Clearly the CEO for VW had a “special” brother or something and put him in charge of designing the ignition switch, the cup holders, and the heat shields on the exhaust manifold. As we all know he did an “excellent” job! I just tackled the ignition switch on my wife’s 98 Jetta, and I pieced together another DIY, but instead of pulling the whole column, I pull off the collar. I picked up the switch online from Autohaus AZ for $5, http://www.autohausaz.com/sear...witch.
First things first, disconnect the negative terminal on the battery (have the keys handy in case the alarm goes off). Next, remove the airbag from the steering wheel by loosening the 2 Allen screws on the backside of the wheel, and then carefully pry the connector from the airbag itself.
After that, remove the 2 plastic pieces that sit behind the steering wheel by removing the 2 Phillips head screws. Be careful when removing these pieces they are made out of very breakable plastic
Remove the steering wheel, but mark the wheel first (makes installation much easier). I lock the ignition switch, but I don’t let the ignition lock be my opposing force while I remove the steering wheel nut.
Before removing the steering wheel, disconnect the coil wire that sits on the back of the steering wheel. I found the easiest place to disconnect it is from the larger connector.
Next remove the 3 little straight screws that hold on the switches, and remove all the wire connectors (including the ignition switch one). These all come out pretty easy so don’t force them, a little flat screw driver helps in removing the wire harness connectors.
Remove the little shear bolt with a pair of small vise grips (I have never had one that doesn’t come off with minimal force).
Now for the part that scares everyone away from this job…Pulling the collar off. Get a large pair of vise grips (I bought this pair at AutoZone for $10). Clamp the vise grips on the collar directly behind the lip as TIGHT AS YOU CAN! Position the vise grips at the 6 o’ clock position to provide counter leverage as you turn the wrench on the puller. Once the vise grips are securely fastened, use just a regular two arm puller and position it against the vise grips.
When positioning the puller make sure it is as straight as possible, the point is to pull straight back, not off at an angle. As you turn the puller, apply counter pressure on the vise grips so you don’t snap off the ignition switch wheel lock. I just placed my foot on it and turned the wrench for the puller from standing outside the car. You can determine if you are pulling it off successful by counting the number of threads showing.
With the collar removed UNLOCK the ignition switch lock with the key and the whole housing assembly pulls easily off.
Remove the little Phillips head screw from the old switch that holds it in the assembly and install the new switch in its place. Notice the difference between the 2 switches.
Installation is pretty much just the opposite of this procedure. Some things to keep in mind when installing everything are; make sure the ignition switch housing is securely in place on the column before continuing (It has to be unlocked in order to slide it all the way down). I lock the wheel once the shear bolt is put back in. When installing the collar, place the spring back on the column followed by the collar and then get a 5/8” spark plug socket and a hammer and “press” the collar back on. Try to get it is far as possible, but it doesn’t have to be perfect. When you put the steering wheel back on, as you tighten the nut it will finish seating the collar and spring. Reinstall the column switches and plug everything back into their respective connectors. I believe the plugs are dummy proof, so it you shouldn’t have to use any excessive force to get any wires plugged back in.
Install the steering wheel, align your marks, if the marks are missing, unlock your ignition and straighten your wheels as close to centerline as possible (it probably won’t be perfect, but it will at least provide a static adjustment that is easily fixed once you start driving the car). When tightening down the steering wheel, keep tightening the wheel even after resistance is felt. Remember you are still seating the collar and spring…You can feel it when it is fully seated, then torque it down to whatever the proper torque is (nice and tight). Reinstall the 2 pieces of plastic that go behind the steering wheel, be careful they do fit together, so don’t force them. Once that is done, reinstall the airbag. Double check that you didn’t miss anything then connect the battery (again have the keys handy for the alarm).
Road test the vehicle to make sure everything works right, if any adjustments need to be made to the steering wheel...DO THEM CORRECTLY.
1. Determine proper adjustment (Meaning 45 degrees left, or whatever it maybe).
2. DISCONNECT THE BATTERY
3. Remove the airbag
4. Remove the steering wheel (you do not need to pull the coil spring off, it lifts off just enough to turn and reposition the wheel)
5. Then reverse it all to put it back on.
Overall the procedure takes only about 45 minutes and is not that difficult. I was going to try and do the “removing the steering column method,” but I just can’t get down under the dash like that anymore. I hope this helps…If you own a VW, YOU WILL AT SOME POINT REPLACE THE IGNITION SWITCH!!!
Modified by badufay at 9:39 AM 9-1-2007
Modified by badufay at 10:38 AM 9-1-2007
Modified by badufay at 10:41 AM 9-1-2007
Modified by badufay at 10:42 AM 9-1-2007
Modified by badufay at 10:43 AM 9-1-2007
Modified by badufay at 10:54 AM 9-1-2007