Audi Coupe Quattro Ignition Switch Replacement Cost - Electrical Portion
How Much Does an Ignition Switch Replacement (Electrical) Cost?
Ignition Switch Replacement (Electrical) Service and Cost
The ignition switch is part of the starting and charging system, and the ignition system. When turned, the ignition switch turns these systems on, allowing the vehicle to start and run. It also controls many other components in a vehicle, acting as a power switch for those components as well.
The electrical portion of the ignition switch receives power from the battery, and distributes that power to several components depending on what position it is turned to. Since the ignition switch is not designed to carry heavy electrical loads, it mostly sends power to relays that power systems independent of the ignition switch.
When the electrical portion of the ignition switch fails, the vehicle will permanently or intermittently lose power to certain systems and components, depending on which position the key is in. The vehicle may not turn on accessories like the air conditioner, or the vehicle may fail to start. It is possible for the vehicle to start, and die as soon as the key returns to the run position, or the vehicle may not respond to input from the ignition switch at all. In intermittent cases, the vehicle may randomly fail to respond to the key being turned, or stall while driving. These symptoms may come and go for some time before the ignition switch finally fails.
When ignition switch issues arise, it is normally dangerous or impossible to drive. Depending on the point of failure, the vehicle could leave you stranded, stall in traffic, or even fail to turn off the engine when the key is removed. Driving should only be done once the ignition switch has been repaired.
Estimating electrical ignition switch failure is impossible on all but a few select vehicles. A few makes and models will notice they have to replace the ignition switch every couple of years. Most vehicles will not have any issues with the electronic ignition, but if they occur, except for those mentioned, it occurs most at very high mileage, and mostly in vehicles pre-2000.
Ignition Switch Replacement (Electrical) Repair Information
The servicing technician will most likely check fuses and relays before assuming the ignition switch is faulty, Next, if there is no indication of a failed ignition switch, the starting and charging system may be checked, depending on symptoms. If the other components of the starting and charging system are functioning properly, the ignition switch will likely be suspected. Once the ignition switch is suspected, the technician will test voltages present at the switch while the switch is moved to separate positions. If it is discovered that the ignition switch is not functioning as intended, the switch will be replaced.
Replacement of the ignition switch can be very easy, or extremely difficult, and this depends mostly on how the switch fails. If the ignition switch and ignition lock cylinder are one component, replacing the ignition switch will be very difficult in the case of a lock cylinder failure. If the lock cylinder works properly, the ignition switch is generally not too troublesome to remove. In most cases, the steering column plastic covers will be removed, and lock cylinder will be turned, and released. The ignition switch can then be removed, after removing any obstructing or retaining hardware. Once the ignition switch is removed, a final bench test may be conducted for further confirmation, and then the ignition switch is replaced. The lock cylinder will be installed, and the original key will be retained. Plastic covers will go back in place, and the new switch will be tested to ensure the customer complaint has been resolved.
In order to change an ignition switch when the lock cylinder is stuck, we recommend enlisting the help of a professional technician. There are many methods of freeing a stuck lock cylinder at home, but many will result in damage to the ignition switch, plastic covers, or the steering column. Remember that the ignition switch wiring is bundled with wiring for the air bags, and tampering with the airbag electrical wiring can result in serious injury.
Replacing the ignition switch does not normally require replacement of the ignition switch lock cylinder, so the same key is normally used. If the lock cylinder is replaced, the ignition key will change as well.
Replacing either portion of the ignition switch is typically not a DIY job. Older vehicles, with simple ignition switches are easily replaced by anyone, but newer ignition switches have more advanced security systems and are more difficult to access or remove. On most modern vehicles, trusting a technician with an ignition switch replacement may be the best idea.