Although Dodge Ram trucks are big, stylish, and functional, they have ignition switch problems. A Dodge Ram ignition switch replacement project is necessary if these problems arise.
If an ignition switch fails, electricity from the battery cannot flow to the starter and other components of the vehicle.
As a result, the engine may refuse to start, and other electrical components may not function as they should.
If you are not familiar with ignition switch problems, here is a detailed guide to help you troubleshoot and solve them by yourself.
Dodge Ram Ignition Switch Replacement: The Complete Installation Procedure
Dodge Ram Ignition switches often fail and cause plenty of issues. Although all these issues are bad enough, no driver wants to imagine a situation where their truck won’t start.
A faulty ignition switch can ruin your plans for the day if it affects the engine. Luckily, it is pretty easy to replace a bad ignition switch.
These are the crucial steps
- Step 1: Gather The Tools
- Step 2: Park Your Vehicle Appropriately
- Step 3: Detach The Negative Battery Cable
- Step 4: Take Out The Steering Column Panels
- Step 5: Next, Remove The Ignition Switch
- Step 6: Replace The Ignition Switch
Follow the steps below for the proper replacement procedure:
Step 1: Gather The Tools
Tools you require for this project include your T20 Torx screwdriver and the T25 Torx screwdriver.
Step 2: Park Your Vehicle Appropriately
Always park your vehicle on flat ground when doing any repairs. Also, engage the handbrake to ensure your safety.
Step 3: Detach The Negative Battery Cable
Hazards can happen if electricity is still flowing to various vehicle components. Thus, disconnect the negative battery cable to stop the electrical flow. Then, leave your car alone for thirty minutes.
Step 4: Take Out The Steering Column Panels
Removing the steering column panels requires doing a series of steps. These include the following:
- With your T20 Torx screwdriver, attempt to remove the two screws beneath the steering column cover.
- Continue removing the screw closer to the tilt lever using the same tool.
- Now take out the tilt lever handle. All you have to do is to pull it out via a downward movement.
- Finish this by removing the cover.
Step 5: Next, Remove The Ignition Switch
Again, you need to do a sequence of steps to remove the ignition switch.
Usually, this switch holds to its position because of the two Torx screws and the rear tilt lever mechanism. Carry out the following steps to detach it:
- Using your T25 Torx screwdriver, unfasten one screw found beneath the tilt lever system.
- Next, use your T20 Torx screwdriver to unfasten a screw beneath the ignition switch.
- Hold the rear-wire harness connector by the red tab and pull back on it. After that, pull it out from the dash wire harness.
- Hold the front-wire harness connector by its tab and pull back on it. Then, unplug to ensure the ignition switch pops out of the lock cylinder.
Step 6: Replace The Ignition Switch
After removing the damaged ignition switch, you are ready to install a new one.
After reading this part, you will realize that you only need to reverse the process of detaching the old switch. Below are the steps you need to follow:
- Insert the two connectors to the ignition switch, ensuring the tabs fit securely.
- Install and fasten the T20 and T25 screws using the matching screwdriver.
- Next, restore the tilt wheel mechanism.
- Install the steering trim panels, making sure they are tight and secure.
- Finish by reconnecting the tilt wheel lever cover.
After finishing the steps successfully, test the new ignition switch to ensure it is good. All you need to do is start your vehicle to see if the symptoms of the faulty switch have disappeared.
Starter switches often fail when some of their components short-circuit. If you check your old switch after removal, you might see some dark areas on the metal.
They indicate that the starter switch had already burnt and could not work. If you own a third-generation Dodge Ram truck, the above easy steps should work for you.
Supposing you have a newer truck, the steps should not be so different. As you can see, the process is easy to do at home if you are a confident person.
If you cannot, take the truck to a professional mechanic in your area.
Dodge Ram 1500 Ignition Switch: What & Why
Do you own a Dodge Ram 1500? If yes, your truck has an ignition switch that helps activate all its electrical components.
Usually, this switch mounts to the steering column right behind the ignition cylinder.
A typical ignition switch has a lock/off position that cuts off the electrical flow before locking the steering wheel.
If you own a modern Dodge Ram, its lock/off position may lock the transmission gear. If an ignition switch for your Dodge Ram fails, you might notice a few symptoms.
For instance, the interior lights might start flickering, and the engine might start and stop shortly after.
If your starter is silent, it is an indication that you have a bad ignition switch. And if the motor makes some clicking noises, you might need to take your vehicle to a professional mechanic.
Dodge Ram 1500 Ignition Switch Problems: How To Fix
Here are some common Dodge Ram 1500 starter switch issues:
1. A blown fuse
While fuses take different shapes and sizes, they play the same role. Also, they present the same symptoms when they bust.
First, you can note that the car’s backup lights are not working. Also, the car radio may refuse to turn on. A fuse may blow if the distributor, coil, or fuel injections have a problem.
2. Defective ignition switch
Sometimes the entire starter switch fails. If that happens, you might notice several symptoms. An obvious one is when you try to start your car in vain.
In some situations, the switch will start the car, but it will stop shortly after because there is inadequate electrical flow.
If the ignition switch is okay, you should hear some noise when turning the key. If you hear none, there is a problem.
3. Damaged ignition cylinder
An ignition cylinder is a component of the starter switch. If it succumbs to wear and tear, the starter switch will not function.
Instead, the key will get stuck in the lock position or slide out of the ignition cylinder and fall.
4. An immobilizer refuses to match the code
If you insert the transponder key, the immobilizer will first match it with the car using a certain programmed code.
If the immobilizer cannot do its work, you might be unable to lock or unlock your truck.
Besides, the transponder key might not start the engine, the alarm mechanism may fail, and you will not drive the car.
5. Damaged wafers
Wafers are unique cuts inside the ignition lock cylinder. They only connect to the correct key. If you insert a ruined key, these wafers could develop some cracks.
Hence, the car key may refuse to come out as the wafers can no longer match it.
Quick Solutions For The Dodge Ram 1500 Ignition Switch Problems
Above, we identified various Dodge Ram 1500 ignition switch problems. Now we will show you how to solve these problems by yourself.
1. A damaged fuse
Check if there is electrical short-circuiting on the fuse. Have the strips melted or are they intact?
Before examining the fuses, disconnect the lights and other electrical components. Locate the fuse box and look for the damaged item. Install a new fuse in its place.
2. Ignition switch failure
In the unfortunate situation that your entire ignition switch has failed, you can only replace it. As you can expect, the replacement cost for the whole system is high but worth it.
3. Worn-out ignition cylinder
If the cylinder gets too old, get a new one. However, make sure the new lockset matches your trunk and door cylinders. If possible, purchase new key sets as well.
4. Broken immobilizer
Note that the immobilizer antenna wiring might have malfunctioned. If not, the battery could be dead.
In either case, the immobilizer will fail. After testing the battery voltage and noticing that it is above twelve volts, rule it out.
But if it is below twelve volts, get a new battery. Perhaps you are unsure if the programming between the key and immobilizer is working fine.
One way to know is to take your Dodge Ram truck to a professional.
5. Worn-out wafers
Solving an issue with your wafers will entail changing the entire ignition housing. Also, you need to see your local locksmith company to change your car key.
Dodge Ram Ignition Switch Replacement, Problems, and Solutions
Frequently Asked Questions About Dodge Ram Ignition Switch Replacement
1. What are the four lock positions of the ignition system?
These positions include:
– Start– At the Start position, the ignition switch sucks up power from the battery and distributes it.
– On-Various car parts will only receive power at the On position
– Lock-If you do not insert the key into the ignition system, it will move to the Lock position and stop the steering wheel
– Accessory– ACC allows you to use different accessories when the engine is off, including windshield wipers and FM radio.
2. What are the top five signs of a damaged Dodge Ram ignition switch?
– Damaged or stuck keys
– Your car may fail to start. If it starts, it may stall shortly after
– A car in motion may suddenly stop
– Electrical parts of the truck might refuse to work or function at random.
– Flickering dashboard lights or they may go off completely.
3. How much cost will I incur when replacing my ignition switch?
First, the replacement cost entails the purchase price of the new ignition switch or spare part. Then, you have to count the installation cost if you will prefer to use a mechanic.
If so, you might pay a labor cost of sixty to one hundred and eighty dollars.
If you add that to the price of a new ignition switch or spare part, you could pay one hundred and thirty to four hundred and eighty dollars. If your car is still on warranty, you might pay much less.
4. Do I need to replace the ignition switch so quickly?
We would recommend doing the replacement soon. If you wait too long, the car key will begin to stick in the system or refuse to slide in.
Additionally, your car engine might turn on and stall. Apart from that, you can have multiple failing accessories and junk for a car.
5. Can an ignition key be a safety hazard?
Yes, if the truck stops suddenly because of receiving inadequate power. We recommend changing it as soon as you can. Check its components as you might only need to change a fuse.
6. Is the ignition key the On/Off switch of my Dodge Ram?
Yes, it is the On/Off switch of your vehicle. When you insert the key into the ignition switch system, it will rotate to lock the ignition circuit.
Meanwhile, the circuit will draw electric power from the car battery and send it to the starter motor and ignition system. After turning off the key, the power will stop flowing.
7. How do modern car keys work?
They contain electronic chips that can communicate directly with the truck computer. In most cases, they use a key fob and a push-button system.
8. Do I need to contact a professional if my ignition goes bad?
If you are good at repairing cars, you can save labor costs by doing the task. If you replace the car and keep noticing new issues, you might have problems requiring professional attention.
Now you understand how the Dodge Ram ignition switch replacement process works. Are you ready to replace your starter switch at home?
First, troubleshoot the ignition switch assembly to identify the faulty parts. Do not be surprised to find out that the whole ignition system is faulty.
In such a situation, you might have to get a new switch and install it yourself or use the assistance of an expert.
Before you start noticing the problems we outlined earlier, there will be symptoms. Hence, do not ignore any weird problems with your car.
Since the switch transfers electricity to many vehicle accessories, they might soon fail. If these fail, you will no longer use your truck because it cannot even start.
Besides, the ignition switch could be okay but the battery is dead. We explained how to test your battery for low voltage. Once you verify, do the correct replacement work.
Originally from England, I’ve been repairing cars for over 16 years and am an automotive journalist. I’ve been working on cars for as long as I can remember, and it’s one of the best jobs I’ve ever had.
It is my intention to be your mechanic friend, that person who will assist you with any problem you may have with your vehicle and explain in detail how the problem can be fixed to you as soon as possible.
I produce and anchor a weekly auto news program. As well as providing insights into all things automotive, including expert analysis of the latest trends in the automotive industry, and ensuring you always know where to go for the latest automotive news, I also provide insight into all things automotive before the news breaks.
If I am not working, I am a riding motorcyclist and I do volunteer work with local charities whenever I have time. When I’m not riding my motorcycles or volunteering at local charities, you will find me at home in Portland, Oregon.