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Replacing Your Ignition Switch and Lock Cylinder
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Your Ignition Switch and Lock Cylinder

Steve Vernon

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$10 to $200

Talent:

**

Tools:

T20 Torx, trim removal tool, cold chisel and hammer

Applicable Models:

VW GTI (2006-09)

Parts Required:

New switch or lock cylinder

Hot Tip:

Use care with the small plastic switches

Performance Gain:

Working ignition

Complementary Modification:

Detail the interior

Like many modern manufacturers Volkswagen shares components and even platforms across its many model lines. This article is based on one of those shared components but the work may have been performed on a different model than your vehicle. While some fasteners and other hardware types and sizes may be different, all of the information you need to safely complete the project is included in this article. If you have any questions, comments or feedback please contact us using the comment section below or join us on one of the world's best automotive forums for additional assistance

The inductive coil, ignition switch, lock cylinder and assembly are all prone to failure. 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. You will need to remove the stalk switches to replace the whole assembly. Alternatively, you can replace the lock cylinder and electrical connection with the stalks on.

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 (yellow arrow) with the steering wheel and switches removed.
Figure 1

This photo illustrates the ignition assembly (yellow arrow) with the steering wheel and switches removed. You do not need to remove the stalk switches to work on the ignition cylinder or electrical connection. We removed them for photographic purposes.

To remove the lock cylinder you will need a firm paper clip or 3/36-inch drill bit to inset into the hole in the ignition cylinder (red arrow).
Figure 2

To remove the lock cylinder you will need a firm paper clip or 3/36-inch drill bit to inset into the hole in the ignition cylinder (red arrow).

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

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

Insert the key and turn it 90 degrees to the
Figure 4

Insert the key and turn it 90 degrees to the "on" position (red arrow).

Insert your paper clip approximately an inch and half into the hole in the cylinder (red arrow).
Figure 5

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 electrical portion of the switch, begin by disconnecting the switch harness (red arrow).
Figure 6

To replace the electrical portion of the switch, begin by disconnecting the switch harness (red arrow). This clip and connection are very small, so take your time.

Break the seal on the end cap on the electrical connection and gently pry it from the end of the barrel (red arrow).
Figure 7

Break the seal on the end cap on the electrical connection and gently pry it from the end of the barrel (red arrow).

You will need to insert a pick or very small tool between the electrical piece (red arrow) and the barrel (yellow arrow).
Figure 8

You will need to insert a pick or very small tool between the electrical piece (red arrow) and the barrel (yellow arrow). There are two plastic retaining tabs that need to be bent in towards the electrical piece to allow it to be pulled from the barrel.

With the plastic connection out of the barrel you get a better view of the two tabs (red arrows) you will need to depress.
Figure 9

With the plastic connection out of the barrel you get a better view of the two tabs (red arrows) you will need to depress.

If you are replacing the whole assembly, you will need to drill out the two shear bolts that hold the assembly in place.
Figure 10

If you are replacing the whole assembly, you will need to drill out the two shear bolts that hold the assembly in place. Access to the bolts is through the two access holes located on the top of the plastic piece (red arrows). 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:
Deedzing Comments: Hi,

I have replaced the switch only.
But now the car does nothing past what turns on when key is inserted.
I disconnected everything. Is it the Imobilizer ring? I have tried both keys.
Can I use vagcom if the car is not turning on,?
07 mk5r32
May 15, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would check the electrical switch. The tumbler may not be turning it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
suntan Comments: ok figured it out...there is a couple of clips on left and right side which I use a screwdriver to pry outwards to release the cylinder from the plastic housing. Cylinder drops straight down. Now the fun part...key turns halfway to "on" position...steering lock pulls down most of the way but not flush. Unable to remove ksy cylinder. Looks like I need to drill out black plug to release mechanism?
May 10, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Try holding the steering lock down, then pull key out. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
suntan Comments: Hi...2006 Jetta TDI...I have removed the two shear bolts for the ignition cylinder assembly as outlined in step 10. I am trying to slide out the cylinder assembly with the plastic brakcet but it seems to catch on something. I figured it was the steering lock. My key does not turn all the way to the "on" position but only maybe half way. It does release the steering column though. With the steering locked or unlocked it feels the same when trying to slide out. Don't know if steering lock mechanism is not fully retracting or not or if it needs to be to be able to remove. Any suggestions? thx suntan
May 10, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Be sure all the clips are detached and nothing is catching on it.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jay Comments: Hello I have a question I have gotten the assembly off. I used a grab it screw extractor with a drill and a right angle guys. But I got it off, disconected lock from housing and can,t get housing turned back to on position to seat lock cylinder back in. Any suggestions?
April 12, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You may have to press a tab inside the lock to get the mechanism to rotate. I forget if these models have one. If you share a few photos of the inside, I should be able to tell. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
JoeF Comments: Solution to my previous post: I maneuvered the unit into a clamp on my drill press & drilled through that metal "cap" & then pulled that whole safety tab thing out spring & all from the side. Everything moves easily now. Don't have that security pin anymore, but I don't think it's necessary. Will be installing later today
March 13, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
JoeF Comments: My whole assembly switch/barrel/immobilizer ring is out of the car but the key will not turn to the "on" position so that I can remove the immobilizer ring from the barrel. The ignition lock is in the up position. I've seen you say 'drill it out" a few times but where do we drill?
March 13, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Drilling is usually done when the lock cylinder will not come out. I drill the key slot out until all lock cylinder parts fall apart, allowing the ignition to be rotated and removed. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Andy Comments: Hey i have a 2007 Rabbit i changed the ignition lock housing and im gonna change the lock cylinder but would i need a new key if i did that?
March 6, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, unless you order a lock cylinder keyed for your vehicle. Call the dealer, they should be able to do that. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
hockey_tdi Comments: Two tips if the security pin gets moved and the steering lock permanently engages I call it the booby-trap:

1 The security bolts can be removed using a hammer and a flat screwdriver or small chisel on the side of the bolt to force it to turn little by little. Then after its out, put the bolt in a vice and cut a flat slot in the head for a flat screwdriver to turn it when you reinstall.

2 Then after removing the assembly, instead of cutting off or grinding off the spring loaded tab, you can push the tab back in with your finger, and insert a smaller pin to hold it in place. The original pin won't go back in, so I cut off the end of a small jewler's screwdriver about 1.5 inches long as a new pin. Just make sure whatever you use won't bend and is fully pushed in don't use a piece of electrical wire for example. Maybe a paperclip straightened out could even work.
February 22, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It's always good to have a plan for the occasional booby traps! Thanks for sharing your experience. It is of great value to the community of DIY'ers! - Casey at Pelican Parts  
rs200 Comments: Hi
If I order replacement barrel from VW using chassis number, will I need to recode key as it will be the original one, but with a new barrel/ antenna?
February 19, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The key should still work. No coding should be necessary. - Casey at Pelican Parts  
Jetta Comments: Hi Nik, Attached is a picture of the pin & Security tab.
Thank you so much for posting that solution, worked perfectly.
EXPLINATION:
if you mistakenly turn the key anti-clockwise hard past the OFF position, when installed in the car, a security pin will pop out which will freeze the steering lock in the locked position. The only solution at this point is to get the ignition switch housing out of the car, and file down the inner aluminum tab circled in the attached photos. This will allow the ignition switch housing to function properly again.
December 27, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Ezz Comments: Hi Nick thanks for your response . I got only single key. Meaning I need to replace the switch. Can I get this from Pelican ?
November 12, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Best bet is to call a dealer. They will have to order using your id and ownership documents. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ezz Comments: I am having trouble turning my key go bring the car on. mk5 golf. I need several attempts..any advise
November 6, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It could be a worn out key or ignition switch. Try a different key if you have one. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ezz Comments: Hi I am having a problem turning on my MK5 golf.I need several attempts to turn the key in the ignition.Do I need to replace the switch?
November 6, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It could be a worn out key or ignition switch. Try a different key if you have one. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Nik Comments: PROBLEM: The key in the ignition is stuck in the OFF position and won’t turn to ACC or START. Okay, I finally figured this out. First, you have to follow Pelican’s steps described above to get the ignition cylinder out of the car and remove the ignition switch and the lock cylinder. Now you are working on the aluminium housing/barrel. I couldn't find this information anywhere - Youtube, Bentley, VW Forums, so hopefully it will help someone I believe Gene had this same problem below. German engineering at its best! They put in a plug I've circled it in Red on Pelican's pic after the spindle is assembled. The other end of the plug i.e., inside the barrel is an aluminium tab. You can see it plainly when you disassemble the barrel see the pic in my previous post. So, if you happen to rotate the key to the OFF position without keeping the steering column lock depressed with your fingers, then the steering column lock pops up above the aluminium tab, to its locked position. Once this happens, the tab now prevents the steering column lock from going back down again i.e. it acts as a stop. Because it is stopped from going down, the key can't turn to the ACC or START position as in these positions, the spindle hook is trying to bring the steering column lock down, and it can't because of the tab/stop. This can also happen if you mistakenly turn the key anti-clockwise hard past the OFF position, when installed in the car, which I believe is what happened in my case. The plug/tab is a useless feature designed only to have you run to the dealer to replace the entire housing/barrel mechanism. SOLUTION: You can't drill out the plug. It's made of hardened steel and will break your drill bit. So, I sawed off the aluminium tab on the inside of the barrel with a small hacksaw. You could, of course, use a dremel bit to grind it away. It's soft aluminium. Be sure to put Bounty paper towels all around it when sawing/grinding to prevent the aluminium grindings from getting into the barrel and sticking onto the moving parts. After that, the barrel works perfectly. Whew!
October 11, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up, I apologize for my delayed response. Your comments fell to the bottom of my pile somehow. Glad you got it worked out. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Nik Comments: Wow, Nick. Thanks for the quick response, that too on a holiday! I've attached a pic of the disassembled barrel. No broken parts. Seems to be a pretty simple design, which makes this problem so frustrating! Couldn't find any pin or tab that is released. Looks like as the spindle turns, it lifts the steering column lock when the key is turned to OFF position in the cylinder. Problem is that the hook shaped part of the spindle is obstructed by the barrel housing and can't turn
October 10, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: hm. OK, usually there is a square locking tab that prevents anything from moving when not in the right position. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Nik Comments: Have a 2009 Jetta S 2.5. Removed the ignition housing barrel because key would not turn to ON position. Removed ignition switch and inductive coil/cylinder. But now, the housing mechanism is stuck in OFF position with the steering column lock in UP position. Lubricated it with graphite lube, no broken parts, so want to reassemble. But, can't turn housing mechanism with screwdriver to ON position. What is stopping it from turning?
October 9, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Reach inside the cylinder housing in the column. Check for a tab or pin that the lock cylinder releases when installed and unlocked. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Juan Comments: Torque recommend for new share bolts?
October 4, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don’t have that info.


I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
ChrisB Comments: Hi, I'm getting a 00195 fault ~ Ignition key removal lock and a 008 Implausible signal fault.
Do you know if any of these parts are causing these faults?
October 3, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be the lock cylinder coil or the signal to the module. Do you have a second key to try? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
dani577 Comments: Tilen: What plastik did you take out on cylinder lock?
Can you put please some photos about how did you fix it?
Thx
September 26, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Hopefully he replies. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
tilen Comments: I didnt drill lock cylinder, i already fixed it, i drill little hole where it has this blockade to take lock cylinder out that i could press that blockade, then diassemble whole ignition and take out plastik piece on cylinder lock- now it work without problem:D
September 22, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
tilen Comments: How do you remove the lock cylinder if your key will not turn anymore, I have the housing out of the car but can to get it apart because key wont line up to the hole to put clip in.
i saw your answer to drill it but where should i drill can you send a picture.

I also put screwdriver in lock and than manage to turn the lock, but is lock now damaged or is it ok if i turned it with a screwdriver?
September 16, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Drill the entire lock cylinder out, start at the center where key goes. Replace anything damaged in the process. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
David H. Comments: I have a 2008 Jetta and the ignition lock housing and I need to replace it. How do I find what model I have in my car. And do I need to remove the shear bolts to remove the ignition housing. If so how do I remove the shear bolts once I drill them out.
September 14, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Shear bolts are either removed via drilling or knocking them loose using a chisel, then unscrewing.

Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
juan Comments: i replaced the cylinder because car wouldn't turn over with key unless you push really hard down on the key but even after replacing it still wont you have any idea what else it could be?
June 8, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would monitor the voltage at the back of the ignition switch. It is possible the electrical portion is faulty. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Fitzi Comments: If I am just replacing the barrel/cylinder the part that the key actually goes into do I need to do anything else, i.e., electronically? Or is it a straight forward swap of barrels and keys?
April 12, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The barrel should just swap in. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
azcas Comments: The small wiring loom from the switch, does this go to the steering module, then the smaller plug to the immo ring? its just i have another wire coming from behind the steering wheel which fits better and im unsure how this is put back as i didnt take it apart, if you could tell me where either of these go it would be much appreciated?

wires from switch being blue and red, wires in the car being blue and brown
March 7, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't have the wiring for the vehicle. If you get a wiring diagram and share it with me, I can help determine what might be going one. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
james Comments: do you have any information on how to take apart the cylinder itself? a customer has one that needs rekeying
March 2, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, we do not. That info is not available. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Gene Comments: Hi, I have unfortunately rotated the key assembly to the locked position with the key cylinder removed on a mk5 Jetta. A tech article said the column lock is blocked until the assembly is renewed. Does this mean getting a new one or can the original one be reset.
February 23, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You should be able to rotate it back. Try pushing on the retaining lock as you rotate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
J B Comments: Can you change the inductive coil part? Mine appears to be not working as no key is detected and the immobiliser is 'active'. The diagnostics say no fault with the immo and 'Key not detected'.
February 23, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Try a different key, also, using a scan tool, does it see that the wrong key is being used? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Greg Comments: How do you remove the lock cylinder if your key will not turn anymore, I have the housing out of the car but can to get it apart because key wont line up to the hole to put clip in.
February 9, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Drill it out. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
mira Comments: Hi how did you remove the black plastic cower in figure1 is there figure2 is missing? this is to get better acces to the
January 10, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It should have retaining clips at the back, unclip them and slide it off. it looks like it is shown installed inm later images, so likely doesn't have to be removed.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
flavioudiamg Comments: how to remove the screws ?
January 3, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Those are shear head bolts. They have to be drilled out, then replaced with new. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Alan6 Comments: Is there away to remove the plastic piece to make access to the shear bolts easier? Drilling them without removing it is at an angle.
December 27, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can drop the column down for better access. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
wayne Comments: if I am just replacing the electrical part of the switch will I need to have it coded?
July 8, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Maria Comments: Do you think i could program it myself and just buy the volkswagen scanner tool from the manufacturer? Or do i have do bring the car to the dealer?
April 7, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Since it is theft related, only an a theft authorized repair facility or the dealer can do it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Maria Comments: Hi, im changing my ignition switch, the cylinder, & the steering wheel column in my 2007 volkswagen EOS. Does it need to be reprogrammed after fixing it
April 6, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, you will need to program the immobiliser using a VW scan tool. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Fri 6/23/2017 02:39:38 AM