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Brady October 31st, 2012 14:35

Help - Ignition Lock Cylinder & Housing
Had to tear into the wife's car because her key wouldn't turn the ignition past the steering wheel unlock point. I've got the housing and lock off of the steering column. I can't turn the key to the "on" position so I can insert the paperclip and separate the two parts. Has anyone ran into this? I'm afraid I may be stuck buying both the housing and lock. Any help would be appreciated.

Alnicocunife November 1st, 2012 17:30

I have an 09 Jetta and my lock was getting very hard to turn. I sprayed some silicone lube into the ignition lock assembly. It made it much easier to turn and seem to have fixed the problem.

Brady November 3rd, 2012 11:45

Thanks for the reply. I've tried the lube without luck. I've got both parts on order, but they could take a while to come in. If any body has a remedy for separating the cylinder and housing I'm all ears.

kentr6727 November 3rd, 2012 13:21

According to the Bentley manual, there are two small screws on the top side of the switch housing.(edit - not sure where i saw that picture.. maybe it was a you-tube vid?) It also says to take the steering wheel off to access the plastic cover screws. Is that the way yours is?

I changed my 09 switch last week... the method is in Bentley on page 96-12. On an 09, turn wheel left remove screw, turn wheel right - remove screw, remove screw on bottom near flip lever... now take off the Bottom cover - top cover can stay on. On the bad switch, flip up and remove the black cover that is held down with the part number tag. Push out the smal elect connector. Use two 1/16" drill bits or two small and short hobby screwdrivers. By comparing location of tabs on new switch, push the drill bits or screwdrivers in between switch and body to release the latching tabs. Pull out switch ! On new switch, carefully pry up the part number label tab, it's stuck to the body in a couple of small spots, Push in new switch, stick down tab to switch housing, connect elect,,, reattach plastic ....... DONE!!

Brady November 3rd, 2012 14:20

Thanks for the info kent. I've already got the housing off the column. I can't get the lock cylinder to separate off the housing. My switch is in good condition. I can't rotate my key to the on position which is an important step in separating them. I'm hoping someone has ran into this before and can help me out.

kentr6727 November 3rd, 2012 21:49

Brady, my bad - your issue in on the key side.

If the steering column lock is engaged and there is a torque on the column the key won't turn. Is your steering column in a free-play zone and not latched?

Brady November 4th, 2012 09:17

Yes the wheel was unlocked. The key would only turn far enough to disengage the steering lock.

kentr6727 November 7th, 2012 01:20

Had another thought - Is the battery disconnected? If I read the manual correctly, the immobilizer (The part that locks the column) needs to recognize the key fob electronics to unlock the column lock.....

Fixmy59bug November 7th, 2012 12:30


Only on cars with Kessy or an electronic ignition (a la B6 Passat, Touareg, or Phaeton) is there an electronic steering lock.

On cars where you physically insert the key into the ignition, once you turn the key the steering lock is physically disengaged as it is built into the same housing which houses the ignition cyliner.

In the OP's case, I believe he said the housing is completely out of the car. So electronics would not come into play here.

OP, usually when something like this happens, our techs will replace the steering lock housing and lock cylinder.

On occasion, it is the rod in the housing between the ignition cylinder and the electrical switch that breaks or jams requiring complete replacement.

Reshelman April 22nd, 2017 06:01

I was hoping someon here could give me a little insight to what's going on here. I figured I would just add to this thread since it's kinda the same. I have a 2006 Jetta that needed a lock cylinder and housing replaced.

After waiting a week for the lock cylinder to show up at vw I got it yesterday. I attached the housing to the column just finger tight so I didn't shear the bolts right away in case of a problem. Well I slide the lock cylinder in with it on the ON position and all I have is ON and Start no OFF. So I popped it back off ran to vw quick because I cannot release the cyl. They say it's junk and I tried to assemble it away from the column which wasn't true. So I bought another housing and went home to drill the release.

I released and played with that for awhile and seemed to me it was still fine. I eventually did jamb it with a screwdriver playing with it. Oh well but now I know what they were thinking I did.

So anyway I tried this new housing and it does exact same thing...I have ON and START no OFF. I'm about ready to light this car on fire.

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