Ignition Switch

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The ignition switch is prone to failure from age and overloading. Replacements are available, but the quality of the replacement switches is unreliable. Rebuilding the switch is possible, depending on the failure.

First step: remove the switch.

As long as the key is in the lock, the following method should work:

1) Remove steering column shroud

2) Disconnect the electrical connectors to the switch

2) Locate and remove the small Philips head screw on the switch housing. (Located near the AVV mark)

3) Locate the pin about 120° counterclockwise from the screw location (again on the housing)

4) Push in on this pin while pulling the switch out from the housing. It should slide out quite easily. You will have to guide the connectors through the housing. (switch removal instructions credit to Dave Rowley)


Once you have the switch removed, you have to decide how to proceed. Rebuilding these sorts of electronics is not for the ham-fisted or feint of heart, but it's not rocket science either.

Here's a good general overview/FAQ on switch rebuilding: http://www.mirafiori.com/faq/content/switch/index.html Later models have slightly different, and also slightly easier to repair, switches.

Late model switches may be rebuilt following this set of instructions. I decided to rebuild my switch when the headlights stopped working, though the pods still went up and down. Make sure the headlight switch isn't your problem before rebuilding your ignition switch.

The black and blue wires are meant to receive key-on power, and only the blue was getting any. This powers the pods and parking lights, as well as heat fan and other accessories. The black wire powers the headlights, and was not getting power. I had previously put a relay into the circuit but the damage was probably already done. I drilled out the rivets holding the assembly together. This is the melted contact I found upon disassembly:


I carved the contact and spring from the melted are of the housing and carved away the melted plastic


I polished the floating contacts as well as the wire end contacts with a gum rubber eraser:


Reinstalled the springs, floating contacts and buttons:


Pulled the wires and their contacts into place, greased the buttons with white lithium grease:


And greased and reassembled the switch with tiny stainless screws (0-80x5/8") and nuts:


The switch with key and steering lock assembly installed:


Using my multi-meter, I verified the black wire was now also getting power with the key "on", and after filing down protruding nut edges, reinstalled. It works like a charm, and should be good for a long time. Special thanks to Mike Evans on Mirafiori.com who found the correct size and length screws to use.

To protect your investment of time and patience, consider the BrownWire mod or relay mod to protect the ignition and headlight switch from overload damage. --Gregory 19:57, 15 September 2009 (UTC)