Question about Dodge Caravan

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Ignition key cylinder replacement dodge caravan. Is this too hard to replace for someone handy?

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  • rmertz Feb 01, 2010

    Seems to difficult, but thanks for the advice



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Here is how to replace the ignition switch in a Dodge Caravan. This job requires careful work and correct reassembly. The tools needed are: A torx screw driver T-20 size, and a tamperproof torx nut driver or socket, also size T-20. Battery terminal wrenches, a wheel block and a 1/8" flat blade screwdriver. If the symptom is "engine will not crank", you may have a broken pot metal lug on the ignition lock cylinder. You must disassemble the unit to determine if your lock cylinder has a broken lug. Block wheels so car will not roll. Disconnect battery ground. Remove six T-20 torx screws from the bottom plastic housing around the steering column. Carefully slide the housing down and do not tear the sliding plastic that covers the gearshift lever opening. Turn the ignition to "run". Put gearshift in "Park". Remove three tamperproof torx screws from ignition switch. Wiggle switch out and disconnect plugs. Take the switch assembly to a workbench. Ensure key is set to run. Find a slot and a 1/8" pin on the ignition switch assembly. Press down behind the pin with a screwdriver and wiggle and draw the key and lock cylinder out of the ignition switch. Inspect lock cylinder for a broken potmetal lug. Unless the cylinder needs repair, do not pull the key out and do not disassemble the lock cylinder. Slide the good lock cylinder into the new ignition switch. There is movable lug on the lock cylinder. The new ignition switch is shipped with it's inner parts set to "run". Slide the lock cylinder into the new switch with the same orientation as when you pulled it out of the old switch. Put the switch and key in "run" position. The switch must engage three places on the steering column: First, the upper ignition switch pin must engage the gearshift blocker. It is a sliding mechanism along the steering column. The upper pin on the ignition switch fits in a gearshift blocker. Look at the grease pattern and slide the plate with a slot. Put it in the midpoint. The upper pin on the ignition switch engages the slot of the plate. Second, The lower ignition switch has a projecting "key". The tip of the key must drop into a pivot hole. Thirdly, an alignment pin on the steering column enters a matching hole on the ignition switch. When you think it is right. Thoroughly test that all the linkages are working correctly. Run the tamperproof screws in finger tight and check the gearshift, ignition switch and steering wheel locks work right. You can visually see the gearshift blocker linkage move. Test the steering wheel latch to latch and unlatch. Tighten the tamperproof screws. Insert two electrical connectors. Connect ground cable. Test switch. Verify gearshift blocker and steering wheel lock mechanism work.

Posted on Feb 01, 2010


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