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Replacing Your Audi A4 Ignition Switch and Lock Cylinder
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Your Audi A4 Ignition Switch and Lock Cylinder

Steve Vernon

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$10 to $200

Talent:

**

Tools:

Small flathead screwdriver, wire clip

Applicable Models:

Audi A4 (2002-05)
Audi A4 Cabriolet (2003-06)

Parts Required:

New switch or lock cylinder

Hot Tip:

Move the driver seat back

Performance Gain:

Working ignition

Complementary Modification:

clean the stalk switch contact points

The ignition switch, lock cylinder and assembly are prone to failure over the years especially if the car has been used as a daily driver. If you suspect that the lock cylinder or tumbler is starting to go bad or that your key is starting to act up in the ignition you should replace the cylinder ASAP. The cylinder is easy to change while you can still turn the key in it, as you need to be able to turn the key to remove it. If you let the cylinder get to the point where you can no longer turn the key in the ignition you will end up having to replace the entire ignition switch assembly.

If your car is equipped with an automatic transmission you will need to remove the steering/gear locking cable; the procedures for this are covered in steps 5-7.

You will need to disconnect the ground strap on the battery and make sure it can not come in contact with the battery while working on this project. Please see our article on battery maintenance.

You will also need to remove the airbag, steering wheel and steering column switches. Please see our articles on removing the airbag, steering wheel and steering column switch for help.

This photo illustrates the ignition assembly (blue arrow) with the steering wheel and switches removed.
Figure 1

This photo illustrates the ignition assembly (blue arrow) with the steering wheel and switches removed. You can see the switch harness (red arrow), switch (yellow arrow, inside assembly), the inductive coil harness (green arrow) and the ignition cylinder (purple arrow).

You will need a firm paper clip or 3/36 drill bit to inset into the hole in the ignition cylinder (red arrow).
Figure 2

You will need a firm paper clip or 3/36 drill bit to inset into the hole in the ignition cylinder (red arrow).

Gently separate the connection for the inductive coil (red arrows).
Figure 3

Gently separate the connection for the inductive coil (red arrows).

Make sure the vehicles transmission is in park; insert the key and turn it 90 degrees to the on position (red arrow).
Figure 4

Make sure the vehicles transmission is in park; insert the key and turn it 90 degrees to the "on" position (red arrow).

Use a small flathead screwdriver and gently lift retaining clip on the interlocking cable on the back of the ignition assembly (red arrow).
Figure 5

Use a small flathead screwdriver and gently lift retaining clip on the interlocking cable on the back of the ignition assembly (red arrow).

With the retaining clip lose you can wiggle the interlock cable out from the ignition assembly (red arrow).
Figure 6

With the retaining clip lose you can wiggle the interlock cable out from the ignition assembly (red arrow).

The cable has a long metal lock out plate on the end (red arrow) so use patience when removing (red arrow).
Figure 7

The cable has a long metal lock out plate on the end (red arrow) so use patience when removing (red arrow).

Insert your paper clip approximately an inch and half into the hole in the cylinder (red arrow).
Figure 8

Insert your paper clip approximately an inch and half into the hole in the cylinder (red arrow). The clip will release the locking ring (yellow arrow) in the cylinder and allow you to pull the cylinder out by the key. You may need to wiggle everything around to get everything lined up, just take your time and don't try to force anything.

To replace the switch disconnect the switch harness (red arrow).
Figure 9

To replace the switch disconnect the switch harness (red arrow).

You will need to scrap the factory sealing paint off of the ignition assembly if you have the original switch, then use a small flathead screwdriver and loosen the two screws holding the switch in place (yellow arrows).
Figure 10

You will need to scrap the factory sealing paint off of the ignition assembly if you have the original switch, then use a small flathead screwdriver and loosen the two screws holding the switch in place (yellow arrows).

Pull the switch from the housing (red arrow).
Figure 11

Pull the switch from the housing (red arrow). Installation is the reverse of removal.

If you are replacing the whole assembly you will need to disconnect the ground wire (yellow arrow) and then use a clod chisel to break off the shear bolts (red arrows).
Figure 12

If you are replacing the whole assembly you will need to disconnect the ground wire (yellow arrow) and then use a clod chisel to break off the shear bolts (red arrows). You can also grind or drill out the shear bolts but that makes a mess with all the shavings. Installation is the reverse of removal. Shear bolts are properly torqued when the head of the bolt breaks off.


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Comments and Suggestions:
stu3.0 Comments: hello. does this apply to the 2002 3.0 V6 aswell. i dont seem to have the interlocking cable on the back of the barrel part. thanks.
October 30, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: it should be similar. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Disgruntled Tech Comments: This article is completely useless without the info to remove everything that comes first. Why wouldn't you link to the article's you mention in the beginning.

You guys have great write ups and i come here instead of Alldata because of that. But too many times you guys reference articles with out providing a link and I just go elsewhere.
December 16, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. The main link for all of the related articles to this model are at the top of the page:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/Audi_A4_B6_Index.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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