Key cylinder won't turn off - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 04-13-2010, 02:11 AM   #1
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Default Key cylinder won't turn off

Daughter called, her 93 sse won't turn off. I looked at it tonight, it seems either something is preventing the key from springing back, or a tumbler isn't engaged, or something is loose in the column. This happened to her last year, but couldn't duplicate it. Thought she was talking about the vats acting up, so I soldered in the resistor back then. No issues till today. The key is stuck in the on position, and can be turned to start with no issue, it springs back to on, but feels like it stops before it'* back all the way. Tried moving the tilt, shifter, brakes, t/*, but nothing seems to affect it. The brake / shift appears to be working properly. I suspect the key is badly worn as it is original with 160k and 17 yrs old now. I have a spare to test that theory if I could get the other out.

Btw, the safest / quickest way I've found to turn the car off was by opening the air filter box and plugging the air intake with my hand. Pulling the ground on the battery doesn't kill it.

I think I'm going to tear into it tomorrow night, starting at the column. Any tips or how to'* on changing a key lock cylinder in these? I've done one a long time ago, and it didn't turn out very nice. My FSM is in storage, but I can go dig it out if need be.
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Old 04-13-2010, 02:32 AM   #2
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I did find this on a post re a 97 t/* switch. That should get me close enough to spot the issue I'm hoping.

Steering wheel attachment. Courtesy of General Motors Corporation, Service Technology Group.

Remove the steering wheel and horn collar.
Use a suitable puller to remove the steering wheel.
With a suitable compressor, compress the preload spring to the lock plate. Compress the spring only enough to remove the snap ring.



To remove the snap ring, use the compressing tool to relieve the pressure against the snap ring. Courtesy of General Motors Corporation, Service Technology Group.

Use a pick and a small flat blade screwdriver to remove the snap ring.
Remove the lock plate, horn contact carrier, and spring.
Remove the bolts at the upper steering column support and the upper mounting bracket from the column.
Disconnect the turn signal wiring connector.
Wrap tape around the wire and connector.
Remove the hazard warning **** from the column.
Remove the switch retaining screws and remove the switch.
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Old 04-14-2010, 02:43 AM   #3
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Problem found.
It is the key lock cylinder, wouldn't spin even after removing from vehicle. Hoping to get it back together tomorrow. The instructions helped, but it was still a pain at times.
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Old 04-14-2010, 02:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anything4APontiac View Post
I suspect the key is badly worn as it is original with 160k and 17 yrs old now.
Pfft. 160k and 13 years later, my key is still plenty ridged. Glad you found the real source of the problem, though.

Regular maintenance calls for lubricating all of the exterior key locks, but from what I've read, never lube an ignition due to a remote possibility of making a fire hazard; replacement is your best bet. If you're lucky, you'll find a junker with the keys zip-tied to the wheel.
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