2003 CHEVY IMPALA IGNITION LOCKED

  • Tiny
  • jpoteat
  • 2003 Chevrolet Impala

Electrical problem
2003 Chevy Impala 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 56000 miles

The key for my car will not turn in the switch. I pulled in my driveway put car in park and turned the key in off position. I went to get in car later and put key in switch, I tried to turn key and it will not turn at all.

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010 AT 6:28 PM

16 Answers

  • Tiny
  • saturntech9
  • Expert
  • 28,251 posts

First of all thank you very much for your donation. The first thing I would look at is your key is it worn down if so that could be the problem. Do you have a spare that's not worn down?If not I would go to the chevy dealer and have them make a fresh punched out key from your key code. Not having a worn out copy of your old key made. Also have you tried moving the steering wheel back and fourth while trying to turn the key?Also try lightly taping on the ignition cylinder with a hammer then turning the key.

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Wednesday, June 30th, 2010 AT 1:37 AM
  • Tiny
  • jpoteat
  • Member

I did try the spare key with no success. The steering wheel doesn't lock, but I did try to move the gear selector while trying to turn the key. The key switch is in the dash.

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Wednesday, June 30th, 2010 AT 6:22 AM
  • Tiny
  • saturntech9
  • Expert
  • 28,251 posts

Have you tried taping on on the cylinder lightly with a hammer careful not to damage the dash then try to turn it?

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Wednesday, June 30th, 2010 AT 1:39 PM
  • Tiny
  • jpoteat
  • Member

Do I need to remove the cylinder from the dash to do this?

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Wednesday, June 30th, 2010 AT 4:36 PM
  • Tiny
  • saturntech9
  • Expert
  • 28,251 posts

If you take the bezel off the cylinder it should give you the room to tap on it. If you have ballpen hammer you could use the small side to help avoid striking the dash. If we can get the cylinder to turn it will be alot easier to fix it.

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Wednesday, June 30th, 2010 AT 5:24 PM
  • Tiny
  • jpoteat
  • Member

Tapping the cylinder did not work either. Do you have any other suggestions?

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Monday, July 5th, 2010 AT 9:31 PM
  • Tiny
  • saturntech9
  • Expert
  • 28,251 posts

I emailed you the ignition cylinder replacement procedure. It say's if you can't get the cylinder to move to the run position that you can't just replace the ignition cylinder you have to take off the ignition switch. The cylinder and the ignition switch/Ignition housing is very expensive. So is your spare key and the key you normally used worn down?Also if you move the floor shifter around play with the shifter button will the key turn. Or wiggle the key in the ignition cylinder while trying to turn it?If not your going to have to start taking apart the dash so you can take the cable off the ignition switch/housing to see if that's jamming it up.

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Tuesday, July 6th, 2010 AT 11:23 PM
  • Tiny
  • jpoteat
  • Member

The keys do not appear to be worn down. It has a column shifter, not a floor shifter. I took the shift cable bracket loose from the transmission, to manually shift to neutral, so the car could be moved out of my way in the driveway. I tried to turn the key then with no luck.

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Thursday, July 8th, 2010 AT 8:34 AM
  • Tiny
  • saturntech9
  • Expert
  • 28,251 posts

Alright use the instructions for replacing the ignition cylinder as far as taking the dash panel's off etc. Once you do that then make sure the car is in park with all the cables put back in place. Then see if you can depress the retainer that holds the transaxle park lock cable in place on the ignition switch if you can then remove the cable. Now see if the ignition key turns if it does then we have a problem with the cable binding up the cable. If it doesn't then we have to remove the whole assembley and drill out the cylinder. Let me know what you find.

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Thursday, July 8th, 2010 AT 1:48 PM
  • Tiny
  • drxtreme
  • Member

I could really use those same details on how to access the Ignition switch in the dash of my 2003 Chev Impala SE. I also have a frozen switch that will not turn. My keys are nearly new and I have tried tapping on the switch and even shooting a small amount of WD40 into the switch. The keys act like they are for another car.

Like the other person, my steering wheel is also not locking only the shift leaver on the steering column.

Thank you for your assistance. I will never forget this!

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Monday, August 23rd, 2010 AT 1:06 AM

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