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Late model gm products / ignition key won't turn

key goes in and out of ignition cylinder but can’t be turned to start car and release shift lever etc / dealer says replace ignition lock

Are you sure you have the correct key? If it is the correct key dealer may be right. Check an independent shop for a competitive bid

thanks for reply / i only have one key / no problems untill this one

I saw this a lot with Malibus and their dash mounted ignition switch/lock cylinder. I was able to free many of them up but I always replaced lock cylinders (your man says ignition switch though). To tell the truth I have never seen the inside of a hhr and never laid a wrench on one. Is the ignition switch on the dash or on the column? has anyone checked for TSB’s? what year is your hhr?

i only have one key / no problems untill

Having only one key first brings up the question of what happened to the other key(s). Have you considered what is going to happen if you loose the only working key?

I suspect the key and/or the lock is worn. What model year is your car? Did you buy it new, if not how long have you owned it?

There Are 8 GM Models With Possible Ignition Key / Lock Cylinder Problems That The Manufacturer Has Identified. 2006 - (early) 2010 HHRs Are Candidates.

Certain models can have problems that cause ignition keys to stick or bind or become difficult to remove.

Although there are some other things that can cause this, GM found a problem with the original ignition lock cylinder and has developed and released a “revised” lock cylinder. This is probably what the dealer is referring to, but make sure they are talking about the improved part (new part number).

I’d tell the dealer to go ahead with the replacement and if it fixes it, fine. Otherwise, you probably wouldn’t wish to pay for something that doesn’t solve the problem.

Costs were no doubt covered by the manufacturer for cars with this problem while still under warranty. If you’re just slightly out of warranty, I’d ask if they’ll help you out with the expense.


thank you / this is best info i have received on this issue / where would i look for the correct revised part and #

Have Somebody At The Dealership (Service Or Parts) Look Up The Latest (There Are Several) Technical Service Bulletin That Was Written On This Lock Cylinder Issue. They Should Be Able To Show It To You And / Or Give You The Correct Part Number.

The latest bulletin (2 pages) includes the 2010 model-year HHR in its list of models.

There are special notes / procedures given in the bulletin that should be followed when the cylinder is replaced. A friendly dealer should make you a copy. Be advised that these bulletins are written for the GM technicians and not the home DIYer, but should be helpful. A service manual may be required for actual repair procedures.

I’d bet chances are good that your dealer has replaced a number of these parts and just might have one (several) in stock. It depends on the size / volume of your dealer.

You do have an automatic transmission, right ?


thanks again / yes,auto tranny / i went to the dealer today and the car was fixed and they showed me the old lock cylinder and one of the sequencing fingers had shattered making the part extraction difficult.i will drop in again soon and ask about the bulletins.the chevy dealer in tonasket wa. gets kudos for a quick fix / of course it works for me as the car is still in warranty and i want to thank everyone who helped me deal with this event and i look forward to working with this forum again ;ron

You’re Welcome. Did They Have The Part In Stock ?
I’m Happy We Could Help. That’s What We Try And Do. Stop Back Again.

Good Luck,

not in stock,but they were able to get the part 4:00pm car towed to dealer,monday at 4:30pm car ready to roll,on presidents day!