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Ignition Switch Parts
I am driving a 2010 Cobalt XFE (a cheap model with manual transmission designed for high mileage).
Early in March, 2014 I my ignition switch broke. The car was running and I could not turn the key far enough to shut it off. Eventually, by carefully moving the key around (avoiding strain that might bend or break the key), I found that I could at least get the key out. But there was no way to shut off the electrical system.
I eventually found that if I let the car run down to its slowest idle, I could put it in 1st gear and
carefully let out the clutch to stall the motor. The electrical system was still active, but at least fuel was not being wasted.
Luckily, I was at home in the underground parking (another reason to stop the engine from running unnecessarily), so I called the dealership and arranged to bring it in for repair, and then prepared the car by unloading as much of my property as possible.
Putting the key back into the ignition switch and re-starting the car were not problems. I drove the car to the dealership in the early afternoon and explained the problem. We expected that it would be done early next day, and it was.
It was billed as a warranty repair with $100 Cdn deductible.
Warning signs: I can remember at least once that I had difficulty shutting off the ignition in the car. I had decided to look into it, but I eventually forgot about it. That had happened probably around a year earlier. It might have happened a second time, but I am not sure about that. I would call that, at most "infrequent".
The invoice lists the work as follows:
Complaint: "Check and report on unable to turn off ignition - GMPP T/P $100.00 deductible - $114.95 Diagnosis plus tax if not GMPP."
Cause: "(2F) Jammed Ign Cylinder...Tumbler bar fell apart... and key badly worn 5430040"
Correction: "Replace ignition lock cylinder and recode to key code. Also cut new key. Free-up and remove jammed cylinder...unable to rotate cylinder...Auth by GMPP"
"1 x 20869121 Cylinder 111K2 $117.26
1 x 15824471 Key KeyS2C $24.28"
My final billed cost was the agreed $100 Cdn + taxes covering the deductible.
I can see this is clearly related to the ignition problems other people are having. Ironically, I have always kept the ignition key I use on a separate key tag because I live in a Condo and need to have the car key separate from the key to open the garage door (which is locked at night). So even without knowing about that advice I had complied with the recommendation.
I have no particular complaint about the handling of the situation overall. I do have one question. Does anyone know about the replacement part? If it is no better than the one that I had before, does that mean that I can expect problems, say in another four years?
My car has had this problem since 40k miles. It now has over 70k miles. Ill be driving down the interstate and the power steering will go out. This isnt safe, but when I called GM they said "tough luck". Report your problem to NHTSA at 18883273246 if they receive enough complaints GM will be forced to issue a recall.
A reporter would like to speak to an owner of a GM car who has had a recent experience with a dealer service department during recalls. If you own a GM car, even one that was not included in the recent recalls, and you've been able to make a service appoint with no problem, or if the recalls have complicated your ability to make a service appointment, please send your daytime contact info to email@example.com no later than Wednesday, Aug 6, 2014 at 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET.
While I'm sorry that so many people have had problems with your Chevy Cobalt's, I am relieved to see that I'm not the only one that is having issues with this model. I drive a 2009 Cobalt with 96K on it and after reading all of the issues that people have had with this car over the years I feel lucky that I've gotten 96K out of this car without more problems.
The main issue that I have with this Cobalt is on occasion it stalls at stop lights and stop signs. It doesn't happen all of the time but it happens enough of time to make me think that maybe one time it will happen and I won't be able to re-start the car, or maybe the engine will stall while the car is moving and I won't have any power. Within the last 3K miles I changed the spark plugs myself and cleaned the air intake with aerosol cleaner and q-tips, being very careful that I didn't touch the metal flap that controls the air intake. I had my wife push down the gas pedal so the air intake flap would open up and I was able to clean it very good. That remedied the problem for the past couple of months.
The car is having the start and stop problem intermittently. There are no other problems associated with the car as other people describe, such as the radio, door locks or AC.
I read in another forum that an owner had the exact same problem that I'm describing and the dealer said that it was ECM, and that even though the car was out of warranty Chevy was required under federal law to replace the part at no charge to the owner. I'm wondering if anybody else has heard of this or had their Cobalt's ECM replaced under this program?
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