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Vangon Articles - How to Replace your ignition switch (all year and model Vanagons)


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How to Replace your ignition switch (all year and model Vanagons)

August 6, 2014 2 Comments Ask Ken, Ignition Ken Wilford

How-to Replace the ignition switch on a Vanagon:

I sell the ignition switch for the Vanagon here.

Here is how to remove and replace the switch.

  1. Unscrew the two retaining screws for the bottom steering column cover and remove it.
  2. Pop the cover off of the center of the steering wheel unplugging the two horn wires.
  3. Undo the nut that holds the steering wheel on (a large one- 24mm?).
  4. Mark the steering wheel in the center with a paint mark or score mark and remove it.  You are marking it so you can put it back in the exact same orientation.  The steering wheel can come off without a puller tool.  Just give it a small pull with your hands and it will come right off.
  5. Reach around the column and unplug the plugs for the ignition switch and the wiper, blinker switch, etc.
  6. Insert your key into the ignition and turn it to “on” position.
  7. Undo the allen bolt that holds the ignition switch housing to the column.
  8. Undo the three slotted screws that hold the blinker/wiper arms to the assembly and remove the arm assembly.
  9. There is a plastic spacer on the center steering shaft.  Pry that up towards you with a flat head screw driver until you can remove it (just pulls off but it can be a little tight).
  10. Pull the ignition switch housing off of the steering column.
  11. Ignition switch will become accessible now with a small Philips head screw driver from the rear.
  12. Reinstallation is reverse of removal ?

Have fun.
If anyone has anything to add please email me.
Ken Wilford
John 3:16
Phone: (856)-327-4936


Ken Wilford November 24, 2015

Robert, thanks for your feedback on this. What year Eurovan were you working on? The later ones have airbags so may require some more caution in removing the center of the steering wheel. I have actually done that before (removed center of the steering wheel on a later Eurovan) but I have never done the ignition switch on a Eurovan yet so thanks for the info. Ken

Robert Gruber November 21, 2015

Used this for my Eurovan, EXCEPT: Pulling the horn cover off was worrisome; I thought something might break, but it just pulled straight in the direction of the steering shaft axis. The bolt they use to hold the switch/tumbler mechanism to the steering housing is a breakaway bolt that can only be loosened with a hammer and chisel, but the screw can be reached without removing it from its housing; don't know if the Vanagon's can. It was surprisingly easy!

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