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Pelican Technical Article:

Ignition Switch Replacement

Jared Fenton

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$50

Talent:

****

Tools:

Small standard and Phillips head screwdrivers, T20 Torx driver

Applicable Models:

VW Jetta GL (1999-05)
VW Jetta GLS (1999-05)
VW Jetta Wolfsburg (1999)

Parts Required:

Ignition switch

Hot Tip:

Disconnect the battery beforehand

Performance Gain:

Slaughtering VW electrical demons

Complementary Modification:

Take weight off your key ring

The ignition switch on the Mk4 Jetta can be a bit troublesome. Over the years, continual use can wear out the internal components, leading to various electrical glitches, most commonly manifesting in an intermittent starter. Often times, everything else in the system will be fine, leaving you scratching your head.

It is important to check that your battery is in good shape prior to replacing the switch. Before assuming the switch is suspect, make sure that the battery is in good shape and charged. Often times, a flat battery can cause this problem. See our article on Jump Starting and Charging your Battery for more information.

Keep in mind that you do not need to remove the steering wheel in order to access the switch. You can access it from below. In this article, I'll show you how. Start by disconnecting the battery. See our article on Battery Replacement for more information.

Once the battery is disconnected, unlock the steering wheel and rotate it to the left so you can access the screw hole shown here (green arrow).
Figure 1

Once the battery is disconnected, unlock the steering wheel and rotate it to the left so you can access the screw hole shown here (green arrow). Use a small Phillips head screwdriver to loosen and remove the screw.

Now rotate the steering wheel the opposite direction until you can access the other screw hole (green arrow).
Figure 2

Now rotate the steering wheel the opposite direction until you can access the other screw hole (green arrow). Use a small Phillips head screwdriver to loosen and remove the screw.

Loosen and remove the two Phillips head screws (green arrows) underneath the steering column.
Figure 3

Loosen and remove the two Phillips head screws (green arrows) underneath the steering column. Then loosen and remove the single T20 Torx screw (yellow arrow) holding the lower column cover at the rear. Note: The steering wheel has been removed for purposes of clarity.

You'll want to pull the lower cover slightly outward (green arrow) over the ignition switch (yellow arrow).
Figure 4

You'll want to pull the lower cover slightly outward (green arrow) over the ignition switch (yellow arrow). Don't be surprised if the rubber grommet stays behind on the ignition switch. Now lower the lower cover fully.

This picture shows the orientation on the rubber grommet in the lower cover.
Figure 5

This picture shows the orientation on the rubber grommet in the lower cover. Note the channel (green arrow) at the rear of the cover as well as the tab (yellow arrow) at the top. You'll need to secure the grommet in the lower cover and slide it over the ignition switch when re-installing the cover.

Once the lower cover is lowered, you will be able to access the ignition switch.
Figure 6

Once the lower cover is lowered, you will be able to access the ignition switch. Pull the electrical connector (green arrow) off the switch. Also note the two set screws (yellow arrows) that secure the ignition switch in the lock cylinder. These are covered with red paint.

Use a small screwdriver to chip away the red paint.
Figure 7

Use a small screwdriver to chip away the red paint. Underneath, you'll see the set screws.

Back the set screws out enough to withdraw the switch from the lock cylinder.
Figure 8

Back the set screws out enough to withdraw the switch from the lock cylinder. Note the groove molded into the plastic (green arrow). The set screws fit into the groove, securing the switch in place.

And here's the finished result with the switch removed.
Figure 9

And here's the finished result with the switch removed. Installing the new switch is the reverse of removal.

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Page last updated: Sun 4/23/2017 02:50:10 AM