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Old 06-12-2012, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Huntsville, AL
2,174 posts, read 1,033,556 times
Reputation: 2742

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Car will start and drive fine, when I turn the key to kill the motor, the key is stuck in that middle spot that keeps the radio, ac, etc. powered on. It simply will not turn all the way to the off position.

It's not a "jiggle the steering wheel, make sure it's in park" issue, because I've tried all that.

Any ideas from the experts on this board?

Thanks-Jack
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:02 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX USA
5,217 posts, read 11,059,384 times
Reputation: 8047
Sounds like its an issue with the park selector switch or the ign switch. The car thinks its still in gear and will not let the ign switch release the key
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
15,296 posts, read 48,886,982 times
Reputation: 14625
The mechanism that keeps you from turning the car off unless the gear selector is all the way into Park is the most likely suspect. Maybe give the steering column a good whack with a rubber hammer?
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:14 PM
 
1,964 posts, read 4,933,948 times
Reputation: 1629
That happened to my uncle's Tahoe. You need to have the ignition cylinder replaced. Be aware that all those electronics are draining the battery!
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:24 PM
 
4,500 posts, read 10,682,002 times
Reputation: 2898
Try gently whacking the key with a hammer, if all else fails, if it breaks, it needed fixing anyways!
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:47 AM
 
Location: Earth
4,235 posts, read 22,425,765 times
Reputation: 2237
I agree, sounds like the lock cylinder tumbler broke. I had it happen to me once.
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:37 AM
 
Location: The cupboard under the sink
3,983 posts, read 8,025,326 times
Reputation: 8026
Sounds like it's either the Park switch, or the key solenoid.
Many new cars have an electrically activated solenoid which locks the key in.
It's partly a security measure, partly for safety.

Chances are it'll be deactivated by a switch on either the shifter, or the brake pedal, or both.

Have a check at fuses, do a "wiggle test" on any wires you can see, try being a little rough with the shifter, push it hard into "P", in case something is stuck.
Keep trying to release the key as you work the shifter in and out of "P", do it slowly, you might find a sweet spot !

If there's a panel or cowl around the ignition switch, see if you can remove it to access the cylinder/switch assembly. You may find there'll be some sort of manual override, maybe as simple as a hole you can stick something in to release the key.

DON'T FORCE THE KEY !!

If you break it, it will likely become expensive, especially if it has a security chip in it.

If you can't find anything, you could very possibly be looking at a trip to the dealer, unfortunately.
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Old 06-15-2012, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Walton County, GA
1,242 posts, read 3,049,328 times
Reputation: 1044
Sounds like what the others said, park selector switch or the electronic solenoid within the ignition switch.

Turn the car on, set the ebrake, make sure there is nothing in front or behind you and see if you can shift it into neutral without hitting the brake, but be ready to hit the break in case you miss neutral and hit drive or reverse. This should tell you if its the gear selector switch or not. If you cant, then the switch is working and the ignition switch solenoid may be bad.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:16 AM
 
310 posts, read 892,286 times
Reputation: 241
I don't know if this will work, but could you remove the battery? That might reset the electronics so you can take the key out. I don't know anything about this stuff but that's just a suggestion.
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Huntsville, AL
2,174 posts, read 1,033,556 times
Reputation: 2742
After about 2 days of being stuck, the key just came right back out. I'll keep this thread if (when?) it happens again. Thanks for the replies.
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