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B5 A4 Ignition Switch Replacement DIY
Disclaimer: The following DIY is intended as an aid only and is by no means a professional set of instructions. It is recommended that you use this DIY as a visual aid to assist you in replacing your ignition switch but do not rely entirely on it. As such ECS Tuning does not take responsibility for anything that may be damaged or broken while using this DIY on your own vehicle.
Car: 1996 2.8 12v Quattro Manual – Should be similar for all B5's
Symptom: My key would not go into the ignition easily. After starting the vehicle it would not retract back to the “run” position and would instead stay in the “start” position, thusly disabling my car's electronics.
Problem: My ignition switch failed.
Things you will need:
A new ignition switch – ECS Tuning has them for all production runs of the B5. So if you can, show some support for the DIY and order from us by clicking the link!

Phillips screw driver – long and skinny

Flat head screw driver – very small, something you might use on a pair of glasses

Torx head – I believe it is a T20

Allen key – I believe it is a 6mm

24mm Socket

Thread Lock Glue

Small cup to place screws in as you remove them.

Small Hook – not needed but makes disconnecting wires easier.

Time Estimate: 25 minutes
Before Beginning: ***IMPORTANT*** Disconnect the battery!!!! Otherwise your airbag light will always stay on and you risk the chance of discharging your airbag when you remove it.
Step 1: Extend steering column all the way out and up. Unscrew top of column shroud with Phillips screw driver on left side. There is also a Torx screw on the back of the steering wheel on the left side.

Step 2: Unscrew top of column shroud with Phillips screw driver on right side. There is also a Torx screw on the back of the steering wheel on the right side. If you have not disconnected the battery yet, do so now!! Lift the top plastic cover off and disconnect two wires that run to the steering wheel. One is on the left side with an brown/orange connector the other is on the right side with a black connector. Once these are disconnected you can remove the air bag. CAREFUL! There is a thin orange connection on the back of the airbag. Not its orientation as it is attached to your air bag, disconnect and set air bag aside.
Mark on the spindle the orientation of the steering wheel to the spindle. I used a very sharp screw driver end and made two '-' marks that line up when the steering wheel is properly aligned on the spindle. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.

Step 3: Remove three Phillips screws from front of bottom column cover. Also, hidden under the steering column adjuster is an Allen bolt. Lastly, there are two Phillips screws that hold the column adjuster handle on. Remove the screws and the adjuster's handle. Extend the column all the way up and out. You can now remove the bottom plastic but you will have to fish it over the key lock cylinder. No big deal, just be gentle and be sure your steering column adjuster arm is limp.

Step 4: Loosen but do not remove the two very small flat head screws circled in the picture. Don't remove them all the way as they are very hard to find. Simply loosen them about 5 turns or so.

Step 5: Pull the old ignition switch out and disconnect it from the plug as pictured.

Step 6: Here you can see the old switch next to the new switch. Note the location of the marks left on the “ears” of the old switch. Match them up with the new switch so you know which way the assembly goes back into the steering column.

Step 7: This really isn't a step, but you can see how the orientation of the white plastic notch is no longer in the correct position. The spring in the old switch has failed and is constantly pushing the key to the wrong position.

Step 8: Insert your key into the lock cylinder so you can wiggle it while you put the new switch in. Insert the new switch, verify that your key works still and tighten those very little flat head screws back on. It would be a good idea to use some thread lock on the tops of the screws once you verify that the assembly works and is aligned. After you verify it is all aligned, reconnect the plug. It will only go on one way so be gentle and do not force it.

Step 9: You are now done replacing the switch, reassemble in reverse.
Notes: Ignore the removed instrument cluster in my pictures, I was doing two things at once while I was tearing my column apart. You do not need to remove the cluster to complete this switch replacement.

Modified by [email protected] at 10:48 AM 12/31/2009

Modified by [email protected] at 10:49 AM 12/31/2009
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