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Pontiac Grand Prix Key cannot be removed from ignition

2

Comments

  • 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.
  • I have a 2002 aztec. I know it's ugly but it is roomy in the back so I can take my dog places. I bought it used in 2005 and have had a problem with the key ever since then. I have had numerous mechanics look at it and they pretty much all have the same response of "I don't know". It has gradually gotten worse and a few days ago it got to the point of being impossible to remove. I came to this site for an answer and I got it! Oh my goodness could it have been any easier! I looked for the hole under the steering column and stuck a pen in it. I heard something that sounded like a spring and my keys were able to be removed. Thank you everyone! The thing that I wonder is who makes this defective part and why has it not been recalled?
  • upsboyupsboy Posts: 4
    I love this forum. While I would never have bought my Grand Prix GT had I read this first, I am glad it's here. Because 100's of people have the same problems with these cars, I am able to print out solutions and give the to my mechanic. It gives him a starting point. I just logged back in here to read about the 'ket stuck' problem. I have been having it for 4 weeks now. I just pulled a long thin wood skewer out of the kitchen drawer and put in in my console.

    My mechanic spent half a day on the shifter and couldn't find the problem. It's just another Pontiac flaw that has been an issue for many years. Should have been recalled.
  • drmjonesdrmjones Posts: 2
    Try cleaning the switch and parts, that are at the bottom of the floor shifter, that you spilled your coffie and/or pop on months ago!
  • 02prixgt02prixgt Posts: 3
    Hello, I have read several of the posts on the subject of "Cant remove the keys from my Pontiac gran prix. Well I found out the had way by trying the ignition cylinder lock replacement and the ignition switch (wiring harness) to only have the same problem. If any of you out there are experiencing the same problem I found my problem just $130 too late. If you have a center concole shifter as I do on my 02 Gran Prix, I found that by opening the cup holder and using a standard slot screw driver and remove the concole, you will have to move the shifter knob with a small screw driver from the front side of the knob below the button, but before removing the shift knob move shifter into drive with the engine off to allow enough room to lift the console up and out the way. With the key in the stuck position, reach down to the wire plug and wiggle the plug under the shifter. pay close attention to the purple wire as this harness of wire should have been made longer to begin with. You will likely hear the solenoid in the steering column that people are by passing make a clicking sound. I my case I stripped of a little more of the insulation from the purple wire and soldered it down into the broken connector in the plug. Ideally someone with the proper pin connecter tools would replace the pin inside the plug or molex, I dont have them tools. You could purchase the small wiring harness and replace it, but I would caution the wire length. This is what the problem is with these Pontiacs IMO, too short of wire allowed under the console that plugs into the nuetral safety switch. All fixed here and working great.
  • 02prixgt02prixgt Posts: 3
    Hello, I have read several of the posts on the subject of "Cant remove the keys from my Pontiac gran prix. Well I found out the had way by trying the ignition cylinder lock replacement and the ignition switch (wiring harness) to only have the same problem. If any of you out there are experiencing the same problem I found my problem just $130 too late. If you have a center console shifter as I do on my 02 Gran Prix, I found that by opening the cup holder and using a standard slot screw driver and remove the console, you will have to move the shifter knob with a small screw driver from the front side of the knob below the button, but before removing the shift knob move shifter into drive with the engine off to allow enough room to lift the console up and out the way. With the key in the stuck position, reach down to the wire plug and wiggle the plug under the shifter. pay close attention to the purple wire as this harness of wire should have been made longer to begin with. You will likely hear the solenoid in the steering column that people are by passing make a clicking sound. I my case I stripped of a little more of the insulation from the purple wire and soldered it down into the broken connector in the plug. Ideally someone with the proper pin connector tools would replace the pin inside the plug or molex, I dont have them tools. You could purchase the small wiring harness and replace it, but I would caution the wire length. This is what the problem is with these Pontiacs IMO, too short of wire allowed under the console that plugs into the neutral safety switch. All fixed here and working great.
  • hey thanks for the tip on this steering wheel I have a big question for you I have a 2002 PONTIAC GRAND PRIX GT Have You ever taken apart the center console in your car and there is a wiring harness that hooks to you shifter i have two wires that had broke off one is purple and the other one is green so if you could help me out on what order the green and purple wires go it would be a lot of thank
  • I need the order of the green and purple wires go if the green is on top or the bottom and same with the purple wire
  • Well the fact that Google yielded so many results leads me to believe theirs a flaw in the design. I have a smiler issue as all of you do, but with an additional glaring and scary issue. I have no electrical power what so ever. The car won't start. The lights won't turn on, the radio has no lights & the windows won't move. I don't know if it's a problem with the switch-maybe the ignition is stuck in some kind of dead zone-or if there's a fuse blown, a gentlemen at autozone suggested the "Master Computer," might be blown.
    The thing is that it has been doing some suspect electrical things the last couple of weeks. Mainly my windows wouldn't work, no matter the trouble shooting steps I took, then after letting my car sit over night I'd go back out to find them working perfectly. Common trouble shooting logic would normally not lead me to make a correlation between the two problems, but after reading these posts and considering that the key stuck might suggest an electrical issue it might have something to do with it.
    I've also learned that there is a leak in my roof, I've driven it in the rain and see no dripping, but my floor boards are soaked. I worry that this may have caused something to short out. As of now it looks like I'm stuck without a car for the weekend. I pulled the key out of the ignition but the switch itself is still stuck. It will turn to the on position but it won't go back into the off. Any advice as of where to start would be greatly appreciated.
  • 02prixgt02prixgt Posts: 3
    The Green wire is on the top side of the plug in the middle pin to the passenger side of the red wire and the Purple is on the bottom side of the plug on the right side pin nearest the passenger seat. Hope this gets your problem taken care of.
  • My problem turned out to be a dead battery. I guess there is a cylinoid in the ignition that needs a small amount of power to turn back far enough to disengage the lock. When I hit my switch it zapped every conceivable amp out of the battery, rendering it dead as possible. After a lengthy jump I was able to easily turn the key back into the off position and the ignition released my key- like it was designed to.
    I'm still not completely convinced that there isn't some broader electrical issue. The fact that I parked the car in perfect working order one night, and the next night there wasn't enough power for even the horn or the trunk release button makes me a little bit skeptical about solving this problem with a set of jumper cables.
    But for now I've started the car a few times over-with no other issues-and my key has been released each time. My best hopes are that I will never again have to suffer this annoying issue, and some other technical natured young man, who has no mechanical abilities, such as myself will one day be spared a similar aggravation by stumbling across my post and learning he's not the only dumass in the world.

    Tony Knox
    Gallipolis Ohio
  • gearkatgearkat Posts: 13
    I have an 02 Grand Prix SE and ran into the same problem. So after reading these posts I removed my center console and saw that the infamous 'purple' and 'green' wires had become disconnected from the adapter. When I removed the adapter, the problem was actually worse. Both wires had broke leaving an end in the adapter while the other part floated free. So I pushed out the metal used to hold the wire with a small screwdriver, pushing in the direction towards the wires. Since it seems the purple and green wires were 'just long enough' over the years the stress of pulling on the wires as the car was shifted in gear caused them to snap.

    I plan to solder on small extensions, and reinsert the wires back into the adapter with new connectors. Lots of electrical tape will be used I'm sure. I will drop a line letting you know if this works.
  • garyshogarysho Posts: 1
    For the leak, is it just the passenger front seat floor? If so, see this: http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/WebX/.f0f6276/1!make=Pontiac&model=Grand%20Prix- &ed_makeindex=.f0f6276

    Either the drain is blocked (I had that issue on my '99), or the rubber strip under the plastic piece below the wipers has gotten out of position. Hopefully that is all it is, and not a leaky roof.
  • mech_not1mech_not1 Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix and cannot turn the key to the off position and subsequently, cannot remove the key from the ignigition. It seems to be stuck between the accessory position and the off position. Will this run down my battery and can anyone give me a clue how to fix this please? I am not a mechanic and have very little tools. Thanks!
  • gearkatgearkat Posts: 13
    Here is a link to my Youtube video on how to fix this problem if it is the green and purple wires have come loose.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rHbrsvzxWc
  • gearkatgearkat Posts: 13
    There is also a work-around that is really easy. On the bottom of the steering column is a little opening right under the ignition. You'll need to pop out the cover with a small screwdriver. Now using the same screwdriver you can stick it in that hole and push on a little button that will allow you to get your key out. You can use the screwdriver to push that button in before turning the key, or after the key has been moved to the stuck position.
  • I do the "work around" in # 60. For some reason I can physically pull my key out, no matter what position the ignition is in, even if I'm driving. I'm sure that can't be good, so I do the screwdriver trick.

    @gear kat - how much would you charge for the repair? I'm not in your area, but just so I have an idea. What would I call it to ask my own mechanic? thanks for your help
  • gearkatgearkat Posts: 13
    @QueenRoyalty - well I am currently charging $100. But I am not a mechanic, I'm just a guy who figured out a permanent fix based on his experiences in life. So to pay someone who 'knows what they are doing' is apt to be more expensive as they have the real training.

    But if you bring up the fact that the green and purple wires might have become separated under the console, you are definitely going to sound like you know what you are talking about. Save this tidbit though if the mechanic comes back saying you need a new wire harness or something that will mean a bigger bill.
  • Hi all,

    I've been running into this problem for probably about a year. Usually, the key eventually comes out after I cycle the shifter through Park-Reverse-Neutrial-4 and back. Yesterday was the first time that the key just wouldn't come out.

    After a lot of Internet research, I finally came across a video that was straightforward and easy to do:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYBD4_Bm_8g&NR=1

    this appears to solve the problem (for now). I'll keep everyone posted if things change...
  • gearkatgearkat Posts: 13
    That is not a permanent fix, that is just a work around. Sure, you can disable the key lock by using the port under the steering wheel, but after doing that a few hundred times I bet you get sick of it. By the way that guy (probably you) who posted that video doesn't allow me to comment on his thread about his solution to the problem. I provided him with correct information, a link to a permanent fix, and he'd rather ignore /bury it instead of admitting fault. Welcome to the new America.
  • Mr. "Gearkat":

    First of all, I'm not the "that guy" who posted the video. I'm simply a satisfied customer who spent hours this morning trying to find a solution online (to no avail) until stumbling across that fellow's youtube video.

    Secondly, you're probably right in a sense that the proposed solution is a "workaround". I don't doubt that. But for myself, and many others I'm sure, this workaround is just what I was looking for - a simple and inexpensive corrective action. Before doing online research, I was quoted by a local dealer over the phone that repairing this issue by them would be ~$800 or more.

    Thirdly, I read your unnecessarily disparaging comments towards the owner of his video in his youtube comments section. I was very confused as to why you would try to discredit a fast, cheap, and effective solution - but then I realized why. I've read some of your comments and came to the realization that you are trying to sell your business. You don't want people to fix their car problems by using a cheap and easy solution; no, you want people to buy YOUR products and profit from others' hardship. You're not looking out for others; you're looking out for YOURSELF. Shame on you.

    There are ways to be profitable and run a small business without ripping off the American consumer. It's called being in a win-win relationship; perhaps you should invest some time researching the concept.

    Sorry to all who has to suffer through reading through gearcat and my quibble. Surely, you didn't come to this thread to see two people argue online.

    I just felt the responsibility to expose gearcat for who/what he truly is - a coward and a fraud.
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