1999 Saturn SL2 4 cyl Two Wheel Drive Manual 191000 miles
I have intermitent problems inserting the ignition key. At times it just won't slide in. I have the covers on the column removed so I have access to the swith and I'd like to remove the cylinder lock to see if I can free it up & if not able to free it up I will replace it. I can't get it to come out. The manual I have shows a release that I should press with a screw driver while I put the switch in accessory position. There is no such button on my switch. How can I get the cylinder lock to release? There is a round hole on the bottom of the switch where I can insert a tool & touch the lock cylinder. Is that my release? What do I need to do to get this & *%$# thing out? I have poked and prodded in that hole with a bunch of different tools while turning & pushing & pulling.
Well, sounds like you are following the directions. As it says, with the key in and you have turned the ignition switch to the ACC position, there is a button on top of the housing.
Sorry we don't have a pic. Is there any way you can take several pics and attach?
Many times the button is recessed, sometimes it doesn't seem like anything to depress.
We can possible assist better if you can send several pics of the area.
Also, it may be under it or on the side also. Yours may be different than what the manual says.
Removal & Installation
1. Set front wheels in straight-ahead position. Before proceeding, disable air bag system. See appropriate AIR BAG RESTRAINT SYSTEMS article. Remove Data Link Connector (DLC) from knee bolster panel. Remove knee bolster panel mounting screws and remove hood release cable from knee bolster. Remove steering column covers.
2. Insert key into ignition switch. Place ignition switch in ACC position. Depress locking button on top of ignition switch housing, and remove ignition switch tumbler from ignition switch housing. Disconnect electrical connectors from ignition switch. Remove 2 screws and remove ignition switch from steering column.
3. Install ignition switch tumbler into ignition switch housing. To complete installation, reverse removal procedure.
November, 13, 2009 AT 6:12 AM
I know this has been a long time coming but it totally slipped my mind to let you know the outcome. I finally found the lock release button and it was on top but it's recessed and behind a protrusion sticking up on the top of the cylinder/switch housing. I finally found it by getting up over the dash and looking down. I got the cylinder out but wasn't able to fix the original problem. I'm not sure if I can replace the lock cylinder or what is involved in doing that. It still is sometimes a problem getting the key to go into the cylinder. Once the key slides in it works fine.
November, 13, 2009 AT 9:40 AM
I don't have a solution for you, just a similar experience to share your misery with.
The key slides in/out just fine (mostly), it's turning the tumbler that's a problem. I have to jiggle the key back and forth while gently turning. My SO has had the keys fall out of the ignition while she was driving down the highway, and I've been able to take the keys out when the car wasn't in park while sitting in the driveway.
I'm thinking it may be time to re-pin the tumbler. : (
November, 15, 2009 AT 9:19 PM
Okay, here is the info on the lock cylinder for you. Is this what you are looking for?
Removal & Installation
Remove steering column upper shroud. Insert ignition key, and rotate lock cylinder to ACC position. Depress square locking button on top of ignition module assembly, and slide lock cylinder assembly from ignition module housing. To install, reverse removal procedure.
Now also from what I see, if you need to do a password relearn procedure below.
Password Learn Procedure For Anti-Theft System
1. Password learn procedure must be performed if Powertrain Control Module (PCM), Pass-Key(R) III module, ignition lock cylinder, steering column assembly or ignition key are replaced. A password is communicated between Pass-Key(R) III module and PCM to provide engine operation. If PCM is replaced, the PCM must learn the password from the Pass-Key(R) III module.
2. Insert a valid mechanical coded unlearned ignition key in the ignition switch. Place ignition switch in the RUN position. The SECURITY indicator light will come on for 10 minutes for the length of the auto learn timer. SECURITY indicator light is located on instrument panel, just below the fuel gauge.
3. When auto learn timer expires and SECURITY indicator light goes off, place ignition switch in OFF position. Remove ignition key from ignition. Wait 10 seconds.
4. Repeat steps 2) and 3) two more times, for a total of 30 minutes. Insert the newly learned ignition key in ignition switch.
5. Place ignition switch in RUN position. The SECURITY indicator light should remain off to indicate the ignition key was learned. If security indicator does not remain off, repeat procedure.
November, 16, 2009 AT 5:43 AM
On a side note. Spoke with my neighbor yesterday who also has a Saturn (I think it's a 2005?). He says his keys do the exact same thing, and statistically speaking this is becoming significant. I wonder how many others have run into the same issue.
November, 18, 2009 AT 6:48 PM
I looked through all of the TSBs and didn't find anything that Saturn would show as a defect or a problem.
I know it may be frustrating.I have changed even a Mercedes Benz with less miles. You do have about 191K. If you do think how many times we put our keys in and out of the ignition, and many times it is not really that easy. We let the key find it's way in. That causes wear.
So, as frustrating as it is, in your case I think it is about right to be worn. Can't speak for the 2005 one. Hang in there my friend. It does look like the car has given you many miles of good service.