New Guy, Needs help in replacing Ignition Key lock on 91 SSE - Page 3 - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1987-1991 Parley with regards to your 1987 to 1991 Bonneville, Olds 88 or Buick Le Sabre Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 08-10-2007, 04:31 PM   #21
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Yeah, i was really pleased with the price that they quoted me. I just moved to here in Manhattan a couple of years ago to go to college, and I'm not too trustworthy of little Joe'* Garages around the area. I think they are a little too accustomed to screwin over college kids , and I didn't feel like someone tryin to burn me on stupid stuff that I don't need.


As for the Bonneville, I am very proud of the car. Its the best-lookin car I have ever owned, and I want a black one with leather sooooo bad that I can taste it. The white is fine for now though. I honestly has given me little to no trouble whatsoever, other than a few electrical gremlins that I can ignore. The driver display and compass in the dash come on every couple of days for about 5 seconds, and then go away. The seat control center has quit working prettymuch, with only a couple of the buttons working partially. These things I would like to fix, but I wouldnt spend much on them.
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Old 08-10-2007, 06:19 PM   #22
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I really expected it to work also. Maybe if you took it back and tell them it didn't work they will give you a refund on it. That'* what the Pontiac dealership told me. I had my car right outside and told the guy that if it doesn't work, I'll be right back, but if it works I'm leaving. It worked, so I left. He said he would make it right if it didn't work, so that may be worth checking out. Are you absolutely certain that you gave him the correct VIN #? A couple of digits on mine are easy to misread; a G that looks like a 6 and so forth.

Now I feel bad for pointing you in the wrong direction.
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Old 08-10-2007, 06:41 PM   #23
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Hey man, its all good. Found out it didnt have anything to do with the key lock at all!

Kinda PO'd bout all this, but heres my story.

They call me back, they say its not the key lock, its a broken steering column rack. 50 bucks for the parts, and 180 for 3 hours of labor. I said fine, go for it. Got a call back 10 minutes later. Seems that the NOOB tecnician didnt think he could get it done in 2 hours and 50 minutes, and says he cant do it. Great, I have to be at work early in the morning to make up lost time, and my car is STILL busted! Oh well, I guess I will find a decent shop in the town where I work that will do it while I am at work. Gonna keep jumpin the starter solenoid for now i guess.

Can anyone tell me this, is it dangerous to drive with a broken steering column rack????
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Old 08-10-2007, 07:47 PM   #24
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There is a gear that pushes a cogged lever (called a rack) inside the column. This is different from the steering rack and pinion unit.
The key opens the lock, and as the lock assembly is turned, the gear pushes the rack which activates the actual electric part of the starter switch. I don't have any experience with them breaking, but just guessing I would say the worst case scenario, aside from the no-start condition you have already experienced, would be that if things are breaking in there and the part that causes the steering wheel to lock is bouncing around in there, worst case scenario now, I guess that it could possibly cause the wheel to lock while you are driving down the road. There is also the mechanism that prevents the starter from being engaged unless the transmission is in park or neutral. Worst case there, aside from the no-start issue is that you could engage the starter while the car is in gear.
As far as the price, it seems to me that you should be able to get a complete and functioning steering column from a salvage yard for well under $200. I know that time is of the essence, but if you don't find a mechanic that can do it, it may be easier and quicker to replace the whole column than doing surgery inside the column.
It sounds like you definitely need some steering column surgery. Even if the dealership could do the work, they will most likely have to order the parts. Be prepared to not have your car fixed this weekend.

If any one else can help, they will probably want to know if your car has a tilt wheel, and if it is column or floor shifted. And everybody likes for you to have your car year model and trim level in your signature. Based on your username, it may not be hard to guess, but it is still convenient for the site gearheads to see on each of your posts. It'* kind of a site protocol thing to help everybody help you easier.
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Old 08-11-2007, 01:35 AM   #25
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I have had only one break in all the GM cars I have owned over the years. Its not a pretty process (to me) to replace it. I watched the experienced guy do it in about 1.5 hours. They are just made of some low grade pot metal.

Would it be worth a shot to call a mobile Locksmith to see if they can replace the "rack and rod" assembly?
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Old 08-16-2007, 09:17 PM   #26
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Well, just lettin everyone know that it WAS the ignition lock assembly. A local husband-wife shop fixed it for me for 80 bucks. 20 bucks for the part, 60 for labor.
Once again, stupid dealerships trying to screw me outta my hard earned money . Oh well, its fixed now!

Thanks for the help guys!
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