1997 Dodge Intrepid Key gets stuck in ignition

Tiny
MSSANDLING
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 DODGE INTREPID
1997 Dodge Intrepid Automatic

My key get's stuck in the ignition about 60% of the time. I have 3 keys, and originally, the one I used most was getting stuck. Then the second, now the third. If I have the key one specific side up when I put it in, it doesn't get stuck as much.
I'm a handy woman, and follow directions well. I'd like to fix this on my own if I can.
I'm wondering if it's my key that's getting worn down, and if so, would re-keying or perhaps re-tumbling the lock assembly make the difference?
If it's the lock assembly that's the problem, and I have to replace the entire thing, what is the simplest way of doing so?

Thank you for your time and efforts in helping me with this!
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Friday, January 8th, 2010 AT 9:40 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
BLACKOP555
  • EXPERT
What I woudl do is get a can of graphite lock lube and spray the inside and all around the tumbler with it. Then coat the key up with it and keep putting it in and out and adding more lock lube. Keep doing this for a few mins and see if it frees the lock up.

Get back to me with what you find.
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Saturday, January 9th, 2010 AT 10:25 AM
Tiny
MSSANDLING
  • MEMBER
I'm not sure I made my question clear. The lock itself works fine. My ignition starts without a problem. The problem is removing the key when I'm ready to get out of the car. I can't get it all the way to the position to remove the key.
After turning the car off, I turn the key towards me to remove it. The engine stops, then I get the click where the radio/air still works. Then click it again and the battery light is on, but the radio is off. One more "click" would be where the key comes out. This is where it stops. I can not get it to go to the last "click", and often have to leave it in the battery only position, since it will not go all the way to the off/remove position.
Since this is an ongoing problem, I'm wondering what the long term fix is. Is the key(s) just worn down? Would re-keying it fix it? (I ask this, because on the one key that does work sometimes, there is a "ridge" that is present that is NOT on the other keys, telling me that they are likely worn down, and that the final key is becoming worn down) Is it the lock cylinder itself, and would replacing the assembly fix it?
Thanks again for your assistance
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Saturday, January 9th, 2010 AT 2:41 PM
Tiny
BLACKOP555
  • EXPERT
Again. Tumbler pins may be sticking and lubing it up may also work as I previously stated. If it works when turning the key on there should be no problem turning the key off.

Next time it does this try wiggling the steering wheel does that provide for easier removal? Try pushing the shift lever into park a bit harder and hold it when removing the key.
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Sunday, January 10th, 2010 AT 11:27 AM

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