1999 Town & Country

Have a 1999 town & country. I had the dealer make an extra key when I bought it about 2 years ago so I could code multiple replacements. When I tried to code one, the car seemed to respond correctly until I got to to the end of the process. Called the dealer up to see if I could verify the code, but didn’t get any help. As it turned out, I could start the car with an un-chipped key. And I have ever since.

The key stopped working. I had problems for a while which I could get around by jiggling the gear shift level. But now it is completely stuck. Can’t move the key, nor the lever. From conversation with the dealer, I gather that there is likely a problem with the switch which will need to be replaced. Looks like a job I can probably handle except if I have to replace the lock cylinder, the videos say to that I need to turn the key to the on position which I can’t do. I realize that I may still have problems with the transponder circuit, but I’m hoping that all I need to do is replace the switch.

How to get the lock cylinder out??

I am a complete amateur at fixing this particular issue, except I know from experience that there is often an interlock between the brake pedal and the release of a lock that otherwise prevents you from turning the key and shifting out of neutral. You have to step on the brake to turn the key. There might be a mechanical connection, but I suspect it’s an electric issue. Look under the dash at the brake pedal arm and find the switches there for the brake lights. There might be more than one. Make sure they are aligned right, that the wires are connected right, and that nothing is loose.

The tumblers are stuck in the lock cylinder. Insert the key and tap on the handle of the key with a small hammer to rattle the tumblers. This should allow you to turn the lock cylinder for removal. I have replaced many of these on Chrysler minivans and never had to drill one out.

The ignition switch and ignition lock cylinder are sold separately, you should only need to replace the lock cylinder.