ignition switch on 2000 Cadillac Catera

This is now the 4th problem in which I've encountered with this car since owning it. My Catera now has a problem with the ignition switch. When I insert the key, it will not turn. I cannot turn it to the "on" position, the "acc." postition nor the "start" position. Very frustrating! I haven't been able to use my car for the past 3 weeks. Before this mishap, I've noticed when I pull out the key from the ignition(after driving) the key would have a little tension while pulling it out. There would also be an audible "click" as the key is coming out. Now when I insert the key, I've noticed that there is no tension going in or out. There also is no audible click when the key is pulled out. A locksmith told me to spray some type of oil into the tumbler. I've done this and still nothing. I'd like to know if someone can help me or give me some advice as to solve this problem. Thanks...

by in Hayward, CA on September 01, 2009
3 answers 1 comment
ANSWER by on September 02, 2009
To replace the ignition lock assembly the air bag needs to be disarmed, the steering wheel removed, the steering column trim panels removed and when the key is placed in the ignition switch a small detent at the top of the switch can be depressed allowing the ignition switch locking mechanism to be withdrawn from the steering column. A mechanic should do this but a lock smith may be able to do the job as well.
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COMMENT by on July 07, 2010
is it beter to replace the collum then just the ignition switch? Thanks
ANSWER by on June 17, 2010
just had the same problem diagnosed by a locksmith. Ther eis a small casting about 1/8 " thick by 1/4 " by 3/8 "that is in the tumbler. This piece was worn out . it has something to do with the anti theft locking device for the steering wheel.
ANSWER by on August 30, 2010
I've had the same problem with my 2001 Toyota Avalon. It's even mentioned as a possible problem in the owners manual. The manual says to wiggle the steering wheel (left to right) while turning the ignition switch. This has worked for me. You have to wiggle the steering wheel at the SAME TIME as you turn the key in the ignition switch or it doesn't work. Also, when I went to the dealer about the problem they said that it almost never requires a new ignition switch. The problem is almost always caused by the key wearing down with use over several years and not fitting in the ignition switch properly. They made me a new key from the original serial code specifications for my key and the problem happens much less often.
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