Can't get the key out

Grimor

Original poster
Member
Mar 28, 2013
954
I've had a shit day today. CEL after pulling the boat (hoping it's just a MAF sensor that needs cleaned from the new filter) then an engine tap after sitting at an angle on the launch that didn't go away. No trailer lights on the way home, and now the key won't turn back far enough to even turn the acc off or pull the key out.

There is no cap/hole on the column under the ignition to release it, so.. wtf do I do to get the key out?

The truck goes into park and unlocks the doors, but I can shift without pressing the brake.

I may of been a little energetic when I put it in park...

I also got a hellava sunburn
 

christo829

Member
Dec 7, 2011
509
Fairfax, Virginia
The 06 manual from Mooseman's collection here in GMTnation still shows a small access hole in the steering column for
the key release. Is there a flush fitting cap on it perhaps that's not being obvious? If not, you might just pull the whole bottom cover off.

EDIT: Mooseman's manuals sticky: http://gmtnation.com/f23/need-service-manuals-get-them-here-371/

From your description, you may have damaged the shift interlock. Hopefully it's just disconnected. If the 06
is still set up the same as the 04, you can't take the key out unless the transmission shifter is in park, so if
the cuircuit got damaged when you put it in park too energetically, the vehicle still thinks the shifter is engaged,
so it won't let you take the key out. You should still be able to use the mechanical "bypass", but you might as well
look at the circuit in the shift assembly and see if you can spot a problem.

I don't have a copy of the section that covers the shifter handy. A bit surprised that it'll unlock the doors if it does think
the shifter is still engaged, but that might be on a different switch/circuit.

The tapping might have been mainly oil starvation from sitting too long at angle. How's your oil level? Even with
the 7 qt sump these trucks have, I suppose it's always possible to have it have some trouble getting the oil to everything
at times.

Had a chance to get the code it threw?

Hope you've got something to put on the sunburn, too!

Good Luck!

Chris
 

Grimor

Original poster
Member
Mar 28, 2013
954
christo829 said:
The 06 manual from Mooseman's collection here in GMTnation still shows a small access hole in the steering column for
the key release. Is there a flush fitting cap on it perhaps that's not being obvious? If not, you might just pull the whole bottom cover off.

EDIT: Mooseman's manuals sticky: http://gmtnation.com/f23/need-service-manuals-get-them-here-371/

From your description, you may have damaged the shift interlock. Hopefully it's just disconnected. If the 06
is still set up the same as the 04, you can't take the key out unless the transmission shifter is in park, so if
the cuircuit got damaged when you put it in park too energetically, the vehicle still thinks the shifter is engaged,
so it won't let you take the key out. You should still be able to use the mechanical "bypass", but you might as well
look at the circuit in the shift assembly and see if you can spot a problem.

I don't have a copy of the section that covers the shifter handy. A bit surprised that it'll unlock the doors if it does think
the shifter is still engaged, but that might be on a different switch/circuit.

The tapping might have been mainly oil starvation from sitting too long at angle. How's your oil level? Even with
the 7 qt sump these trucks have, I suppose it's always possible to have it have some trouble getting the oil to everything
at times.

Had a chance to get the code it threw?

Hope you've got something to put on the sunburn, too!

Good Luck!

Chris
thanks for the info, truck almost wouldn't start this morning, battery was low enough to reset the radio clock

I'll check the oil, but pretty sure its full. and pull the code... gonna be such a fun day

EDIT: Battery was dead long enough to clear the codes but I cleaned the MAF anyway and it didn't come back so hopefully that's solved. Oil it all there and I didn't hear a tap, so hopefully it was just a little lifter tap and it is all lubed up now.

I didn't feel like messing with the key issue so I split the column cover by sticking a screw driver under the ignition switch and popped it apart. Pressed the button and got my key out (it is really annoying working on the column with that damn door ding) then I tapped the column cover where I guesstimated the button lined up and threaded a bolt in to just hold the button down. This saves me from having to mess with the button to get the key out and I can fix the other issues when I get to it. I still have to try to fix the stabilitrak button on the shifter so it has to come apart eventually.

View attachment 29097
Not the worst looking thing I've ever done to a vehicle.
 

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Chickenhawk

Member
Dec 6, 2011
782
When we read "key won't come out" on a thread, we always think "battery" first. A dead or dying battery is the cause of 99.9% of the problem with a key not coming out. Charge the battery and the key will come out fine. You don't need to drill any holes.

These platforms are heavily dependant on a good battery. If yours is original, you are living on borrowed time already. If the battery tests good, then I would suspect a loose cable.

But I would place money on a bad battery. Plus, it leads to all kinds of other symptoms such as non-working trailer lights, check engine codes and clock resetting.
 

Grimor

Original poster
Member
Mar 28, 2013
954
Chickenhawk said:
When we read "key won't come out" on a thread, we always think "battery" first. A dead or dying battery is the cause of 99.9% of the problem with a key not coming out. Charge the battery and the key will come out fine. You don't need to drill any holes.

These platforms are heavily dependant on a good battery. If yours is original, you are living on borrowed time already. If the battery tests good, then I would suspect a loose cable.

But I would place money on a bad battery. Plus, it leads to all kinds of other symptoms such as non-working trailer lights, check engine codes and clock resetting.

I've got a battery from the boat that i can drop in and see if it will work. The bolt/key release can turn out and won't leave a hole much bigger than what most people have anyway. Low battery might explain why the truck cranked slow after just 8 hours with the acc on and nothing running.
 

DDonnie

Member
Mar 26, 2012
2,631
Yea, that won't even be noticible when you take it out unless you're looking for it.
 

Boricua SS

Member
Nov 20, 2011
3,080
Ohio
im willing to bet a dead or dying battery as well... while working on Jeff's (jrSS) HID's and DRL killer before the Midwest meet, I couldn't get his key out of the ignition after he hooked the battery back up.. freaked me out making me think that I f*****d up his BCM and DRL killer... turned out that he just didn't tighten the battery terminals down enough... once tight, key unlocked and I was able to get it out... dead battery, no battery, dying battery, all equal key getting stuck... that's the first place I'd look...
 

christo829

Member
Dec 7, 2011
509
Fairfax, Virginia
Yeah..after reading that your battery was nearly dead, I'd look there before bothering with the shifter.
These trucks are really picky about their voltage.

Glad you got the key out, at least!

Cheers-

Chris
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
SEMIJim said:
What th... You need battery power to get the key out of the ignition? Seriously?
Not the dumbest design decision GM ever made. The rationale is to deliver a stern clue that you better not lock the doors manually and leave the vehicle and slam them behind you and then you can't get back in to pull the hood release to charge the battery. They force you to deal with the problem right away, not that anybody could steal the vehicle, but they might swipe your contents if you were able to take the key out and walk away with it unlocked.

If there's another possible reason going in in the designer's mind, I haven't thought of it yet. Any other ideas?
 

Grimor

Original poster
Member
Mar 28, 2013
954

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