02 TB - Ignition won't turn, key not stuck

I have a 2002 Trailblazer. The ignition has given me issues in the past which resulted in replacing the ignition switch, which was maybe a year or so ago? Was fine after that, up until now.

The ignition is stuck in the Off position and will NOT turn. Rocking the vehicle, turning the steering wheel, jiggling the key or shifter, etc. don't work. I pulled the plug to get to that little lockout bypass button underneath the steering column and pressing that while trying to turn the key also does nothing.

The key is NOT stuck, it freely goes in and out of the ignition - at least in its current position. Previous battery went bad. Battery is now brand new, just went today and got a new one. Brake lights will come on as well as hazard flashers if the button is hit. Nothing shows on the dash. Still no ignition turn.

Shifter linkage under the vehicle appears fine, no breakage that I can see.

Thoughts? I'm guessing at this point that either the ignition lock cylinder has gone bad or something in the shifter assembly is causing the lockup. Figured I'd ask here first before I start tearing things apart though.
 

Mooseman

Moderator
Sound like the lock cylinder or your key is really worn.
 
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CakeBlazer

Member
Sound like the lock cylinder or your key is really worn.
I do have a new condition spare key that was modeled from the original, the original being the one that was used during all this. I'll try the spare, see if that changes anything. I'm thinking it won't though.

Any possibility the ignition switch went bad again and is causing this issue?
 

Blckshdw

Moderator
Any possibility the ignition switch went bad again and is causing this issue?
Something would have to physically get inside the switch to jam up that gear piece, in order to cause that issue. So highly unlikely. They key being worn, or lock cylinder having a problem is much more probable. :twocents:
 

MRRSM

Lifetime VIP Supporter
This is a Generic GMC - Chevrolet Key Lock Cylinder R&R Procedure that is being well described by Dorman. Nonetheless, I would recommend getting the replacement Key-Lock Cylinder with New Keys from a local GM Dealership:

 
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CakeBlazer

Member
Tried the spare key, ignition still won't turn. Pulled off steering column covers and disconnected ignition switch, still wouldn't turn. Jiggled the key like mad, depressed those two little pins that project into the outer portion of the ignition cylinder, tried vibrating it with a chisel gun as suggested in a YouTube video, depressed both the interlock override and the the pin that's used to release the lock cylinder for removal, nothing. It's stuck hard in the Off position.

Where do I go from here? Am I going to have to drill the lock cylinder out?
 

MRRSM

Lifetime VIP Supporter
If Push Come To Shove... $80.00 Used on eBay...BUT $140.00 S&H... Poke around a bit there for other Used Ones... You might find a Better Deal:


02TBSTEERINGCOLUMN.jpg02TBSTEERINGCOLUMN1.jpg02TBSTEERINGCOLUMN2.jpg02TBSTEERINGCOLUMN3.jpg02TBSTEERINGCOLUMN4.jpg02TBSTEERINGCOLUMN5.jpg

THIS eBay Offer is for a Brand New Replacement Steering Box Casting that would require disabling SIRS and the Air Bag and a Helluvalotta Labor to swap over your Steering Wheel, Air Bag and Other harness and Gear.... BEWARE screwing up the Clock-Spring Innards by allowing the Steering Wheel to Rotate Freely after removing the Column Yoke and Fastener:


TBSTEERINGBOXNEW.jpg

Please refer to the OEM GM Shop Manual available for Download courtesy @Mooseman ...here:

 

Mooseman

Moderator
Problem with replacing the column is that you will need to reprogram VATS as it will not recognize the the lock cylinder sensor resistance. And if you force or break the cylinder out of the column, it may break or permanently disturb that sensor. You can try forcing it out and replace the cylinder and hopefully the sensor will be fine. I'd try cutting those pins so you can turn it.
 
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CakeBlazer

Member
Problem with replacing the column is that you will need to reprogram VATS as it will not recognize the the lock cylinder sensor resistance. And if you force or break the cylinder out of the column, it may break or permanently disturb that sensor. You can try forcing it out and replace the cylinder and hopefully the sensor will be fine. I'd try cutting those pins so you can turn it.
Those pins don't appear to be the issue. I had both depressed and it wouldn't turn.
 

budwich

Well-Known Member
I do have a new condition spare key that was modeled from the original, the original being the one that was used during all this. I'll try the spare, see if that changes anything. I'm thinking it won't though.

Any possibility the ignition switch went bad again and is causing this issue?
when you say this, are you saying the spare was "recently cut" using the current key that doesn't work? Dumb question, does the key work on your door?
 
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CakeBlazer

Member
when you say this, are you saying the spare was "recently cut" using the current key that doesn't work? Dumb question, does the key work on your door?
Spare was cut soon after purchasing the vehicle several years ego. Haven't tried any of the keys on the door, I'll have to check.
 

budwich

Well-Known Member
have you tried any type of lubricant spray (silly cone or otherwise) to see if it helps?

any thieves around... :smile: if push comes to shove, perhaps the "thief method" might be the best way out... ie. a strong blade screw driver and wrench.
 
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CakeBlazer

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Right, well...

Tried the "bump" method today using a dead-blow. This succeeded in doing nothing except snapping off one of the plastic finger tabs. Tried both with key in and out, nothing.

For what it's worth lubricant was sprayed a short time ago into the lock cylinder.

Guess it's getting drilled.
 
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CakeBlazer

Member
Lock cylinder drilled and removed. Wasn't the easiest thing ever but it's out, and with no discernible damage to anything else.
 
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CakeBlazer

Member
Any tips for install of the new lock cylinder? I.E. how to make sure ignition switch gears are timed correctly, anything to watch out for, etc. Just want to be sure I don't mess this up.
 
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CakeBlazer

Member
Felt like I should follow up. Everything went fine, new ignition installed without issue.

That said, in case anyone else runs into this issue, it's actually quite easy to drill a stuck ignition on these vehicles, or at least it was in this case. Should have started there.
 

Mooseman

Moderator
So how was it drilled? Through the keyhole?
 

MRRSM

Lifetime VIP Supporter
Got any Pics...?

EATINGPOPCORN.gif
 
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CakeBlazer

Member
So how was it drilled? Through the keyhole?
I guess you could say that. Key hole was completely destroyed. Think we went up to a 1/2" drill bit but I'd have to check again. Tumblers (the remains of them, rather) were pulled out one by one but in retrospect I'm not sure that was necessary. Popping the "locking bar", that long rectangle that's supposed to lift out of the way when the key is inserted, up into the lock cylinder allowed it to turn freely and at that point it was a simple matter of depressing the keeper tab through the lock cylinder release hole on the top of the assembly.

Point being it seems as long as you're able to pop the locking bar/tab/whatever up into the cylinder it should turn, assuming nothing else is stopping it from rotating. I've noticed no issues with sensor damage or anything of the like. I did disable SIR Zone 3 (drivers airbag) before drilling the cylinder but I'm not sure if that's actually necessary or not.

Oh, and it appears the reason for the cylinder locking up was that one of the brass tabs that's supposed to hold the springs for the locking bar in place snapped off, jamming the cylinder.

I'll snap a pic of the old cylinder when I get the chance. I don't think I tossed it yet.
 
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