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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