Jeep Repair: How to Change Your Cherokee Ignition Switch

Jeep logo - Jeep Cherokee ignition switch repair

It is important that the ignition switch on a Jeep Cherokee continue to work well if you want to maintain safety on the road. If the switch ever begins to malfunction, you could end up stuck somewhere with the car stalled. You might not even be able to start it. You will get the first hint that this problem has arisen when you have difficulty starting the vehicle, perhaps having to retry a couple times. These warning signs are not always present though; you may just lose the ignition suddenly. No matter how the part fails, this article describes how you would go about removing and replacing it.

This Jeep repair is basically in three phases, as you remove the lower dashboard trim, remove the old ignition switch, and install the new ignition switch.

Tools needed:

  • Wrench
  • Screwdriver

Lower dashboard trim removal

  1. Open the hood of the car and secure it.
  2. Take your wrench and detach the car battery from the negative cable terminal (black).
  3. Grab your screwdriver and take out the 10 screws that are holding in the lower dashboard trim panel. Note that you will typically need to look inside the ashtray container for one of the screws.
  4. Make sure all electrical connectors are also detached, after which you can take off the panel. Put the panel someplace that is easy to remember when you need to reinstall it.

Ignition switch removal

  1. Turn your key lock to “Off-Lock.”
  2. Take out the pair of retaining screws that attach the steering column and switch, using the screwdriver. You can now detach your actuating rod.
  3. Disconnect the white electrical connector from the black wire harness connector.
  4. Take the switch out of your steering column.

Ignition switch installation

  1. Position your replacement ignition switch at the edge of your steering column so it is prepared to install.
  2. Change the switch’s slider so that it is set on “Accessory.”
  3. Attach the slider hole and actuating rod. Connect the switch. Use your fingers to get the pair of retaining screws tight but not stuck.
  4. Keeping your key lock set on “Accessory,” barely adjust the switch so that it is at the column’s base. Make sure the actuating rod is free of any slack. Use your screwdriver to complete the tightening of your retaining screws.
  5. Reestablish the connection between the white and black electrical connectors.
  6. Take the lower dashboard trim and reinstall it, using your screwdriver to reattach the screws.
  7. Connect the car battery to the negative battery cable, using your wrench to get it tight. Shut your hood.

Jeep News & Information

With this Jeep repair complete, we can turn to some lighter fare – some current news and information that might interest you as a Jeep owner:

  • Jeep Cherokee gets a redesign for 2019
  • Record number of redesigned Wranglers sold
  • Jeep driver goes off cliff in effort to avoid wasp

Jeep Cherokee gets a redesign for 2019

As small and midsize SUVs flood the market, Jeep is giving a refresher to its Cherokee with the 2019 edition.

The styling of the front of the Cherokee now has a greater resemblance to the front of the Compass or Grand Cherokee. The lights are the main difference, but the grille is also positioned more vertically than horizontally. The Cherokee’s taillights are also redesigned.

A previous design of the Cherokee created separation between the headlights and LED running lights. Now those lights are all included within a narrow, streamlined lens. The additional updates that are most notable are the composite tailgate, lightweight aluminum hood, and five new wheel designs.

The weight is lighter by 200 pounds vs. the 2018 version of the Cherokee. This change, which enhances the riding for occupants, is getting some positive attention, with Detroit Free Press car critic Mark Phelan saying in his review that the weight reduction was very impressive for a car that currently exists and is getting a midcycle refresh.

There is a new engine in the 2019 Cherokee. It offers 270 horsepower through a 2-liter 4-cylinder design. Phelan suggested that the engine is key to making this car a standout, saying that the 2-liter turbo was the first strong 4-cylinder engine that Chrysler had produced “since before DaimlerChrysler was penny wise and pound foolish in developing an uncompetitive family of bargain-basement engines more than a decade ago.”

This engine, which you can get in mid-range and high-end Cherokees, has the strong torque at low engine speeds and strong fuel economy to make it the best engine for the Cherokee.

Record number of redesigned Wranglers sold

With a strong resemblance to military vehicles, the Jeep Wrangler is a durable SUV and is intended for people who would want to go after rocky or muddy terrain.

With automotive consumers in the United States becoming increasingly attracted to SUVs and trucks, the Wrangler just hit the highest point in the model’s history.

Incredibly, the rise was 70% year-over-year (YOY) from March 2017 to March 2018, according to the numbers released by Fiat Chrysler. The figure made the Wrangler the top-selling model in the Jeep catalog. It even bested the Cherokee, which also had a huge rise of 63 percent YOY but achieved a lower total of 23,764 units sold.

The total for March of 98,382 Jeep cars was also a new record for total cars by the automaker.

The way in which the market is evolving right now is suited well for Jeep since it is a brand completely focused on sport utility vehicles.

Jeff Schuster, who assesses and projects sales of cars as the forecasting VP of LMC Automotive, commented that the numbers for Jeep were remarkable. Noting that the SUV focus is the expertise at Jeep, Schuster said that the brand is currently “really well aligned with the market.”

To clarify, the 2018 Wrangler is a different organism. It is not the historic, stripped-down version of the Wrangler but instead offers a stronger focus on comfort. There are locking differentials, a roll cage, and other all-terrain components. However, from the comfort end, this Wrangler includes Chrysler’s Uconnect infotainment platform and a push-button ignition.

Comfort is critical since off-roading is not a part of Wrangler ownership for all people. The design of the car and its amenities are important to other owners of the model.

Schuster noted that a Wrangler will often see no off-roading at all.

Jeep driver goes off cliff in effort to avoid wasp

A Jeep went off a cliff into Lake Pleasant in Arizona on April 6 when its driver attempted to swat a wasp in the cabin.

The wasp flew into the car as the man was driving, according to a the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. The driver did not know that he was approaching the cliff since he was so distracted by the wasp. Luckily, the driver did look up just before his Jeep sped off the cliff and leapt from the car to the ground. The car kept going off the cliff and down into the lake.

There were no injuries to the driver or anyone else. The Sheriff’s Office clarified that the driver was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Honest Jeep mechanic in Boulder

The Jeep brand continues to excite, with refreshes of its popular models continuing to draw eyes and new drivers – as indicated by sales of the Wrangler and the Cherokee redesign in the 2019 model. If you wish, you can follow the above steps to replace your ignition switch. If you need a mechanic for this repair or any other, we can help. At Independent Motors, 90% of the auto repair we do is repeat business. See our Jeep repair philosophy.