What is the first thing you do to get your car going? Of course, you have to start the engine. And to do so, you must first put your keys through the ignition switch which is usually located on the steering column. You turn the key three times and your car is all powered up and ready to go. Well, not unless if your car has the button starter. If that’s the case, all you really have to do is push it, right?
But if you do use a key system to power your car every time you use it, you’re at more risk for wearing out your ignition switch because you’d have to go through putting in the key and turning it for several times a day.
And because it is frequently used, your ignition switch or also known as starter switch may eventually require replacement.
But how much does ignition switch cost? Find out here!
Average Cost of Ignition Switch Replacement
The ignition switch is one of the essential electronic components that provide power for your vehicle. It controls different systems as you turn the key; electrical accessories in the first position, fuel and ignition system on the second, and finally crank the engine on the third. And usually, your car will show a few signs when its ignition switch should be changed. And they are:
- Stalling while driving.
- Vehicle starts but suddenly stops.
- Issues powering accessories (lights, center console, radio, windows, etc.)
If you experience any of these, you should consider getting your car to an experienced mechanic, a repair shop, car dealer or even a locksmith who specializes in automobiles. And as of writing, an ignition switch replacement cost is around $120 to $275.
Though it is recommended that you let an expert do it, DIY is a possibility too. Yes, you can do it yourself and save a bit of money. All you have to do is purchase the ignition switch itself, which is around $13 to more than $200.
What are Included
Now, if you want someone else to work on your car, the price to replace ignition switch will be around $120 to $275. And this range includes the hardware or the new ignition switch to be installed and the labor cost. Typically, the cost for a professional’s labor is from $50 to $150.
If you plan to send your car over to a shop, there would be fewer things to worry about in terms of additional costs. But if you’ve decided to do it yourself, you should be aware that an ignition switch is used to refer to two different parts: a cylinder and an electronic switch. An ignition cylinder is a part where you stick your key, and the electronic switch is the part behind that which will get your car to start.
Sometimes, both parts come as one. But mostly, they’re separated. This means additional cost for you. And it could get really frustrating to receive a switch incompatible with the cylinder and vice versa. So, your safest bet and to avoid purchasing more than you need, you can replace both at the same time. To give you an example, Walmart offers an ignition switch – which is actually the electronic switch – for $30. Now, you could stop there and stick with it and buy another part, the cylinder, for another $37. Or, you could just purchase another ignition starter switch with both parts priced at $78 and don’t have problems with the fit. Though it costs more, it’s still less than the price you’d have to pay to get the job done by a professional.
Shopping for Ignition Switch Replacement
If you’re going DIY, you can check out Walmart. They offer parts at around $13 to more than $200. But the easiest way to find what you’re looking for is through the internet. And here are some of the websites you can visit:
- There’s Auto Part Warehouse whose ignition switch replacement cost is around $20 to more than $100. They even have a complete guide which you can follow to successfully do the process yourself.
- 1A Auto offers a “Search by Vehicle” option where you are able to see only the parts which fit your car best.
- You might also find good quality products at They have an easy “Compare” feature to help you choose the best ignition switch for your car at the most reasonable price.
However, if you plan on getting someone else to do the job for you, you could try the following:
- RepairPal: conveniently find a certified mechanic near you with the use of this online auto resource company. Their rates start from $129 to $275, labor and parts already included.
- Openbay: similar to RepairPal, Openbay allows you to find and book a service provider in your area without any hassle. And you can expect to pay around $135 to $250, including the labor cost and parts.
- Austin Locksmiths: locksmiths are actually great for changing your car’s ignition switch too. And if you’re near Austin, Texas, you could give them a call and have them go to you, wherever that may be. Including labor and parts, their rates start at $120. You’d just have to add $19 for a service call fee or $29 if you’re outside Austin.
Factors Affecting Cost of Ignition Switch Replacement
Most of the time, how much does ignition switch cost depends on two things: the ignition switch itself and the mechanic’s labor. Ignition switch parts vary by price because of the complexity of their arrangement which is brought about by the differences of year, make, and model of vehicles.
On the other hand, the price to replace ignition switch by someone else, or the cost you have to pay for their labor, goes higher due to the difficulty of the procedure. Remember, all cars have different built. Some have steering columns which are easier to open or access, and others have not – which brings up the next factor that affects the cost of changing an ignition switch: your car.
Each car has its specific year, make and model. And aside from this affecting labor cost, it could also make the parts you need either higher or lower. To give you an example, 1A Auto offers an ignition switch fit for a Cadillac Escalade for $35. There’s also one for a Honda Accord priced at $25, and a switch for a 1996 Chevy Blazer for $90.