Mine has been getting worse and worse. I had to press the key in really far to get the car to start. But now I have to not put it in quite so far but more wiggle it. So I figured it was time to change it out. 55 bucks and change to the part from Advance Auto Parts, similar price at NAPA. 2-3 days to get it in. Hope the old GEO holds out that long! Now I just need the kids at the tech school to change the heater core this Fall!:12 Steps to do this job!Okay, I did the job. It was extremely easy. Anyone can do it. It's a 12-step program for success.
Tools you will need:
Number 10 Socket (for dashboard bolts)
A paperclip (for poking the little tab to get the old one out)
Possibly a flat screwdriver or similar tool.
Your old keys.
Step 1: Remove the battery cable so you don't fry yourself.
Step 2: Pry the two little plastic covers from the dash just below the mid-line. A fingernail should do it, but perhaps a screwdriver or some such.
Step 3: Get your socket set out, a #10 did mine, and undo those two bolts. The dash should come down and not off.
Step 4: You will need to have your key in the ignition, not locked and not started I believe did it.
Step 5: There is this little hole/tab on the bottom of either unit, the old or new, look at the new to get a good view.
Step 6: Poke that little tab with the paperclip or some such. It should loosen the unit and if it doesn't pull right out, you probably have the key in the wrong position. Yank it out!
Step 7: I had to pry pretty hard to get the plastic face off the old ignition switch, but it's pretty durable and it came off with a little effort. Stick it on the new one.
Step 8: Slide the new unit in the hole in your dash. It's pretty obvious how it goes in, only one right way to do so. It should make a satisfying click once it is fully in. You're almost done!
Step 9: This was the slightly tricky part, lifting the dash back in place. The right side went in easy, the left side needed a little muscle. BANG! It went in. Okay, not that tricky.
Step 10: You might want to put the bolts back in and close up the dash, or maybe test the start to see if it works first. Up to you I guess. And put the covers back on, if you didn't lose them! I lost one, but it will show up, probably.
Step 11: Turn the key and drive somewhere and trade in your 94 Geo for a decent vehicle! Okay, so this may not be an option, but as my heater core is almost totally shot and Winter is a few months off, it sounds like a good idea to me!
Step 12: There is no step twelve, unless I forgot something but I don't think I did. Okay, pat yourself on the back, you did very well. Pretty easy wasn't it? I told you so. Them Geos were pretty well designed!
And that is how you change the ignition switch on a 1994 Geo Prism. It is a very simple job, if I can do it anyone can. Super easy to do!
mr.frank is right - this is super easy to do. Two quick notes:
(1) In step 6 (Poke that little tab...), the key should be turned to ACC.
(2) I took my broken ignition switch to a locksmith and they were able to fix it for 20 bucks. The advantage of fixing the old is that the same key will continue to work for the doors, trunk, and the ignition switch. (It was also cheaper than buying a new switch.) If the switch is not repairable, the locksmith mentioned that you may be able to track down an "unkeyed" ignition switch which can they can key for you based upon the key code. You get the key code based on the vin number from a dealer's parts dept. I'm not sure how much this costs, but it may be worth looking into so that you don't need more than one key for the old Geo.