96 Cavalier, key stuck in ignition

11-23-2013, 12:44 PM
Quite awhile ago my key started to randomly get stuck in the middle ignition position but it was happening very rarely and some gentle jiggling was letting me take it out easily. Well a few days ago that went from very rarely to each and every time I start the car.

Now its a tossup whenever I go somewhere whether the key will pop out like it should or I'll have to fiddle with it for anywhere up to ten minutes.

The car never has a problem starting, its only when I have arrived somewhere and need to take the key out that is an issue. Thankfully I've managed to remove it every time so far but it has taken a fair amount of WD-40, jiggling the bejeezus out of the key and steering wheel and plenty of patience.

Does anyone here have any ideas what else I could try before taking it to a shop?

Tech II
11-23-2013, 02:04 PM
Well, you could have a bad tumbler in there(lock cylinder).....

Not sure if this has a lock solenoid that is powered by the Shift lever(car has to be completely in park for the solenoid to be powered and released)....

If this does have a lock solenoid, look under the column, approx where the lock cylinder is......there may be an opening, or a plastic cover over the opening....remove the cover......stick a small screw driver up there, and push up on a plunger......that may allow you to turn and remove the key.....

11-23-2013, 02:58 PM
Thanks for the reply, I will definitely be looking into this after work later evening.

My cavalier does have a shift lever with a button on the top for what I assume would be to shift between gears but it was not working when I bought the car.
That is, I can slide the lever between gears without pressing the top button. I try not to think about accidentally hitting the lever on the freeway.

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