Electrical How To: Key Stuck In The Ignition Fix - Cobalt SS Network



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Old 10-30-2009, 02:28 PM   #1
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How To: Key Stuck In The Ignition Fix

So, you're key is stuck in the ignition, and it wont come out?
The key is most likely stuck at accessory, and not even in the Off position, right?

Well, here's the deal. In your shifter assembly, the switch that tells the car its in park isnt working, so, your car wont turn to Off because it thinks you're either still in gear, or in Neutral.

Now, there is a recall on this issue, so if you still have your warranty, the dealer should cover it. HOWEVER, there are people like me who have done some extensive modding and have hacked at the BCM harness/ECM harness so there's no warranty, and then theres those who have ******* dealers who refuse to fix the problem.

Well, underneath your steering column is a plastic cover that can come off. If you take it off, you can feel around inside the column for a button. When this button is pushed, it lets you turn the key to Off and pull it out.

So, how about a more permanent fix?
Under the steering wheel, surrounding the area of the black plastic panel, there are 3 7mm screws. Take those out, and then the panel should drop down. (it might need a little tug, the to cover and bottom cover are connected with those clips that hold the rest of the cars trim together, 2 clips on the sides)


Now you can see the button that you were pushing. Well, lets just make it so the button is always being pushed, shall we?


For me, it took 2 zip ties. Just slide one end through the switch that the button actuates (refer to pic) and then wrap it around the whole unit. A second ziptie was used to extend the frst one.


Trim the zipties of the excess plastic (clearance is tight under there), and reinstall the lower cover. Whala!
Car will turn on, turn off, no CEL, and no replacing any parts!

Last edited by TommyP; 10-03-2012 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 11-22-2009, 02:30 PM   #2
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:54 AM   #3
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lo. almost a month later, but thanks!
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:27 AM   #4
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woooooooooow my car has been like this for a month ive been carrying the fob with me like a white trash KS hick. Thanks ill see if this works. the dealer just replaced the tumbler and it got stuck but its not running right after my build so i cant take it back or theyll **** all over the place.
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:44 AM   #5
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Does this fix enable you to start the car in gear? Just curious.
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Old 11-23-2009, 03:32 PM   #6
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Does this fix enable you to start the car in gear? Just curious.
you know, it just might. I never tried, but i imagine it would.
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:25 PM   #7
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That is a bad fix for an auto with a newb driver...

Good to know if I ever have the problem.
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:34 PM   #8
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lo. almost a month later, but thanks!
I wasn't a mod then
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:35 PM   #9
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such a hack job...but i guess it works
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:40 PM   #10
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awesome...
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Old 11-23-2009, 07:44 PM   #11
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such a hack job...but i guess it works
lol. that was the idea. something cheap and easy.

Also, i dont really think it will matter if you try and start the car in gear, as long as your foot's on the brake or the e-brake is up... It isnt a manual after all.

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I wasn't a mod then
congratulations on the-uh...promotion?

Last edited by HunterKiller89; 11-23-2009 at 07:44 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 11-23-2009, 07:51 PM   #12
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most of the time its the shifter solenoid or the abbrevated btsi switch just replace the shifter and your good
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:13 PM   #13
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most of the time its the shifter solenoid or the abbrevated btsi switch just replace the shifter and your good
did you read the how-to at all..? lol
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Old 11-26-2009, 06:05 AM   #14
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yeah i read it the reason why is because of the shifter isnt returning to park all the way so the ignition switch thinks it still in another gear that is why the key gets stuck
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Old 11-26-2009, 07:01 AM   #15
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yeah i read it the reason why is because of the shifter isnt returning to park all the way so the ignition switch thinks it still in another gear that is why the key gets stuck
im well aware of why...which is why i said the same thing in the OP..so im confused why youre saying it again like 8 posts down?
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Old 11-26-2009, 07:40 AM   #16
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because thats not a safe way to fix your car that way enables you to pull it out of gear at anytime
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Old 11-26-2009, 03:27 PM   #17
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because thats not a safe way to fix your car that way enables you to pull it out of gear at anytime
to pull it out of gear..? what are you talking about? and again,im aware its not the best way, but its a way that works for those who dont have warranties and cant afford to gert the shifter fixed. Again, you're just restating what i stated in the OP...
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Old 01-18-2010, 11:16 PM   #18
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because thats not a safe way to fix your car that way enables you to pull it out of gear at anytime
actually no it doesn't..
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Old 01-18-2010, 11:38 PM   #19
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ummm just out of curiosity, if it is a recall, then the dealer should have to fix it no charge no matter what you have done to the vehicle, as long as your car falls into the dates or vin line for the recall, correct?
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:11 AM   #20
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Yes, I mean the warranties fall into different categories...Like Intake warranty, suspension, etc... I doubt anyone has done any modifications to their Power steering...lol
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Old 01-25-2010, 07:08 PM   #21
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Canada

ive had this problem before....F**k it....jus bought a new shfter
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:02 PM   #22
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I didn't have to do this cause my switch still works but was intermittent... but if the switch is not responding I'm pretty sure you could just by pass the switch by attaching the orange and blue wires together (by soldering or a wire nut or whatever works) constantly giving the solenoid under the ignition key power whenever the key is in accessories. The down side is that it'll let you pull the key out in any gear.. which it's only supposed to do in park...which is basically what the original poster did with zip ties.

The switch i'm talking about is at the bottom and to the right of the auto shifter (follow the original poster directions with the link below to get there).... It's the square piece with a metal clip at the bottom of it and it's held in place with 2 clips one on the left and one on the right...it's the last pic in the guys post:
https://www.cobaltss.net/forums/show...ght=locked+key

The switch releases the key when the auto shifter is put into park when the right pin comes up and pushes the metal clip on the switch inward toward the switch which pushes a small button underneath the metal clip. But if the switch works like mine did but it's intermittent (you can check if it workds by pushing the metal clip in toward the switch...you might hear a click from the switch and in the steering column and it will let you take the key out in any gear)...this is what I did but if your not careful you could damage it permanently. I CAREFULLY bent the metal clip on the switch BY SUPPORTING THE BOTTOM AND BENDING THE END OF IT away from the switch. This will cause the right metal pin to come in contact with the metal clip sooner and it'll push the button underneath sooner. If you want to remove the switch from the platic clip that holds it there are two clips that hold the switch in place one on the left and one on the right. You have to push both of them out then pull the switch out...the last pic show a good view of it....how to get it out is up to you.

Hope this might help someone...
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