Ignition key problems

Increasingly my key will not release from the ignition when I park my 2004 Saturn Ion Quad Coupe. I make sure I’m pressing the brake as I shift into PARK.

I thought at first it was related to whether the wheels were straight, but this does not always seem to be the case.

The Owner’s Manual is useless…and silent on this issue anyway.

Is there something else I should be doing?

Is this a trip to the dealership problem?

Is this a bigger problem than I want to know about?

Anyone have any ideas?

You need a new ignition lock and key. You need to have a pro do this because it is on the collum, and you have an air bag. It will cost you. sorry.

Thank you, I-9, for your response.

My pocketbook is not happy, though…

There is no need to get a pro for most cars.

I’ve removed the lock on my Taurus and my Camry with no issues.

Disconnect the battery, and wait (I wait a couple hours). Then you can pop the suckers out easily enough. The Taurus was ridiculously simple. Insert the key, turn it to the lock setting, stick a small screwdriver up through a small hole on the bottom of the steering column and the lock assembly simply slides out. You can do all this from way off to the side with no trouble if you’re afraid of the airbag.

Then you buy a replacement lock and get a locksmith to rekey it to match your existing key. The local hardware store here will do that for $5. Installation is easier than removal. Just slide the lock in and turn the key back to off and remove the key.

If you can do that with the Saturn, your total repair cost might be as low as $50.

I might add that often this kind of problem is brought about due to having a heavy key ring with lots of keys, store tags, rabbit’s feet, nail clippers, etc.

Before you spend any money, make sure your car is completely in park. I have had this issue with my Saturn as well. I have found that if there is a cup or a pop bottle in the cup holder in front of the shifter, it will not go up all the way and the key will not disengage. 32oz containers and up are noted culprits in my experience.

I have found that an Ion can be completely in park, with the shift knob being back just far enough to lock the key in the switch so that you can’t remove it.

My cupholders seldom have a BIG cup … but one of them holds lipsticks … but I get what you’re saying. I’ll make sure my next few Park attempts I have the shift knob REALLY in place and see if that takes care of the problem.

Thanks for the advice!