Ignition lock cylinder replacement

ignition switch

Located on the steering wheel column, center console or the dashboard of the motor vehicle, the ignition lock is an anti- theft device that prevents anyone from driving the car when the ignition key is not in the ignition switch. It is impossible to turn the steering wheel when the ignition key is not in the ignition switch. The ignition key also allows the accessories of the vehicle to run even when the car is not running. Over time, the ignition lock will wear through the constant action of or inserting and removing the ignition key. It will therefore need to be replaced. You will know that your ignition key is damaged if your key is loose when inserted in the ignition cylinder.

In order to do ignition lock cylinder replacement, you will have to remove the trim panel around the steering wheel. You will also need to remove the tamper proof hardware attached to the ignition lock assembly. While the tips below may not apply to all vehicles, they apply to most and when done correctly they will help replace the ignition lock without damaging other components of the car.

Components needed

  •  An adjustable wrench
  • Some knowledge about the car battery
  • Some paperclip
  • A new ignition lock cylinder to replace with

What to do

  • Pop the hood.
  • Remove the cable on the negative terminal of the battery. You can do this by turning the clamp nut in the anti- clockwise direction using an adjustable wrench.
  • Push the cable way from the battery completely to avoid short circuiting the battery or electrocuting yourself
  •  Insert the ignition key and turn it to the accessories position to keep the engine from running
  • Straighten one paper clip and stick one of its ends into the hole on the ignition cylinder. The cylinder is usually at the base of the key slot
  • Ensure you have held the paper clip is held into position and simultaneously turn the ignitio0n key into the off position
  •  Pull the ignition cylinder out of the ignition and do away with the paper clip
  • Insert the key into the new ignition lock cylinder. Inset the assembly in the ignition switch cavity and ensure the ignition cylinder into the right place
  • Place the negative battery terminal into the battery and tighten the clamp in the clockwise direction using the adjustable wrench.
  • Close the hood properly.

How to do ignition lock cylinder replacement when you have lost your keys

If you have lost your key, you will have to drill out the ignition cylinder using a 0.5 inches’ drill bit that is attached to an electric drill.

How to do it

Place the drill bit on the lkey slot and begin drilling

Do not drill too much all you need is to make it removable.

Removing your ignition cylinder in this fashion will require that you change your ignition switch too because it may also be damaged in the process.


If you are not in a position to change the ignition cylinder or if it does not work for your car, you will have to contact a Charlotte locksmith’s assistance. We are conveniently located to service all major locations in and around the surrounding communities. For more information, contact us or call us today at 704-458-4784.

One Comment on “Ignition lock cylinder replacement”

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