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2004 gmc envoy_slt_xuv
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I replaced my ignition switch yesterday. I was nervous, I had read numerous posts about this, but some of them conflicted, and I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. I haven’t done a whole lot of work on newer car systems, although I did replace the stepper motors on my Envoy a while ago. The switch replacement was unbelievably simple, and anyone can do it.

Anyway, I decided to make this post, hopefully it’ll help someone who needs to do this in the future.

(FYI, I have a 2004 Envoy XUV, with foot pedal adjustment and tilt wheel controls on the steering column, and had no problem at all.)

First, you’ll only need two thin regular screwdrivers and the replacement switch to do the job.

Disconnect your negative battery cable. I’ve heard that you should disable the airbag, but I’ve read that others did not do this, and neither did I. Just to be safe, I tried to stay away from the front of the wheel while working on the switch.

Take one of your screwdrivers and gently pry the covers of the steering column off. They should separate pretty easily, then you just need to remove the bottom cover to get access to the switch.

Once the cover is off, you’ll see the bottom of the switch where the harness plugs in, the rest of the switch is slid up into a metal sleeve.

Take your two screwdrivers and insert them into the two holes in the metal sleeve. This pushes back the spring tabs on the ignition switch, allowing you to pull the switch assembly down and out of the metal sleeve. The pictures below have two red arrows showing where the two screwdrivers need to be inserted. The yellow circle shows where the harness connects to the switch. The last picture shows the switch removed from the sleeve, but not disconnected from the harness.







Disconnect the switch from the harness.

Look at the teeth of the old switch and compare them to the new switch. Align the new switch gear with the old switch gear. There is a gap in the gears you should see that greatly helps with the alignment.

Plug the harness into the new switch.

Insert the new switch into the metal sleeve until you hear the spring tabs engage the holes in the sleeve.

Reconnect your column cover.

Reconnect your negative battery terminal.

Start her up.

Hope this helps. Took me about 15-20 minutes to do, and most of that time was spent getting the stupid harness off the old switch.

(Moderators, feel free to relocate this post if necessary.)
 

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2004 gmc envoy_slt_xuv
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the kind words... Like I mentioned in my post for help, this place has saved me a ton of time, hassle, and money, so I felt it was my duty to give a little back.

I noticed (just now) that I posted this under the 6 cylinder OEM issues forum, is there a way to put it into the 8 cylinder one too? (I have the 8 cylinder in my ride.)

I'm just thinking it might help even more people.
 

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2002 gmc envoy_sle
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1,380 Posts
You could try using the edit button and then copying and pasting your first post in other sections. To be honest, I'm kind of surprised that there isn't a section just for electrical problems in general that covers all the platforms, I6 and both v8s. :confused:
 

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I deleted it.. its already a sticky here.. so there really is no need for it in the V8 section..as it uses the exact same parts
 

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2003 gmc envoy_sle
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Ignition switch harness

Hello,
I probably need to change the switch like everyone else as most times it will start normally. Once every 30 times or so it will have nothing, when I release and start it again it starts up, but once, it went 3 times in a row with nothing then started the fourth time. I guess I'm on borrowed time before it goes completely out. I read the post and took off the steering cover to have a looksee and with the posts I saw it should be no problem. The comment about the most time being taking the harness off the switch; so I don't reinvent the problem solving how does the harness come off? Depress one or two tabs like most harnesses?
 

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Normal retention tab. Not an evil three-simultaneous-tabs with safety interlocks like some of the airbag connectors.
 

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2003 gmc envoy_sle
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Ignition switch ordered

Okay, I ordered my ignition switch. Being in Paradise (Hawaii) no one had it in stock, I ordered it from Checkers (arriving on 17th). It is a Board Warner brand? (Phonetic spelling, not sure what it actually is) part # CS643 BWD, for $31.99. It has a lifetime warranty which is good after reading about all the failures. I looked at the AC Delco part photograph on the internet. It shows the switch as well as the wiring and harness electrical connection connected to the switch. Does it actually come with this? The way I was reading the posts you change out the switch and it seems like you reconnect the old wiring harness and connector? I guess I will also find out when my part comes on the 17th.
 

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ignition switch gear not just right?

OK, I changed my switch, but I guess when I put in the new one maybe I didn't align the gears exactly right like the old one? Initially it wouldn't start with the new switch, I played around positioning the gear till it started. But now, when I turn the car off the battery warning light stays on, it turns off when the engine is running. When the engine is off and key is out of the ignition the battery warning light is illuminated and the gear indicater (Park, neutral, drive, etc) is illuminated. My guess is the gear is not exactly right in the switch causing this. Anyway to get it set up right, other than trial and error of different positions. It seemed I got it exactly as the old one but maybe not, now the old one had changed as well fooling with it.
 

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changed switch battery light on

OK I changed the ignition switch, I may not have had the gear perfect and exactly like the old one as it wouldn't star initially. I played with dieefernet gear settings till it started. Now when the car is off and key removed the battery warning light stays on as well as the gear selecter indicator is illuminated with the car off and key removed. Is it the gear on the switch is misaligned? How do I get an exact setting now?
 

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Ignition switch gear

You reconnect the existing wiring harness. And that was a good guess on the brand - it's Borg Warner.
Hello Roadie,
Since you are the guru. I changed the switch, maybe did not get the gear setting JUST RIGHT. It starts fine. When off and the key out the cylinder it has a little play in it. It will either be in an "off" position or with a little play the other way will be prior to the accessory position with only the gear indicator illuminated with the battery warning light on. Of course I make sure it is in the off position. Is this due to the switch gear teeth position? Any easier way to get it just right by setting it to a certain position with the key cylinder in a certain position to match? Or just trial and error, it seems there is only about 7 different teeth positions. Thanks.
 

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The instructions all say to match the gear position coming out with the new one going in, don't they? Once it's mismatched, I don't know any way except experimentation to get it back. I suppose somebody could take a photo of one they take out when it's in the key off position.
 

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Switch teeth

Thanks for answering, I guess I was looking for an easy way out rather than trial and error experimenting. When I took mines out the teeth were in the midway portion where you couldn't see a reference point like you would if it were towards either end which is different. My old one I moved the teeth till I hit the end and counted 4 teeth. I did that with the new switch but it didn't match up exactly as the key would go to accessory but no further and I couldn't get the key out unless I pressed the silver cylinder button below the key cylinder. So I did try to match it up to the old one but I guess not exactly I guess. Will try to experiment this weekend when the kids are sleeping.
 

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Now Fixed

OK gang,
I removed my new ignition switch since after I changed it there was the battery warning light on with the key out. I moved the gear tooth one click to the left, reinstalled, and now it starts, acc mode is good, and off mode is good without the battery light on (which would cause infamous slow battery drain). So advice for future ignition switch replacements. Even though it is simple and says get new switch gear exactly in the same position as the old switch, you may not get it exactly just right. Once that happens and you turn the key it causes the gears to move also so when you take the switch out it may not be in the same position. So I recommend before taking the old switch out mark a tooth on one end as a reference point as to where it was with a permanent marker, You try to position the new switch gear in the exact same position. With the old one marked you can play with it to see how many clicks it is from the end and match the same to the new switch. It is no more than 8 clicks from end to end. I would also mark a tooth on the new switch in case it is not the right setting you have a reference point to move it one tooth over each time till you get it right. Hopefully you just get it right the first time but if Murphy hits you, you have a system and a reference point for the teeth. Anyway, thanks to all for the help and advice.
 

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ignition switch and tilt lever

You just grab a firm hold and pull hard straight out which would be towards the driver door. It is a little hard. I read this post somewhere to pull hard. I initially tried pulling and when it didn't come off I didn't want to force it and break something so I just went back to trying to work the bottom steering wheel housing cover off and when I popped the bottom cover off it just happended to pull the tilt lever off also. So now that I have done it it does just pull out with some force just pull straight out towards the drive door, not out towards the driver seat, don't worry, as long as you are pulling out towards the driver door you can use force. It pulls out and then you can see it is just a plastic piece that fits in the slot just push it back in to get it in and it snaps in.
 
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