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ignition lock cylinder replacement

Discussion in 'General Chevy & GM Tech Questions' started by slim, Jul 29, 2009.

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  1. slim

    slim New Member

    Hello all,

    I just bought a 2001 Chevy 1500 a few weeks ago. I bought it knowing the key was hard to turn (I have to jiggle the steering wheel to get it turn on). I've been looking at different possible reasons and it seems like replacing the ignition lock cylinder is a reasonably cheap and easy first step. My question - when I put in a new OEM cylinder, is there a way to set it to use the existing keys or does it come with keys specific to that cylinder? Also, can I get a cylinder at a parts store or is this a dealer only part? Thanks for the help and any additional advice is welcome.

    Slim
  2. bill190

    bill190 Rockstar 100 Posts

    I would imagine you could get one at an chevy parts auto store.

    A locksmith should be able to set it to your key, however older keys are worn down...

    I would suggest going to a GM dealer and having them make a new key from the code for your vehicle. And actually this might solve your problem, but if not, the locksmith would have a non-worn key to work with.
  3. slim

    slim New Member

    OK all, here is what I learned in this process:

    1. Avoid the dealer except to buy the lock cylinder. Even at that, one dealer quoted me $75 and another sold it to me for $49. I don't know if parts stores would carry chevy OEM or not.

    2. The cylinder has to be keyed to the key. Two of the three locksmiths I called could do this. One locksmith quoted me $35 and another quoted me $7.50.

    3. Have a key made by a locksmith, not the dealer. I paid a total of $27 to have the key code retrieved and a key made at the dealer. (It didn't fix the problem so I bought a new lock cylinder.) When I took the new cylinder and new key to the locksmith to have the cylinder keyed, the locksmith said the key was made wrong and he'd have to make a new one. He was able to figure out the key code just from the key I gave him. It cost $7.50 for the key and another $7.50 to have the cylinder keyed. That was a steal. I found out in the process that the locksmith I chose just happened to do all the locksmith work for the Chevy dealer. A phone call to the Chevy service dept. would probably get you this info.

    4. The key code is stamped onto the ignition lock cylinder. I didn't know this until after I paid for the code and could then see that the codes were the same. The guy at the Chevy parts dept. failed to mention this too. Maybe the door lock cylinders have it as well.

    I hope this info helps some folks as this seems to be a relatively frequent problem.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2009

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