How to Replace the Ignition Switch on a Toyota Camry

by Chris Moore

The Toyota Camry's ignition switch is different from the lock cylinder that you insert the key into, but it is connected to that cylinder. Along with the starter motor, these are the three main components of the ignition/starter system on the car. If the ignition switch needs replacing, you need to get into the steering column itself to remove and install the ignition switch.

Removal

Step 1

Disconnect the car's negative battery cable.

Step 2

Insert the key into the lock cylinder and turn it to the Accessory position--turn it to the left. Make sure the front wheels are facing straight ahead before you do this.

Step 3

Pry off the covers on the sides of the steering wheel concealing the air bag's mounting screws. Remove the screws with a Torx wrench, pull the air bag off the wheel and disconnect its electrical connectors.

Step 4

Remove the steering wheel--unplug the electrical connector to the horn and cruise control, remove the wheel's retaining nut with a wrench, mark the hub's relationship to the steering shaft with tape and remove the wheel with a steering wheel puller.

Step 5

Remove the steering column covers by removing the two Phillips screws on the sides and separating the two halves of the covers.

Step 6

Unplug the electrical connectors for the ignition switch.

Unscrew the retaining screws for the ignition switch with a screwdriver and pull the switch out of the lock cylinder's housing.

Installation

Step 1

Insert the replacement ignition switch into the lock cylinder housing--the lock cylinder must still be in the Accessory position--and secure it with the retaining screws. Connect the electrical connectors to the switch.

Step 2

Connect the steering column covers to the column and secure them with their Phillips screws.

Step 3

Install the steering wheel to the column, then connect the air bag to the wheel with its electrical connector and Torx screws.

Re-connect the battery cable.

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