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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.
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