Key Stuck in Ignition

  • 263,000 MILES
Over the past year on occasion, I would get in my car and try to start it and the ignition would not start unless I jiggled the gear shift while it was in Park or move it to Neutral. Then car would start fine. I realize that this may be something called the "safety switch" which needed adjustment. I lived with it since I could always put it in neutral and crank it when it did not crank in Park.

Now however, yesterday after arriving to a destination, I turned the car off, put it in Park and tired to remove the key. The key would not come out of the ignition. It is stuck at the "POS 1" and will not move back to the "LOCK" position and come out. I read a little and some are saying that it may be tied to a switch in the console as well. Here is some other data for you to have:

I can move the gear shift from Park-to-Reverse-to-Neutral-Drive without pushing in the button at the top of the gear shift. I do not know if that is normal or not in this condition.

In all positions, but Park, the button on top of the gear shift is "springy" and has resistance when I push it in. However, when in the Park position, the button does not have any resistance until about 90% of the way depressed, then a little resistance is felt.

Hope this helps you with the diagnosis. If it is something in the console, can you please:
- let me know which part to check/replace,
- maybe how to test it
- provide me info on how to remove the parts I need to remove to get to the part that is in probably failure or needs adjustment.

Thanks a bunch!
Do you
have the same problem?
Wednesday, May 4th, 2016 AT 10:33 AM

1 Reply


I would start by removing the bezel around the shifter itself because there is a cable that can break or come loose the connects to the neutral safety switch. When this cable fails it will no allow the ignition key to be turned off completely which makes the key get stuck. There is something going on with the detent as well that's why you can move the shifter without pushing in the button the two problems could be related.

Let me know what you find

Best, Ken
Was this
Sunday, May 8th, 2016 AT 12:03 PM

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