Ignition Lock Cylinder Removal

by Andrea Stein

The ignition lock assembly in a vehicle secures the steering column and ignition system in order to prevent theft. Part of this ignition lock assembly involves the ignition lock cylinder, which holds only a specifically cut key to prevent a thief from inserting a foreign key and starting the vehicle. If damaged or faulty, the ignition lock cylinder may not accept the correct key, or properly lock the column or system. Ignition lock cylinders may become worn over time, and may require removal and replacement.

Electrical Feed

The ignition lock cylinder receives power via the car battery. To replace the ignition lock cylinder, the operator must use an adjustable wrench to remove the cable connected to the battery’s negative terminal.

Hardware Removal

The operator must remove the trim panels around the steering wheel to gain access to the ignition lock cylinder. The cylinder typically contains tamper proof screws to deter theft, which must then be removed in order to withdraw the damaged cylinder.

Cylinder Replacement

Once the operator removes the tamper proof hardware, he may pull out the ignition lock assembly. The faulty cylinder is then detached from the lock assembly, and a new cylinder is connected to the lock assembly. The operator can then replace the lock assembly, reattach the hardware and replace the steering wheel trim panels.

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