Why would a Chevy truck owner need to bypass the ignition switch on their truck? Possible reasons for learning how to bypass the ignition switch include:
- The switch is locked or frozen, preventing you from turning the key to start the engine
- The switch is broken/nothing happens when you turn the key
- Lost/unusable key
Failing ignition switches that still work but may soon stop working can make your truck stall suddenly after starting it. This happens when a cranked ignition isn’t transmitting enough power to the ignition system and fuel pump. Other signs of a bad Chevy truck ignition include:
- Low power or rapid loss of engine power
- Inadequate power distribution to multiple systems
- Ignition coil, ignition module, and/or distribution pick-up coil failure
Be aware that newer Chevy trucks may have internal security measures that prevent someone from bypassing an ignition switch. In cases where you can’t bypass the ignition switch, you will have to contact your dealer or auto mechanic for further assistance.
- Remove the steering wheel column cover and screws underneath the steering wheel. You will find the ignition switch wire harness connection in this area.
- You can either take out the connector at this step or cut and shorten the wires that link the ignition switch to the connector. The connector is behind the switch.
- Examine the ignition switch wires for signs of wear and tear or other damage. These wires are identified by their color: red wires are typically the positive battery wires, yellow wires are starter wires, and ignition cables are dark brown. Diagrams outlining Chevy truck ignition switch wiring are available online.
- Twist the battery and ignition wires together using a pair of pliers to establish a solid connection. If the connection creates a tiny spark, that means the ignition has been activated.
- Leaving the ignition activation and on, begin connecting the starter cables and the battery. At this point, your Chevy truck should start.
- Disconnecting the cables will stop the engine.
This method is a bit more complicated but offers an alternative to the above method.
- Using a jumper cable, connect the positive terminal of the truck battery to the ignition coil’s positive section
- Connect the battery’s positive terminal to the starter solenoid. Then, disconnect the ignition switch’s wiring connection to the starter solenoid. Starters are usually found on the driver’s side of most vehicles between the engine and the transmission.
- Shorten the solenoid’s positive terminal to the area to which the ignition switch is connected. Once this is done successfully, the solenoid should engage the engine and start the truck.
The lock cylinder is the part of the ignition where the key is inserted. Internal lock pins are activated by the key so that the engine can be started. Since the lock cylinder and steering column lock are connected, the insertion of the correct key permits the driver to manipulate the wheel. Removing the key and turning off the engine prevents the manipulation of the wheel.
Destroying the functionality of the lock pins is another way of starting your truck when you have lost the keys. To do this, you will need to drill into the lock cylinder (keyhole) about two inches or about the length of the Chevy truck’s key. Lock pins are comprised of a spring and two sections. After drilling the keyhole once or twice, the destroyed bits will fall within the lock cylinder and become inoperative.
Put the end of a flat-head screwdriver into the keyhole just like you would a key. In a clockwise direction, slowly turn the screwdriver. The destruction of the pins should allow you to start the engine using a screwdriver. Once the engine starts, remove the screwdriver and rev the engine a couple of times.
The problem with starting older trucks in this manner involves potential permanent damage to the key switch and the fact that anyone with a screwdriver or other pointed tool could easily steal your truck.
Vehicle manufacturers began equipping cars and trucks with a type of theft deterrent called an ignition immobilizer. Vehicles with ignition immobilizers cannot be started until the correct key is inserted into the lock cylinder. Bypassing an ignition immobilizer involves coordinating the key fob, the truck’s computer system, and the immobilizer component. You will have to contact a specialty locksmith or a Chevy truck dealer to obtain codes for bypassing an ignition switch powered by an ignition immobilizer.
Author Bio: Luke Wilhoit has held the title of automotive content writer, editor, and managing editor. He is now the Director of Content Marketing at Automotive-Marketing.com where they specialize in automotive content marketing as well as everything related to automotive digital marketing strategies for large-scale automotive companies.