How to Replace the Ball Bearings on Your Cylinder Lock

What You'll Need
Screwdriver Set
Wrench Set
Socket Set
Steering Wheel Puller
Lock Plate puller
Replacement Lock Cylinder

Over time it is very likely that the key ignition cylinder lock in your car will get worn out and require repair. This job is not overly complicated but does require special tools to complete. These tools can be found at any auto parts store or may be available to rent since they are not common tools you will use for many jobs. Here is a basic guide on how to replace the cylinder lock in your car’s ignition.

Step 1 – Safety Precautions

Since you are going to be working on the steering wheel of your car you must be careful to deactivate the air bag that could be triggered by your tampering. To do this you will need to disconnect the battery and allow it to set for approximately 15 minutes for it to discharge before you begin working on the steering wheel.

Step 2 – Remove the Steering Wheel

Begin by removing the horn pad. This part should detach fairly easily. Once you have it removed you can pull the steering wheel off of the steering shaft. This will require the steering wheel puller to accomplish. Simply attach the puller’s frame to the steering wheel using the bolts included. Once it is securely attached you can remove it by turning the center shaft of the tool to force the wheel itself off of the steering shaft. Take note of the lines and marks on the shaft and the wheel that will allow you to properly reattach the wheel after you are finished.

Step 3 – Remove the Lock Plate

Use the lock plate puller to compress the lock plate so that you are able to remove it completely. Turn the center shaft on this tool as well to expose the steering shaft and slide it out of the way enough to expose the retaining clip. You can remove the retaining clip with the right size screwdriver from your set. Once you have the retainer removed you can remove the lock plate itself.

Step 4 – Replace the Cylinder Lock

You are now able to locate the release button and replace the cylinder lock itself. First you will need to move the turn signal cam out of the way by unscrewing it from the steering shaft. Once this step is done you can then get to the release button. If you cannot find the release button refer to the car’s manual. Once it is released, you can remove the original cylinder lock and replace it with the new one.

Step 5 – Put the Parts Back Together

The last thing you need to do is reinstall everything you took out before. Put the turn signal cam back in place as well as the lock plate, wheel, and horn pad. Hook the battery back up and you are ready to start the engine.