Ignition switch problems



My mother drives a 1994 six-cylinder Jeep Grand Cherokee that has approximately 52,000 miles on it. Twice the ignition switch has locked up and one has to turn the steering column hard while simultaneously turning the key in the ignition to turn on. What could be the problem, how much to repair, is this something that would fall under recall, etc.? Thanks for the advice.



It sounds like this Jeep is being parked with the front wheels turned, instead of straight ahead, and the steering mechanism is putting excess pressure on the ignition lock cylinder.

If the wheels are straight when the engine is turned off this problem should go away.


It is not easy to determine if the problem is with the switch itself or the interlock mechanism, which is mandated on all cars as an antitheft device.

If you wish to tackle the job yourself, replacing the ignition lock is usually a very simple matter. I’ve not done it on your vehicle but the Haynes or Chilton repair manual ought to give step-by-step instructions.


If you park against the blocks in a parking lot with the wheels turned you will lock the steering lock hard and it will take some effort to disengage it. I got it free with no problem but had to use some effort. There wasn’t anything wrong with it. You sometimes have to see which way you can get the steering wheel to turn and hold it there while the key is turned. It is simple if you are used to it.