Passat Ignition Lock 1998


For the second time the spring in the ignition switch has failed. I am trying to find out if the spring is in the lock cylinder (which would be a DIY 20 minute repair) or in the lock housing which is a job for the pros since it involves removing the steering wheel, air bag and specialize fastners. The dealers as expected want to see it for a $100 diagnosis.


I can’t help you directly with the lock issue but maybe indirectly.

   Dealers are no better (or worse) than independent mechanics for almost anything you might need done on your car.  They will almost always charge more per hour and often more for parts and supplies.  They also tend to look at repairs a little different than the independent. 

A dealer may well recommend work that strictly may not be needed, but could be connected to the problem or maybe replace a part when a little repair would fix it ALMOST as good a new.  

There is no need to bring your car to the dealer for any service other than service that is going to be paid for by a recall or original warrantee. 

I suggest that most people would be better off finding a good independent (Not working for a chain) mechanic.


I’m assuming that the problem with the ignition is a blown spring cap. That’s the cap that puts tension on the springs which put tension on the wafers which need to line up with the cuts on your key to make the ignition turn.

If this is the case, call a local locksmith rather than a mechanic. Unfortunately, it’s not normally a DIY job.

I went ahead and looked up some stuff about it in one of my books. ahh books.

looks like the ignition is part # c-12-108, Autosmart esimates the time to remove and replace it at 2.2 hours. that’s for a professional, which is why it’s likely not something that you’d like to tackle yourself.

The first time it happened, it could have been age, the second time, it could have been a faulty part.

The third time should do the trick… oh yeah, and make sure that you don’t have 15 lbs of crap on your keychain, that could do it too.

good luck!