Someone tried to break into my car this past week and it appears they have broken the ignition mechanism. Is there a way I could install a cheap “button start” option rather than replacing the broken mechanism?
I don’t think so. They pulled the cylinder out of the lock mechanism or broke it off? The lock mechanism just rotates a cam, that pushes a rod, that then activates the actual switch mounted to the steering wheel post. So you need to be able to slide the switch depending on whether you go to start, run, off, etc. You’d have to somehow rig up a lever or something on the steering column to slide the switch. Even if you wired in a start button, you’d still have to slide the switch from off to on and off again. Normally they need to drop a salvage yard column in depending on how much damage is done.
A salvage yard column is definitely the easy fix. Check http://www.car-part.com for one near you. You’ll want to get one with the same colors. Your air bag will have to be installed into it. The salvage yard will keep the airbag, but probably leave you the steering wheel.
My brother had an old van where the key couldn’t be turned all the way over to activate the starter switch. He took a remote starter button which we used to use to run the starter from under the hood when we did such things as set the ignition point gap. At any rate, he ran the wires through the fire wall and taped the switch to the top of the steering column. The problem with doing that is the neutral safety switch is bypassed that lets a vehicle only start in “Park” or “Neutral”.