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2003 Jeep Liberty Question: Ignition lock frozen

 

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njjeeper, Budd Lake, NJ, August 19, 2009, 07:51
 Rookie

I can't get the key out of the ignition and the steering wheel lock is not engaged. I turned the wheel to see if that would work, but no go. The key won't turn to the position for releasing it from the ignition. Will I need a new ignition switch? Thank you!

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  • Answer #1

    backyard tech August 19, 2009, 17:38
     Master

    Yes, Mechanical lock not electrical.

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  • Medium-star Best Answer
    n4yci September 21, 2009, 11:37
     Rookie

    1. OK for others (Is your steering wheel free to turn? If not then just wiggle the wheel while turning the key.)
    2. OK next thing to look at ignition linkage
    a. Pop off the bezel around the shifter on Automatic Trans
    b. Turn the bezel so the left side faces front and pull up to remove.
    c. In the front of the shift lever look for a little wire that should be fitted into a red plastic housing. If it is broken or loose pull on the wire and try to turn the key.
    d. If this worked then you need to replace the broken part of the ignition linkage.
    e. OK if this did not work remove the clam shell around the steering wheel shaft by using a Torx bited screw driver the screws are on the bottom of the plastic part below and two the left the key hole.
    f. Look under the key cylinder there should be a little wire hooked to the bottom of the ignition cylinder (where the key goes) is that wire intact? Push on the yellow button and try and turn the key. If this works then you need to replace the ignition linkage from the other end.
    3. Dang it wasn’t any of those easy fixes hu? Ok lets look at the lock cylinder.
    a. With the key out of the cylinder
    i. Carefully (I cant stress how carefully I am telling you to do this enough) move the small black ring away from the key cylinder. This is the RFID reader that will disable the Jeep if you break it. Just grab it by the housing at the rear and slide it out of the way but don’t break the loop around the look cylinder.
    ii. Next pull the plastic housing off of the lock cylinder.
    iii. Read this whole procedure first!!!!
    1. Put the key in the ignition.
    2. Reach under or thru the steering wheel and grab the key with your left hand.
    3. CAREFULLY again really here don’t whack the crap out of this with a BFH. Tap the end of the key in the lock with a small wrench and turn the key at the same time.
    4. Give it a few shots if the lock turns DON’T CRANK THE CAR!!!!!!!!
    5. OK if the lock turned you have a problem with your lock cylinder. We need to remove it for surgery at a lock smith.
    6. With the key in position 1 or 2, Zero being off push up on a small clip at the bottom of the lock cylinder about 1-1.5 inches back from the lock face on the bottom. Pull the ignition cylinder out of the lock.
    7. Turn off all of the accessories in the car and secure your car it can now be cranked with a screw driver but it will be hard to drive.
    8. In another car go to the lock smith that can “re-key” automotive locks. NOT HOME DEPOT . Don’t worry they are not going to change the tooth pattern most likely there are some bent pins in your lock that can be replaced. My look smith www.arrowheadlockandkey.com in Atlanta charged me $15 to fix the lock. It took about 10min.
    9. Pay the nice lock smith and be glad the Jeep dealer is not charging you the $400 mine quoted me.
    10. When your back at the Jeep gently place the lock and key back in the cylinder and wiggle it to align it until it snaps back in place. DON’T TRY AND START THE JEEP YET. Take the key out.
    11. Put the plastic shroud back on the lock cylinder.
    12. CAREFULY put the RFID security sensor back around the shroud.
    13. Put the key back in and crank the car. The battery may be dead if you left any accessories running jump start the car if necessary
    14. Refit the clam shell around the steering column.
    15. OK you some how tripped the anti theft thing even though you were super careful.
    a. Take the + battery cable off short it to ground and let it sit for at least 30min.
    b. Put the cable back on and start the car this should reset the anti theft device as long as it is not broken.

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