Mechanical lock cylinders wear out from normal use and may become difficult to turn or jam. If this is happening, try a different key before tackling an ignition switch repair on your Volvo. We’ve seen many worn keys over the years, so check that first.
The electrical switch can wear out too. You could encounter a no start condition or electrical gremlins. We’ve seen warning lights activate, power windows not working, and many other problems caused by a faulty ignition switch. If you have low voltage to fuses or weird electrical problems, check the power out of the switch. It should match battery voltage. If it doesn’t, there may be resistance inside the switch, dropping the voltage and causing a range of issues.
Keep in mind that your Volvo may have been serviced before and had parts replaced with different size fasteners. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you actually have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.
Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust, and debris while working on your ignition switch repair. If you’re working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before you get started. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any waste. Recycle parts, packaging, and fluids whenever possible.
The problems described above may be the result of a mechanical lock or an electronic switch. The mechanical lock cylinder is unlocked with the key allowing a cylinder to rotate in turn rotating an electronic switch on the opposite end. To replace the electronic ignition switch, you do not have to remove the steering wheel. You can remove the steering wheel trim cover, then access the electric switch.
If you’re experiencing flickering lights, delayed headlight illumination, delayed ABS clearing, or other issues, an ignition switch repair may be the ticket.
MVS Forums moderator abscate explains how to do this very quick fix, and lists the telltale signs that it’s due: “Typical symptoms – erratic ABS, CEL STS or other lights – often coming on after a bump in the road. May or may not be controlled by thumping steering column.
Elapsed time from hood open to closed, 10 minutes.”
- Small Screwdriver, flat – easing open plastic case around steering wheel
- 11 mm wrench for negative battery terminal
- Torx 20 bit
- Torx 25 bit
- 4 inch extender
- Replacement switch