CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Ignition switch on Pontiac Grand Am

I have a 1995 Grand Am and I believe the ignition switch is bad. I don’t have alot of money for a new one and so was looking into getting one at a junk yard. I’m having trouble finding one nearby so I was wondering if it could be interchangeable with the other car models listed on my Haynes book. Does anyone know?

A new ignition switch (the part with the wires) is about $50. The salvage yard people have a catalog which lists all the models which have the same ignition switch. Just ask.
Instructions for changing a ignition switch: http://www.autozone.com/shopping/repairGuide.htm?pageId=0900c152800a9537

The odds of getting a switch with a matching key from a junk yard are slim, in my opinion.

Make sure it’s the switch before you replace it.

On these GMs and a lot of other makes, the ignition switch assembly is separate from the key cylinder. You can replace the switch and keep the key cylinder.

You’re right, Busted Knuckles. That’s why I said, “…the part with the wires.” And, the link leads to instructions and a picture. NO new key needed, when just replacing the ignition switch, ferball…

Hey. Calm down. I was replying to mcparadise. Wow, thin skin. Is there a rash of tender feelings around here?

And, I was replying to the OP to clarify that the ignition switch has more than one part (it has two; the lock cylinder, and the switch (the part with the wires attached)).

Thanks for the replies. I’m wondering if anyone can help me figure out if it’s the ignition switch or not. When it started acting up, I tried to start the car and nothing happened so I took the key out of the ignition, then the car tried to start without the key. I had to put the key back in and start the car to get it to stop. Later that night, it started with no problem. The next time I tried to start the car, it wouldn’t start. Sometimes I hear a click and sometimes I don’t and I had the starter replaced. I also tried jump starting it and that didn’t work so I doubt it’s the battery or alternator. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.