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key won't come out of ignition

 
Old 02-08-2019, 09:26 PM
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Badaxident
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Default key won't come out of ignition

C-4 Automatic. Shifter's button doesn't pop up when in Park so I can't get the ignition key out. Button pops up in all other gears. Any suggestions?
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:12 AM
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What year, what tranny??
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:30 AM
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markKlein
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Originally Posted by Badaxident View Post
C-4 Automatic. Shifter's button doesn't pop up when in Park so I can't get the ignition key out. Button pops up in all other gears. Any suggestions?
Have you removed the brake-safety solenoid under the shifter cover? That can fail and stop the button from depressing, wonder if it somehow could be stopping it from popping out. Just a guess.
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:55 AM
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Joe C
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I couldn't get the key out of my 85 (automatic transmission). turned out to be a faulty steering column, key lock cylinder.

Last edited by Joe C; 02-09-2019 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 02-09-2019, 02:57 PM
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Rough up the shifter a bit when it's in park, and see if the bottom pops up. If not, you may be able to fiddle with the button itself by gently prying all around it with a small flat blade screwdriver. Be careful though, don't force it. The button in my '96 likes to stick every now and then, and all it usually takes is some light presses on it or rocking the shifter back and forth in park(there's a small amount of play in it) to get it to pop.
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Old 02-10-2019, 05:09 AM
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Id remove the top shifter cover and see if anything is blocking the shifter from moving the **** up. Maybe loose change? If all looks well it could be shifter cable linkage adjustment either up top, or on the transmission. Sounds like your shifter might not be getting all the way into park.
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:22 AM
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Thank you all for your support. The button is not stuck down. It will pop up easily when pulled out of park. I have tried roughing it into park to no avail. Seems I'll have to take it apart and look for a foreign object lodged in the ratcheting track. Seems like the most logical solution.
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Badaxident View Post
Thank you all for your support. The button is not stuck down. It will pop up easily when pulled out of park. I have tried roughing it into park to no avail. Seems I'll have to take it apart and look for a foreign object lodged in the ratcheting track. Seems like the most logical solution.
quick question - can you turn the key in the cylinder lock through all it's positions - accessory, off, run, start, or is it stuck in one position? second guessing here, but personally, I wouldn't think it's so much in the shifter mechanism/cable adjustment, as the key lock cylinder itself. I recently experienced the stuck key thing, and could not find any issues under the console. if it does turn out to be the steering column, lock cylinder, it was an easy fix, at least on an early, non air bag, C4. from all the videos on youtube, stuck keys and worn out lock cylinders seem to be an "old age" problem across many GM lines using the basic, same, column lock deign. one minute, everything was fine, next minute, stuck key. i backed the 85 out of the garage, and could not shut the car down - key stuck, and the car stuck in "run." had to kill 12V at the distributor. did much of the same things suggested - rough the shifter into park, ran it back and forth thru the gear indents, etc.. the key wouldn't budge. ac delco key lock cylinders for C4's are still available. BTW, what year?

Last edited by Joe C; 02-11-2019 at 06:33 AM.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:33 PM
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The car is a '91. I have seen some of the videos you mention but they don't seem to match my problem. The key does go through the other functions just fine.. on off start etc. just doesn't quite go all the way off.. sort of like on "newer" cars where you have to flip a little lever on the ignition before removing the key. The trans is an automatic. Shouldn't the button on the shifter pop up when I put it in park? It doesn't.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Badaxident View Post
The car is a '91. I have seen some of the videos you mention but they don't seem to match my problem. The key does go through the other functions just fine.. on off start etc. just doesn't quite go all the way off.. sort of like on "newer" cars where you have to flip a little lever on the ignition before removing the key. The trans is an automatic. Shouldn't the button on the shifter pop up when I put it in park? It doesn't.
can't speak for the 1991 model year, but my 85's button is in the "up" position at all times. I seem to recall that both my 90's and my 96 were the same - button is spring loaded up, 100% of the time. sorry, not sure what your problem could be at this point. anyway, good luck with the repair -
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Old 02-11-2019, 02:34 PM
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So it sounds like the car starts and runs ok, you can drive the car but can't get the trans fully into park. The ignition switch won't go into the lock position unless the trans is in park. May have a transmission problem, hopefully not the parking pawl because the entire trans has to come out to get at that.
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:19 PM
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stupid question here but have you tried turning the wheel back and forth as you try to pull the key out?
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:45 PM
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Not sure if its the same as 88, but there is a cable that runs from the shifter to the steering column, left side. If the cable came off the key will not come out and do what you described. Either cable came off shifter, broke, or has too much play. Id take cable off shifter and push it in and see if key comes out. The steering column cover would have to come off to access..Good luck!
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Old 02-11-2019, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by ghoastrider1 View Post
stupid question here but have you tried turning the wheel back and forth as you try to pull the key out?
I 2nd that....
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:55 AM
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I don't think it's quite that dire.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:57 AM
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No, I haven't tried that yet. The steering wheel is not locked in park.
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:00 AM
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As soon as the weather breaks, I will try this. Pretty cold now and the car is in my friend's garage. I agree that I think I will have to take the console apart to see what's up.
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:00 AM
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I will try that first thing.
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:55 AM
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Will the car crank and start when you have it in park?
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by RIC96 View Post
Will the car crank and start when you have it in park?
Yes. It does everything right except twist that last 1/8th inch to remove the key. That and the shift button does not pop up in park. But it will start in that position.
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