How to Replace the Ignition Switch on a Jeep Grand Cherokee

Written by jeanene s. valentine
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A faulty or failing ignition switch on your Jeep Grand Cherokee can be frustrating and hazardous, and you should repair it immediately. Otherwise, your engine may stall at any given time while on the road. It may even leave you stranded somewhere by refusing to start. Sometimes the problem may begin with your Jeep being hard to start, taking several attempts. Other times, your ignition may fail all at once. Either way, changing your own ignition switch is slightly difficult but worth it in the end.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Wrench
  • Screwdriver

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Instructions

    Removing the Lower Dashboard Trim

  1. 1

    Raise and secure the bonnet of your Jeep Grand Cherokee.

  2. 2

    Disconnect the negative (black) cable terminal from the car battery, using a wrench.

  3. 3

    Remove the 10 screws that surround the lower dashboard trim panel inside the Grand Cherokee, using a screwdriver. The last screw is usually hidden behind the ashtray container.

  4. 4

    Unplug any electrical connectors and remove the panel. Set the panel aside.

    Removing the Ignition Switch

  1. 1

    Place the key lock in the "Off-Lock" position.

  2. 2

    Use a screwdriver to remove the two retaining screws connecting the switch to the steering column, and disconnect the actuating rod.

  3. 3

    Unplug the black wire harness electrical connector from the white connector.

  4. 4

    Remove the switch from the steering column.

    Installing the New Ignition Switch

  1. 1

    Place the new ignition switch in position at the edge of the steering column.

  2. 2

    Move the slider on the ignition switch to the "Accessory" position.

  3. 3

    Connect the actuating rod to the slider hole, and install the switch. Tighten the two retaining screws finger-tight.

  4. 4

    Holding the key lock in the "Accessory" position, push the ignition switch slightly toward the bottom of the column. Remove any slack in the actuating rod and tighten the retaining screws securely with a screwdriver.

  5. 5

    Plug the black connector back into the white connector.

  6. 6

    Replace the lower dashboard trim, and fasten the screws with a screwdriver.

  7. 7

    Reconnect the negative cable terminal on the car battery, and tighten it with a wrench. Close the bonnet.

Tips and warnings

  • One bad habit you should break is having a heavy key chain that is full of keys. The extra weight on the ignition switch can cause the switch to become loose and fail.

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