Ignition Switch Removal

LittleHoov

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I just removed mine for cleaning, and thought Id do a little write up on how its done for future reference.

Before you do anything, you will need to disconnect the negative cable from the battery, its also good practice to pull the Airbag fuse from the fusebox, since you will be working around areas where the airbag connectors are later on. It only takes a few seconds to do, and better than taking an airbag in the face. The possibilities of that happening are slim, but its better to be safe about it.



Phase 1: Removal of radio and Climate Controls


1. Lift center console lid and remove the two 7mm bolts just behind the cupholder.
2. Pull up on trim piece, a good location to grab is to push in the cupholder and use it as sort of a handle, the entire piece around the shifter all the way down to underneath the climate controls should come loose. Once the piece is free, disconnect the plug for the traction control button if applicable, you will also have to at least push in the button on the shifter knob to get the piece out, you may also want to shift out of park (be careful) to get that piece out.

3. Remove the trim piece that goes around the radio and climate controls by simply popping it off, its best to start at the bottom, where you just exposed it by removing the piece in step 2. Once its popped off, make sure all of the little clips (4 total) stayed with the piece, sometimes they get stuck in the dash and have to be removed.

4. Remove the 3 Phillips head screws holding in the radio, pull radio out and disconnect wiring harness from the back, and antenna plug from the back. Set the radio aside. Then remove the 2 Phillips head screws from the Climate control unit. Mine is digital so standard controls may vary slightly. After you have removed the screws, pull the unit out and disconnect the wiring from the back by grasping the connector on the tabs and pulling, you may have to fight it a little.

Phase 2: Removing the Instrument Cluster

1. The large plastic piece that starts under the steering wheel and goes all the way down to the floor needs to come loose, not off necessarily, but loose. The easiest way to do this is to grab it on the left side, just underneath the vent on the farthest left. Around the areas of the dimmer switch. It should pop straight off. Then go over to the other side and pop it off at the top. It does not need to come off, the top portion just needs to be loosened enough so that you can see the bottom portion of the black plastic trim that surrounds the gauges.

2. Once you can see the bottom of that trim, stop, and take the two screws out of the black plastic around the gauges, once they are out, you should be able to grab that piece down at the bottom and pop it off. Be careful as there is wiring that goes to the "Trip Odo" and "Trip Reset" buttons that will need to be disconnected. Dont forget that you have tilt steering, and there are times when you may need to move the wheel around a little to get things in and out.

3. Remove the 4 phillips head screws from around the instrument cluster, guide it out slowly, its a tight fit and youll have to move it around just so, but once it comes free, remove the one large connector from the back.

4. Go ahead and remove the Hazard and Cruise switches from the dash, by grasping the big tabs behind them (cant miss em) and pulling it straight out, just set them in the area where the instrument cluster was, youll want that extra room later on I promise. Hang on kids, were gettin to the fun part now.

Phase 3: Ignition Switch removal
.

1. Go ahead and gently pry off the black plastic ring around the keyhole, a flathead screwdriver works great, but pry against the metal of the keyhole, not against the dash, or you can damage it.

2. Taking your ignition key off your keyring works best, as it takes up less space, and doesnt flop around and such. But anyway, go ahead and insert your ignition key into the ignition and turn the key to the "ACC" position, which would be the first click.

3. Locate the Parl/Lock cable running into the back of the ignition switch, its a thick black cable, that has limited movement too it, but it does move if you get mean with it. This part is tricky, as for me it was done largely by feel. But on the underside of where that cable runs into the switch, there should be a little tab that you can push in with your finger and the cable should come free with some persuasion. Thats in a perfect world, anyway.

4. Getting the cable out in step 3 will help, but its not absolutely necessary it this point. It is easier to remove the cable while the ignition switch is still bolted in place, but again, it can be done later if you cant seem to get it in step 3. With that said, go ahead and take loose the two remaining bolts holding the switch in, there are a total of 3, but you took one loose when you removed the radio. They are the only 2 bolts left in the general area, one goes in from the side and one goes straight in. They are both Phillips head.

5. You may have noticed, that even with the park/lock cable removed, and with all the bolts out, this bugger doesnt seem in any hurry to come out. You would be correct. There are 2 connectors with thick wiring that go into the bottom of the switch that are keeping it from moving very far. If you havent already take the key back out of the ignition, even if you still havent removed that cable, you can do it later. Pull on the back of the switch and push on the keyhole with your thumb to get it motivated to move backwards a little bit. This is where it gets sketchy, but those two connectors on the bottom are held in by a tab, just one, on the side closest to you, if you can move that switch around just so, you can get something in there and push the connectors out. I was able to use a small screwdriver stuck through the opening for the key in the dash. Your methods may vary, just use a mix of caution and anger so as not to damage any wiring. They WILL come off, but sometimes theyre stubborn.

6. Hopefully by now, with the park/lock cable removed, and both those connectors out of the bottom, this thing should be freed up. Youll probably have to use both hands to wriggle it out of there, dont forget you can reach around through the opening where the radio was (thats why we took it out). There are only two connections left now. One is a light and should simply pop out as you grab it and pull. The other connection is a cute little 3 wire job that requires removing the lock cylinder to get it out. Luckily the wiring is long so you can get the switch out where you can work with it.

7. To remove the lock cylinder, put the key back in, turn it to the ON position, or second click, and then locate the little metallic tab on the switch. I honestly cant remember where it is, but its the only tab on there. You push that tab in while pulling on the key and it should slide right out.

8. The switch should be fully free now, as that last connector essentially falls out without the lock cylinder in place, but take notice of how it works so you can put it back together when the time comes.

You should be pretty well done now, installation is the reverse of removal. Unless you are replacing the lock cylinder, I dont think any special procedures need to be done. I cleaned mine up and put it back in and it started fine on the first try. I dont see any reason why a new switch with the old cylinder should be any different. Congratulations, you just removed your ignition switch.
 

pessimism

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Thank you for this writeup! I wondered how it came out because one of the bulbs that lights up the plastic ring around it is burnt out on mine.. from the looks of it I think I will just leave it alone... too many opportunities for broken plastic clips and tabs from all that disassembly. I guess it would have been too easy for it to be held in by a screw on retaining ring.
 

LittleHoov

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You MIGHT be able to get to that bulb simply by popping off the little trim piece that has the "OFF, ACC,ON, START" on it, it leaves a decent sized opening, and that bulb isnt too far away from there.

Id never seen a bulb that looked like that though, so it might not be something thats easy to find a replacement for either. Its worth a shot though, that little piece takes like 5 seconds to get off, and if you get just the right angle, you might be able to get that bulb out, the question would lie in whether or not you get it back in.
 

rncotton

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I'll add one footnote: When you install the ignition switch, there are three bolts that secure the ignition switch mount into the vehicle. One attaches to the radio, one is accessible once you remove the cluster, and one requires removal of other stuff. (Sorry, doing this from memory, can't recall exactly)

When you put it back in, only install the first two. That way if you ever need to remove it in the future, you can simply pop the trim around the radio, pull the cluster, and then reach through the center A/C vents and wiggle the ignition switch and mount out.

Trust me ... you'll do this more than once in the ownership of your Intrigue. I can change the ignition switch in about 10 minutes without that 3rd screw.
 

barrie1

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Thanks a lot Mate.

I was able to change it out thanks to all you guy's guidance. All wen just how described in these post.

If only i could figure out the problem with my ABS, SERVICE SOON, BRAKE AND TRACTION CONTROL lights, I would be styling !
 

krivasolds

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NotbyaLongshot

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I'll add one footnote: When you install the ignition switch, there are three bolts that secure the ignition switch mount into the vehicle. One attaches to the radio, one is accessible once you remove the cluster, and one requires removal of other stuff. (Sorry, doing this from memory, can't recall exactly)

When you put it back in, only install the first two. That way if you ever need to remove it in the future, you can simply pop the trim around the radio, pull the cluster, and then reach through the center A/C vents and wiggle the ignition switch and mount out.

Trust me ... you'll do this more than once in the ownership of your Intrigue. I can change the ignition switch in about 10 minutes without that 3rd screw.
Where Do You Live!!! I'm in Garden city, Mi. 63 yr-old woman who can't afford shop and stranded. After reading the instructions I understand why no one I know wants to replace for me.
 

OLDSFAN

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Just changed my ignition switch in 2000 Intrigue GL, 140k miles. Had flashing dash lights, car would die once turn signal was activated, & couldn't restart for a few hours.
Took as good 2-3 hours. Plenty of stuff to remove to get access. Slow & steady, but got it done. Starts right away, and stays on !! Good luck.
Ted
 
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