Keys stuck in the ignition

ChevyTBLover

Well-Known Member
Got home last night to find out, I couldn't take my keys out of the ignition. made sure the car was definitely in park, and was able to start the car again. I looked for a slot underneath the steering column like I had in my '02 Trailblazer, but there isn't one. What could be wrong? Ignition switch?:confused:
 

Wooluf1952

Well-Known Member
A bad battery would be a better bet.

How old is your battery?
 

JRTAHOE

Well-Known Member
Wooluf1952 said:
A bad battery would be a better bet.

How old is your battery?
I would lean towards this. My key got suck in the ignition last week and my whole truck was dead. Came to find out that my negative terminal was loose.
 

woody79

Well-Known Member
07 TB RIDER said:
I would lean towards this. My key got suck in the ignition last week and my whole truck was dead. Came to find out that my negative terminal was loose.
:iagree:

I would also tend to lean towards this. I came across the same issue when trouble shooting my P0410 (SAIS?). I was trying to reset the CEL, (before I knew it had to go through a drive cycle to reset itself) I disconnected the negative terminal and apparently did not reconnect it well. I tried to start the truck and it wouldn't start, the key would also not come out. I did panic until I remembered to check the battery :lipsrsealed:.

Just my :twocents: anyway. Good luck :thumbsup:
 
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ChevyTBLover

ChevyTBLover

Well-Known Member
I was thinking about the dead battery, but I was able to start the car right back up multiple times, until I gave up and let the car die over night.
 

The_Roadie

Founding Member
Administrator
ChevyTBLover said:
... was able to start the car again....
Wooluf1952 said:
A bad battery would be a better bet.
I can't reconcile these two posts. A bad battery should also fail to start the engine.

The key lock circuit is pretty trivial. It gets power from the ignition switch ACCY/RUN/START bus, through the shift lever PARK position switch then activates the key solenoid whose other end is ground.

If the ACCY/RUN/START circuit (white wire coming out of the ignition switch) is flaky, other things should also be failing, like the transmission control and the PCM. More likely it's a bad or slow key solenoid, PARK mode switch or the wiring between them all.

Does your shift lever lock solenoid work normally? The switch that detects if the shift lever is in the PARK position to release the key is in the console to the right of the shift lever. This is in the same physical assembly as the shift lever locking solenoid that clicks when you press the brake pedal, but electrically, the two functions aren't connected.

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BuzzQ

Member
this helped me as well since my truck is sitting in the driveway and i cant get the key out of the ignition

i think this is not such a great feature
 

jorsr

Active Member
were you able to remove the key and if so what was the solution ? my 02 key also gets stuck
 
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ChevyTBLover

ChevyTBLover

Well-Known Member
I did eventually get the key out. It was weird, I could start the car all day long but couldn't get the key out. So I let the car die over night. The next morning I put the car on the charger till I had enough power to turn the vehicle over. Shut it off and was able to take the key out of the ignition. It has not happened to me since.
 

Guano

Well-Known Member
Many moons ago I put mine into park alittle to soon (still not stopped) and must have bent that D*** brass rod in the shifter ( battery light stays on & still sucking power) anyway by yanking the shifter BACK (bending it the other way)and or cycling it start, park several times and or pushing the key in against the column when halfway back seems to get it to release the key.
Yeah, I Know but if I fix that I might as well fix the seat heater thats been sitting in the garage for I don't know how long now.
 

vipergg

Well-Known Member
BuzzQ said:
this helped me as well since my truck is sitting in the driveway and i cant get the key out of the ignition

i think this is not such a great feature
Thats an understatement , wonder what brilliant dept ok'd that feature. I have never heard of any other vehicle having this issue. :jawdrop2:
 

UnionJack72

Member
I am having the same problem, but I can start the engine everytime no problem.

So is this a battery problem or more likely the park solenoid?

Note: The park light seems to go on and off ok, everythime I move the lever in and out of park.

Seems like after I put it in and out of park a few times, or more often, pumping the brake hard while in park, will release the key.

On occassion, usually first thing in the morning, it is also VERY hard to push the button on the gear lever.

Again, after pumping brakes hard and a combination of wiggling the gear lever, the button will finally go in, and it's fine the rest of the day.

I have also tried my other unused spare key, thinking the key might of been worn and not operating the ignition switch correctly.
 

gr82bCanadian

Well-Known Member
the roadie said:
I can't reconcile these two posts. A bad battery should also fail to start the engine.

The key lock circuit is pretty trivial. It gets power from the ignition switch ACCY/RUN/START bus, through the shift lever PARK position switch then activates the key solenoid whose other end is ground.

If the ACCY/RUN/START circuit (white wire coming out of the ignition switch) is flaky, other things should also be failing, like the transmission control and the PCM. More likely it's a bad or slow key solenoid, PARK mode switch or the wiring between them all.

Does your shift lever lock solenoid work normally? The switch that detects if the shift lever is in the PARK position to release the key is in the console to the right of the shift lever. This is in the same physical assembly as the shift lever locking solenoid that clicks when you press the brake pedal, but electrically, the two functions aren't connected.
So if it is the ACCY/RUN/START circuit will just replacing the ignition switch fix it or is there something more extensive? This is why I ask...

Here's my issue...
I have been dealing with Check engine light on and tranny safe mode (staying in 3rd) for a while. When this first started the repair shop cleared the code (TCC circuit) and cleaned all connections to the Torque Converter Clutch Solenoid (try the easiest thing first), then a week later(next trip to town), check engine light back on, cleared the code again and they then replace the clutch solenoid, it was good for a couple trips to town, then one day went to leave and all was acting up again....check engine light and the transmission staying in 3rd, so we parked it....AND (to add to my frustration) couldn't get the key out :hissyfit:
The key wouldn't turn back to the lock position to remove the key, we tried everything from restarting, shifting back into gear pressing the break, nothing would work.....then I had the brainwave to use the command start to start the truck and maybe it would release...it did.
I am convinced these two issues are related form what I am researching.
So now it is currently at a repair shop (week and a half now) and they are stumped, they have resorted taking it to the Dealership (*shutter*), I don't trust our local Dealership's Service department that is why I take it to this private shop, they are trustworthy and great to deal with, and they actually listen to me.

So back to my question, if the ignition switch is my culprit I will convince them to replace it and NOT take it to the Dealership, or I'll get my truck back and replace it myself. But if it's more than just the switch then I will let them do what they deem necessary to fix it.

Getting a weeee bit frustrated and really missing my truck :frown:
 

gr82bCanadian

Well-Known Member
Sure wish would have gotten an answer... :frown:

Picking my truck up today, they think/hope its fixed, they changed the park/neutral switch (I think), then they were having trouble with the key barrel sticking (didn't have that problem before). They took it to the stealership, they fixed that but also unhooked my command start saying it was installed wrong (almost 3 years ago) and that is where my whole problem started from :hissyfit: I know that's not it but I will go along with their testing of this theory for now. The stealership tried the same bs with our Silverado...tried blaming the after market command start (that's a whole other story)

So if I could get a confirmation on my previous post about the ignition switch, that hasn't been changed yet, would help me greatly get a leg up on the problem and help me explain to the shop.
 

The_Roadie

Founding Member
Administrator
The ignition switch is such a cheap part, and trivial to change, and fails so often, that it's almost always recommended to shotgun it. Always change the ignition switch if there are electrical gremlins. THEN take it to the professionals if that doesn't change its behavior.
 

bravader

Well-Known Member
BuzzQ said:
this helped me as well since my truck is sitting in the driveway and i cant get the key out of the ignition

i think this is not such a great feature
I know this wasn't supposed to be funny but I LOL'ed so hard at this post.
 

UnionJack72

Member
the roadie said:
The ignition switch is such a cheap part, and trivial to change, and fails so often, that it's almost always recommended to shotgun it. Always change the ignition switch if there are electrical gremlins. THEN take it to the professionals if that doesn't change its behavior.
Got a part number and replacement instructions? :thumbsup:
 

addohm

Active Member
I had this happen to me yesterday and it was the park lever switch. THe only way I got my key out is if I shoved it all the way forward and listened for it to unlock. I will at some point pull everything apart and see why.
 

jph3190

New Member
Ok, I think my key stuck problem is the parking /shift sensor, I was hit hard in the back bumper while parked. I noted the posting about the small hole below the ignition and that a button is in there to press with a small item such as a pen. problem is that hole is not on 2006 Model. I removed the coverand saw I do have that button. i took a small pocket knife and bored a small hole in the plastic, directly below the button. Now when the key gets stuck, i do not have to remove the battery cable, or beat on the truck to get my key out. I will replace the park sensor when I can, but this little fix works fine for now.
 
ChevyTBLover said:
Got home last night to find out, I couldn't take my keys out of the ignition. made sure the car was definitely in park, and was able to start the car again. I looked for a slot underneath the steering column like I had in my '02 Trailblazer, but there isn't one. What could be wrong? Ignition switch?:confused:
My friend with a 02 TrailBlazer just told me of the same problem with his. He got it to the dealer and they told him that it is not that rare. They replaced the entire lock.:mad:
 

CaptainXL

Well-Known Member
A little non-conductive silicone spray in the cylinder lock goes a long way. Was having trouble turning and releasing key right after i bought my truck. Never had a problem since applying a bit of silicone spray. But my battery did die on me yesterday because I forgot to remove my bluetooth scan tool over the course of a week. In this case the key wouldn't unlock. Thats normal.
 

CaptainXL

Well-Known Member
But I want to make it clear from my last thread. You should never spray any type of lubricant into the keyhole with the ignition switch installed. Severe damage to the ignition switch could result from lubricant dripping into it from above.
 
My 03 started giving me trouble last week.It died on my wife,so i went to help and it would turn over spit and pop out exhaust but no start. I noticed that when i would turn the key i could let go and it kept cranking,sometimes it would turn over a few seconds and quit. 15 min. of trying a little bit of exhaust packing out the rear and removal of resonator,and it starts.Drove it all the way home turned it off and same thing?Replaced fuel filter no change?Almost a week of this and ses light trouble codes p1345,prob.from the spit and pop and others thermo and o2 !!!!! An then starts to idle high irregular stinkin cat so i drive it like i stole it for about 5 miles ,turn it off and the key won't come out !!!!!! Get this now it starts every time i mean every time you can just bump it and it fires up?????BAD IGN OR WHAT?
 

CaptainXL

Well-Known Member
motorhead1117 said:
it starts every time i mean every time you can just bump it and it fires up?????BAD IGN OR WHAT?
Depends on what you mean by just bumping it. You need to turn the key at least a little bit. There should be two clicks and then a little turn. The first click is for ACC, the second is for RUN. It shouldn't start by just wiggling the key in the run position. The key actually has to be turned past this point.
 
The key is stuck in the acc. pos. i meant u dont have to hold the switch in the spring tension spot,it is on a trickle charger with the key still on will not come out
 

CaptainXL

Well-Known Member
motorhead1117 said:
The key is stuck in the acc. pos. i meant u dont have to hold the switch in the spring tension spot,it is on a trickle charger with the key still on will not come out
Well you need to figure out why the battery died on you. It is normal for the key to get stuck when the battery is low. You can remove the lower half of the steering cover and push the key release solenoid in and that will allow you to remove the key.
 
the battery never got low. i just put charger on it so it would not go dead. most post where key wont come out have bad batt, mine does not
 

CaptainXL

Well-Known Member
motorhead1117 said:
the battery never got low. i just put charger on it so it would not go dead. most post where key wont come out have bad batt, mine does not
You need to see if you have 12 volts at the ignition switch. Check to see if the Ignition fuse is blown under the hood fuse box. It would be the main reason for a non turning switch and a good battery.
 

CaptainXL

Well-Known Member
motorhead1117 said:
would it start if that was blown
No, it wouldn't start. If it starts in the ACC position then its a bad switch. Remove the ignition switch to keep the battery from running down until you get a new one. Or remove the ignition fuse.
 
The little charger was not enough to keep the batt from running down so how do i safely charge without messing up heater? Taking key out of ign.
 

CaptainXL

Well-Known Member
motorhead1117 said:
The little charger was not enough to keep the batt from running down so how do i safely charge without messing up heater? Taking key out of ign.
Reread what I wrote in my previous posts. I said that in order to keep the battery from running down you need to remove the ignition fuse or switch. I am not sure what you are talking about the concerning the heater. If you are referring to the actuator motors for the vents and such...it's a moot point anyway at this time because the battery has been cycled so many times already. Just replace the switch and stop goofing with it. Your battery is also more than likely taking a hit so I would get it tested as well.
 
Sorry to be so confusing i fell asleep before i got the mess about the fuse and switch. has not been cycled bat is dead. im out side trying to get key out by removing the lower panel and also the switch, if that is removed will the batt charge in car safely or are there still loads on it?What do I need to do for actuator motors? Thanks for all the help!!!!
 
motorhead1117 said:
Sorry to be so confusing i fell asleep before i got the mess about the fuse and switch. has not been cycled bat is dead. im out side trying to get key out by removing the lower panel and also the switch, if that is removed will the batt charge in car safely or are there still loads on it?What do I need to do for actuator motors? Thanks for all the help!!!!
Turned key off via button under ign. and fluke meter is going up in volts.Just worried about actuator motors heard alot of bad things tryin to be safe!!
 

CaptainXL

Well-Known Member
motorhead1117 said:
Turned key off via button under ign. and fluke meter is going up in volts.Just worried about actuator motors heard alot of bad things tryin to be safe!!
Don't worry about it. If you want to be safe about all of this remove the ignition fuse first and then replace the ignition switch. Then replace the ignition fuse. The actuators don't work off of the +12 volt ignition circuit so you shouldn't be worried about them loosing their memory. Just don't disconnect the battery cables. But like I said before, if the battery has already died as you stated earlier then this is a moot point/ a futile exercise in trying to save their original memory. They have already recalibrated more than once for sure throughout this ordeal your having.
 
CaptainXL said:
Don't worry about it. If you want to be safe about all of this remove the ignition fuse first and then replace the ignition switch. Then replace the ignition fuse. The actuators don't work off of the +12 volt ignition circuit so you shouldn't be worried about them loosing their memory. Just don't disconnect the battery cables. But like I said before, if the battery has already died as you stated earlier then this is a moot point/ a futile exercise in trying to save their original memory. They have already recalibrated more than once for sure throughout this ordeal your having.
Well it is a moot [wasted effort for less educated] point thanks captain. I bit the bullet unhooked the battery let it charge overnight hooked the batt back up re installed ign fuse turned key back on let cycle for about 2 min then tried to start? Did not!!!!! Looked for scan tool borrowed one from a good friend found out the cam. pos. sen. was bad replaced at auto store in 5 min. Erased codes,works great but key still wont come out without pushing the button under ign. So now is it in that button or the switch under the shifter console?I can here something clicking when i push the brake but dont know?Whats the next step take console out and see? Ill poke around this wonderful place for answers? thanks again
 

CaptainXL

Well-Known Member
The clicking you hear is the Brake Transmission Shift Interlock solenoids working. The truck won't let you shift out of park and press the shift lock release button on the side of the shifter until the brake is pressed. Did you align the teeth correctly on the new ignition switch? If it isnt aligned correctly the key will not come out.
 
CaptainXL said:
The clicking you hear is the Brake Transmission Shift Interlock solenoids working. The truck won't let you shift out of park and press the shift lock release button on the side of the shifter until the brake is pressed. Did you align the teeth correctly on the new ignition switch? If it isnt aligned correctly the key will not come out.
Did the best i could from a u tube vid.Think that it is fine seems to turn and can feel detent of pos.like off, acc.,on,crank.Shifts fine .Did i get it off a tooth u think? It did it before i changed ign.
 

CaptainXL

Well-Known Member
motorhead1117 said:
Did the best i could from a u tube vid.Think that it is fine seems to turn and can feel detent of pos.like off, acc.,on,crank.Shifts fine .Did i get it off a tooth u think? It did it before i changed ign.
Take a look at the picture below. If you have it aligned like this then you should be ok. But if after checking this and the key still doesn't come out then either the signal to the key release solenoid is lost or the solenoid is bad. Check for voltage at the solenoid to see if it is being commanded on/off. Failing that I think you might need to have someone take a look. Could be a wiring issue.

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