1996 GMC Sierra Install the Ignition Switch

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The ignition switch of your 1996 GMC Sierra connects the vehicle's starter to its battery, allowing the vehicle to start. Without the ignition switch, the vehicle will not be able to start. Installing a new ignition switch on your GMC Sierra is fairly simple and should not take you more than an hour to perform. To actually access the ignition switch, you will have to remove the vehicle's steering wheel and its combination switch.

Tools Used[edit]

Socket wrench
Crosshead screwdriver
Flathead screwdriver
Torx screwdriver
Replacement ignition switch

Install the Ignition Switch[edit]

  • Disconnect the negative cable from the battery with a socket wrench.
  • Remove the two screws from the rear of the steering wheel to remove the steering wheel cover with a crosshead screwdriver. Turn the steering wheel all the way to the right to reveal the air bag holes. Insert a flathead screwdriver into the holes to release the securing pins and remove the air bag from the steering wheel.
  • Remove the bolt connecting the steering wheel to the steering column. Unplug the two electrical connectors located behind the steering wheel and remove it from the steering column. This will allow access to the combination switch.
  • Remove the two Torx screws from the upper part of the steering column cover and remove the cover. Remove the two Torx screws from the lower part of the steering column cover and remove the cover.
  • Remove the Torx screw securing the combination switch to the steering column. Disconnect its electrical connector by pulling it off the combination switch and remove the switch from the vehicle.
  • Remove the two screws securing the ignition switch to the steering column with a crosshead screwdriver. Remove the ignition switch.
  • Install the replacement ignition switch and reinstall the two screws. Reassemble the combination switch, the steering column covers, and the steering wheel in the reverse order of their removal.

Tips & Warnings[edit]

  • Be absolutely sure to disconnect the battery beforehand so as to not accidentally set off the air bag.