Key gets stuck in the ignition

Tiny
JACOBPAULSEN
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 MITSUBISHI GALANT
  • 2.4L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 150,000 MILES
You can turn on the car just fine but when you go to take it out it gets stuck until you mess with the transmission. To get it out you have to move it up and down like twice then turn then it comes out. Any ideas? It's starting to get annoying.
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Friday, January 21st, 2022 AT 11:08 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

If you are able to get it to work by moving the shifter back and forth, chances are the shift interlock cable is either ready to break, stretched, or the linkage connections are working.

To access this cable, you need to take apart the shifter. I need to know if this has a floor shifter or column. I attached a pic below of the cables involved with the floor shift so you can get an idea of what you are dealing with.

Basically, the shifter needs to be fully in park to allow the key to be removed. If there is an adjustment issue or mechanical issue, what you described would be the result.

Let me know about the shifter location. I have the directions for removal and replacement. I just want you to get the correct ones.

Take care,

Joe

See pic below.
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Friday, January 21st, 2022 AT 7:07 PM
Tiny
JACOBPAULSEN
  • MEMBER
I think it s on the floor. How difficult is this to do?
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Saturday, January 22nd, 2022 AT 2:35 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

Yep, you are correct. My first suspect is the key interlock cable is out of adjustment. This requires the removal of the floor console which is the most work. LOL Adjustment is simple.

First, if you look at the first two pics below, I included the key interlock cable adjustment procedure. If you notice, there is one nut that holds the cable in place. If the cable slips under that retainer, what you are experiencing will result. So, it will be a matter of loosening that nut, pushing the cable back into the correct position, and then retightening. The directions explain the process step by step and include pics to help you identify the components.

Next, the first thing you need to do is remove the floor console. It's really not hard to do but can be a bit of a pain. The bezel around the shifter will be held in with clips.

I went through my manuals, and for some reason, they don't provide directions. However, I checked online and was able to find a few pics that show where the main bolts on the console are located. These will need to be removed. Additionally, there will likely be a plastic push-in cover over the bolts.

Once that is removed, perform the adjustments in pic 1 and 2. Note: The adjustment below are specific to your vehicle. The pics are general from a Mitsubishi Galant.

Let me know if you have questions.

Take care,

Joe

See pics below. Note: in most cases, there will be nuts on the opposite sides of the console in the same positions as what is circled.
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Saturday, January 22nd, 2022 AT 3:37 PM

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