Ignition lock cylinder will not turn to lock position

Tiny
PTFRIES
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 CHEVROLET CAVALIER
  • 2.4L
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 160,000 MILES
Two months ago my alternator went out on this '96 Cavalier 2.4L convertible and I had to have it towed home. When the tow driver turned the ignition on to turn the front wheels and place the transmission in neutral and then attempted to turn the key to the off and then lock position, the steering wheel would not lock and allow the key to move to the lock position and thereby release the key. After the 45 mile drive with the dying alternator and the resultant 45 mile tow with the key "on, " the battery was all but shot and I disconnected it until I could engage the repair. I finally replaced the alternator and thought the key may have been stuck due to damage to the Passlock security feature on the car. The kicker is that the car will crank and drive with no security feature hindrance to starting or driving; the key does move to the off position and stop the engine. So, I am at a loss what to do now; I have suspicions but need better advice than the local parts' stores. Here is what I have done:

1) Removed the entire lock cylinder and tumbler assembly. Upon removal the tumbler assembly rotated properly in the lock cylinder and the key released.
2) Removed the tumbler assembly from the lock cylinder.
3) Cleaned and lubricated with graphite-laced lubricant.

When I reassembled the entire mechanism, the steering wheel still would not move into the lock position and release the key. However, the car would still crank and drive and when you stop the engine, the accessories, and thereby the batter, remain operational.

Looking for suggestions. I have tried an alternate key and moving the steering wheel back and forth.

Thanks!
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Monday, October 6th, 2014 AT 4:58 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC II
  • MEMBER
IT WILL WORK FINE IN PARK? (AS IT SHOULD ONLY LET GO OF THE KEY WHEN IT IS IN PARK) (MAYBE I'M MISREADING THAT YOU ARE TRYING TO REMOVE IT IN NEUTRAL)

IF YOU HAVE TILT STEERING, HAVE YOU TRIED TILTING IN DIFFERENT POSITIONS?

I HAVE A '95 NEON THAT SOMETIMES WILL NOT RELEASE UNLESS YOU TILT IT UP AND DOWN (OVER AND OVER) WHILE TURNING THE KEY INTO POSITION

THE MEDIC
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Monday, October 6th, 2014 AT 5:15 PM
Tiny
PTFRIES
  • MEMBER
WOW! What a prompt response! I was thinking a response might come in a day or 2.

I am only trying to turn the key to the lock position while the transmission is in park as I know park is the only gear in which it will release.

I do have tilt steering and have tried some up and down movement but I will put your advice into action.

Did you ever get the neon situation rectified?
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Monday, October 6th, 2014 AT 6:10 PM
Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC II
  • MEMBER
HE'S THE "SPARE CAR" I STOLE HIM FOR $250 10 YEARS AGO, W/ LESS THAN 60,000 MILES - THE 1ST OWNER WAS CONVINCED IT WAS RUINED. IT NEEDED A BATTERY! AFTER SITTING UNDER A TREE FOR YEARS! HE WAS NICE, AFTER A GOOD CLEANING, WHEN I 1ST GOT HIM.

STEP-DAUGHTER RUINED THE INTERIOR HAVING "BORROWED" HIM FOR 4 YEARS, ALONG WITH A MINOR FRONTAL CRASH WHILE "TEXTING". TILL SHE GOT ON HER FEET, WHICH REQUIRED GETTING OFF HER BUTT!

HE STILL GETS 30 MPG, A/C WORKS - REAR SHOCKS NEED REPLACING

I JUST CAN'T JUSTIFY SPENDING MONEY ON HIM EXCEPT FOR ROUTINE MAINTENANCE. I DRIVE HIM A COUPLE OF MILES WEEKLY TO KEEP HIM LUBED AND CHARGED. HE IS REALLY THERE ONLY IF ONE OF THE OTHERS GO DOWN. THAT IS SELDOM!

LONG AS HE WILL RUN - I BE HAPPY!

I FEEL I HAVEN'T QUITE GOT MY MONEYS WORTH YET!

THE MEDIC

OTHERS STILL MAY JUMP IN AND VOICE POSSIBLE FIXES FOR YOUR RIG!
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Monday, October 6th, 2014 AT 6:32 PM
Tiny
PTFRIES
  • MEMBER
Understand on the "spare" car and the daughter situation. Have 4 gals and 2 extra cars ' cause I can't afford anything more than "almost classic" cars and need to keep them all going.

Again, thanks for the prompt response. Will post of their is success.
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Monday, October 6th, 2014 AT 7:00 PM

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