Ignition lock cylinder trouble

Discussion in 'Chevy Silverado Forum (GMC Sierra)' started by at2thomas, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. at2thomas

    at2thomas New Member

    Good day, all. My truck is stuck in the parking lot at my work. I try to start it, but the key will not turn at all. No ACC, No Run, No start; only OFF. The key slides in and out as easily as ever. I can turn the wheels (with much difficulty) to the stops both left and right, but the steering wheel never locks. I have tried varying wiggles and jiggles; no joy. I have tried to turn the key while simultaneously turning the steering wheel; no joy. I have rocked the truck back and forth; no joy. I have tried the spare key; no joy. I have tried it with brakes pressed; no joy. I have tried with the battery connected and disconnected; no joy. I have tried with the doors locked and unlocked; no joy. I took apart the steering column trim covers to inspect; no visual damage to wires, harnesses, etc. I peeled the black plastic off the tumbler to get a better look. There are two spring loaded pins, 180 degrees apart, that push in between tabs on the back of the key insert. Those pins appear to prevent the turn of the key because the tabs catch on them. Not sure what the problem is. My first guess is the tumbler, but I cannot turn the key to the run position to remove it. Or maybe the truck thinks it's in another gear besides park? Any ideas? My finances are in the crapper at the moment, so I must fix this on my own to avoid labor costs. PLEASE HELP!

  2. RayVoy

    RayVoy Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    The first thing I thought of, while reading your post, "is it his truck, or is he taking someone else's apart"? Hahaha

    It sounds like the cylinder is toast. You can buy a new cylinder and have it keyed to your key. I don't know what you have for a truck, but most cylinders are easy to change.
  3. at2thomas

    at2thomas New Member

    Thanks for the reply. Hahaha, yes, it is my truck. It's a 2003 Silverado. I cannot remove the cylinder to replace it because it is stuck in the OFF position. The key must be in the OFF position to line up the release tab with the access hole.
  4. j cat

    j cat Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I would get a automotive lock smith to work this . you could do more damage and more expense.

    My opinion this lock cylinder removal is not easy on this vehicle. you need some special tools and the proper proceedure to remove the plastic housing.
  5. seffieldvillage@aol.com

    seffieldvillage@aol.com Rockstar 100 Posts

    In my opinion it sounds like the shift interlock solenoid, basically if the solenoid goes bad the steering wheel won't lock. and the key will be stuck in the ignition. Plus the vehicle will go to default gear 3rd/N in the ECM, and it will not let you do anything. I just had to replace one on my mom's Aveo, and my Colorado both did the same thing. Did the Passlock light come on, ie security light??

    Good luck to you sir!!
  6. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Talk to your closest GM dealer before you start working on it, I found out a few months ago GM is aware of some ignition cylinder problems and has a letter out to address the problem, it's not a recall and will only be addressed by GM if a vehicle comes in with the problem.
    They pay towing and cover all cost's of the repair.
    The dealer needs to look for a special service letter with the subject line of "Ignition Locks" to find the specifics.

    If all else fails and you have to get it out yourself but cant try a dent puller, they work wonders on locks to.
  7. j cat

    j cat Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    try to release the locked cyl with spraying wd40 into the key hole using a straw. then turn key to start with not too much pressure while moving the steering wheel lft//rht slightly. this may do it for a time.

    if you are successful then use electronic contact cleaner to remove the wd40 oils. best use grafite and alcohol to lube the lock cylinders. only use a key that is not worn as this causes these problems are well as grit/dirt .

    replacing the cylinder is not easy .

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