Thread: Key won't go to lock position

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  1. #1 Key won't go to lock position 
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    Well, I haven't had any issues over the last year and a bit. However, twice in the last 3 days I've had this problem where I can't turn the key to the lock position to remove it!

    I managed to get it out with some fiddling both times, but is there a common issue on these cars that can cause this problem? I'm thinking maybe shift interlock. The car turns off etc fine, just can't remove the key.
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  2. #2 Re: Key won't go to lock position 
    Killa Bee Scottydoggs's Avatar
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    off the shifter, under the console is a plug to it. one of the wires likely broke off and is causing the issue. need to pull the console to get to it.

    till you get time to check that out under the column is a plastic cap, pop it off push a pencil or a stick up into the hole and the key will turn back. some ppl have cut a straw to size and put the cap back on and called it fixed to. but your key can turn back at any given time and lock the wheel.

    98 Buick Regal GS, F body brakes, Caddy STS wheels, tinted tails L36 bottom end, lightly ported heads, 1.95 roller rockers, headers, gen 5 N* 3.0 pulley, FSIC, 42 lb injectors, a BrandonHall rebuilt trans, DHP tuned and AEM water/Meth injection https://goo.gl/gpV5kW
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  3. #3 Re: Key won't go to lock position 
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    What's weird is it's intermittent.

    It almost always does this in my driveway, and everywhere else seems to work fine. Wonder if it doesn't like the incline on my driveway???

    I did have to google as it's not very antitheft if you have to leave the key in the ignition.

    I left a chopstick in there to get the key out. I only had to use it here at home, when I went to work and got groceries afterwards it was fine.

    I'll remove the console and check the wire.
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  4. #4 Re: Key won't go to lock position 
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    Sorry for the long reply. I hate working on the car when the temps are in the 90s.

    Anyway, I found the problem. The switch on the shifter is bad. About a month ago some friends and I were going to a baseball game and coffee was spilled right on the shifter and shortly after it went wonky. Big surprise.

    I referred to the circuit diagrams (I have the FSM/ESM) and figured I should test the console first then work my way up to the switch. It's so intermittent though but I did get it to not release the key on the second try.

    BTW, getting a backprobe kit has unbelievable value for testing like this. They're a powerful tool when used with the electrical service manual. Attached a pic.

    It's a simple circuit: fused power runs to the park switch in the console then goes out to the steering column lock release solenoid. Attached a picture.

    I was able to duplicate the testing and I'm positive the switch is bad. The test light in the picture should be on when the park switch is working. When it fails, it didn't light. To bypass it as a test, all I did was jumper the red and yellow clips together to bypass the switch and the ignition key came out.

    I was going to upload a picture but I can't figure out how. Imgur looks needlessly confusing for what I need it to do. Just showing the testing process.
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  5. #5 Re: Key won't go to lock position 
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    Oh, so imgur wasn't hard at all. Let's give it a try:

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