How To Fix Chevy Colorado Ignition Switch Problems (Solved)

The ignition switch problem is a common one in the case of Chevy Colorado. 

However, if the issue is not timely resolved, it will come back to bite you, leaving you stranded on the side of the road or parking lot. 

I will take you through the whole process of getting it back on track. 

“Chevrolet Colorado Z71” by Jacob Frey 4A is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Symptoms of A Bad Ignition Switch on Chevy Colorado 

Have you ever wondered why my Chevy Colorado does not start sometimes?

It is the kind of problem that would knock at your door/ring the bell, and run away. It means it would come out of nowhere and might not happen for a while, and boom, it would happen again when you weren’t anticipating it. 

The symptoms include:

  • No crank
  • The engine won’t start. 
  • Accessories might be working fine
  • The scanner tool might not show any codes 

In the case of a Passlock problem (also common in Chevy Colorado), the Passlock light would be blinking, and you would be able to crank the engine, but the engine won’t start. I will go into detail about that as well. 

In case of the ignition switch problem, however, you can replace it and reprogram the PCM, and you don’t have to go to a tuner for that; it’s relatively simple. 

Let’s go into detail on how you can do that.  

Diagnosis for Ignition Switch Problem on Chevy Colorado 

You can take your voltmeter and measure the voltage on each ignition key position wire. In the case of the no crank, no start Chevy Colorado, you will see 12V on the following. 

  • The key in position wire
  • The accessory position wire
  • The run position wire

You won’t have voltage on the start position wire. If you bypass the wire and make it direct, the engine should fire up, which indicates a need for ignition switch replacement. 

How to Replace the Ignition Switch on Chevy Colorado 

You can replace the ignition switch on a Chevy Colorado by following the steps given below.

Step 1

Order an ignition switch for your particular model year. It has been seen that 2004 and 2005 Chevy Colorados have this ignition switch issue a whole lot more than any other model.

Although, other models have also been affected by this problem.

The 2019 model, particularly, was covered in the ignition switch recall.  

Step 2

To replace the ignition switch, remove the steering wheel and the upper and lower trim. It can be tricky, so take your time and be patient. 

The inner shroud is held by a couple of springs (clips) which you can push in from the side with a flathead screwdriver.

Make sure to push in from the side, tilting the screwdriver towards you so the clip will pop out. 

Remove the steering wheel and all the connectors. And once you have the final plate out, you can easily remove the ignition switch assembly. 

Step 3

You can press that tiny hole on the ignition switch assembly and pull the key with the keyhole (the ignition lock cylinder) by putting it in the accessory position. Wiggle it around, and it should come out. 

Step 4

Put the key and its insert into the new ignition switch. It should pop in with a click. Twist the key in the accessory and run to see if it works as intended. 

Step 5

Put everything back, and remove the head of the sheer bolt on top of the ignition switch assembly. 

Step 6

Once everything is set, you will see that the ignition key is working as intended, and you finally have the crank. 

However, the engine would still not start, as you must reprogram the PCM. I have seen people going to tuners to take care of this process, but it’s not that technical. Even you can do it in your garage. 

How to Reprogram the PCM to Work with The New Ignition Switch on Chevy Colorado

Once you replace the ignition switch with the same old key you previously had, move on to the following steps.

It is pretty simple, but don’t take the key out or crank it again without first putting it all the way to the off position. 

It’s basically starting the engine a couple of times with a pattern, which will let the PCM know that the ignition switch is nothing to worry about, and the PCM would finally accept the newcomer in its life. 

Step 1

Crank the engine by having the key in the run position; the engine will want to start, but it won’t, and you will see the Passlock light blinking. It would stop after 10 minutes, and the light will turn off. 

Step 2

Now put the key back all the way to the off position, don’t take the key out. 

Step 3

Crank the engine again; the Passlock light will blink and turn off after 10 minutes. And then put the key back all the way to off. 

Step 4

Crank the engine the third time similarly; the Passlock light will start blinking and turn off after ….. you guessed it, 10 minutes. 

Now put the key all the way back to off, and make sure that you don’t just put in the accessory or run position. You need to put it in the off position. 

Step 5

Now the 4th time you crank the engine, it should fire up. And that is how you reprogram the PCM, so it accepts the new ignition switch.  

The Ignition Key is Stuck and Won’t Come out on Chevy Colorado 

This problem appears to be related to the ignition switch; it’s not. It’s a problem related to the gear shifter assembly — particularly the safety switch. 

Unfortunately, when this safety switch goes to heaven, you would have to replace the whole shifter assembly as it’s not possible to replace just the safety switch — per the stealerships’ quote. 

Fortunately, this issue has been recalled with recall number# 11V337000. If you are having this issue, check with your nearest stealership and ask them about it. 

However, spraying WD-40 on the shifter panel did rectify this issue to some extent.

Common Cause of no start in Chevy Colorado 

The Chevy Colorado is equipped with a Passlock system that completely shuts off the fuel system for 10 minutes.

It is supposed to be a protection from theft. However, it can cause you inconvenience in case it goes bad — spoiler alert, it goes bad a lot. 

The Passlock system is notorious in the Chevy Colorado, so much so that most users would bypass the system altogether by hardwiring a switch. 


The ignition switch on a Chevy Colorado can cause various headaches/problems.

Sometimes the engine cranks, while other times, the engine won’t crank at all. And there are also those times when the key won’t come out. 

I have given solutions to all these problems so you can get in your Chevy Colorado and get going without having your fingers crossed every time you crank it up.

There are three solutions depending on your issue. 

  • Replacing the ignition switch — when you have no crank 
  • Hardwiring a switch to the Passlock — when the engine cranks but does not start 
  • Replacing the gear shifter assembly — when the key is stuck