Ignition cylinder problem on my 2002 Oldsmobile Alero.
Question: why does my key not turn? HELP, I AM A SINGLE MOM WITH NOT A LOT OF MONEY AND
ONLY ONE VEHICLE TO GET TO WORK. I AM SO FRUSTRATED.
THE DEALERSHIPS ONLY TELLING ME TO TOW IT IN SO THEY CAN DO A $500 JOB. IT STARTED
OUT: MY FRIEND AT WORK WAS TRYING TO HELP ME OUT, MY RADIO NEVER WORKED SINCE I
GOT THE CAR. WE FOUND THE ANTENNA WIRE ON THE FLOOR ON THE PASSENGER SIDE.

HE PULLED THE RADIO OUT TO SEE ABOUT PLUGGING IN THE ANTENNA. NOTHING WAS
UNPLUGGED, OR PLUGGED IN. EVERYTHING WAS PUT BACK TOGETHER. THE CAR WAS
RUNNING THE WHOLE TIME. UPON TRYING TO EXIT THE CAR, THE KEY WOULDN'T TURN TO THE
OFF POSITION, ONLY TO ACCESSORIES, AND THE KEY WOULDN'T COME OUT. THE NEXT DAY, I
WENT OUT AND THE KEY SLID OUT REALL YEASILY IN THE ACCESSORY POSITION, BUT STILL
WOULDN'T TURN ALL THE WAY OFF. IT WOULD TURN ON, THEN TO ACCESSORY, BUT NOT OFF.

I HAD TO USE IT TO GOTO WORK. NO CHANGE. THE NEXT DAY, I WENT TO MY MOTHERS. MUCH
TO MY SURPRISE THE KEY TURNED ALL THE WAY OFF, VERY EASILY, NO TROUBLE. WHEN I
GOT BACK IN THE CAR , THE IGNITION IS LOCKED ON OFF, AND THE
SECURITY LIGHT IS
BLINKING. I NEVER HAD ANY INDICATION THE IGNITION WAS GOING BAD, NEVER HAD A PROBLEM
TIL THE STEREO. PLEASE HELP!!!! WITHOUT MY CAR, I CANNOT GET TO WORK!

Answer:
The problem sounds as if the ignition lock cylinder is faulty and needs to be replaced. The key not
being able to turn to the correct position is a mechanical failure in the cylinder. The security light
flashing is also an indication of this. The security code information is internal to the ignition lock
cylinder.

Removal of the radio and these problems may just be a coincidence. The ignition lock cylinder is a
pretty common item to fail on these cars. It is possible, though, that some wires behind the radio were
pinched or pulled, since the ignition wires are all behind there, but that would not explain the key not
turning, and then coming out in the wrong position. You can try to re-set the security system by doing
this...I will send the theft re-learn procedure in a moment.
Security Light
The security system on todays cars and trucks prevents the vehicle from being stolen. There are
many variations of the system going back to the early 1990's.
If left un repaired, there is a good possibility that the car will eventually not start.

There are several different possibilities for the cause of the
warning light, depending on the make /
model / year of the vehicle. Anything from a bad ignition cylinder wire, to a bad cylinder to a dad
Body Control Module (BCM).

After market (non-factory) alarm and remote start systems can cause havoc with the factory theft
system, causing this warning light, or a no start.
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Oldsmobile Alero Key Stuck And Security Light