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moore_y 05-02-2006 11:19 AM

Key won't turn in ignition
 
2003 Saturn Vue V-6 AWD. No major problems except now. Key wouldn't turn in ignition yesterday (for the 1st time). Was finally able to get it to turn after turning wheel to the right (hard). Got home, called the dealership, they said that it was either the ignition cylinder or the key could be worn. I got my spare key and noticed that there were 2 pieces missing out of the current key. I tried the spare and it has worked fine ever since. I am taking my car in on Saturday to get the oil changed but my question is, do I need to have them check the ignition? Do I still need to worry about this?

Thanks for your help!

mr_mike 05-02-2006 01:29 PM

Re: Key won't turn in ignition
 
[QUOTE=moore_y]2003 Saturn Vue V-6 AWD. No major problems except now. Key wouldn't turn in ignition yesterday (for the 1st time). Was finally able to get it to turn after turning wheel to the right (hard). Got home, called the dealership, they said that it was either the ignition cylinder or the key could be worn. I got my spare key and noticed that there were 2 pieces missing out of the current key. I tried the spare and it has worked fine ever since. I am taking my car in on Saturday to get the oil changed but my question is, do I need to have them check the ignition? Do I still need to worry about this?

Thanks for your help![/QUOTE]

It was very likely that the problem turning the key was due to the steering column lock mechanism. Sometimes when you lock the steering wheel, if you the mechanism will bind up, making it difficult to unlock the ignition with the key. Often when this happens, you will be parked on a hill with your wheels agains a curb or some such item. Once you turn the wheel hard to the right (or left), the pressure is released on the locking mechanism, and the key will turn easily. This is a similar situation to what can happen in an automatic if you park on a hill without the parking brake.

As regards to the regualar and spare keys looking different, on some occasions, keys cut from the factory code will have one cut different than the keys that came with the car (and any that were duplicated in a machine from those original keys). I have found that to be the case on many of my GM cars over the past 10 years. It is usually the closest cut to the head of the key, and has never seemed to make much of a difference.

Hope this helps, and in short, it seems to me it was a one time thing based on the parking at the time, and not something broken with the car.

Mike

moore_y 05-02-2006 01:53 PM

Re: Key won't turn in ignition
 
Thanks for your Reply Mike. I do appreciate it. In short, the Original Key that I have been using for the past 3 years, will only work if I lock the steering column and turn the steering wheel to a "Hard Right". The Spare Key that also came with the car, works whether I crank the steering wheel or not. The differences that I noticed in the 2 keys, was that 2 "chunks" were missing from the Original Key and had visibly broken off.

I still am unsure whether this is just that the key finally wore down, or if I have a much larger problem with the Ignition cylinder.

Tom92SCm 05-02-2006 02:38 PM

Re: Key won't turn in ignition
 
Sounds like you need a new key.

Mine sticks sometimes as well. But like Mike said, it's related to when the steering column lock has been engaged.

I had an '82 Celebrity that I HAD to turn the wheel while turning the key in order to make the electrical connection to get it to start. Pretty weird. That car was a pile of junk though.

--Tom

IMkenNY 05-02-2006 03:08 PM

Re: Key won't turn in ignition
 
Try lubricating the lock cylinder.
Even though ignition cylinders are not subjected to the outside elements that the door locks get hit, they still require periodic lubrication.

burlyvue2 05-02-2006 08:35 PM

Re: Key won't turn in ignition
 
:yes:

Bad Key for my 2003 Vue also. Get the Saturn Parts dude to make you a new key and keep another spare in your wallet. They can determine the keys code from the vehicles VIN.

If you lubricate your ignition cylinder use graphite (dry black powder) and not use any kind of oil, especially WD-40. That will gum up your locks quicker than anything.

:flag:

Bigdaddy94sc2 05-03-2006 03:01 AM

Re: Key won't turn in ignition
 
Before lubricating the lock cylinder, get an air duster for a computer keyboard, and blow out the debris from the cylinder using the nozzle..... then lube it with either grapite or a very thin lubricating oil..... I use air tool oil to lube them at work, lubes beautifully!

Mr Joe Handyman 05-03-2006 07:33 AM

Re: Key won't turn in ignition
 
Had the same issue with mine recently. I also had the ability to pull the key out after starting the car. They said the lock cylinder was bad and replaced it.

isenor 05-11-2006 12:23 PM

Re: Key won't turn in ignition
 
I had the same problem with my 03 vue. Dealer cut me two new keys and had not had a problem since then.

poncho-mike 05-20-2006 09:18 PM

Re: Key won't turn in ignition
 
I had the problem when I first bought my Saturn Vue (2002 4-cyl 5-spd).

I got it out, but it happened a few days later. I was watching it carefully after the first time it stuck.

I noticed that when I pulled out the switch, there was a clunk, which was the locking mechanism locking. Both times when it locked, I had turned the car off and started to remove the key, but pushed it back it so I could roll up the windows.

With that bit of information, I now remove the key differently. When I cut the car off, I remove the key in one smooth quick stroke. It has never hung up again.

Mike


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