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Old 06-16-2012, 12:24 AM   #1
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Default Key wouldn't turn for hours/Wheel Locked. (possible key or ignition lock cylinder?)

My car: 99' Saturn SL1 Sedan SOHC Automatic. 139.5k, bought at 124k last August in Chicago.

I've been having a harder time with both of my daily keys to my 99 Saturn SL1 for months now. My wife said the problem with the keys has become progressively worse. When putting my key in, i have to put it in, pull it most of the way, then push it back in a little and turn for it to move over into acc/drive. My wife over the past couple of days has been telling me the car wouldn't turn on because of this. Yesterday it took her 20+ minutes.

Today she couldn't get the key turn over for an hour. For a couple hours I couldn't get it to work. The wheel was locked and the key wouldn't budge more than a quarter of an inch. After several hundred attempts I came onto saturnfans and read the part where if you jerk the key up and down while trying to turn the key, it will work. Low and behold it did. I drove it 30 miles home and parked it, pulled the key out, put it back in and started it like I have been (prior to this incident) 7 times straight.

I've been pricing on ignition lock cylinders and aftermarket ones are going for $90 in my area. Ebay shows many 98 SL compatible for $16, but the 1999's are more ($65), even through they should be the same.

Other suggestions have been getting new keys cut from the dealer. I'm looking at my daily key, my wifes daily key, and a cut spare that we have (all given from previous owner). EVERY KEY is moderately DIFFERENT around the top and base but all HAVE worked when tried. Is this a sign that getting a new cut key according to the vin is likely the answer?

Thank you very much in advance for the suggestions.


(Side note, thank you oh so much for the suggestion on the site that said how to jiggle it properly. We were on a 4 story parking garage that no tow company could get to and no mobile mechanics in the area. I was screwed if it didn't work!)
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1999, ignition, key, lock, sl1

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