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Hot key

We recently bought a 2002 Sunbird for our daughter to drive to college. She complained last night that the key was extremely hot when she removed it from the ignition after driving for a very short time. Any thoughts?

It sounds like she has a short somewhere that is warming up the key. She should take it in and have someone run a few tests to find the short.
You wouldn’t want the airbag going off as she’s going thru heavy traffic some day.


See if this GM car is affected by the recent ignition switch recall. It sounds like a poor connection within the switch is causing the heat build-up. This is dangerous.

I can only agree with everyone else that this is potentially extremely dangerous and needs to be looked into immediately. I also agree with Busted that you should bring the VIN number into a GM dealer and find out if this car is affected by the ignition switch recall.

The Pontiac Sunbird was produced until 1994 and was followed by the Sunfire. That is probably what you have. The Sunfire is not part of the ignition recall, nor was its twin the Chevrolet Cavalier. This does not mean you don’t have a problem with the ignition, just that the ignition switch originally used was not the one in the recall.

This problem could be caused by a poor contact inside the switch that can lead to high resistance in the circuit and which in turn can lead to overheating.

It can also be caused by a component further down the electrical stream so to speak.I have not pulled up a schematic so I have no idea how things are wired up but some components have a high current draw and even more so with age. More current means more heat.
An example could be a cabin blower motor that is dragging and pulling more current, add on accessories such as stereo amps, etc, etc. In other words, the switch may be a symptom rather than the cause.

I agree this should be addressed promptly. Should it fail while she’s driving could be bad. I’m thinking a new ignition switch should solve the problem.