Go Back   Tech Support Forum > Automotive Center > Automotive Support

[SOLVED] Ingnition won't turn steering wheel is not locked

This is a discussion on [SOLVED] Ingnition won't turn steering wheel is not locked within the Automotive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I have a 1997 Malibu and the other day I came home from work, parked the car to go to


Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-24-2008, 06:32 AM   #1
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 8
OS: xp



I have a 1997 Malibu and the other day I came home from work, parked the car to go to the store and when I got back in the car I put the key in the ignition and the ignition would not turn. I noticed also that the steering wheel had not locked when I turned the car off. I tried every key I had for the car and nothing worked.

I couldn't get the car out of park, the steering wheel never locked and I eventually had to get to get the car towed. As I thought about it later on, I recalled that on several ocassions over the past few months when I went to start the car the ignition would stick but only momentarily.

Anyone have any ideas why the ignition would not turn? Any thoughts on what needs to be done to fix it?

__________________
mconel is offline  
Old 03-24-2008, 06:36 PM   #2
TSF Gearhead
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Brisbane Australia.
Posts: 592
OS: All Systems, mainly Linux



Good Morning mconel, I don't know that machine, but generally there is a mechanism that is operated by the key that interferes with a pawl on the steering shaft and this locks the steering from turning more than a certain amount.

I would suspect either one of the key cylinder "tumblers" is hanging or the steering lock pawl is stuck.

As a first method of analysis I would suggest putting some "powdered graphite" in the key slot and working the key in and out for several minutes to try to get that graphite powder fully into all the locking mechanism. Do not use spray lubes.

If that is not successful you may have to obtan the manual and get more involved in examination of the other parts involved.

Powdered graphite is magical stuff, get a puffer pack from your local automotive supermarket.

Others will have different ideas.

Cheers, qldit.

__________________
qldit is offline  
Old 04-15-2008, 02:25 AM   #3
TSF Team Emeritus
 
Volt-Schwibe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Behind you, watching you as you type.
Posts: 7,383
OS: Click "My System" to view details

My System


almost sounds to me like someone has tampered with it. were the doors locked while you were in the store?

if it wasn't tampering, then it sounds like the lock mechanisms inside the column behind the lock itself have either fallen loose or crumbled. you might need to buy a new column for it, that's a relatively inexpensive part compared to the labor that could be put into that column trying to fix it.

on the other hand, it might be something a locksmith or mechanic could fix in 10 minutes, so it's sorta a gamble.
__________________
<signature>

TSF is funded by our Admin's pocket, care to help?
Power Tip: Subscribe to your thread (Thread Tools) to receive an instant email notification when you get a reply.
New Members: Creating a single new thread in the correct section is the best way to assure your thread will receive a reply.
</signature>
Volt-Schwibe is offline  
Old 04-22-2008, 09:18 PM   #4
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 7
OS: XP Pro SP2



Umm, guys? I don't think there is a steering column lock on a '97 Malibu. Is the ignition switch on the dash? Or on the column? If it's on the dash, there is no locking mechanism on this vehicle. I work for a GM dealer. Worked for Chevrolet for 12 years from '94 to '06. Currently work for Pontiac. The Malibu ignition lock cylinder is also the passlock sensor housing. I have had to replace a LOT of these due to tumbler retainers backing out and the tumblers not falling into place properly.
__________________
Slaton is offline  
Old 04-24-2008, 08:10 PM   #5
Registered Member
 
RIGHTE0US's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Central NY
Posts: 350
OS: VISTA/XP PRO SP2/HOME/ME/LINUX



do you have remote start?...if so, please click and be sure it's your car you have...lol...it's happened before
__________________
RIGHTE0US is offline  
Old 05-04-2008, 07:15 AM   #6
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 8
OS: xp



Quote:
Originally Posted by qldit View Post
Good Morning mconel, I don't know that machine, but generally there is a mechanism that is operated by the key that interferes with a pawl on the steering shaft and this locks the steering from turning more than a certain amount.

I would suspect either one of the key cylinder "tumblers" is hanging or the steering lock pawl is stuck.

As a first method of analysis I would suggest putting some "powdered graphite" in the key slot and working the key in and out for several minutes to try to get that graphite powder fully into all the locking mechanism. Do not use spray lubes.

If that is not successful you may have to obtan the manual and get more involved in examination of the other parts involved.

Powdered graphite is magical stuff, get a puffer pack from your local automotive supermarket.

Others will have different ideas.

Cheers, qldit.
Thanks for the suggestion - turns out the ignition cylinder was bad - had to get it replaced - works just fine now
__________________
mconel is offline  
Old 05-04-2008, 07:18 AM   #7
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 8
OS: xp



Quote:
Originally Posted by Volt-Schwibe View Post
almost sounds to me like someone has tampered with it. were the doors locked while you were in the store?

if it wasn't tampering, then it sounds like the lock mechanisms inside the column behind the lock itself have either fallen loose or crumbled. you might need to buy a new column for it, that's a relatively inexpensive part compared to the labor that could be put into that column trying to fix it.

on the other hand, it might be something a locksmith or mechanic could fix in 10 minutes, so it's sorta a gamble.
You're so right about the cost - I ended up get the ignition cylinder changed and it cost me $400 bucks! I know my mechanic, he always takes care of me so I know the cost was reasonable considering the amount of work that went into changing the cylinder
__________________
mconel is offline  
Old 05-04-2008, 07:23 AM   #8
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 8
OS: xp



Quote:
Originally Posted by Slaton View Post
Umm, guys? I don't think there is a steering column lock on a '97 Malibu. Is the ignition switch on the dash? Or on the column? If it's on the dash, there is no locking mechanism on this vehicle. I work for a GM dealer. Worked for Chevrolet for 12 years from '94 to '06. Currently work for Pontiac. The Malibu ignition lock cylinder is also the passlock sensor housing. I have had to replace a LOT of these due to tumbler retainers backing out and the tumblers not falling into place properly.
The ignition switch is on the dash but the steering wheel does lock. Anyway, turned out to be s bad ignition cylinder. So my mechanic changed it - a lot of time in labor to get it done, pretty much took him all day. But it's fine now. Thanks for the response
__________________
mconel is offline  
Old 05-04-2008, 07:14 PM   #9
TSF Gearhead
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Brisbane Australia.
Posts: 592
OS: All Systems, mainly Linux



Good Morning mconel, well you "bit the bullet" and had a successful outcome, congratulations on your fix.

Thankyou for your feedback and the info as to how difficult that particular job was.

All the best,

Cheers, qldit.

__________________
qldit is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is on
Smilies are on
[IMG] code is on
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Post a Question


» Site Navigation
 > FAQ
  > 10.0.0.2


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:06 AM.


Copyright 2001 - 2014, Tech Support Forum

Windows 7 - Windows XP - Windows Vista - Trojan Removal - Spyware Removal - Virus Removal - Networking - Security - Top Web Hosts