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How Much does an Ignition Switch Replacement Cost?
Your engine’s starter needs electrical power before it can spin to fire up the engine, and the ignition switch is the gateway that power is controlled by.
In its normal course of operation, the ignition switch can experience unexpected failure just like any other electrical part, especially when frequent starts are required daily.
An ignition switch usually lasts a car’s lifetime, but sudden failure can occur at any time, although it’s more common on older cars.
The average cost to replace the ignition switch on most cars, including parts and labour, is $150 to $350, but some makes and models are much more expensive.
In some situations, the ignition switch must be replaced along with the ignition cylinder.
Ignition Switch Replacement
What is an Ignition Switch?
Every type of car has an ignition switch. At its core, it’s a basic switch that powers up the starter circuit to start your engine.
The ignition switch is usually located in the steering column or dash panel, and it’s often attached directly to the ignition cylinder.
Most ignition switches are made of plastic with electrical contacts inside. When the ignition key is turned, the ignition switch completes a circuit and the starter relay is powered.
Contacts inside the switch can corrode or break unexpectedly or the contacts can wear out with excessive use, meaning the circuit isn’t completed when the ignition key is turned.
As well, the ignition switch can stick, continuously cranking the engine or keeping the ignition in the ‘on’ position. If that happens, the ignition switch will need to be replaced.
Symptoms that Ignition Switch Replacement Is Required
- Intermittent no-crank when the ignition key is turned
- The ignition won’t turn to the ‘off’ position
- The engine will not crank at all
How is the Ignition Switch Replaced?
- The technician verifies the concerns and completes an electrical diagnosis
- If the ignition switch is deemed to be faulty, it must be replaced
- The battery is disconnected to prevent accidental short circuit
- The dash panel or steering column covers are removed to access the switch
- The failed switch is removed and a new ignition switch is fitted
- The trim is reassembled and the battery reconnected
- The technician tests to ensure the repair is correct and complete
Tips to Remember
- Some ignition switches incorporate the ignition cylinder and must be replaced as an assembly.
- Proper diagnosis is important as other problems such as a bad starter or faulty wiring can exhibit the same symptoms.
How Important is Ignition Switch Replacement?
Replacing an intermittent or faulty ignition switch can prevent needless frustrations where the engine won’t start. You are able to depend on your car confidently.
Driving your car when the ignition switch isn’t working properly can leave you stranded after you turn the engine off somewhere, or in rare instances, the engine may turn off inadvertently while you’re driving.
If you’ve read this far, you obviously care about your car. A lot. So next time you need a service, repair or inspection, visit AutoGuru.com.au.
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