A few days ago I posted a question regarding a stuck ignition key for a "99 Honda Civic with an automatic transmission, since that time I have more diagnostic info for verification by some of the mechanics.
After my initial posting, one person (Tester) asked if the steering wheel locks when the key is in the off position. That got me thinking about narrowing down the symptoms to the problem. I called a local Honda specialist (who by the way was not excited about sharing much info), his question was “does the automatic shift into Park”, I told him it does and he concluded the problem is not with the shift linkage or the sensor that signals the car is in Park. He gave me the name of a locksmith to get a new key and possible a new ignition switch. As a side note he commented that he rarely sees problems with shift linkage or the sensor it is almost always the key or ignition. I then called the locksmith, to verify if he generally solves the problem with a key or ignition switch repair, almost always BUT NOT ALWAYS (that would really bite if you just paid for towing or service call plus the key or ignition repair).
The question for the mechanics, is this logic valid: if the shifter shifts into Park, the shift linkage is okay; then if the steering wheel locks when the key is in the off position this indicates the sensor (that signals the tranny is in Park) is okay, so it is likely (almost always ?) the problem is the key or ignition switch.
Thanks for sharing your expertise.