Need help with ignition

Ok here goes we have a 03 Saturn ion that has developed this issue. The key would get stuck in the acc position and not go to the off. So investigating this online there was found to be a access from the bottom of the column that would allow you to push in the button of the ignition lock solenoid. It was already in. ok what’s next. They said something about the interlock solenoid at the shifter, so we replaced the whole thing. Noticed on pulling the “trigger” on the gearshift it moved the button on the column of the lock solenoid. So it was working. But the key still gets stuck. We then pulled the lock cylinder to see if it was locking up or sticking and went ahead and replaced it with all new coded to the original key. Still sticks. Seems the only was we can get the key out is when we disconnect the battery and then next morning hook it back up and then we can move the ignition and the key will go back to sticking and not going back into lock. So question I’m having is that ignition lock solenoid, after the button is pushed what does it do to allow the cylinder to move to lock? It’s like it somehow locks the switch. Any help please

There’s probably a safety interlock built into your car that prevents removing the key from the lock when the engine is running or maybe it isn’t the engine running, but that the transmission must be in P or N. In any event the ignition lock solendoid is electrically powered, and if that signal isn’t getting to it when it should, it won’t release the key. I think that’s what you need to test for, no “release” signal is getting to the solenoid. It might be caused by a faulty transmission selector sensor. Do you ever have trouble getting the engine to crank?

The signal from the interlock at the shifter when you put into park is triggering the solenoid in the column. You can see that working. Just don’t know what the lock solenoid in the column is hooked to that when the button pushes in does. I can’t seem to get that across. The interlock solenoid is working and was changed anyway. It’s the thing in the column. I can’t find anything telling me what that thing does or how it locks the key cylinder up. Does it goes to the actual switch? If so how does it not allow the switch to turn? I’m confused.

No problem with engine cranking or starting at all

We have also watched the shifter cables when shifting the selector and the move smoothly

There is a very slight amount of play when steering wheel is in the lock position and engine is “off”. Try removing your key while you rock the steering wheel to the right or left.

wheel never goes into the lick position. It won’t till you get the key to the off position

FYI, Ray’s weekly newspaper column is about this very topic this week. Click “Blogs”, top left on this page. Dear Car Talk is Ray’s newspaper column.

The blog that I see is about a Pontiac with a dead battery and the person who wrote the response failed to point out that there is a release button on the under side of the steering column to manually over-ride the brake-shift interlock to lock the ignition if the battery is dead. Instead the response goes on about the need to turn the steering wheel when parking the car to align the steering lock pins, that is nonsense.

Isn’t Ray the person who wrote the response?