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Old 08-04-2009, 09:26 PM   #1
keithc
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Default Broken ignition switch--can I bypass/hotwire it?

I have a '92 SL1. The key is stuck in the ignition switch (in the ACC position) and will not turn and will not come out. I had a locksmith check it and he was unable to remove it. While he was trying to remove it, something must have shorted, as smoke (he said smelling of melting plastic) briefly appeared around the steering column and console. He said the ignition switch is bad and would have to be "drilled out".

I can see huge dollar signs flashing before my eyes. This car, sad to say, is simply not worth hundreds of dollars in repairs (even if I had it)--but I also can't afford even another used car.

So I want to know if there is an alternative. Can the car be "hotwired"? I'm reasonably handy with electronics and can solder. If it's a matter of diverting a couple of wires to a momentary switch or something, I can do that.

At this point, I'm more concerned with having an operable car than one that specifically requires a key to operate.

Any help that would get my car running again would be a Godsend. I simply don't have hundreds of dollars for a repair, even if the car was worth it. I feel a little weird about asking how to "hotwire" a car, but I assume that anyone that would ask this for more nefarious purposes, would probably already know anyway. I do own this car, free and clear--I just want to get it working.

Thanks!

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Old 08-04-2009, 10:25 PM   #2
OldNuc
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Default Re: Broken ignition switch--can I bypass/hotwire it?

The ignition switch is on the back of the lock right next to the column and held in place by 2 screws. You can take it out with no problem. The fool lock is a different story though. you have to remove the lower steering wheel column to get at it. There is a richpin video linked in the first sticky post in the How-To Library on the cover removal. Take the forum jump at the bottom of the page to get there. If you take off the upper and lower covers a good locksmith can get the dead cylinder out for you. You have to get the switch off of the back of it though or you are going to have all the wires in the column melt as it is working on shorting out. You will see it when the cover is off. You can buy a new switch at RockAuto, http://www.rockauto.com/ this will let you see what you are looking for also. Once the old switch is unplugged and the new one plugged in you can run the car with the new switch.

Do an advanced search in S-Series Tech for key stuck or lock and you will see that this is not an uncommon problem.

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Old 08-04-2009, 11:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: Broken ignition switch--can I bypass/hotwire it?

IIRC, it might actually be your lucky day that the key is stuck in the ACC position, since (IIRC), that's the position it needs to be in, in order to remove the lock properly.

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Old 08-05-2009, 09:54 AM   #4
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Default Re: Broken ignition switch--can I bypass/hotwire it?

Once the covers are off a good knowledgeable locksmith will have it out very quickly. The switch is your big problem right now as it is shot.

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