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Q: Steering Column on 2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser

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The pin located on the lower left side of the steering column that engages the starter from the ignition switch is not engaging the starter. According to a Dodge service mechanic, this pin cannot be replaced without replacing the entire steering column. Is this accurate and if so, where can I get a new steering column? It seems a little out of the realm of possibility that this one tiny part cannot be replaced on its own.
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The ignition lock and electrical portion of the ignition switch are two separate items and take less than 1 hour to replace. I think there is miscommunication. I know a Lexus LX470 has a similar problem where the key turns in the ignition switch but brakes and does not turn the electrical portion of the switch requiring the mechanical portion of the ignition switch to be changed. At any rate the column does not need to be removed to do this.
I would not pay any attention to this BOZO dodge service mechanic. WHAT PIN ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? You have a bad ignition switch.
Pat you are incorrect. The ignition switch on this vehicle is one assy. Lock & electrical are one assy.
The metal pin is located on the lower left side of the steering column. If you remove the covers just behind the steering wheel, the pin would be sticking out just about where the headlight/directional arrow wand is. According to the Dodge mechanic, the pin switches the ignition into the start position and is not engaging when turning the key. And the only way to replace the pin is to replace the entire steering column. All this seems way too much work to replace a small pin that isnt deep within the steering column itself. Its clearly visible as soon as you remove the covers.
Ok on this problem. You have your ignitioin lock cylinder and your ignition switch. they are serparate components. Between them you have a chunk of aluminum pot metal about 3 inches long. It has a plastic piece in it. This piece turns the ignition switch from the ignition lock cylinder. basically it connects the two. I have done two vehicles where this part breaks. And it is only available from the factory/dealership when purchased with the complete steering column. A thousand dollars later. I am trying to find an aftermarket source for this part to no avail. The cheapest option I have found is buying a replacement used column but I think it is rediculous. That part should be made. It's no wonder Chrysler isnt selling cars, If we didn't buy these crappy cars these manufacturers make. ie. A car that turns its windshield wipers on for you. How lazy can we be? They design this crap dont test it properly it breaks and we get screwed. Im glad this is my customers car and not mine. But I have to be a bad guy and tell them the news. I'll keep my old gas hogging beaters and not have to deal with headaches like these. If anyone knows of a source for this part, let me know.

~ michael kerr
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