Problem Description and Possible Solution
The automatic transmission shifter may fail, or a wire may break near the shifter causing the ignition key to become stuck in the ignition lock cylinder.
Problem DataRepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 124,180 (9,989–300,000)
11 model years affected: 1994
, more1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2011
56 people reported this problem
Sometimes when I put the car in park and turn the ignition switch off it doesn't turn all the way so that I can remove the key. I usually have to start the car and then turn it off a few more times before it will turn so that I can remove the key. I make sure that the car is in park when I turn the ignition switch off. What could be the problem?
When I park my car the key won't turn back enough to get it out of the ignition, I can turn it forward part way and get it out but the car is still almost on and will die if left in this state. I usually have to shift out of park and back a little harder, wait until my car does a little shift back and then pull the key out. Sometimes this takes a couple tries. I haven't yet taken it to a shop to fix
To remove key, remove the 1 inch plastic cover under the key. Place a bolt or screw driver up in the hole. The key should come out. To stop this from happening again. Place a 1 inch bolt into the hole. Duck tape in place.
Can't immediately remove key from ignition. Sometimes changing parking location will solve it. Sometimes just turning the ignition back on (without starting the car) and moving the shifter to various locations applying the brakes at each position will do the trick. I used to think it was a matter of uneven parking location. I really have no idea what the EXACT problem is AND neither does my mechanic !!!!
Key will often become stuck and will have to restart car multiple to get car to finally go into park so key can be removed.
In Canada, Key gets stuck in ignition, because key can't be moved all the way off position, I hear a click 90% quieter than door locks, When the keys finally release, now the key comes out while ign still on while engine stopped. Battery drains if left in this state. sometimes using lots of electricity helps. ie locking and unlocking windows headlights on rear def on etc.other times not. Can take 5 min to 5 hrs before ign can be shut off, have had many a dead battery from forgetting to keep checking after a couple of hours. Milage ? 175,000 KM odometer works very intermittently, as does the info bar to the lower left of steering wheel. where fog light switches are, these idiot lights work more often than odometer. Have checked most grounds. Has a myriad of intermittent electrical probs
I cannot get key out of ignition on my enclave. I have to keep starting the car then it will turn to allow key to come out
Same as others. Sometimes cannot rotate ignition all the way back to release the key. Have to put it back to run position, move shifter back and forth from park and try again to turn ignition switch back enough to release the key.
Key gets stuck in ignition
Key stuck in ignition, had to have it towed to mechanics & fixed.
Mileage is correct under 10k. Key stuck. Drained battery I assume. Key cannot be removed.
key doesn't come out of ignition when off and in park. Have to turn car on and shift several times before the key will turn all the way off.
has been working fine - drove it and parked it but when I went to drive it again it starts just fine but will not go in to reverse /forward or any gear.
Key gets stuck in ignition and sometimes I cannot move the shifter at all.
This is a simple problem that can have 2 causes. 1. All GM "sidebar" ignition locks have an internal spring retainer cap that can come loose and prevent the lock from turning off. Take the car to a qualified automotive locksmith. Problem 2. There is an electric safety interlock that prevents the lock from turning off if the shift lever is not in park. The sensor switch gets dirty and stops working. This usually happens during to spillage of sugary drinks onto the center console. To get the key out, remove the square rubber cover under the lock. Using a flashlight, locate the silver plunger near the lock but towards the front of the car. Gently push the plunger up and turn the key off. If your battery is dead you will also need to do this to turn the key off.
Key gets stuck, have to restart & shift to D & back to P sometime many times, slowly works better. Hot is worse than cold.
Having trouble removing key from ignition. Have to wait a while before removal. Each time it's gets a little longer. How do I fix this problem.
I have recently had trouble removing the key from the ignition. Like other posters on this site, sometimes I just need to restart the car and/or wait a moment and the key will be released. Just a few days ago, however, my car has been dying while I'm driving it. I can coast over to the shoulder, put the car in park and it will restart. Could this also be a shifter issue?
Put the car in park and felt the shifter go past park and a small white plastic piece fell from the steering column, the key could turn back only enough to shut off the car but remained in the first position where you can operate Windows and radio with the car engine off. Can't go back to the all off position to remove the key.