1996 Jeep Cherokee ignition and door cylinder

My 1996 Jeep Cherokee was stolen and then found a few miles away. The ignition was messed up likely from them using a screwdriver to start it, and the passenger side front door lock destroyed too. The car starts and the engine runs fine. I have insurance that would pay for the repairs, but, after 6 weeks, the auto body shop they sent it to said they can find neither an ignition for this Jeep, nor a lock cylinder. So now the insurance will either 1) give me $$ to buy a new car, and they will take over ownership of the Jeep, or 2) give me a little less $$ for a new car, and I can keep the Jeep as salvage.

Is it really not possible to find parts for a 1996 Jeep Cherokee? (I see 1996 Jeep Cherokee ignitions online for sale.) If I choose option #2, what are the chances of finding someone else who can fix the car (at my
expense)? I will ask my mechanic but only have one day to decide so any advice would be appreciated.



Is it too late to disconnect yourself from the insurance company? I would never get involved with an insurance company with one of my older cars because I would likely be left with a salvage title.

The ignition switch and ignition lock cylinder commonly used in the early 1990’s and are available. I have replaced hundreds of these lock cylinders and switches. The body shop might want to wash their hands of this old vehicle if there is damage to the steering column shroud and door or door handle that can’t be repaired at a low cost.

If you want to keep the vehicle take it to you mechanic and have it repaired.

@Nevada_545 gave good advice.

There is no reason to accept a salvage title. Have a trusted mechanic look at the car and possibly have a salvage ignition installed.


The ignition switch and lock cylinder are listed as available at Auto Zone and the door locks at Rock Auto. The door locks as listed are a problem as they require installing the tumblers which can be a pain.

Gee, took me 2 minutes tops-

What to do with the remaining 5.99 weeks :wink: There must be more to this story or this is incompetence on a monumental scale…

Thanks everyone, your input has been really helpful. My mechanic is now trying to get hold of the body shop. The body shop didn’t tell us there were any other issues than not being able to get those two parts – week after week that’s what they said – but it doesn’t make sense. When I saw the car after it was found, the ignition and door lock seemed to be the only two major issues. Of course I’m not a mechanic and couldn’t drive it without a working ignition, so maybe there’s something I don’t know. But if so they should have told me. The body shop did say they were able to start the car and it ran fine.

Also now I’ve learned about salvage titles. Will see what information my mechanic gets and then decide where to go from there.

Thanks everyone for helping me make the right decision. My mechanic fixed the Jeep – new ignition, new door locks, new battery, general checkup, everything else fine. The car runs great. Yes it has a salvage title now but it doesn’t really matter

It turned out that the auto body shop my insurance sent the car to would only use Jeep-manufactured parts. They did not communicate this to us, and the car sat there for 6 weeks while they were unable to get the parts. Extremely annoying and inconvenient. I’m not sure whose rules these were (insurance people or auto body people) but for a 22 year old car it did not need original Jeep parts! The money the insurance company gave me in the end was way more than it cost to fix the car at my own mechanic’s. I’m surprised the insurance company was ready to declare the car totaled even though not much was wrong with it. (It has very low mileage for a 22 year old car.)