Ignition problems



The ignition locks up continually. the manual says to turn the steering wheel which is impossible! It has a floor transmission so I try pushing the button in with no success. After 2 or 3 minutes of trying to turn the key(s), cussing and building panic it finally starts. The dealer is no help. He tried spraying WD40 in it and that didn’t help at all. I’m about to trade this thing off for this simple problem!


Maybe the manual should say jiggle the steering wheel right-left-right as you try to turn the key. Is that what you are doing?


Yes. But it really isn’t turning even the slightest bit.


What year and milage please.


Do you park the car with the front wheels turned, or with the wheels pointed straight ahead?

WD-40 sprayed into the lock cylinder will do more harm than good. Don’t let them do that any more.

What is it that makes it “finally start?”


Do you carry a lot of stuff on your keychain? If so chances are your lock cylinder is wore out. How about you try one key and see what happens. Don’t trade it off yet, it shouldn’t be that expensive to have repaired.


I have 5 keys on the keychain. I didn’t even know I could have a repair job. No one ever suggested that. Would it be a completely new ignition? That sounds like the way to go. I’ll talk to the dealer. Thanks for the advice.

  1. 43,300 miles


I am very careful to point the wheels straight ahead and back from the curb to allow myself room to turn the steering wheel IF I COULD turn the steering wheel. A quick prayer of Please God let this damned thing start! if what makes it finally start.


WD-40 is likely to cause far more problems than it will fix. WD-40 is a water displacement. It works well at that. It is not considered a lubricant, nor a cleaner. Used in a lock, the light weight parts will evaporate over time leaving a sticky mess. It would start by using a zero residue contact cleaner and follow up with a dry lock lube, usually a dry powered graphite, made for locks. That dealer clearly does not know what he is doing, or maybe he just does not care.


That sounds like the way to go. I’ll talk to the dealer. Thanks for the advice.

Your dealer has already proven to be clueless. (He used WD-40


I appreciate the explanation. Shouldn’t I take it to a certified GM mechanic? That’s why I was going to go back to the dealer. Again, thanks so much for the advice.


You don’t need a GM certified mechanic, just obviously one who knows what they’re doing. There’s a list of good independent shops with probably one in your area on Car Talks website.