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How Much Is an Ignition Switch Replacement? What You Should Expect to Pay

How Much Is an Ignition Switch Replacement

The average vehicle has thousands and thousands of parts inside of it. All of these parts work together so that you’re able to drive your car, truck, or SUV down the road. But there is one part that you need to get the ball rolling when you first climb behind the wheel of your car. And that part is your ignition switch. It plays a key role in starting your car up and getting it ready to go. If your ignition switch ever goes bad, it’s going to be imperative that you replace it right away. Otherwise, you might not be able to get your car to start so that all your other parts can begin working. Let’s talk a little bit about what exactly an ignition switch is and answer the question, “How much is an ignition switch?”, below.

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What Is an Ignition Switch?

Before we begin talking at length about ignition switches and trying to answer the question, “How much is an ignition switch?”, for those with bad ignition switches in their cars, you need to know what an ignition switch is. You’ve probably heard of an ignition switch before, but you likely don’t know much about it if you really think about it.


Your car has an entire ignition system in it that’s designed to get your car up and running when you put your key into your ignition. But it’s your ignition switch that is responsible for actually allowing you to insert your key into your car so that you can start it up. It’s built to work with your specific car key and is capable of communicating with the built-in chip found in your car key and passing along messages to your vehicle’s main computer. It’ll help to activate the main electrical systems in your car so that you can use everything from your radio and your interior lights to your turn signals and your fuel pump.


Bottom line: Your entire ignition system and, to a much larger degree, your entire car won’t work without a fully-functioning ignition switch. It’s why you’re going to find yourself asking, “How much is an ignition switch?”, if yours ever stops working. It’s going to be impossible to get your car out on the road safely without a working ignition switch.

How Does an Ignition Switch Work?

After learning about what an ignition switch is, you probably don’t need a long explanation on how it works. Despite its overall importance, it’s not one of the most complicated parts in your car. But just so that we’re on the same page, we want to spend a few moments discussing how your ignition switch helps you to start your car. Here is the process that will play out when you get behind the wheel of your car and put your ignition switch to the test:

  1. You locate the ignition switch, which is usually positioned either on your steering wheel column or near your dashboard
  2. You stick your car key into your ignition switch
  3. You turn your car key from the off position to the on position and then to the start position (assuming you want to start your car)
  4. Your ignition switch begins communicating with your car’s computer
  5. Your car’s electrical systems turn on thanks to your ignition switch

All of these things play out over the course of just a few seconds. But during that short period of time, there is obviously a lot going on. Your ignition switch is working hard to get your car to start. And if there is anything wrong with your ignition switch, you’re going to find that you won’t be able to get it to start. You might also find that all of the electrical systems in your car will shut down on you.

How Long Should an Ignition Switch Last?

A lot of car owners take their ignition switch for granted, and there’s a pretty good reason for that. Ignition switches will, for the most part, last for the entire lifespan of a car without presenting any problems. As a result, car owners shouldn’t usually have to worry about, “How much is an ignition switch?” They can continue to use their ignition switches over and over again without being concerned about it going bad on them.


But with that being said, there are a lot of older cars with a lot of miles on them that end up having bad ignition switches. An ignition switch isn’t going to last you forever, so if you keep it around for a long enough time, it’s eventually going to wear down on you. You might also experience problems with your car key and notice that it doesn’t go into your ignition switch smoothly anymore. It could call for you to replace your ignition switch, your car key, or both.

What Are the Signs of a Bad Ignition Switch?

In the event that your car’s ignition switch goes bad on you, you shouldn’t have too tough of a time figuring it out. It’s pretty obvious when an ignition switch goes bad. More often than not, a vehicle won’t start at all when it has a bad ignition switch in it. If this is the case for you, you’ll have no choice but to call on a mechanic and ask, “How much is an ignition switch?”, so that you can have yours replaced.


There is, however, a small chance that your car might continue to start up when you have a bad ignition switch in it. But there might be other signs that’ll show you that you could potentially have a big problem on your hands. Here are some of the surefire signs that you have a bad ignition switch:

  • One or more of the electrical systems in your car stops working
  • Certain accessories in your car, like your air conditioner, won’t turn on
  • Your car stalls out randomly while you’re driving for no good reason
  • You struggle to get your car key in and out of your ignition switch without jiggling it around a lot

In some instances, car owners will choose to ignore these signs and keep driving around with a bad ignition switch. In others, they won’t be able to drive at all with a bad ignition switch. Either way, you should still ask yourself, “How much is an ignition switch?”, and have yours replaced as soon as you possibly can.

Can You Keep Driving a Car With a Bad Ignition Switch in It?

As we mentioned a moment ago, there are going to be a lot of instances when driving a car with a bad ignition switch in it won’t be an option for you. If your ignition switch is completely shot, it’s not going to be possible for you to get your car to start at all. But there are also some situations where you may be able to start your car in spite of your bad ignition switch, which might lead you to believe that it’s still OK to drive it.


This is almost never a good idea! While you might be able to start your car up with a bad ignition switch in some cases, you could put yourself into a very dangerous situation if you choose to drive with a bad ignition switch in your car. Your car could conk out on you at any point and leave you stranded. It could also stall out on you while you’re sitting in traffic and potentially lead to an accident. You might even find that your car will continue to run even when you take your car key out of it because of a bad ignition switch. This could leave it susceptible to getting stolen.


You shouldn’t ever take risks when you have a car with a bad ignition switch in it. You’ll be much better off finding a way to get it fixed ASAP so that you don’t put yourself or others into dangerous positions.

Where Should You Take a Car With a Bad Ignition Switch?

The good news for those with bad ignition switches in their cars is that it’s not all that difficult to find someone to help you take care of your problem. You can call on almost any ASE-certified mechanic and ask, “How much is an ignition switch?”, before hiring them to help you replace yours. You can also contact a local locksmith in most cases and have them work on your car’s ignition switch for you.


Whatever you do, you shouldn’t keep driving around in a car with a bad ignition switch because of everything that we just talked about. Although you are going to have to shell out some money for a new ignition switch, it’ll be a whole lot less than what you might have to pay if you get into an accident or have your car stolen.

Is Replacing an Ignition Switch Yourself a Good Option?

In an attempt to save some money on ignition switch replacement, there are some people who will try to take the job on themselves. They wonder how hard it could possibly be to replace an ignition switch and then get to work. This might not be the worst idea in the world if you have some experience working on the ignition systems in cars. But otherwise, you should leave ignition switch replacement up to the professionals.


You might end up spending hours trying to get your old ignition switch out so that you can replace it with a new one. A mechanic or locksmith, meanwhile, will be able to do this in a matter of just an hour or two tops. Hiring someone to help you won’t cost you as much money as you might think, and it’ll make it so easy for you to get your car back out on the road in no time.

How Much Is an Ignition Switch?

Outside of being a relatively easy job for a mechanic or locksmith to tackle, the other good news as far as ignition switch replacement is concerned is that it’s not all that expensive to do. In the grand scheme of things, it’s actually one of the least expensive auto repair jobs.


When you contact a mechanic or locksmith and ask, “How much is an ignition switch?”, they’ll usually respond by giving you a quote that will be somewhere between $190 and $240. That will include all the parts that will be needed to replace your ignition switch, which will come out to be just over $100, and the labor costs associated with ignition switch replacement, which are usually between $90 and $110.


The total ignition switch replacement cost that you’ll be asked to pay could potentially be higher or lower than those amounts. It depends on everything from your location to the make and model of your car. But generally speaking, you shouldn’t have to pay an arm and a leg to replace a bad ignition switch.

Is the Ignition Switch Replacement Cost Worth It?

If you own a newer car that has a bad ignition switch in it, the costs that come along with ignition switch replacement are going to be well worth whatever you’re asked to pay. There is absolutely no sense in putting your car at risk by not replacing an ignition switch that has gone bad if you plan on keeping it and driving it around for a long time.


If, however, you have a very old car that has seen better days, you might not like what you hear when you ask a mechanic or locksmith, “How much is an ignition switch?” It’s not always going to be worth it for you to pay one or two hundred dollars to replace a faulty ignition switch. You might want to consider selling your car instead and taking what you can get for it.

Is Selling a Car With a Bad Ignition Switch a Possibility?

Most private buyers are going to balk at the idea of buying a car with a bad ignition switch in it. If that car doesn’t start, they’re not going to see the sense in purchasing it and fixing it up. But there is one good way for those with older cars with bad ignition switches in them to sell their cars and collect cash for them. They can sell them to junk car buyers and get paid top dollars for them, even if they don’t start up and run like they should.


Cash Cars Buyer can make you an offer for your old car with a bad ignition switch in it. You might be surprised to see how much that it can help you make. Call on us today to find out what your car might be worth despite its bad ignition switch.

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