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Ignition Switch Replacement Cost Estimate

Worried you might overpay for your ignition switch replacement? Use Jerry’s GarageGuard to get a fair cost estimate for your ignition switch replacement.
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John Davis
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Reviewed by Kathleen Flear, Director of Content
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Edited by Jessica Barrett, Senior Car & Insurance Editor

How much does an ignition switch replacement cost?

The average cost for an ignition switch replacement is $190 to $230, including $115 to $130 for parts and $80 to $100 for labor. The exact price will depend on your vehicle’s year and model.
The total parts cost includes a new ignition switch but may extend to a replacement ignition control module, car battery, or starter motor as well. As for the labor costs, it takes around one to two hours for a certified mechanic to inspect your vehicle, diagnose the problem, and complete an ignition switch replacement.
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How did we estimate these prices?

Jerry's experts researched and collected data from 2500+ real repair shops in all 50 states in the US, including everything from the total cost of repair services to the hourly labor cost for mechanic labor in each shop. We combined that data with our expert database of hundreds of real repair jobs, thousands of real cars, millions of real car part prices in order to best estimate the cost of each repair service. Our labor cost estimate is calculated by taking the average hourly labor rate for a certified mechanic in the US, times the number of hours it takes on average to complete a repair. We recommend you compare your local shops with Jerry and contact those shops directly to get final pricing for your vehicle.

What parts do you need for an ignition switch replacement? How much do they cost?

There are three broad categories of ignition systems, but only the first two use an ignition switch to activate the system:
  • Conventional (or “contact breaker” or “breaker point”) ignition system
  • Electronic ignition system
  • Distributorless ignition system
Here are some of the other parts the conventional and electronic ignition systems have in common:
  1. Ignition switches ($5-$2,800) are found in conventional and electronic ignition systems. The switch completes the circuit and fires up the engine when you turn the key or push the ignition switch. Hitting the ignition switch again will interrupt the circuit and shut down the engine.
  2. Car batteries
    ($90-$700) are found in all three ignition systems. They supply the ignition coils with a low-voltage current once the circuit is completed.
  3. Ignition coils
    ($15-$910) are a staple of all three ignition systems. They transform the 12-14V current of the car battery into 60-120,000 volts of raw power. Distributors or distributor caps use either breaker points or pickup coils to time the bursts of electricity it sends to the spark plugs.
  4. Ignition cables, or spark plug wires
    , ($4-$805) are present in conventional and electronic ignition systems. They pass the voltage created by the ignition coils and timed by the distributor to the spark plugs.
  5. Spark plugs
    ($2-$65) are essential to all three ignition systems. They shoot a high-voltage bolt of power across a small gap in each of your vehicle engine’s cylinders, igniting the mixture of air and fuel inside at just the right time. These electrical explosions bring your car’s engine to life like a mechanical Frankenstein.
Some popular brands for ignition switch repair parts include Bosch, Denso and ACDelco, which you can purchase from local parts stores such as AutoZone and NAPA Auto Parts, or from online retailers such as Amazon and Summit Racing.
Keep in mind: Restoring your car to life might require a fresh ignition switch, spark plugs, ignition coils, or even a new car battery.
Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts cost more than aftermarket parts but often include better warranties. For example, if a certified Toyota mechanic installs a genuine ignition switch in your car, you’ll get a 24-month/25,000-mile warranty. Ignition switch costs are even higher for luxury makes like Audi or Mercedes-Benz. 
That said, some aftermarket performance parts manufacturers offer similar or even higher quality than OEM parts.
Some popular ignition switch replacement part brands include Bosch, Denso and ACDelco. You can buy replacement parts at automotive body shops, parts shops, dealerships, or online stores like Autozone or Amazon. If you prefer OEM parts, you can also try your vehicle manufacturer’s official website. Honda, Chevrolet, Nissan, and just about every other car maker sells OEM parts online. Check your owner’s manual for any crucial specifications so you don’t buy the wrong part.

Where can I get my ignition switch replaced?

Deciding on a local repair shop often feels like making a big decision on too little information. Are the prices fair? Are the mechanics trustworthy? Jerry's
GarageGuard™
puts the power back in your hands by giving you detailed fair price estimates for over 2,500 vetted auto repair shops across the country. 
Jerry's GarageGuard™ shows you real hourly labor rates, diagnostics fees, and verified user reviews to help you choose the best shop for your service. Download the app today to save money at vetted businesses like the ones below.
167 Reviews
Goodyear Auto Service - North Bumby
address
601 N Bumby Ave Ste A, Orlando, FL
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$140
143 Reviews
ESS Fleet Service
address
4020 Main St, Dallas, TX
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$185
177 Reviews
54th Street Auto Center
address
415 W 54th St, New York, NY
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$191
162 Reviews
Z.A. & D. Service Station
address
31-5 38th Ave, Long Island, NY
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$135
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How did we vet these shops?

Jerry experts researched 2500+ real repair shops across the US. We talked to real shop customers, and analyzed both real shop pricing data and thousands of real customer reviews from each shop to verify them individually. We do not partner with the shops listed above, and our analysis is always unbiased.

How will a mechanic perform an ignition switch replacement?

An ignition switch replacement demands familiarity with electrical systems and conventional or electronic ignition systems. During a visit to the garage, the mechanic will:
  1. Prepare the car by installing a memory saver (so your drive computer doesn’t reset and lose all its data), disconnecting the battery, and dismantling the steering column and dashboard.
  2. Locate the ignition switch, taking care not to disturb the airbag wiring. Depending on the vehicle and type of ignition system, it may be located near the lock cylinder, or be composed of a chip and wiring that communicates with the car computer.
  3. Disconnect the wiring and remove the old ignition switch.
  4. Install the new ignition switch and reconnect the wiring. Your mechanic may have to align the switch according to manufacturer instructions.
  5. Reassemble the steering wheel column and dashboard and reconnect the battery, then test the car.

Can a car still start with a bad ignition switch?

It’s unlikely your car will start with an ignition switch problem, but even if it does, you could experience other issues. Depending on the severity of the problem, you could notice:
  • Ignition problems: If the ignition switch can’t start the engine, you won’t be going anywhere. Don’t let it be; an inactive car can easily get stuck in place.
  • Engine stalls: A faulty ignition switch can interrupt the current that fires the engine cylinders, causing a sudden loss of power. Stalling and misfires risk damaging the engine the longer they continue.
  • Power shorts: The circuits activated by the ignition switch lead to other car electronics too, like the radio, interior lights, and dashboard lights. These constant power interruptions could cause your electronics to eventually malfunction.
  • A faulty catalytic converter: If fuel floods the engine cylinders, but doesn’t get ignited, where does it go? Well, it follows the path of the exhaust to the catalytic converter. Needless to say, the converter isn’t equipped to handle raw gasoline, and it could be damaged the longer you neglect a bad ignition control module.

What is an ignition switch replacement?

An ignition switch replacement replaces the electrical component in your car’s ignition that’s responsible for completing the power circuit that starts the car. The service involves removing the steering column and dashboard, undoing the wiring, and putting in a new part. 
A mechanic will also take care to preserve your car computer’s data while the power is disconnected and to avoid detonating the front airbags.

What are the symptoms of a faulty ignition switch?

A faulty ignition switch can’t properly maintain the connection that fires the vehicle engine cylinders, so you may notice a myriad of issues related to starting and driving. Here are the warning signs to watch for:
  • The car won’t start
  • The car starts, but then the engine stalls immediately
  • The engine stalls while driving
  • The lighting, radio, and other electrical accessories don’t work
A failing ignition switch interrupts several circuits related to starting the car, firing the engine, and operating the electronics.

How often do you need to replace ignition switches?

An ignition switch may succumb to wear and tear, but it’s hard to predict where or when. Unexpected damage, extreme heat, extreme cold, or lack of maintenance can conspire to shorten its lifespan. Mechanical ignition switches (such as lock cylinders) are more susceptible to jamming, but electronic ignition switches like buttons can fail if they experience a short or power surge.

Can I replace an ignition switch myself?

An ignition switch isn’t an easy or simple DIY task. It requires only basic tools, but unless you’re familiar with the ignition system and dismantling the steering column and dashboard, you could break something—or get injured by the airbag! 
We recommend leaving this repair to the pros.

FAQs

Depending on your car’s ignition system, you may need a new key after replacing the ignition switch. Repairing or lubricating a mechanical lock cylinder will allow you to keep your original key. But in an electronic ignition system, switches and key fobs are paired—so if you get a new switch, you’ll need a new fob to get past the anti-theft security system.
In an old-fashioned conventional ignition system, the ignition and ignition switch are separate parts. When you turn a mechanical ignition lock cylinder with a key, it activates the electronic switch and completes the ignition circuit. Electronic push-button ignition switches, however, are often a single part.
A bad ignition switch can drain your car battery if it gets stuck ON or if you make multiple attempts to start your car. In the first scenario, a switch stuck in the ON position will keep drawing the car battery’s power into the circuit, thereby draining it of juice. 
It’s natural to keep trying to start the engine if it coughs and fails the first few times. But the more you force a faulty ignition switch, the sooner you end up with a dead battery.

Meet Our Experts

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John Davis
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Car Expert
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Certified mechanic with 10+ years of experience
John Davis is an expert automotive writer and former automotive mechanic. John's work spans multiple categories, and he relishes the opportunity to research a new subject and expand his area of expertise and industry knowledge. To date, John has written more than 200 articles covering car maintenance and care, car advice, how-to guides, and more.
Prior to joining Jerry’s editorial team, John worked as a mechanic and freelance writer, creating content for clients including HotCars and SetPower.
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Jessica Barrett
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Car Expert
Jessica Barrett is a senior insurance writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the automotive and travel industries. A specialist in car insurance, car loans, and car ownership, Jessica’s mission is to create comprehensive content that car owners can use to manage their costs and improve their lives. As a managing editor for a team of writers and insurance specialists, Jessica has edited over 2,000 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from local insurance shopping tips to refinancing car loans with bad credit.
Before joining Jerry as a senior content editor in 2021, Jessica created visual content for clients such as Expedia, Vivid Seats, Budget Direct Car Insurance, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor. Her content was published in Business Insider, Forbes, Apartment Therapy, and the BBC.
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Kathleen Flear
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Car Expert
Kathleen Flear is an expert insurance writer and editor who heads up Jerry’s editorial team as director of content. Kathleen empowers drivers to make smart car ownership decisions through  best-in-class articles on insurance, loans, and maintenance. Prior to joining Jerry in 2021, Kathleen served as managing editor for a team of SEO content marketing professionals at Article-Writing.co and worked as a freelance writer and editor for a range of digital publications, including Chicago Literati magazine and Golden Words. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Queen’s University, and a master’s degree in creative writing and fiction from Sierra Nevada University.
*The price information provided on our car repair webpages is intended for general informational purposes only. Actual prices for car repair services may vary based on various factors, including but not limited to the make and model of your vehicle, the extent of repair required, and the prevailing market conditions. All prices for real repair shops are estimations based on our research only. Therefore, the prices listed on our webpages should not be considered as final quotes or binding offers.