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    Thread: Ignition Switch DIY w/ Pics

    1. Member QBalance156's Avatar
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      09-15-2007 04:02 PM #1
      I'm sure a lot of you have already changed your ignition switches by now, but for those who haven't, here's a DIY on how to do it without pulling out the steering wheel and the pressed collar. Thanks VW for making access to the switch such a pain in the arse!!! There's another thread out there on this technique, but I thought I'd post my own version with some advice from my recent experience. (Note: Pics re-uploaded 6/18/2013)

      Reason to Replace?
      When ignition switches start to go, there are a ton of different symptoms. In my case, my switch would not recognize when I pulled my key out of the ignition. It would keep playing "la cucaracha" and the radio would stay on even after i pulled my key out. Thanks to the advice from fellow vortexers, I realized that I only needed to replace the switch and not the ignition lock cylinder. phew...

      Where to Buy?
      I bought mine for $8 with free shipping from http://www.mjmautohaus.com. It came in about 2 days! I'm not sure if this is OEM, but it will probably last me long enough.

      Tools Needed
      10mm wrench for the battery terminal
      (2) 13mm wrenches for the joint
      Phillips screwdriver
      **Small phillips screwdriver** This is very important!!! It needs to be a phillips with a very thin and long shaft (try an eyeglass repair kit)

      Procedure

      1) Make sure that you have your radio codes for your stock stereo or that you write down all of your preset stations and sound settings.

      2) Remove the negative battery terminal since you'll be working in the airbag area.

      3) Remove the upper and lower steering column covers (two screws)

      4) Remove the lower foot panels (3 total)

      5) Remove the knee panel (remove the 5 screws at the bottom and pull straight down

      6) Unplug all (8?) wire connectors to the steering column

      7) Use vise grips to unscrew the bronze screw since the screw head is smooth

      8) Stick your head into the footwell and check out that U-joint. First mark off the position of the shaft relative to the U-joint. This will ensure that everything is aligned when you re-assemble. I used whiteout to mark it in two spots. Then use the a 13mm wrench on the nut and another 13mm wrench on the bolt. You need to remove the bolt COMPLETELY in order to pull the column out.

      9) Okay! Use the steering wheel to pull out the column! Watch out for little spring that will drop when you pull the column out of the U-joint

      10) So this is the trickiest part. To remove the ignition switch you need that small phillips screwdriver. Based on previous posts, I didn't know how difficult this was going to be. Apparently, the only thing that will work is a screw driver from like an eyeglass/jewelers kit. None of my "small" screwdrivers fit!! I started to panic because this is my only car and I had no means to drive myself to the store to get the proper tool. I tried bending a screwdriver, and that didn't work. I DID have a jewelers flathead screwdriver. Desparate times call for desperate measures. I used the flathead and the vice grips to make myself a nice ghetto tool to get the screw out.



      11) Just swap out the switches. My old switch had a crack in the housing which might have been causing my problems. Old is on the left, new is on the right

      12) Just like the Bentley manual always says, installation is the reverse of removal. Some tips:

      When installing the column back to the U-joint, don't forget to put that spring back in. When you put the bolt back in, take note that the steering column has a notch in it for this bolt, so you might need to slide the column either out or in to get it to line up.

      13) Once everything is reinstalled, connect the negative battery terminal , and be prepared for the alarm to set off. Stick the key into the ignition and switch it to accessory 2 mode to let the engine recalibrate for about 1 minute. Fire her up and let her idle for 5 minutes to let the ECU stabilize.

      Ta DA. That's it!! You're done!

      Last edited by QBalance156; 06-18-2013 at 01:23 AM. Reason: 5 years later, and I have to re-upload dead pics

    2. Member Da_Mount's Avatar
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      09-15-2007 04:09 PM #2

    3. 09-15-2007 04:14 PM #3
      nice DIY, you can never have too many.

    4. 09-16-2007 06:43 AM #4
      Quote, originally posted by ctuagent117 »
      nice DIY, you can never have too many.

      x2. Going to do mine when the new one gets here. I've already bookmarked at least three DIY's for this


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      09-17-2007 04:23 PM #5
      if i have a chip will the flash be lost when the ecu recalibrate's?

    6. 09-17-2007 04:48 PM #6
      Good DIY nice pictures

    7. Member Dutchsider's Avatar
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      09-17-2007 04:58 PM #7
      new ignition switch ordered from MJM earlier today. This will be happening soon
      "Builds a sh*tty/ugly car, gets made fun of, calls everyone a hater" - Dubbers
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    8. Former Advertiser
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      09-18-2007 08:37 PM #8
      Quote, originally posted by Dutchsider »
      new ignition switch ordered from MJM earlier today. This will be happening soon

      We appreciate the order.


    9. 09-18-2007 08:42 PM #9
      nice DIY

    10. Senior Member Dan J Reed's Avatar
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      09-18-2007 10:52 PM #10

    11. Member VertigoGTI's Avatar
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      09-20-2007 02:37 PM #11
      Quote, originally posted by Dutchsider »
      new ignition switch ordered from MJM earlier today. This will be happening soon

      +1

      I like this method more than the one that was posted a few weeks ago.

      Does anyone know the size and thread pitch of the bronze smooth screw? I'm just gonna get a flathead of phillips to replace it.


      Modified by VertigoGTI at 2:39 PM 9-20-2007

      Quote Originally Posted by Surf Green
      The real world is more ruthless than TCL, and sensitivity was never one of Darwin's strong points.

    12. 09-20-2007 02:46 PM #12
      take a dremel with a cutting wheel to cut a line into the head. that way you can use a flat head screwdriver on it.

    13. Member VertigoGTI's Avatar
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      09-25-2007 04:55 PM #13
      Switch came in today. I'll be doing the install this weekend with one of the 16 DIYs that are on the boards. I'll just use this one
      Quote Originally Posted by Surf Green
      The real world is more ruthless than TCL, and sensitivity was never one of Darwin's strong points.

    14. Member sun98gtiVR6's Avatar
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      09-25-2007 07:24 PM #14
      Quote, originally posted by VertigoGTI »
      one of the 16 DIYs that are on the boards


    15. Member Dutchsider's Avatar
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      09-25-2007 07:44 PM #15
      just did mine today.

      turns out I didn't need too oh well,

      that steering knuckle realignment is a bitch

      "Builds a sh*tty/ugly car, gets made fun of, calls everyone a hater" - Dubbers
      EUROPEAN PARTS FOR SALE <--- Click Me
      If you wish to get a hold of me, EMAIL IS THE BEST WAY Dutchsider2@yahoo.com

    16. Member VertigoGTI's Avatar
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      09-27-2007 03:15 AM #16
      Quote, originally posted by Dutchsider »
      just did mine today.

      turns out I didn't need too oh well,

      Oh well, at least you weren't in a situation where you HAD to do it. It really sucks on a 103° day and you can't start your car until the interior cools down.

      Quote Originally Posted by Surf Green
      The real world is more ruthless than TCL, and sensitivity was never one of Darwin's strong points.

    17. Member ReflexJettaVR6's Avatar
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      09-27-2007 05:33 AM #17
      Did mine the other day following this DIY... finding the right small screwdriver is a huge PITA... and putting the steering column back into the U-joint is an absolute nightmare

      Other than that, it's pretty simple. No more finding my ignition's "G-spot"


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      09-27-2007 08:28 AM #18
      It definitely helps to have a hand getting that u-joint aligned. My 10 yr old was able to help, so if you have one, or a semi-intelligent pet, the job will go easier.

    19. 09-27-2007 10:04 AM #19
      I just replaced my switch with this diy thinks man its about time vwvortex was useful you saved me. 250$

    20. 09-27-2007 12:09 PM #20
      nice diy

    21. Member QBalance156's Avatar
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      09-27-2007 10:45 PM #21
      I'm glad that my DIY helped people out. I guess one thing that I should add is that it's somewhat easy to put the shaft back into the U-joint if you position yourself the following way:

      -lie on you back in the footwell w/ your arse on the door scuff plate.
      -with your left hand, control the steering wheel
      -with your right hand, line up the U-joint and make sure the spline goes in straight.

      In my opinion, the hardest part about this repair is dealing with that one screw.


    22. 09-28-2007 11:35 PM #22
      I just wanted to say thank you so much for posting this DIY!!! I have very little knowledge of car repair but with your guide I fixed it in 1 hour!

    23. Member andyztoy's Avatar
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      09-28-2007 11:45 PM #23
      sweet diy i don't need a new switch but i am sure i will one day... so keep the pictures hosted for a long long time

    24. Member
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      09-29-2007 03:39 AM #24
      you don't have to pull off the knee panel, but great write up
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    25. Banned vw_love's Avatar
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      09-29-2007 04:20 AM #25
      Quote, originally posted by ...OMGHI2U... »
      you don't have to pull off the knee panel, but great write up

      says the person driving a MK5

    26. 09-29-2007 04:34 AM #26

    27. Member QBalance156's Avatar
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      09-29-2007 04:02 PM #27
      Quote, originally posted by ...OMGHI2U... »
      you don't have to pull off the knee panel, but great write up

      The reason why I pulled off the knee panel is because it's really hard to pull out the connectors in such a tight space. The connectors on my car were pretty much sandwiched between the steering column and knee panel.

      You don't NEED to remove the panel, but it does make things easier to access.


    28. Member
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      09-29-2007 04:33 PM #28
      hmm I didn't have any issues with space on mine, or my friend's that I did. If I ever do one again I'll try your way and see if it's easier.
      *SaraH*
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    29. Member BlueMk3VR6's Avatar
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      09-30-2007 12:09 AM #29
      excellent DIY...did mine few months ago the same way.
      Arnie
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    30. Member VertigoGTI's Avatar
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      10-09-2007 06:28 PM #30
      How exactly does the back right lower foot panel go back on? I cannot get it to line up to anything.

      Anyone have a picture of the assembled footwells?

      EDIT: N/M, I got it. I just needed to step away from it for a few minutes..


      Modified by VertigoGTI at 6:33 PM 10-9-2007

      Quote Originally Posted by Surf Green
      The real world is more ruthless than TCL, and sensitivity was never one of Darwin's strong points.

    31. 10-10-2007 06:05 PM #31
      Ta DA. That's it!! You're done! [/QUOTE]13) Once everything is reinstalled, connect the negative battery terminal , and be prepared for the alarm to set off. Stick the key into the ignition and switch it to accessory 2 mode to let the engine recalibrate for about 1 minute. Fire her up and let her idle for 5 minutes to let the ECU stabilize.

      i followed this to a tee, but now my jetta will not idle any suggestions? what have i done wrong by the way the diy was super helpful, thank for the post!!!


    32. Member VertigoGTI's Avatar
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      10-11-2007 03:32 PM #32
      Anytime I disconnect my battery, the idle gets weird for a day. Even if I do the 'key in the on position for a minute' thing, it's still weird. Just drive it the best you can.


      Modified by VertigoGTI at 3:35 PM 10-11-2007
      Quote Originally Posted by Surf Green
      The real world is more ruthless than TCL, and sensitivity was never one of Darwin's strong points.

    33. 10-15-2007 09:12 PM #33
      Awesome DIY

    34. 10-16-2007 12:54 PM #34
      Quote, originally posted by kujo763 »
      Ta DA. That's it!! You're done! 13) Once everything is reinstalled, connect the negative battery terminal , and be prepared for the alarm to set off. Stick the key into the ignition and switch it to accessory 2 mode to let the engine recalibrate for about 1 minute. Fire her up and let her idle for 5 minutes to let the ECU stabilize.

      i followed this to a tee, but now my jetta will not idle any suggestions? what have i done wrong by the way the diy was super helpful, thank for the post!!!


      Take your throttle body of and clean it with some tb cleaner that **** is probably gross if you never done so, that happened to me last year everytime I got my car back from the transmission shop til one day I decided to clean the throttle body and its been fine ever since.

      And good DIY


      Modified by scruffy923 at 6:25 PM 10-16-2007


    35. Member QBalance156's Avatar
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      10-16-2007 10:24 PM #35
      I'm surprised with how many people have had to do their ignition switches since the time I've posted this DIY. Man, VW designed a pretty lame ignition switch... I'm sure the stealership makes a killing off of this repair.

      I'm planning on doing my timing chains sometime soon...I'll also make a DIY for that


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