what wires go to ignition switch


The ignition switch is an essential component of your vehicle’s electrical system, responsible for turning on the engine and controlling various accessories. When replacing or repairing the ignition switch, it’s important to understand which wires connect to it to ensure proper installation. In this article, we’ll explore what wires go to the ignition switch and how to identify them.

Understanding the Ignition Switch

Before we dive into the wiring of the ignition switch, it’s important to understand its function. The ignition switch is a switch that controls the power to the engine’s starter and various electrical accessories, such as the lights, radio, and power windows. The switch is typically located on the steering column and is operated by the vehicle’s key.

What Wires Go to the Ignition Switch?

The ignition switch is typically connected to several wires, each with its own function. The wires can vary depending on the make and model of the vehicle, but there are some common wires you’re likely to encounter:

  1. Battery wire – This wire connects the ignition switch to the vehicle’s battery, providing power to the switch and the rest of the electrical system.
  2. Starter wire – This wire connects the ignition switch to the starter motor, allowing the switch to turn on the engine.
  3. Accessory wire – This wire provides power to various accessories, such as the radio, power windows, and climate control.
  4. Ignition wire – This wire provides power to the ignition system, allowing the switch to control the engine’s ignition timing.

Identifying the Wires

To identify which wires go to the ignition switch, you’ll need to consult your vehicle’s wiring diagram. The wiring diagram is a schematic that shows the electrical connections between different components in your vehicle. You can typically find the wiring diagram in your vehicle’s owner’s manual or on the manufacturer’s website.

Once you’ve located the wiring diagram, look for the section that shows the ignition switch. This should show you the colors and positions of the wires that connect to the switch. You can then use a multimeter or a test light to identify which wire is which by probing the wires with the switch in different positions (such as “on” and “off”) and observing which wires carry power.


Understanding what wires go to the ignition switch is crucial when repairing or replacing the switch. By identifying the battery, starter, accessory, and ignition wires, you can ensure that your vehicle’s electrical system is properly connected and functioning. Remember to consult your vehicle’s wiring diagram and use a multimeter or test light to confirm which wires are which. With the right tools and knowledge, you can safely and effectively work on your vehicle’s electrical system.

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