If the ignition switch on your car has gone bad, the repair can be expensive and time-consuming. Hiring a mechanic to repair the problem will easily cost you more than £65. Even if you do the work yourself, the parts alone may leave you with a bill of £32 or more. Fortunately, there is a way to bypass the manufacturer's ignition switch and get back on the road in 30 minutes or so for around £13.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- 12-gauge or heavier wire
- Crimping tool and eyelet connectors
- Wrenches or sockets
Disconnect your battery. Electricity, even from a 12-volt battery, can cause injuries and sparks can create fires. This is not a project you want to work on while the power is hooked up.
Decide on the placement of your new push-button starter switch. Good locations include under the dashboard, in the centre console or even in the glove compartment. This is really a matter of personal taste and convenience. If you are just using the push button switch as a temporary fix, you don't have to actually install it. Just wrap the electrical connections in electrician's tape and lay it on top of the dashboard after everything is connected.
Using your wrenches or sockets, remove the nut from the positive side stud of your starter solenoid and put it in a safe place where it won't get lost.
Using the crimping tool, remove the insulation from about 1/4-inch of the wire and attach an eyelet connector that is of appropriate size to fit over the positive side stud of your solenoid. Crimp the connector onto the wire firmly and then slide the eyelet over the positive side stud of the solenoid and reattach the nut.
Run your wire into the pasenger compartment of the car, being careful to route it in such a way that it will not come into contact with hot engine components or sharp edges that might damage the wire. Once you are in the passenger compartment and have enough wire to reach your switch's' installation location, allow an extra 3 to 4 inches and clip the wire. Strip the insulation from the end of the wire and install a crimp connector of the appropriate size to fit on one side of your push-button switch.
Remove the screw from the back of the push-button switch and attach the connector to the switch.
Strip the insulation from the last 1/4-inch of the remaining wire and connect a crimp connector it. Remove the screw from the other side of the push=button switch and attach the connector to the switch.
Route this wire to the positive side of the battery. As with the last wire, be very careful to avoid engine components that may damage the wire.
Reconnect the negative side of your battery.
Reconnect the positive side of your battery with the new wire placed into position where it will get a good electrical connection
Try it out. You will still need your key to unlock the steering wheel and send power to your fuel pump and accessories. Turn the key to the on position and press the starter button to start the engine.
Tips and warnings
- This set-up works best in older vehichles. Newer cars with theft protection devices in place may not work with this fix without additional modifications.
- This is an excellent emergency fix when you are stranded and just need the car to start.
- Make sure to disconnect the battery before starting this project to avoid injury.
- Make certain that the switch you use has a minimum amperage rating of 30 amps, as anything smaller could cause fires.
- Don't lose your keys. The car will not start without them.
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