I saw the posts here about using a NAPA switch to replace a GEM ignition switch. I did it today on my e4 so I figured I’d share what I learned.
I replaced my switch because it was intermittently failing to turn on. After switching off and on about 20 times it would finally “take”. I also experienced times where the switch went off while driving, causing the vehicle to stop abruptly.
I used part number ECH KS6040 – it was $17.49 @ my local NAPA, and they had it in stock, it came with 2 keys.
I didn’t take photos of everything, but here are the high level steps from my 2009 e4:
[li]Turn off your master breaker.
[/li][li]Remove the 2 plastic caps over the instrument display, behind each will be a security torx bit. Unscrew these. My 100 pc security bit set from harbor freight had the right bit in it.
[/li][li]Loosen the “dash” area – the gray plastic lifts off the white base – it’s secured with velcro – you just want to get it off of the steering column area.
[/li][li]Moving down the plastic cover of the steering column, unscrew 3 more security torx bits – one will be inside the dash, past the rubber skirt over the steering shaft.
[/li][li]I also unscrewed 2 non-security torx bits around the turn signal/wipe/horn stalk, but I don’t think it was necessary.
[/li][li]You can now move the plastic cover pieces for the steering column – they kind of split in half – move them around to get access to the bottom of the ignition switch.
[/li][li]Unscrew/slide/work the switch out the bottom, and unhook the plastic 3 pin connector.
[/li][li]Cut the connector off the switch, leaving as much wire as possible.
[/li][li]Cut off the extra third wire (see photos).
[/li][li]Strip the 2 remaining wires of insulation, about 1/4" – install on new switches screw terminals.
[/li][li]Plug the 3 pin connector/new switch back in.
[/li][li]Before continuing – turn master breaker on, test switch, turn master break off.
[/li][li]Adjust the retaining nut on the new switch to fit the hole, push it in tightly, and screw the retaining ring on very tightly.
[/li][li]You can now reassemble the plastic bits – there are hooks on the bottom where they snap into each other – once it looks right start putting screws back in, checking for any gaps/loose bits as you go.
[/li][li]Turn master breaker back on – test overall operation.