A Step-by-Step Guide to Remove the Ignition Switch from Your 1991 Subaru

If you’re a DIY enthusiast and you own a 1991 Subaru, you may have experienced issues with the ignition switch. Perhaps your key is getting stuck or not turning, or you may have a broken switch that needs to be replaced. Whatever your reason for removing the ignition switch, it’s a job you can easily do yourself with some basic tools and a little bit of patience. In this article, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to remove the ignition switch from your 1991 Subaru.

Tools Required

Before you start, ensure you have the following tools:

  • Socket wrench set with multiple sizes (6mm, 8mm, and 12mm)
  • Screwdriver set with multiple sizes (Phillips and flathead)
  • Pliers
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Wire strippers
  • Electrical tape
  • Pen and paper (to take notes and keep track of screws)

Step-by-Step Guide

Here’s how to remove the ignition switch from your 1991 Subaru:

Step 1: Disconnect Your Battery

The first thing you need to do to remove a car part is to ensure the power supply to the car is cut off. Disconnect the negative terminal of your car battery to prevent any electrical mishaps.

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Step 2: Remove the Steering Column Covers

Locate the screws holding the top and bottom cover of your steering column together. The screws are typically hidden beneath small plastic caps or plugs. Remove these caps gently with a flathead screwdriver, unscrew and keep them somewhere safe. Then, gently remove the top cover and bottom cover to expose the ignition switch.

Step 3: Unscrew the Ignition Switch

Unscrew the two screws holding the ignition switch to the steering column. Keep track of these screws as they will be needed when you’re reinstalling the new ignition switch.

Step 4: Remove the Ignition Switch Connector

Gently pry the ignition switch connector from the back of the switch and feed it through the steering column. Take a moment to observe and identify the wires and connectors before disconnecting it. If the wires are old, brittle, or damaged, use the wire strippers to carefully cut the damaged area, strip a little bit of the insulation from the wire and rejoin it with electrical tape.

Step 5: Remove the Key Reminder Switch

Locate the key reminder switch and carefully release it from the steering column. Use the needle-nose pliers if necessary but be gentle not to break the plastic connector.

Step 6: Inspect the Ignition Switch Assembly

Before you install your new ignition switch, inspect the switch assembly. Check for any damage to the wires, connectors, or other components. If you notice any damage, replace that part before proceeding.

Step 7: Install the New Ignition Switch

Attach the new ignition switch to the steering column in the same place as the old one. Use the screws you removed earlier to secure it in place. Reattach the ignition switch connector and key reminder switch to the new ignition switch.

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Step 8: Reassemble Your Steering Column

Once you’ve installed your new ignition switch, it’s time to reassemble your steering column. Put the top and bottom covers back into place, and screw them in using the screws you had earlier removed.

Step 9: Reconnect Your Battery

Reconnect your car battery and turn on the car to test your new ignition switch. Enjoy your hassle-free ride and the money you saved by completing the work yourself.

Safety Precautions

Working on your car can be dangerous. Here are some safety precautions you should keep in mind before starting:

  • Park your car on a flat surface before you start working on it.
  • Always disconnect the car battery before removing any electrical component.
  • Use gloves and goggles to protect yourself from dirt and metal filings.
  • Keep track of the screws you remove, labeling them if necessary to ensure the proper placement during reassembly.
  • Do not rush or force a component to avoid breaking or damaging it.

Common Issues

Here are some common issues that people face when trying to remove the ignition switch:

  • The screws may be rusted or too tight; use some penetrating oil to loosen them up.
  • Older car models may have brittle wires and connectors that can break easily. Use care when handling these parts.
  • If you notice any damaged parts, be sure to replace them before reassembling your steering column.


Can I replace the ignition switch myself?

Yes! Removing the ignition switch is a relatively easy task that most DIY enthusiasts can complete.

How much does it cost to replace an ignition switch?

The cost of replacing an ignition switch can vary depending on your car model and the cost of the new switch. However, you can save money by doing it yourself instead of taking it to a mechanic.

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What if I accidentally damage a component?

If you break or damage any component while removing your ignition switch, simply replace the damaged part before installing the new ignition switch.


Removing the ignition switch from your 1991 Subaru is a straightforward task that almost any DIY enthusiast can manage. Follow the step-by-step guide above, use the right tools, and take safety precautions to ensure a hassle-free procedure. Once you’ve installed your new ignition switch, enjoy the satisfaction of the money you saved, and the smooth operation of your car.

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Billy Covington

With a passion for all things automotive, Billy is our go-to expert on Subaru performance upgrades and modifications. He's been featured in several car magazines and blogs, and his extensive knowledge and expertise make him a valuable member of our team. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys playing guitar and writing music.

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