2005 Pontiac Grand Am Key will not turn

Tiny
JULIE519
  • MEMBER
  • 2005 PONTIAC GRAND AM
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 85,000 MILES
The key wont turn, the transmission is in park and the car doesn't roll but the steering wheel is NOT locked.

I read our car manual and found a section about the cars 'transaxle' (?) And how the symptoms above can happen if this component gets damaged. However, the books says this damage is caused when the car is shifted into park and turned off before coming to a complete stop and the car is still in motion.

This wasn't the case. I was in a parking space and completely stopped with the car idling in drive, my foot on the brake while I retrieved money from my purse. After approximately 30 seconds, I attempted to turn off the car but could not. I realized instantly what was wrong and shifted to park, set the hand brake and turned off the key.

I have never had any trouble with either the key nor the transmission/shifter lever.

My son checked around and feels that the tumbler may be damaged since both my husband and I have double keyrings that separate in the middle with between 8 - 12 keys total on each of our keyrings plus the factory keyless remote device.

We desperately need the car working but dont have money for costly diagnostics and repairs. If possible, we will do the repairs ourselves but need guidance on what the most likely cause might be and the best way to proceed on our tight budget.

Any and all advise will be greatly appreciated and of course, the sooner the better~

Thank you very much,
Julie Olea
Upland, CA
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Saturday, December 20th, 2008 AT 8:27 PM

15 Replies

Tiny
BRIAN 1
  • MEMBER
You have to see if it's in the shifter or ignition, you could take the center console apart and disconnect the shifter and see if it moves freely, if it does then it's in the ignition. Before you do this check the BTSI fuse in the underhood fuse block see if it's blown.I've had alot of problems with the ignition cylinders on these, if it is the lock cylinder sometimes they have to be drilled out.(Will worry about that if it is the problem) these are the only suggestions I can give for now, post back with what you find and will advise on the next step.
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Saturday, December 20th, 2008 AT 10:24 PM
Tiny
JULIE519
  • MEMBER
We checked the fuse, it seems OK. So we removed the console, located and disconnected the cable that runs from the shifter to the ignition assembly. Now the shifter moves freely, but the key still wont turn. Also, the steering wheel remains UNlocked no matter what we do with regards to the shifter.

What should we do next? Will replacing the ignition switch/assembly fix things or could it still be the transaxle or something else?

Look forward to your reply.

Thanks for your help,

Julie Olea
Upland, California
909-985-0422
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Wednesday, December 24th, 2008 AT 1:46 AM
Tiny
BRIAN 1
  • MEMBER
By disconnecting the shifter you kinda ruled out that it's in the shifter and probably in the ignition. To make sure you could disconnect the ignition, if you do replace the ignition the theft deternt needs to be relearned, which I will explane after you find out what is wrong. Post back with any other questions.
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Wednesday, December 24th, 2008 AT 11:14 AM
Tiny
JULIE519
  • MEMBER
Could the computer in the car be controlling the ignition system and preventing the key from turning?

If not, I'm thinking that I could just drill out the tumblers or use a slide hammer to remove them. I want to be 100% sure that nothing electrical or computer related is keeping the key from turning.

An important factor in all of this is that the steering wheel is still not locking even though the shifter has been disconnected from the ignition.

How does the steering wheel lock & what controls it?

Thanks, Julie Olea
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Wednesday, December 24th, 2008 AT 3:17 PM
Tiny
BRIAN 1
  • MEMBER
The steering on all the new or newer cars dont lock it's normal. As far as it being computer controled and preventing it from turning has nothing to do with it, the ignition is mechanical, I would not drill it out still bolted to the dash, remove the ignition disconnect the connectors. If you take the dash bezel off around the ipc and then take the ipc out you can unbolt and access the ignition.(Much easier but a little more work)you do not wan't to destroy the ignition too much because there is the passlock chip in the housing. You might want to get a price from the dealer on an ignition lock case and switch, they will code it to the key and put the houing togther which makes it easier. Post back if you get stuck.
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Wednesday, December 24th, 2008 AT 3:41 PM
Tiny
JULIE519
  • MEMBER
My husband dismantled the console and found the shifter moved freely.

So he removed the ignition assembly from the dash.

Any advice on the most economic source for the replacement parts and do you have any pointers that would be helpful as we proceed?

Thanks,
Julie Olea
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Friday, January 2nd, 2009 AT 12:16 PM
Tiny
BRIAN 1
  • MEMBER
Only advise I can give is, Insert the key to the ignition lock cylinder.
Remove the ignition lock cylinder from the switch:
4.1. Using a small curved tool or an L-shaped hex wrench, depress and hold the detent on the ignition lock cylinder. If you cannot locate the detent with the tool, remove the radio. View the detent through the radio opening. Refer to Radio Replacement in Entertainment.

4.2. Turn the key to the ON/RUN position.

4.3. Pull the ignition lock cylinder out with the key.

Remove the key from the lock cylinder.
If this does not work, you have to cut or drill the ignition cylinder out.I've done alot this way because they never want to come out. Post back with what you find.
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Friday, January 2nd, 2009 AT 12:32 PM
Tiny
JULIE519
  • MEMBER
We have purchased a new ingition lock cylinder assembly but it came without any instructions or schematics. Can you help us?
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Tuesday, January 6th, 2009 AT 8:17 PM
Tiny
BRIAN 1
  • MEMBER
What do you mean?Where did you get it from parts store or dealer?Are you replacing just the ignition lock or the lock cylinder?If you bought it from the dealer they usually put it togther and code it for you, then you can just put it back togther and relearn the passlock sys.I need a little more detail to what exactly you are doing.
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Tuesday, January 6th, 2009 AT 9:10 PM
Tiny
JULIE519
  • MEMBER
We bought the ignition lock assembly from an Auto Zone store. It's a LockSmart brand, part #LC63730. It came with 2 new ignition keys. The box said "illustrated instructions included", but there were NO instructions in the box.

My husband reinstalled it and now the key is stuck in it.
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Thursday, January 8th, 2009 AT 8:45 AM
Tiny
BRIAN 1
  • MEMBER
This isn't good. That means that the there might be a scratch on the inside of the ignition housing. You could try taking it back out and apart and lubing it. This is hard to answer without being there to see what is happening. You might want to take it back to autozone and get one from GM, they usually put them togther and make sure they work.I'm running out of advise here.
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Thursday, January 8th, 2009 AT 9:23 AM
Tiny
JULIE519
  • MEMBER
I was mistaken in my last post.

The new ignition switch is in the car. BOTH the new keys and our original keys will insert and turn, but neither one will start the car. It's our understanding that we may need to code the new ignition switch.
But since the box contained no instructions, we aren't sure how to proceed.

Julie
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Sunday, January 11th, 2009 AT 7:21 PM
Tiny
BRIAN 1
  • MEMBER
Here is the relearn procedure:Turn ON the ignition, with the engine OFF.
Attempt to start the engine, then release the key to ON (vehicle will not start).
Observe the SECURITY telltale, after approximately 10 minutes the telltale will turn OFF.
Turn OFF the ignition, and wait 5 seconds.
The vehicle is now ready to relearn the Passlock√ Sensor Data Code and/or passwords on the next ignition switch transition from OFF to CRANK.
Important: The vehicle learns the Passlock√ Sensor Data Code and/or password on the next ignition switch transition from OFF to CRANK. You must turn the ignition OFF before attempting to start the vehicle.

Start the engine. The vehicle has now learned the Passlock√ Sensor Data Code and/or password.
With a scan tool, clear any DTCs if needed. History DTCs will self clear after 100 ignition cycles.
Follow this and post back if it works.
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Sunday, January 11th, 2009 AT 8:38 PM
Tiny
JULIE519
  • MEMBER
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

You have been an immense help and we couldn't have done this without you! I followed your last instructions and the car started with no trouble what so ever. One of the best parts of all is the fact that I used our ORIGINAL key for the automatic coding process so all of the cars locks are still keyed to the same original keys.

I will recommend you HIGHLY to all my friends and family.

Thanks again,
Julie A Olea
Upland, California
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Monday, January 12th, 2009 AT 1:45 PM
Tiny
BRIAN 1
  • MEMBER
Glad I could help, it's what I do and GM is all I know.
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Monday, January 12th, 2009 AT 2:04 PM

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