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I can't consistently get the key out of my 2008 Saturn Vue's ignition.
I have a 2008 Saturn Vue that I truly love. Over the past month, I have been having difficulty getting the key out of the ignition when I turn the car off. I contacted OnStar, and was told to press hard on the brake, turn the wheel hard to the left and turn the key at the same time. That worked. Once. Sometimes, I can get the key out by restarting the car several times and turning the wheel. Sometimes, it comes out without a problem. Sometimes, I have to relock the doors and the key releases. Sometimes, if I take the car out of park and put it back in, it works. There seems to be no rhyme or reason. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks.
imidazol97 Member Posts: 26,790Are you able to rotate the key cylinder with the key in it to the OFF position?
First, From your description I'm not sure which to suggest. But there is a microswitch in the console that is pressed when you push the transmission selector forward. It tells the body control module (I guess) that the car is in Park. When I push mine forward, with the car in ON but no engine running, I can clearly hear the door locks unlock and the pin in the steering column move that lets the ignition lock cylinder be turned to OFF. I can then take the key out.
If I put the gear selector in D with that key ON, I hear the door locks go down and I can hear/feel the solenoid in the steering column move that lock pin to keep the lock cylinder from going to OFF.
I recall on the Cobalts which are related to your car that sometimes that microswitch wasn't being touched and wasn't getting the car ready to have the key removed. I believe some people replaced the switch or adjusted the linkage on the shifter to make it engage. You might learn more by searching on the internet for cobalt and key stuck in lock cylinder, etc.
########I believe there's a small opening on the underside of the steering column where a little plastic cover can be removed AND you can insert somethiing (not metal?) and push on a mechanism that is the unlock device that's tripped when the microswitch works right and releases the key. This is often needed if someone puts the key in and the battery is completely DEAD. Therefore, when they try to take the key out, the solenoid that the microswitch operates won't work to release the key. Most owners don't know the little door is there. It's in the owner manual.
The second type of problem is that someone parks the car with the hand holding the steering wheel against the twisting as they turn the car off. When the electric steering assist turns off, the steering wheel isn't getting help trying to turn the front wheels against the resistance, and the lock pin that goes in place to keep the steering wheel from being turned in case of theft is swedged into one of the slots with the tension of the front wheels trying to turn the wheel. For this just pull the steering wheel one way and then the other, with the car off to see if there is a force turning it. Hold the wheel hard to one side while turning the key. Then move it toward the other side while still trying to turn the key. Somewhere there is a neutral area with no tension on the pin that swedges to keep the steering from turning.
2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,5
2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD, 2023 Maverick hybrid Lariat luxury package.
Well, this is clearly not cool. Either the key or the lock itself has gone sour on your car. It may also be that something entirely different has gone wrong. I suggest that you start with the most straightforward thing - making a duplicate key and trying how the car door will open with a new key. If this does not work, then you will have to take your car for diagnostics. The car service will be able to determine the cause of this and fix it. At least, I hope so. Of course, if it does not bother you and does not strain you. It would really piss me off. I'm not ready to experience such stress every time because of a stupid lock on the car. Life didn't prepare me for this.