How to Remove an Ignition Key Cylinder

by Gregory Crews

Removing the ignition key cylinder is a straightforward task. This repair is essential if you have broken a key off in the switch or want to re-key the ignition system. You can buy the new cylinder and tumblers at the dealership or a parts store. You must provide the vehicle make, model and year, and in some cases the vehicle identification number (VIN). You can find the VIN on the door or in the dash by the windshield. When replacing a part, remember how you removed the item to ensure that you properly replace it.

Open the hood and disconnect the power source by removing the ground cable on your vehicle's battery. This will prevent electrical shock.

Remove the steering column shroud with a Phillips-head screwdriver. Most shrouds are assembled with this type of screwdriver.

Locate the ignition key cylinder on the right side of the steering column; the cylinder will be surrounded by a key fob interface assembly.

Remove the fob interface by disconnecting the wires leading to it. The wires should just unsnap from the interface. The fob interface will slide off.

Remove the ignition key cylinder by pressing the tab on top with an Allen wrench. Turn the switch until it slides out. Ensure the key is in the switch, and turn the key while pressing down on the tab.


  • check The exact procedure for replacing the ignition cylinder differs by vehicle make and year.


  • close Always isolate the electrical system before troubleshooting the ignition system. This will reduce the risk of shock.

Items you will need

About the Author

Gregory Crews has been in the film industry for three years and has appeared in more than 38 major motion pictures and 16 television shows. He also writes detailed automotive tutorials. His expertise in the automotive industry has given him the skills to write detailed technical instructional articles.

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