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Volvo 850 Ignition Switch Replacement

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.
1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

Volvo 850 Ignition Switch Replacement

Postby NYC-Volvo » 18 Mar 2011, 19:31

How To Change The Ignition Switch
Volvo 850


I just changed the ignition switch in my 1996 850 R, and I’d like to share the process with you. I’ve taken photos to make it easier for you to follow along.

I rate this job as easy. I am not a mechanic, but I am handy. This repair took me 18 minutes from start to finish. So that 18 minutes includes the time it took me to gather my tools, go outside to the car, do the repair, take photos, clean everything up, and put my tools away. 18 minutes… it was much quicker that I expected.

Tools you will need
· Slotted screwdriver
· #25 Torx driver (the shank must be at least 3.75”)

Prepare your work area
· Move the seat back
· Adjust the steering column all the way out and down
· Make sure the engine is not running and the key is in the off position

Instructions

The following photo shows the underside of the steering column...
Image


There are four #25 torx screws that hold both the lower and the upper cover to the steering column. You cannot see the upper cover in this photo, all four screws are accessed via the lower cover. The red circles show where the screws are for the removal of the upper cover. The yellow circles show the screws that hold the lower cover. Please take note that the screws for the upper cover are recessed, and you will need a #25 torx driver with a minimum of 3.75 inches of shank to reach in.
Image


First remove the two screws holding the upper cover, and lift the upper cover up to remove it...
Image


Remove the two screws holding the lower cover. To remove the lower cover, you will need to lift it over the ignition key area as you pull the cover down. Once you have the lower cover off, you will have the necessary access needed for this job...
Image


You are now ready to change the ignition switch...
Image


Next, remove the wiring conncetor from the ignition switch. I have circled the wiring connector in red...
Image


Hold the connector firmly and pull it out with a light rocking motion. Be careful not to damage the connector...
Image


Next, using a slotted screwdriver, remove each of the two screws holding the switch in place...
Image

Image


You are now ready to install the new switch. You need to ensure that the switch lines up with the position of the key. To do this, put the ignition key in the keyhole, put the new ignition switch in place and hold it witih one hand (do not screw it in yet), turn the key with the other hand until the key and the switch line up. You will know when it is lined up becuase the new switch will be seated firmly in place. Once everything is lined up, continue to hold the new switch in place, and remove the key from the ignition...
Image


Secure the ignition switch with the two screws...
Image


Reinstall the lower steering column cover. Be careful to get it into place over the ignition, and be sure to line up the rubber from the directional stalk and the wiper stalk. Fasten with two torx screws...
Image

Image

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Reinstall the upper steering colum cover. Be sure to slide the rear of the cover in first and make sure it "hinges" (see below) so it will seat properly. Install the two screws to secure it in place...
Image


Insert your ignition key and test each position and start the engine...
Image


This job is now complete. I hope you found this helpful.
:D
1996 850 R
Previous Volvos:
1997 850 T5
2000 S80 T6
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Re: Volvo 850 Ignition Switch Replacement

Postby jblackburn » 18 Mar 2011, 20:20

Excellent; thanks for the contribution! I have added this to the Repair Database.
'98 S70 T5 218K miles
2012 Chevy Cruze LT 6MT


A learning experience is one of those things that says, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that."

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Re: Volvo 850 Ignition Switch Replacement

Postby FCPGroton » 18 Mar 2011, 23:31

+1

This is a great how to. We will all have to do this fix at least once in our lives.
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Re: Volvo 850 Ignition Switch Replacement

Postby 95 850 » 21 Mar 2011, 22:31

Is this identical in a '95 850?
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Re: Volvo 850 Ignition Switch Replacement

Postby jblackburn » 21 Mar 2011, 22:43

Exactly the same.
'98 S70 T5 218K miles
2012 Chevy Cruze LT 6MT


A learning experience is one of those things that says, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that."

mercuic: Long live the tractor motor!
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Re: Volvo 850 Ignition Switch Replacement

Postby Croz » 10 May 2011, 14:16

I just did this swap on my 95 850, and the longest time i spent was trying to get the darn upper cover off. Someone somewhere along the adventure my car has taken had changed the upper bolts to t15 instead of t25. Once i figured that out, it was a breeze thanks to the pics and instructions here.
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Re: Volvo 850 Ignition Switch Replacement

Postby gerbilfood » 27 Aug 2011, 20:28

This post is just beautiful. I really appreciate the effort to share this. Thanks!

I would like to know if the the mechanism that creates the spring-back effect when turning the key to start the car is within the part that you replaced. Currently, my 850's key will stay in the starter position if left there. It makes getting the key into the right position a little problematic. I am hoping that I do not have to replace the lock cylinder and add another key.

Cheers,
david
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Volvo 850 Ignition Switch Replacement

Postby D_V_ENT850R » 28 Aug 2011, 14:22

The switch/ electrical portion has the spring in it! I replaced mine due to I had to turn my key back for my headlights, and park release to work!
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Re: Volvo 850 Ignition Switch Replacement

Postby NYC-Volvo » 29 Aug 2011, 17:17

Yes, I can confirm that the spring mechanism is in the switch.
1996 850 R
Previous Volvos:
1997 850 T5
2000 S80 T6
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Re: Volvo 850 Ignition Switch Replacement

Postby gerbilfood » 08 Sep 2011, 16:50

Thanks for the info. I was able to replace that easily.


Cheers,
david
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Re: Volvo 850 Ignition Switch Replacement

Postby Teena01 » 10 Oct 2011, 14:43

I have a question. I'm supposed to be replacing my ignition switch today. Do I need to disconnect the battery before I start? Are there any other things I need to know before starting?
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Re: Volvo 850 Ignition Switch Replacement

Postby cn90 » 10 Oct 2011, 14:51

Rule #1 in car repair: whenever working on any electrical component, d/c the battery.
So yes d/c the battery cable.

PS: This thread is about the "electrical portion" of the ignition switch.
The mechanic part is on the R side, where you insert the key.
Soon or later this part goes bad, my mechanic part went bad at 100K miles, and I wrote it up here:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=34472
1998 S70 GLT 160K+
2005 XC90 2.5T 85K+
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Re: Volvo 850 Ignition Switch Replacement

Postby Teena01 » 10 Oct 2011, 18:28

Thanks for the info man! Yes I'm replacing the electrical part for the ignition switch.. my headlights, blinkers, power windows do not work when the car is cranked up.. also whenever the car is in park, or neutral only.. it will make a loud noise, sounds almost like when you have the car cranked up, and you go to turn the key again.. and it makes a loud noise kind of like the starter maybe? but the sound completely goes away when I shift in Reverse or drive? anything come to mind??
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Re: Volvo 850 Ignition Switch Replacement

Postby LamboSE5 » 30 Jan 2012, 17:36

At picture 9-10, I'm at that step. The two screws that mount the ignition to the "tumbler assembly" are out. But the wires are connected directly to the freakin' ignition. And there is this plastic thing UNDER where the wires are directly connected - which obviously I can't get off from under them. Why am I not seeing that in anybody else's photos?
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1998 S70 SE5. 200,000Kms
B5234T3, 16T.
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