Home | DIY | Color-Coded Ignition Switch Wiring Explained

Color-Coded Ignition Switch Wiring Explained

February 23, 2024 | Victor Lukasso

This article will provide steps to follow in Wiring your vehicle’s ignition switch and explain what wires go into the switch.

As the name implies, the ignition switch is in charge of triggering the circuits or signals that start the vehicle.

You must know how to use your ignition switch, especially when the central electrical system goes bad. It’s also good that you know to do this in an emergency.

Thankfully, the procedure isn’t challenging, provided you have the right guide.


This post will teach you how to wire the ignition switch and provide you with the color codes of different terminals.

Ignition Switch Wiring Explained

Follow the below guide to completely wire your ignition switch.

1. Park the vehicle

This doesn’t imply that you should park at just any spot, make sure you park in a leveled and convenient spot.

2. Discover the terminals on the ignition switch

Determine the ignition switch’s rear connections and then locate and identify them. You may see four terminals labeled “BATT” (Battery), “ST” (Start), “IGN” (Ignition), and “ACC” depending on the vehicle (Accessory).

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Get validation from the manufacturer or the repair handbook to keep your car safe.

3. Remove the Negative battery terminals

Disconnect the negative terminal on your battery to avoid shock while wiring the ignition.

4. Remove Steering wheel coverings

Remove the coverings or trims that might be covering the steering wheels. Look out for any bolt or screw to avoid damaging them.

5. Remove the Steering Wheel

The ignition switch may be located along the steering column in some vehicles, while others may have it in the dashboard. No matter where it is, removing the steering wheel will significantly simplify your task.

You might need to use a steer wheel puller to make the task easier for you. Before carrying out this procedure, it is relevant that you check the manual guide for the car or get an ignition switch panel wiring diagram.

6. Unlock the ignition Module Cover

On the ignition module cover, unlock the hooks. You can do this to remove the lid and access the ignition switch. On the clips, there need to be some releases. The release mechanism on the hooks may need to be pushed down with the help of a screwdriver.

7. Turn the keys to the Accessory Position

Turn the key to the “accessory” position and insert it into the ignition. This is necessary since there is no way to get it out of the ignition module. You might be required to use a flathead screwdriver if you don’t have access to your car key.

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You would have to take caution if you must employ a flathead screwdriver.

8. Take out the Release Pin

You can now take out the pins that hold the ignition switch once it is released. The pins should be easy to remove if you follow the steps correctly to this point.

However, you must press the release pin more firmly if you notice some opposition.

9. Inspect the ignition switch

You can perform a visual inspection to decipher what’s wrong with the ignition. Look out for damages or disconnections.

You might need to replace or repair it depending on your needs.

10. Inspect the wires

Determine the positive power lead going from the battery to the ignition switch on the car. The red color cable mainly denotes it. After locating it, attach the terminal end to the power lead wire and tighten it with a terminal multi-tool. The power line is connected to the switch’s “BATT” terminal.

11. Plug the Accessory Wire

The accessory wire is responsible for turning on the car accessories. Plug the Accessory Wire into the “ACC” terminal on the ignition switch.

12. Plug the starter relay wire

The Start wire helps turn the car on when the ignition switch is turned to it. Connect the starter relay wire to the “ST” terminal on the ignition switch.

13. Connect the ignition wire

Connect the ignition wire to the “IGN” terminal on the car’s ignition switch. The vehicle’s ignition, wipers, accessories, and other functioning functions are all controlled by this terminal.

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14. Reinstall the ignition switch

You would need to apply some pressure to the release pin to install the newly rewired switch and the new ignition switch, followed by the ignition switch in the steering column.

15. Test the ignition switch

It’s time to test the freshly wired ignition switch after you’ve secured the ignition switch.

You would need to reconnect the battery to accomplish this. No parts should be reassembled until the new ignition switch has been tested and confirmed.

16. Reassemble your vehicle

Once the ignition switch is confirmed to work, it’s time to reassemble your vehicle.

Ensure your car is switched off with the negative terminal of your battery removed while putting the components on.

That’s all you need to know to wire your ignition switch with the correct color code completely.

What wires go to the ignition switch?

The ignition switch cables that go into the ignition switch are red, black, white-red, white-black, and yellow.

There are four wire terminals, though there might be a slight difference depending on your car model. These terminals are represented by the letters “BATT(BATTERY),” “ST(START),” “IGN (IGNITION),” and “ACC (ACCESSORY).” You can check your car’s manual guide for the best representation.

Can I bypass the ignition switch?

Yes, it’s technically possible to Bypass the ignition switch. However, you’ll need training on how to go about it.

You can also take your car to any repair shop nearby for assistance.


A faulty ignition switch could threaten vehicle owners, mainly when not addressed on time.

Although it’s natural for most car components to fail after some time, it will require you to replace, repair, or bypass them.

This article has provided a detailed guide on correctly wiring an ignition switch and the color codes that go to the ignition switch.

I also recommend that you download a universal ignition switch wiring diagram.

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Meet Victor Lukasso, the owner of V. Auto Basics. Through this blog, Victor Provides Insights on the latest tips, maintenance, repair, and techniques in the automotive world.