1A Auto Video Library
Our how-to videos have helped repair over 100 million vehicles.

How to Replace Ignition Lock Cylinder Kit 1997 - 2003 Chevy Malibu

Share on:

Created on: 2011-09-28

This video will show how to remove and install the ignition lock cylinder and how to disassemble and assemble the tumblers on the old and new lock cylinder

  1. step 1 :Disconnecting the Battery
    • Disconnect the negative battery cable with an 8mm wrench
  2. step 2 :Accessing the Ignition Lock Cylinder
    • Remove the cigarette lighter
    • Insert the key into the ignition
    • Pull the shifter all the way back
    • Pull the ash tray out
    • Pry off the radio trim panel
    • Disconnect the Cigarette lighter wiring harness
    • Remove the key from the ignition
    • Remove the three 7mm bolts that hold the radio
    • Pull the radio out
    • Disconnect the antenna connection
    • Disconnect the radio wiring harnesses
  3. step 3 :Removing the Ignition Lock Cylinder
    • Insert the key into the ignition
    • Turn the key to the on position
    • Press the lock cylinder slot with a screwdriver
    • Pull out the lock cylinder
  4. step 4 :Disassembling the Lock Cylinder
    • Depress the lock cylinder button with a screwdriver while pushing on the cylinder
    • Remove the lock cylinder button
    • Carefully pry the top panel off of the lock cylinder
    • Remove the springs by hand
    • With a pen make a chart for the nine tumbler positions
    • Cover all the tumblers except the first one with your finger
    • Bang out the first tumbler
    • Identify the number for the type of tumbler in the first position
    • Right that number in the “1â€� space in your chart
    • Put the tumbler beneath the “1â€� space in your chart
    • Continue this process for the other tumblers
  5. step 5 :Assembling the New Ignition Lock Cylinder
    • Put new tumblers of the corresponding types under each old tumbler
    • Check that the new tumbler sequence is identical to the old sequence
    • One by one, insert the new tumblers into their corresponding spots
    • Use a paper clip to push each tumbler in
    • Carefully put a spring on top of each tumbler
    • Press the top panel onto the lock cylinder with a pair of pliers
    • Apply white grease to the lock cylinder
    • Reattach the spring and button to the lock cylinder
    • Insert the new lock cylinder into its housing
    • With the key make sure the lock cylinder turns correctly
  6. step 6 :Installing the New Lock Cylinder
    • With the key in the run position put the cylinder into place
    • Remove the key
  7. step 7 :Reinstalling the Radio Panel
    • Connect the radio antenna harness
    • Connect the radio wiring harnesses
    • Insert the radio tab into the hole at the back of the dash
    • Line up the radio
    • Insert the three 7mm screws that hold the radio
    • Reconnect the cigarette lighter wiring harness
    • Push the radio bezel on
    • Put the ignition bezel on
  8. step 8 :Reconnecting the Battery
    • Reconnect the negative battery cable with an 8mm wrench

Tools needed

  • Socket Extensions

    Flat Blade Screwdriver

    7mm Socket

    White Grease

    Slip-Joint Pliers


    Marker / Writing Utensil

Brought to you by 1AAuto.com, your source for quality replacement parts and the best service on the Internet.

Hi, I'm Mike Green. I'm one of the owners of 1A Auto. I want to help you save time and money repairing or maintaining your vehicle. I'm going to use my 20-plus years experience restoring and repairing cars and trucks like this to show you the correct way to install parts from 1AAuto.com. The right parts installed correctly: that's going to save you time and money. Thank you and enjoy the video.

In this video, we're going to show you how to install a lock cylinder rebuild kit in this 2001 Chevy Malibu, same as any 97-03 Malibu. Tools you'll need are 8 millimeter wrench, 7 millimeter socket with a ratchet and extension, a short small screwdriver, a small flat blade screwdriver, a paper clip, pliers, and either very good vision or a magnifying glass. When you're dealing with the lock tumblers, they have very small letters printed on them, so you need to be able to read them.

With an 8 millimeter wrench, disconnect your negative battery cable. You're going to want to take your cigarette lighter out, pull that back and pull your ashtray out and just pull the bottom of the instrument panel. It somewhat comes right off. Your cigarette lighter is going to be plugged in right here. There are just two tabs that you push on and disconnect that. Pull this out of the way, shift back in, put your key and remove that. It has three 7 millimeter bolts that hold your radio in. Fast forward here as we remove those three bolts. Take your radio out and in the back is an antenna connection and then the actual radio connection. Press on this tab here and your radio comes out. Insert your key, turn to the on position. Inside here with a skinny, small screwdriver, there's a rectangular hole. You want to press right in there and then you can pull your whole lock cylinder right out.

Here's our old lock cylinder out, and here's our new kit. And basically what we're going to be doing is making a new lock cylinder. What you have to do is get your old one apart. The way it's supposed to come apart is you can turn it and then if you look in the back here you'll see a couple things. You'll see right here is a keyway that has to go through this little slot, and then over here there's a little button to depress with a small screwdriver. You depress that button and also push at the same time and your lock cylinder comes out. What just fell off there? What just fell off was the spring and button that you press down. They go right in here. We're going to keep those off for right now. Now, what we have to do is -- this is a blank lock cylinder, keyway, and then we have all these back here which are how you actually key it to your key. So what we have to do is pull apart our original one here. Very carefully, and keeping a finger on top, I'm going to pry up this panel here. You can see there are all kinds of springs in there. I've got one half of it up, which is fine, but all these springs come out.

Now, we have to disassemble the original so we can reassemble the new one. Right here we've got a pen, and we're going to write down the numbers of these tumblers as they come out. The replacement one comes with new tumblers. You can see here are the ones, the twos, the threes, and the fours. As we pull these tumblers out, if you can read number, we'll pull and mark each number down in each position, 1 through 9 corresponding to 1 through 9 in here. If you can't read the numbers on the original ones, these all do have their own unique shape. The one, it's got a larger cutout here with a smaller cutout. The two is a larger cutout with a smaller cutout but it's higher up. The three is just basically one cutout, and the four is a smaller cutout underneath a larger cutout.

So what I'm going to do is I'm going to put my finger over all the tumblers except for that first one. Bang it on there. That's the first one comes out. Just check to make sure you do the first one. Pick it up, we'll see if we can see. It appears to be a number one. We'll mark down 1 as a one. We'll fast forward here as I continue taking those out and you'll notice I mark the numbers down and then put the tumblers right underneath the number, that's just in case I read a number wrong. I can go back, check the shape, and make sure that I have the right sequence.

I took all my tumblers, they're the gold ones at the top, made sure that the numbers match up to what the numbers on them. I did find that I thought one was two and it ended up being a four. Also, took my new ones, put them below them. Made sure that the shapes that are cut into them all match.

Now I'll take my new lock cylinder, and one by one put the tumblers back in. We'll just fast forward as I go through this. You do want to put these in carefully. Just make sure they go down in properly. Take the paper clip, and just push each tumbler right down in as far as it will go and carefully put the spring into each hole. These springs do come with the kit in a separate bag, I didn't film opening up the bag, but just put them in carefully. Each tumbler should have a spring on top of it. Now you have all your springs in there. You want to take this on top of them and press it down. Then you pick it up, pair of pliers. Push one side in and push the other side in.

Now you've got your lock cylinder all set. Put some lubricant on it and put a spring in there and then your tab. Put your new lock cylinder, and pull those together. It works correctly. Make sure you have your key to the run position. Put your cylinder back in. Put in your radio, and reconnect your antenna. Reconnect the radio. The radio has this tab back on here. It goes into a hole in the back of the dash. I'm going to speed it up. Like I said, line up that radio, get it back in there. The three 7 millimeter screws that hold it in place, make them firm, but don't over-tighten them, and put that bezel back on. Remember you've got to shift it in neutral to get it in there. Make sure you reconnect your lighter. Put that bezel back on. Reconnect your battery. You should be all set.

We hope this helps you out. Brought to you by www.1AAuto.com, your source for quality replacement parts and the best service on the Internet. Please feel free to call us toll-free, 888-844-3393. We're the company that's here for you on the Internet and in person.

2004 - 2005  Chevrolet  Classic
2002 - 2005  Chevrolet  Impala
2000 - 2001  Chevrolet  Impala
1998 - 2002  Oldsmobile  Intrigue
1999 - 2004  Oldsmobile  Alero
1999 - 2005  Pontiac  Grand Am
1997 - 1997  Oldsmobile  Cutlass
1998 - 1999  Oldsmobile  Cutlass
2000 - 2005  Chevrolet  Monte Carlo
1997 - 2003  Chevrolet  Malibu
2000 - 2001  Chevrolet  Lumina

Car Air Conditioning or Heat Rattling or Grinding Simple Fix

Check out this video for what to check if your heat or ac fans are making rattling, clunking or vibrating noises while they're on. It may be an easy fix!

Search Videos
Go To Top

Same Day Shipping

Need your part faster? Choose expedited shipping at checkout.

Guaranteed To Fit

Highest quality, direct fit replacement auto parts enforced to the strictest product standards.

USA Customer Support

Exceeding customers' expectations, our team of passionate auto enthusiasts are here to help.

Instructional Video Library

Thousands of how-to auto repair videos to guide you step-by-step through your repair.