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Pontiac Grand Prix Key cannot be removed from ignition



  • Look, everyone here seems to turns to the freaki'N dealer, Thats OK if your car is still under warentee, but after that time, get the heck outa der'! Hey If you got 2-3hundred bucks to blow. give it to me. The dealers service techs work under a flat rate system,generally on the very high end, because they don't get paid if there hands aren't movin' and they want the cream of the crop, easy jobs or nice jobs that there familiar with (ie. Tranny's, electrical, all the parts of the vehicle, so These "TECH's" take the jobs that there comfortable with and they know that an hour job can be done in maybe 20 minutes. Hey, they desrve it, AUTOS are hard on our bodies, working with someone right next to all day, just waiting for a fight or something, It's rough butt work, I quess it's the love of machines that keep us going. Look at it this way, if you ask a youngster to cut your lawn frt/back, He might say I'll do the front for $5 but your backyard is gonna have to at least $15, cuz sir, that thar yard is the biggest one I ever saw. OK you agree to $20 bucks, settled first time it takes him an hour to do both, but as he gets use to it, heck he can do it in half the time and still make $20 bucks, no problems, nice job, now he deserves that $20, not $10 Right? So look at your vehicle, is it worth such high dollar's cost to fix the car or dump it. well, if it's in nice shape and paid for, no other problems aside the Key issue. Maybe, who knows, if it needs tires brakes a long list of small basic maintenence stuff that just gets neglected. The reason the High price factor is NO ONE WANTS TO TOUCH STEERING COLUMNS!!!! explosive air back in your nose, that feels good, the wiring, the limited space, some/most cars they have to take off the front lower half of your dasboard, open the consule (floor shift) I've been in the auto repair biz for 30 years, no longer as I'm disabled but I'm dead butt serious. Steering colomns were not my specialty, and only a few dare to enter that zone...LOL
    One gentleman here called the locksmith to remove the IGN Switch, poor guy, he's (the locksmth) is there to make $$$$$$$$$ just like everyone else,

    Try this, go to the dealer and tell him something's "funny" sounding in the steering column, He respond with "just what kind of "Funny" sound or what ever you say, but don't tell him what it is, say "look, just zip it around the lot and you'll be sure sure and hear it, no $$ yet, now when he returns and starts to rattle off all these $$$$$ signs,Say to him, hey could you grab my keys for me, please (out of the ignition) BOOM they won't come out, now YOU have him pinned, chances are as he was driving around the lot thinking all sorts of $$$ pop up, then when he says oops can't get the keys out, You say, Thats the sound I was talking about, I say that same sound everytime I turn off my, looking really stupid at this point he may what sound? You reply' YES,YES THAT'S THE SOUND! "IT WON'T COME OUT", thats the sound I hear when I drive this car, now thats great if it happens to him, but it goes back to the day when the TV guy came to your house and your TV works fine, then I quess you might have to jump around and repeat and rinse LOL (blonde joke thing) sorry gorgous. I found my problem, someone here mentioned it earlier in one of the older post regarding THE KEY FACTOR, so I found what one guy did, and I still use that method today, I have a GMC truck, but all the steering columns are made in One big factory that just does steering components. so move your butts and look for this little plug, I admit, it's not easy to find, but ALL GM cars have this plug!! There sort of hard to locate this plug for theft reasons I imagine.
    Now I have a new problem, 3 GM vehicles and the windows won't go up!!, now everyone mentions that there windows don't work, GM techs say bad motor, BULL all vehicles are designed with obsilesance (obsolete life time) things go on a car break at a certain time span, how else they gonna make any $$$ if the car last twice as long?? remember the old refridgerators (God my spelling) they still last today, but then, no one would buy another, aside from efficiancy factors the point is these cars have inadaquate power rated motors installed to perform this task, cost $$ to put the correct one in, hey for 20cents less, toss this one in instead.
    gang, sorry if I rattled any cages or took up so much space, but just trying to help, everyones right to an opinion, right? well in todays america, who knows what rights, the government dosen't even know what it's doing anyways, the winners know before the ballots are even counted who's gonna win, Hey I love my country, vietnam era vet, repectable citizen and all but today, I just don't know anymore.
    Later Gang
    sorry bout the grammer and spelling,
  • I am Not a Technician, but I work on my own. USE THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK.

    Had the same problem with my '00 GP 3800. It was very erratic, 95% of the time, no problem, it was the 5% that ground my gravel. So I put a small amount of GM Heat Valve Penetrating Oil (Definite must have for any DIY'er) on the key, and ran the lock cylinder through a few cycles and repeated this occasionally. KEEP A RAG HANDY, THE STUFF KINDA STINKS AND YOU DON'T WANT IT ON THE UPHOLSTERY! Then I did the rear brakes - stay with me now - New pads and rotors. The pedal came up when braking and I've not had a problem since. That's what I did, for those of you who remember Fred Drier as TV's "Hunter" - Works for me.
  • donwydonwy Posts: 2
    2003 Grand Prix - Key stuck, shifter would not come out of park and ignition would not turn all the way to the key release position. Solution: normally would be to change solenoid, either on the column or on the floor shifter (could have been but was not the ignition module). Some dealers change it all and I have heard horror stories of $1200 bills. Instead, a very good tech at a very honest dealership looked for and found a broken wire at the solenoid and soldered it. He then cleaned the solenoid, all the connections, the steering column solenoid, the ignition module and the shift mechanism. They also provide a ride to work and pick up when the work is done. Got it in by 8 am and back by 11:30 am. Repair took two hours of labor and the final bill was $140 including all taxes. This entire job is now guaranteed for six months and if anything else goes wrong, they will fix it free! I also service my Silverado Duramax there. 11 guarts of full synthetic oil, high end filter and full lube is $85. Meets warranty requirements to keep warranty in place with no issues.
  • sykes01sykes01 Posts: 3
    Found the little pron and got the key out. The car still won't go in gear and I refuse to pay for this to be fixed because I just stick something in there and go. My fans are now straight wired to a kill swith that I turn on and off when I get in/out of the car. Per my mechanic, it's cheaper than replacing the whole fan unit (which I suggested). Now that summer is approaching, I will have took at it. My daughter who has a 00 Grand Am is having the same problems with her fans now. And thanks guys for letting me know I am not the only person having these problems. I thought I was just having bad luck with my car. lol
  • d588996pd588996p Posts: 5
    Hey I've had the same problem on a 2000 JIMMY. I did the same thing as U did and has always worked. My current problem is with my 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix SE, Same problem as my JIMMY. The key turns and doesnt release, right before the release it jams. If I play with it I can here the click sound that indicates the release. I've changed the Ignition key cylinder and had to pay $50.00 to Recode my key since my model uses the PK3 keys. I still have the same problem as before, Today I will check my gear shift nob to make sure its not causing the problem. does anyone have any ideas as to what the problem might be?
  • tawny0207tawny0207 Posts: 4
    You are exactly right. I had replaced a few things (and none of them fixed the problem) before breaking down and taking my '02 Grand Prix to the dealer to find out what was wrong. They told me it was the shift assembly. They replaced it (a year ago) and I have not had the problem since,

  • brown100brown100 Posts: 1
    What if you just remove the park lock? That's what I did, and am now able to start and shut off vehicle. Still goes into gear... just don't know if this is dangerous???
  • dcbradleydcbradley Posts: 9
    I bypassed the park lock actuator (at the steering column) altogether by just zip- tying the plunger so that it is in a fully-engaged position. Key comes out all the time now and no issues with shifting. I have had this solution in place for the last several months now.
  • One of the fellow Grand Prix owners emailed me this solution and it works quite well. I purchased a $1.00 eyeglass repair kit from the dollar store, removed the covering to the ignition (directly under it on the steering wheel) and simply use the small screw driver to push the release button. It releasese the key. As my brother (and mechanic) say it works and keeps me from having to spend any money to have it replaced. Per most of the messages I've seen, they've spent quite a bit of money to try and eliminate this problem and some have worked and some haven;t. Some suggest having the shift switch replaced (mine gives me trouble every once in a while). Some suggest having the iginition switch removed. I've been doing this for about 4 months now and it works well.
  • I just purchased my 2002 Grand Prix a week ago. The first few days it didn't give me a problem but now it is. I can pull the key out, but it isn't in the correct 'lock' position. i even found out that I can pull the key out while driving and keep rolling. Probably not a good thing, though.

    Anyway, I keep seeing that people keep mentioning the 'Solenoid' (I hope I spelled it right) under the steering column. Could somebody give me an idea of where it is at? To the left or right? Somebody told me to try the graphite lube, but it has not worked yet in my case.

    Right now I pulled the key out, but my park light on the dash is still on, so I'm thinking that it might run down my battery, but I am hoping not enough to drain it in one night at a time. I had to lock the doors manually since it still thinks the key is in the ignition and it won't let me use the automatic locks so that i won't lock my imaginary key in the car.

    Also, someone else mentioned popping off the shift lock cover. Is that the little square thing to the right of the gear shifter? I am car-illitterate, so please forgive me for all of the questions! But thanks for anybody's help!
  • 4pontiacs4pontiacs Posts: 3
    After reading all posts on this blog I just wanted to share that I had the same problems with the key stuk in my ignition on my 1997 Grand-am.
    This problem came and went and the mechanic simply showed me that I should run the shifter slowly through the gears.
    Worked for a couple of months until this week i could not remove the key no matter what i tried (for hours) then I found some idea's as posted here.

    On my Grand-Am i was able to locate a small plastic cover under the steering column which exposed a chromed (cylinder like) switch in which i simply pushed it upwards towards the steering wheel direction and volla it released the key.

    It seemed that i needed to apply a small amount of force to pull the switch cylinder up.
    Perhaps the hard winters did not help this switch.
    Hopefully this will solve my or others similar problems.
  • midlife49midlife49 Posts: 1
    I have a 1999 Grand Prix SE and agree that by taking the small cover located below the ignition switch and pushing a small screwdriver (like those that some hardware stores give away with the magnet on top) it released my key.... This appears to have taken care of the problem for now....
  • We were given a 2001 Grand Prix by my in-laws, for which we were very grateful, about nine months ago. Unfortunately, after only about three months the key started to stick in the ignition. I asked several people about it--the mechanics where I get the oil changed, the guys at the car parts store, my brother-in-law who teaches auto shop--and got varying explanations. One was that the rollers in the ignition were sticking and that I should try graphite powder to get the key to keep from sticking in the ignition. I tried that and it worked for about an hour. Then I realized that it wasn't so much the key sticking in the ignition as the ignition not turning all the way to a position where the key would release. I took the car in to the dealer for an unrelated issue and asked them about it. They said it was probably the shifter but that they would charge $87 just to run a diagnostic. I passed on that and determined to fix it myself if I could as I have undertaken, with help, several car repair jobs in the recent past. I was excited to hear about the little switch/level underneath the steering column to release the key. I went out and pried off the little plastic cover, stuck a small screwdriver up there, and "Voila!" The ignition turned and the key came right out! I hadn't been able to get the key out for weeks! Thank you posters! This situation is still annoying but until I'm ready to pay several hundred dollars to get this fixed, I'm very happy with this solution.
  • dcbradleydcbradley Posts: 9
    As mentioned in my reply #33, that "little switch" that you are pushing in with a screwdriver (or whatever fits) is a solenoid with a plunger on the end of it. It's there to make sure the car is in PARK before the key can come out.

    To bypass this switch, remove the plastic surrounding the ignition switch and steering column, and ziptie this plunger so that it is permanently engaged (depressed).

    Key comes out normally with no adverse effects on the rest of the systems. This permanent fix costs $0.00.
  • My son's car was having the same problem, I took a look at it and the button you push on your shifter was stuck in a little I got it to pop out then the ignition would turn all the way off and the key would come out. He has a 1995 grand prix. I hope this helps some one.
  • When shifting into park, my gear shift lever wasn't releasing all the way up. I sprayed some WD-40 on both sides of the shaft and worked this a few times and haven't had a problem since.
  • check your motor mounts! if trans is sitting weird park wont engage properly! then check linkage both on trans and switch under steering column!
  • billh8billh8 Posts: 1
    hi scarletfox i have the same problem with my 2002 grand prix i managed to remove the solenoid from the steering column i;m guessing this is the shift lock solenoid you say costs $251 do you happen to know what the part # is ? i would like to replace mine without going through a dealer thanks billh8
  • One final fix to this proble that worked for me. Remove the small cover on the bottom of the steering column and save this part. a piece of small air hose that fits on the nipple of this cover can be place over the nipple and then inserted into the hole. The hose will allow the release lever to stay pushed and you will no longer have issues removing the key. The hose must be the correct diameter to fit in the slot and say in place for this to work. - Good luck.
  • golfer79golfer79 Posts: 1
    I had this problem last year. I cut a drinking straw in 2-3 in. lengths, and keep them in the car to push up on the relay. Now it is working almost fine. That is: it is, the key is coming out of the lock about 99% of the time. The last couple of weeks 100%. I'm counting my blessings.
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