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How to Replace Ignition Switch '97-'03


BNaylor
12-12-2006, 04:11 AM
Ignition switch replacement for '97 - '03 Grand Prix

BEFORE BEGINING THIS REPAIR REMOVE THE NEGATIVE TERMINAL FROM THE BATTERY. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO DO THE REPAIR WITHOUT DOING THIS.

Look inside the slot where the tilt steering knob is located. There is a black metal piece where the knob inserts into the tilt mechanism. Pry it back slightly with a small screwdriver. One from an electronics tool set will work. While you have it pried, pull the knob out and it should release.

Remove the two screws from the bottom of the steering column cover and remove the cover.

Remove the two screws that hold the top steering column cover in place.

Insert the ignition key into the key cylinder and turn the key clockwise to the start position. Nothing will happen because you have disconnected the battery prior to starting this project. Lift the top steering column cover being careful not to break it because it is still held in place by the ignition key cylinder. You will see with your mirror near the back end of the cylinder housing a small hole. Stick a small allen wrench in the hole, this will release the key cylinder so that it can be pulled out. Once the key cylinder is removed the column top cover is free to be removed.

The black box below the key cylinder with all of the wires coming out of it is the ignition switch that you are changing. Look at the switch you have purchased for this repair. Notice that the small white plug with two wires attached has a tab on the side that can be pushed down, this is the release for the plug-in. Using your mirror you will see that plug-in against the ignition switch housing where it plugs in. Using a small screw driver press the release tab in against the plug and rotate the plug 90 degrees to the right to remove it. To do otherwise may break the plug.

Remove the plug from the white key release device by inserting a small screw driver and pressing the release tab on it.

Undo the two screws holding the ignition switch.

Undo the plug at the opposite end of the ignition switch by unscrewing the bolt in the center of the plug and unplugging it. (Use 7mm socket)

There is a black wiring plug on top and a gray one on the bottom of the ignition switch plug that need to be removed. This is done by prying the center of the plug case where it meets the ignition harness plug while sliding it forward. Note: Black and gray plugs sandwich the ignition switch plug. They are the plugs for the multifunction switch.

Cut any tie wraps holding the wire harness in place and feed it out of the dash.

To install do the reverse of the above, and tie wrap the new harness into place. Be sure to properly align the key cylinder when replacing it in the housing and if the key will not come out of the cylinder there is a silver key release button at the bottom of the white device in front of the ignition switch. Press it and the key will come out. Also when replacing the ignition switch make sure that the slot in the switch is properly aligned with the corresponding part on the steering column that fits in the slot.

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y186/lizzywiz/switch_igntion.gif
Ignition Switch and Harness Assembly

slyfox70
03-29-2008, 07:34 PM
Thank you for those instructions they will help me alot. I have one question for you.

I have to push a button under the steering column to turn my key back to off position to be able to pull my key out I believe you called it the white key release device. Is that whats bad or is it the ignition switch I am not sure. My shifter was not working but I fixed that already myself so it has to be one of the other issues in my steering column. Thank you again

Slughorn
04-07-2008, 09:49 AM
Thank You for these instructions- they were well written -everything I
disassembled followed step by step. You do need a E5 inverterd torx bit for
the ignition screw bolts - most standard sets only go to E6- you may need to
pick this tool up for your local tool supplier (Snap-on. Mac or Matco.)

I had a 2001 G/P - the ignition key would not come out with out hitting the release and the shifter would not move without hitting the release- I had no
power at the BTSI fuse that feeds power to the shifter lock release. The BTSI fuse gets it power from the white wire that comes form the ignition switch.

Hyltod
09-12-2008, 05:25 AM
Wow..great instructions. Don't know how they could have been any better. When I changed mine, the BTSI fuse blew somewhere in the process and wouldn't allow the ignition key to come out nor would allow to come out of park. Changed that out and everything is good. I think I left the white plug off and hooked the battery up and then noticed the plug off and connected the plug...and probably blew the fuse.

manglers
09-18-2009, 10:22 AM
Do you have to remove the lower part of the dash to hook up the opposite end of the ignition switch? Doesn't mention this, but I don't know how you would reach it otherwise.

BNaylor
09-18-2009, 05:30 PM
Do you have to remove the lower part of the dash to hook up the opposite end of the ignition switch? Doesn't mention this, but I don't know how you would reach it otherwise.

Just the kick panel part and you will then see the connector block for the ignition switch and multifunction switch with the 7mm screw under the steering column.

manglers
09-20-2009, 12:55 AM
We just replaced the ignition switch on our 98 buick regal. It started the day we switched it out(yesterday), we put everything back together and now it won't start. The security light is now blinking and it doesn't even try to turn over. We have tried to charge the battery to see if that would help-but no luck. Any ideas?

BNaylor
09-20-2009, 08:53 AM
We just replaced the ignition switch on our 98 buick regal. It started the day we switched it out(yesterday), we put everything back together and now it won't start. The security light is now blinking and it doesn't even try to turn over. We have tried to charge the battery to see if that would help-but no luck. Any ideas?



Did you replace just the ignition switch and harness assembly or the key cylinder too?

For Passkey II systems try the key relearn procedure. With ignition switch to ON key in switch for at least 10 minutes and then ignition OFF for 30 minutes (leave key in) or until the security light stops blinking.

manglers
09-20-2009, 11:32 AM
We replaced the ignition switch(which has all the wiring down to a black box with the screw in the middle)-so don't know if it's considered the wiring harness also. It was all one piece. We did not replace the cylinder.

manglers
09-20-2009, 11:36 AM
The part we replaced looks just like your picture shown in your write-up, so we replaced the ignition switch with wiring harness. Oh, and our car is a 97 Buick Regal I just found out.

manicmechanix
09-20-2009, 02:29 PM
We just replaced the ignition switch on our 98 buick regal. It started the day we switched it out(yesterday), we put everything back together and now it won't start. The security light is now blinking and it doesn't even try to turn over. We have tried to charge the battery to see if that would help-but no luck. Any ideas?

Shouldn't this be a Passlock II system so the theft light shouldn't have stopped the starter from operating. Funny, maybe your starter decided to take a dive?. Maybe you didn't get all the connectors hooked up good. To get the theft light to shut off do the password relearn procedure that was mentioned.

manglers
09-20-2009, 04:24 PM
Our 97 Buick Regal has the Pass-key II system.

manglers
09-20-2009, 05:56 PM
Ok, I just did the relearn process for our 97 Buick Regal. By the way, it's key in Run position for 10 minutes, in lock position for 5 seconds, and do this 2 more times-to total 3 times(30 minutes) then car should start. Our car started but the Security light is ON STEADY while car is running. Any ideas what we should do now?

BNaylor
09-20-2009, 09:16 PM
Shouldn't this be a Passlock II system so the theft light shouldn't have stopped the starter from operating.

Negative. It is a Passkey II system. Last time I got the security light in my Regal the starter would not turnover so that is normal. The immobilizer system disables starting and cuts off the fuel injection system pulse width modulation.

manglers
09-21-2009, 11:10 AM
Wanted to see what you guys thought. We replaced the ignition switch on our 97 buick regal and I had to relearn the system as stated earlier. Now the Security light stays ON, but the car starts and runs fine. How do I get the Security light to shut off or should I worry about it?

manicmechanix
09-21-2009, 01:17 PM
Well I think if it starts fine the theft light will eventually turn off itself. Without a Tech II you can't really get body codes to pinpoint what the problem is. Do you have another key you can use and see if that does it although I doubt it. Unless you want to disconnect the ignition switch agian and double check the wires and connectors, I'd just run with it and see how it goes.

manglers
09-21-2009, 04:26 PM
That's what we are doing. It got driven to work today, hope it runs ok!!! Thanks for all the help.

tcap1
10-16-2009, 12:25 PM
Excellent instructions for replacing the ignition switch. I have a 99 Grand Prix GT, and with your instructions it went very smoothly, I also happened to know someone who already had the E4 and E5 torx sockets.

I wanted to point out though, that if you have a remote start installed, that it ties into your electronic ignition. This may require you to splice some wires on the ignition harness. Mine was an aftermarket remote start and the wires were soldered onto the ignition wires. It was fairly easy to redo, but it does add some time to the job.

RickRegal
06-28-2010, 03:07 PM
Ignition switch replacement for '97 - '03 Grand Prix



Undo the two screws holding the ignition switch.

Undo the plug at the opposite end of the ignition switch by unscrewing the bolt in the center of the plug and unplugging it. (Use 7mm socket)

Ignition Switch and Harness Assembly


Are the two screws holding the ignition switch female torx screws?

BNaylor
11-14-2010, 09:40 AM
Also, see this ignition switch procedure located at our Buick Tips & Maintenance forum. May be helpful even for '97-'03 Pontiac Grand Prix owners since the Regal is similar.

Click here (http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=1054152)


Note: Not applicable for '04 and up Grand Prix since ignition switch is not located in the steering column but dashboard.

jfenimore46
03-16-2012, 10:14 PM
Thanks for these detailed instructions. They really helped me with my 1997 GTP. As others have noted, I did have to go get an E5 Torx socket to remove the four screws inside the steering column cover. I replaced my ignition switch to solve an intermittent problem of no power to part of the fuse block behind the glove box. I had seen this fix in another forum. I would have no power to the Info Panel in the dash, no power to the A/C fan, and the automatic headlights would not work. So far the new switch seems to have corrected the problem.

grandprix2002
11-08-2013, 03:45 PM
The new ignition switch I purchased has the slot indexed in the OFF position. However, when removing the old switch, it was indexed in the ON position. So the slot is not aligned with the tab in the steering column. How can I change the position of the slot on the new switch? Can I use a screwdriver to rotate the slot?

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