View Full Version : I can't get the key out!

Not like a rock
01-05-2004, 10:34 AM
It's getting harder and harder to get my key out of the ignition! Sometimes I have to start the car again, back it up, drive around, try and get the wheel in a different position. Sometimes I can just crank the wheel a half turn in either direction and it will release the key.

When this happens, I also cannot put the car into drive or reverse because the automatic transmission lock will not disengage, even when the car is started and the brakes are applied. I have to use my spare key in transmission lock slot to get into drive.

Any help would be cool because it's -35 degrees celsius today (as in, real f*cking cold) and I don't want to be outside taking things apart when I don't know what the problem is.

Thanks, guys.

01-05-2004, 11:20 AM
Sounds like your lock cylinder may be going bad. Have you tried anything as simple as lubricating the lock. You might try graphite lube. Never use pentrating oil or a flamable spray Lubricant

Not like a rock
01-05-2004, 11:53 AM
Okay, graphite lube. I'll try. It only started doing this since the weather turned insane cold.

Not like a rock
01-05-2004, 01:58 PM
One more question, sounds dumb but: how do I lubricate the lock cylinder? Just lube the key?

01-05-2004, 06:52 PM
When the car is started and you put the car into park does the light on the gauge cluster light up indicating that its in park?

If thats the case the connection isnt being completed. When its cold outside the copper contacts from years built up dust and at factory they apply grease to them which doesnt make them better. Youll have to open your center shift console and wipe the copper clean.

Try moving your shifter around as your turning the key to take it out.

01-05-2004, 07:02 PM
My outside door lock freeze up on me some times so what I do is dip the key in some moter oil and turn it in the lock a frw times to work it in. I'm not sure if this would be a good idea in the ignition with the electronics involved though.

Not like a rock
01-06-2004, 07:24 AM
OK, nevermind. Tonnes of people are having this problem here because it is so cold. Once the car is warmed up more it is fine. It's -37 degrees celsius today.

01-06-2004, 07:17 PM
i am having the same problem with my car (obviously an automatic) the car is in park, but the light doesn't light up so i can't get my key out of the ignition. so then i shut my car off, and then restart it and wiggle the shift lever a little then the light comes on and i can get my key out, its so annoying. also it is really cold

01-07-2004, 05:07 AM
Its your copper contacts. Clean them.

01-07-2004, 01:49 PM
Yeah, it's the copper contacts because that used to happen to me.....

01-07-2004, 04:36 PM
i pulled off the plastic cassing around the shift lever today, i looked for the copper contacts (they were probably right in front of me) and didn't see them. where are they exactly?? :help: