2008 Chrysler Town & Country Key will not shut off


#1

After driving I place car in Park, try to turn key to off. Will only go to Accessory position. Suggestions have been shifter, wheel lock. Dealer said they need to replace the shifter ($500) Re-shifting into park does not help, turning wheel does not help. Have discovered that if I turn the key to the accessory position, wait & listen, I hear a distinct CLICK (like the sound an old solenoid would have made) and the key will go to off and can be removed. Early in the morning this can take 20 seconds. Later in the day some unknown number of minutes. Luckily I can leave the car with the key in it without fear of someone taking the car. I have even recorded the sound and have attached the sound file here It happens about 13 seconds in. Any suggestions


#2

Oh and BTW, I have removed all other keys from the ring to ensure no weight and have tried both of my FOB’s (Big plastic thing that holds the hey)


#3

New information. I discovered today that after stopping and putting the shifter into park, if I wait long enough, I can hear the distinct “click” and then the car shuts off normally, the key goes to the off position and I can remove it. Sometimes it can be quite a while. Thanks


#4

Okay, I’m a bit out of my area of expertise here, but it sounds like you have a safety interlock system that won’t allow you to turn the engine off until the computer recognizes that the tranny is in park and the parking pawl engaged. That click is probably the parking pawl.

I’d be inclined to suggest that you find a reputable independently owned tranny shop to take a look. Others here may have more in-depth knowledge in this area.


#5

I’m understanding the problem to be that the engine shuts off, but the key won’t rotate to the position that allows is to be removed (until the “delay” times out). So, what is causing this “delay”? Has anything been spilled into the shifter area or the ignition lock area? It’s the switch at the shifter that energizes the solenoid at the ignition lock and allows it to rotate so the key can be removed.


#6

I interpreted it as being an inability to turn the key to the OFF position and the engine subsequently continuing to run. Once the “click” is heard, the key can be turned OFF and the engine shut off.

Excellent point about spillage into the switch.


#7

I like @insightful’s thinking. If there is a switch in the shifter gummed up with dried gunk that tells the van the shifter is not in park, and that gunk is causing the delay in the switch, perhaps cleaning the shifter will restore proper function. Having owned a good many older used cars, I can tell you that the gunk build-up is real and can cause problems such as yours. Sometimes it doesn’t take much.