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RAV4 Ignition Switch Removal

by Russell Wood

The ignition switch on a Toyota RAV4 is the first part of the ignition process. When the key is turned, the starter is signaled to turn over, which fires the engine. If the ignition switch fails, then the starter won't get the signal and the SUV won't be able to start. To fix the problem, you will have to remove the ignition switch from the RAV4 and replace it with a new one.

Step 1

Open up the hood. Take off the negative battery terminal connection from the battery with the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket. Reach behind the backside of the steering wheel and remove the two Torx bolts holding the airbag to the wheel, using the Torx socket and a 3/8-inch ratchet. Pull the airbag off the wheel and unplug the harness. Store it with the vinyl side of the airbag up.

Step 2

Remove the center bolt on the steering wheel with the 1/2-inch ratchet and socket. Bolt the steering wheel puller to the wheel with the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket. Tighten the puller with the 1/2-inch ratchet and socket until the steering wheel comes off the column. Remove the upper and lower column covers, using the Phillips screwdriver.

Step 3

Unscrew the multifunction switch from the side of the column with the Phillips screwdriver. Unplug the switch and set it to the side.

Cut a notch into the bolts holding the clamp on the ignition switch and lock cylinder using the rotary tool with a cut-off wheel. Make the notch large enough to fit a flat-head screwdriver. Remove the screws using the flat-head screwdriver, then take the clamp off the ignition switch and the lock cylinder. Unscrew the switch from the lock cylinder assembly using the Phillips screwdriver, then take the switch out of the RAV4.

Items you will need

  • 3/8-inch ratchet and socket set
  • Torx socket set
  • Steering wheel puller
  • 1/2-inch ratchet and socket set
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Rotary tool with metal cut-off wheel
  • Flat-head screwdriver

About the Author

Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.

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