Buick Park Avenue:

Starting Issues / Ignition Switch Replacement

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#1 10/28/2010 6:59 PM

dvbmcc
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Registered: 10/28/2010
Posts: 4

Starting Issues / Ignition Switch Replacement

My 1994 park ave has consistency issues, some times it starts  some times it won't (when it is not starting the driver side seat controls stop working but the passenger side still works and the windows don't work even when the key is in the on position), it does not mater if the engine is hot or cold, when running it runs smooth and has not died on me. I have replaced the gas tank, fuel pump, fuel sending unit, fuel filter, fuel pressure regulator, alternator, spark plugs, spark wires, got a valve job, and bought a new key thinking maybe the chip in the old key was bad
(what would you think would cause that? )
I am now trying to replace the ignition switch and am having trouble getting at it, what do I need to remove and how do I remove it? I have been trying to remove the lower driver side panel, the one under steering column. by the way I am unemployed as of now and need my car to get a job, so this is really important.
So, tell me what  you think  any advice is appreciated!

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#2 10/28/2010 9:53 PM

TechHelp2
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Registered: 11/23/2009
Posts: 1023

Re: Starting Issues / Ignition Switch Replacement

This is a complicated job if you don't have the knowledge of the SRS System (Air Bag System) and or don't have the special tools to dismantle the steering column. If proper procedures are not followed personal injury even death can result if the SRS system goes off unexpectedly.

The tools needed are a steering wheel puller and a spring compressor to remove the shaft lock retaining ring so you can remove the shaft lock plate.

I know times are hard but I suggest a Professional Technician install the Ignition switch only for your Safety and well being.

If you really need the exact information for this job then you can get it on the Alldata website at ALLDATAdiy.com.


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#3 10/29/2010 11:31 AM

dvbmcc
New member
Registered: 10/28/2010
Posts: 4

Re: Starting Issues / Ignition Switch Replacement

I was told by a employee at auto zone  that it was in the column, I removed most of it and and could not find it so I  went to a GM dealer part department and asked them, they said it was at the base of the column not in it. I  need to know how to remove the panel under the column so I can get at the switch. I found the switch but cant get at it, (GM parts guy was right) by the way I do all my own work I am not dumb, I just want to know how to this right I thought someone might know but I get the same shpeal the silly autozone guy gave me and the same mis-info.... anyone know what there talking about here? please help me!!!?

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#4 10/29/2010 3:19 PM

TechHelp2
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Registered: 11/23/2009
Posts: 1023

Re: Starting Issues / Ignition Switch Replacement

I didn't say you don't know what you are doing, I was just thinking of your safety if you had to do that job.

Most people think of the ignition switch as the part they put the key into. If you want to replace the electrical ignition switch at the base of the column, then the lower panel needs to be removed and the steering column needs to be lowered to replace it.

The trim plate should be able to pull out by hand, it is held in by push clips. Make sure there are not any screws in the top part above the gauges.

Remove any screws you see that hold in the lower panel.

Remove any screws that hold the bottom kick panels.

Once the lower panel is removed, remove the two nuts on the steering column and lower the column till you can get to the screws on the switch.

If you have the chip in the key you might want to change the Ignition key switch. I have a 1995 Pontiac Grand Prix that was doing the same thing your car is doing. I replaced the electrical Ignition Switch and had the same problem. The problem was the key switch. The key switch reads the resistance in the chip on the key. If it senses the wrong signal it thinks it is the wrong key and won't let engine crank for four minutes till you can try again. When I changed the key switch the problem went away.

If you need pictures to locate the screws exactly, you can go to the local library and they should have an automotive section where they would have manuals you can look at.

I hope this helps. If you need more information I'll do what ever I can to help.


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#5 10/29/2010 11:33 PM

dvbmcc
New member
Registered: 10/28/2010
Posts: 4

Re: Starting Issues / Ignition Switch Replacement

Thanks,  I was wondering if anyone knows a site where I could find a video or pics of how to for removing the panel, I am a very visual person, the only thing is I am broke so  it needs to be free, I know that might not exist but if any of you know where I can find such a thing please post
I was also wondering if you think I diagnosed this right

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#6 11/3/2010 1:31 AM

dvbmcc
New member
Registered: 10/28/2010
Posts: 4

Re: Starting Issues / Ignition Switch Replacement

ok in response to this: If you have the chip in the key you might want to change the Ignition key switch. I have a 1995 Pontiac Grand Prix that was doing the same thing your car is doing. I replaced the electrical Ignition Switch and had the same problem. The problem was the key switch. The key switch reads the resistance in the chip on the key. If it senses the wrong signal it thinks it is the wrong key and won't let engine crank for four minutes till you can try again. When I changed the key switch the problem went away.

would I need to replace  just the key cylinder  or is there more to it then that?

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#7 11/5/2010 3:37 PM

TechHelp2
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Registered: 11/23/2009
Posts: 1023

Re: Starting Issues / Ignition Switch Replacement

The Key Switch has a wire on it that is snaked down the middle of the steering column and plugs into the security module that is located just to the right of the steering column.

That should do it. If you need anymore information on this we will be glad to help.


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