Costopedia / Automotive / How Much Does an Ignition Switch Replacement Cost?

How Much Does an Ignition Switch Replacement Cost?

$ Labor: $50 - $120 per hour. $ $ Parts: $15 - $550+ $ $ $ Professional replacement: $100 - $800 (parts and labor)

Getting into a car and starting the engine seems like the simplest thing to do, but behind what we can see, it takes a lot to get combustion engines to start.

To start the engine of combustion vehicles, all you need is air, fuel, and a spark to make combustion happen; the spark is the key of the whole process, and the ignition switch is in charge of making it happen.

The ignition switch makes your car start, that’s why it’s also called the stater, but it’s also in charge of powering the car’s central electrical systems like radio and headlights.

How Does The Ignition Switch Works?

Behind everything, when turning the key or pushing the starting button, this produces a signal that makes the ignition switch begin the ignition process to start the engine.

To do this, the ignition switch engages the vehicle’s power with the rest of the systems when the key is turned. Here’s a video by Automotive System that shows you how an ignition switch works.

Many car functions, like the starting process and powering the electrical system, are directly related to the ignition switch, so if it is not working correctly, the car will be inoperable.

Ignition Switch Positions

Generally, ignition switches have four positions which are made that way to serve different purposes; these positions are:

  1. Lock: This is the “off” position; nothing is working. In this position, the key may be removed from the keyhole. The steering wheel could also be locked.
  2. Accessory: The accessories receive power and can be used, like the radio. The key can’t be removed from the keyhole.
  3. On: Everything is working in this position, from the electrical system to the engine. This is the default position after starting the car. The key can’t be removed from the keyhole.
  4. Start: This position is only achieved when starting the car and is when the key is turned all the way. This position turns on everything. Holding the key in this position for too long can damage the starter.

You can read more about the positions of an ignition switch in this article by Info Bloom.

What Are The Symptoms Of Ignition Switch Problems?

When the ignition switch fails or is damaged, you can notice these symptoms:

  • Engine stalling while driving.
  • Engine stalling just past ignition.
  • Problems with power maintenance.
  • Starting problems.

You can read more about these bad symptoms produced by an ignition switch that’s not working correctly in this article.

What Affects The Costs Of Replacing An Ignition Switch?

The factors that can affect the cost of replacing an ignition switch are: labor costs, the type, year, make, and model of the vehicle, the place you take your car to repair, and whether the replacement part is an aftermarket product or OEM.

Aside from these factors, the ignition switch is often part of an assembly that includes the ignition lock cylinder, and sometimes these two parts are combined into one unit and need to be replaced.

An ignition switch can cost from $15 to $550 or more for just the replacing parts, and labor costs can be $50 to $120 per hour.

Considering that replacing an ignition switch can take up to 2 hours, the final costs of professionally replacing an ignition switch, including parts and labor, can be $100 to $800.

Top Companies

An ignition switch can be replaced at independent repair shops, car-repair chains like Pep Boys, Mr. Tire, or Sears, and car dealerships (which are the most expensive); replacement parts can be bought at online retailers like Amazon.

Here’s a comparison between the prices and type of work auto repair shops and other retailers offer:

Company Type of Work Price Range
Midas Parts and labor $110 – $300
Mr. Tire Parts and labor $110 – $200
NAPA Parts and labor $129 – $310
Walmart Parts $55-$215
Amazon Parts $45-$210

Things To consider

Before Buying

  1. First, you need to know which type of ignition switch your car has and if it’s combined with the ignition lock cylinder. Check your car’s shop manual to ensure that you buy the correct part.

When Buying

  1. To replace the ignition switch, the mechanic will disconnect the battery from it. Here’s a video that shows you how an ignition switch is replaced.
  2. Replacing an ignition switch is a process that typically doesn’t take more than two hours.
  3. Trying DIY to replace the ignition switch yourself is not often a good idea. Some vehicles have anti-theft devices, and attempting to remove the ignition switch without proper tools could make the car inoperable.

After Buying

  1. A bad ignition switch could also damage the surrounding wires. If this happens, they will also need to be replaced, increasing the final costs.
Giovanna Soto