-Function Switch in Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

The multi-function switch on your Vehicles controls the hazard flashers, turn signals and headlights. When two or more of these systems experience malfunctions simultaneously, it's a good bet your multi-function switch has failed. The hazard flasher activation button and turn signal stalk are part of the multi-function switch assembly. When the time comes to replace the multi-function switch in your Vehicles if you have entry-level auto-repair experience, you can perform the job yourself.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace the Multi-Function Switch in a Chevy Avalanche

Remove the Multi-Function Switch

Remove both cables from the battery, then wait 10 minutes to allow the air bag system to disable. Pull out the tilt wheel level on the steering wheel to disable it. Make sure the multi-function switch is OFF.

Take off the knee bolster and remove the screws from the lower column cover. Title the cover down and then slide it back to disengage the locking tabs. Remove the head screws from the upper column cover.

Lift out the steering column lock set and the upper cover. Disconnect the wiring harness straps that lead to the steering column wiring harness.

Disengage the Brake Transmission Shift Interlock (BTSI). Locate the gray and black connectors from the bulkhead connector and unplug them. Remove the switch screws and take out the switch.

Install the Multi-Function Switch

Set the new switch in place. Compress the electrical contact with a small screwdriver blade and secure the switch into position. Make sure the electrical contact is resting on the canceling cam assembly.

Put the screws in place to secure the switch. Torque the screws to 53 inch lbs.

Install the upper column cover. Fasten the bracket nuts and tighten them to 22 foot/pounds. Put the knee bolster in place as well as the steering column cylinder lock. Tighten the screws on the column cover to 12 foot/pounds.

Place the lower column cover back in position. Tighten the screws to 53 inch/pounds.

Check to make sure that the switch is in the OFF position, then install the steering wheel. Reconnect the cables to the battery. Enable the air bag system.

 How to Replace the Multi-Function Switch on a 2002 Malibu

Remove the steering column trim cover from the Malibu's steering column using the trim tool. Once you have pried the cover loose with the trim tool, you can pull it off the column by hand to expose the multi-function switch.

Pick the wiring pigtail out of the multi-function switch by hand. Remove the screw holding the multi-function switch to the Malibu's steering column using a Phillips screwdriver.

Lift the multi-function switch out of the column by hand. Place the Malibu's new multi-function switch in the column by hand.

Install the retaining screw in the Malibu's new multi-function switch with the Phillips screwdriver. Plug the wiring pigtail into the new switch assembly by hand.

Reinstall the steering column trim cover in reverse of how you removed it.

Items you will need

  • Trim tool

  • Phillips screwdriver

 How to Replace the Multifunction Switch in a Chevy Lumina

Open the hood of your Chevy Lumina and use your socket set to remove the negative battery cable.

Insert the trim tool between your steering wheel column and the trim and begin to pry the trim up. Work your way along the column until all the trim is pried up and way.

Squeeze the two tabs in on the back of the multifunction switch's wiring harness and unplug it from the back of the switch.

Insert your screwdriver into the switch retaining screw and twist it to the left to remove it. Take out the old switch and set the new one in place. Return the switch's retaining screw and then plug the wiring harness back into the rear of your Lumina's new multifunction switch.

Use the trim tool to replace the trim along your steering wheel column. Replace your Lumina's negative battery cable.

Items you will need

  • Socket set

  • Trim tool

  • Screwdriver

About the Author

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