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Ignition Lock problem

This is a discussion on Ignition Lock problem within the GTO forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Well, the other day I was working on a co-workers car at work. After finishing up a little earlier than ...

  1. #1
    Senior Member slims00ls1z28's Avatar
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    2005 GTO M6 Black
    2000 Z28 A4 Red

    Ignition Lock problem

    Well, the other day I was working on a co-workers car at work. After finishing up a little earlier than I expected I went to put my tools up. Oops keys locked in the trunk! Damn! Had to call my wife to make a trip all the way down to bring her key. After an hour of waiting she arrives unlock the car and put the key in to start it up. No dice. The key would not turn whatsoever. I jiggled the steering wheel, the key, both at the same time, tapped the column tapped the key nada. After 2 hours of nada (we both work in prisons and are quite used to jiggling keys to work however neither of us had any luck)and a dead battery (doors open because windows could not be rolled down) we went home and I started researching the problem, possible fixes, and possible costs.

    After much research, I found it is a common problem with GTO's 04-06, M6, A4, 20K-70K,it does not matter. There are literally hundreds on others on GTO sites with the same problem. I know I am the 3rd one in Memphis recently. Several different outcomes played out. Many had to have the entire column replaced ($1400 + labor) some managed to luck out with just the ignition switch itself ($450+). Many reported the problem more than once (one reported 5 fixes so far!). With it being so common many times the ignition lock is on backorder and few reported their car in the shop for up to a couple of months waiting on GM to ship them from Austraila. I think the most common answer to whyit happens, was the factory lube inside the ignition cylinder is too thick and can seem down and stick components to where it locks and will not turn (according to one who claimed he was a service tech manager at a dealership), and since it cannot be removed without the key being in the on position many dealers ended up having to break the column to get the cylinder out hence the column replacement.

    Towards page 10 ish on one thread I found that spraying WD-40 and using compressed air many were able to free theirs. I first sprayed mine out real good with dielectric cleaner (removed alot of trash and metal shavings), then WD-40'd it, drenched the key in 3-n-1 oil and tried again. After about 30 more minutes (I tried for about 20 before I started getting mad wife tried and 10 minutes later) it finally broke free and so far is working OK. I'm going to continue to white lithium it regularly to hopefully not have to replace this thing as my car has 57K and no warranty. Those of you who haven't had the problem yet beware, I'd try to clean it out and lube it up other wise it can be quite a headache and in many cases expensive if it comes out of pocket. First sign is sometime the key works only one way. Mine has been doing that for about a month. This time both keys did not work either side. Now both keys work flawlessly both ways.

    Recap, the ignition key sticks quite frequently on GTO's of all years and transmissions and many as low as 20K miles expreienced this. Fixes include replacing the ignition $50 + Labor, replacing the whole column 1400+ labor, and WD-40 and white lithium grease. The parts are almost certain to be on backorder. Better start looking into it now just in case. It sucks thinking you are going to drive off and hours later you have to either tow or leave your baby.
    Last edited by slims00ls1z28; 04-08-2008 at 10:08 PM.

  2. #2
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    That sucks!!!! Havent had that issue yet thankfully. But next time you leave the keys in the trunk, dont call your wife. Lift the head rest of the rear passenger seat (on the 04...should be same on the 05) and pull the yellow emergency release latch to open the trunk

  3. #3
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    I've had cylinders get stuck before but there are usually ways to get the cylinder out without destroying the column such as drilling the lockpin on the cylinder to pull it out. Sounds rough definately will be sprayin some oil in the lock soon

  4. #4
    Senior Member slims00ls1z28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b15nut View Post
    That sucks!!!! Havent had that issue yet thankfully. But next time you leave the keys in the trunk, dont call your wife. Lift the head rest of the rear passenger seat (on the 04...should be same on the 05) and pull the yellow emergency release latch to open the trunk
    Heh I wish it woulda been that easy, car was locked, keys in the trunk.

    I was about to break out the Nikita before I heard the car start. I figured the same thing some dealers call it "unservicable" so I guess they don't even try just charge you a new column.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slims00ls1z28 View Post
    Heh I wish it woulda been that easy, car was locked, keys in the trunk.
    That would create a problem

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by b15nut View Post
    That would create a problem
    I am having the same problem with my husbands GTO right now. he is currently deployed to iraq. i will be e-mailing him about using the WD-40 and the 3-in-1 oil to fix the problem. i had to have the car towed home so i can work on it. thanks for the info.

  7. #7
    Nitrous Tuner LS2Tuner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coniption View Post
    I am having the same problem with my husbands GTO right now. he is currently deployed to iraq. i will be e-mailing him about using the WD-40 and the 3-in-1 oil to fix the problem. i had to have the car towed home so i can work on it. thanks for the info.
    Welcome to the site!

    If you go by any of the key places they actually have a lube in a small can that is designed specifically for lock cylinders.

    It is much thicker than 3 in 1 or WD40 so it will actually work much longer.

    Don't be afraid of the bottle!!! Be afraid of your tune!!!

  8. #8
    cutting and welding mark21742's Avatar
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    hey thank you for the heads up. I've had to jiggle mine a few times to get it to turn so I will definstely be lubing it this weekend

  9. #9
    footbrake racer racer426's Avatar
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    my 04 did the same thing.mine was the key itself.i just started using my spare key.no more problems so far.

  10. #10
    Senior Member slims00ls1z28's Avatar
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    Mine started that with just one key for some odd reason. Now both work fine.

  11. #11
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    thank you everyone for your input. i got it fixed. but as soon as the key turned my battery died....lol. oh well i got a jump and drove down to the auto parts store and got a new battery. now it is working beautifully. i am happy to have the goat running like new again.

  12. #12
    Senior Member snaggeltooth's Avatar
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    did your little seurity light ever come on ??

  13. #13
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    yeah it came on, you mean my alarm light right?
    Last edited by coniption; 05-24-2008 at 08:24 PM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member snaggeltooth's Avatar
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    yea .. you got of lucky .. I had to replace the colum .. What it is the reader in the colum stoped working or isnt reading right ...

  15. #15
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    yeah i was very lucky. i am so happy that all it took was the wd-40....i was amazed at how many metal shards came out of the ignition. there was red paint too. so i will just keep it lubed up. my husband was very happy when we did out video conference that i was able to fix it. any other problems we have with our GTO i will be coming to this website first. thank you guys so much for all of you help.

  16. #16
    Nitrous Tuner LS2Tuner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coniption View Post
    yeah i was very lucky. i am so happy that all it took was the wd-40....i was amazed at how many metal shards came out of the ignition. there was red paint too. so i will just keep it lubed up. my husband was very happy when we did out video conference that i was able to fix it. any other problems we have with our GTO i will be coming to this website first. thank you guys so much for all of you help.
    Glad we could help you out. Don't be afraid to ask any other ?'s.

  17. #17
    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    well hell, hope this one doesn't happen to me. Looks like I'll be hunting down some cylinder lube asap.

  18. #18
    Senior Member slims00ls1z28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coniption View Post
    i was amazed at how many metal shards came out of the ignition.
    Same here awhole lot came out of mine when I sprayed it.

  19. #19
    Member Tide's Avatar
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    Odd. Mine won't lock with the trunk open. I get the four blares of the horn...

  20. #20
    footbrake racer racer426's Avatar
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    trunk open

    it's supposed to do that.that will happen if a door is open also. it's so you can't accidently lock keys in.

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