Key Gets Stuck In Ignition Lock Cylinder


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
126,500 miles
Total Complaints:
8 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (5 reports)
  2. dealer replaced sensor in gearshift (1 reports)
  3. lock de icer or graffite (1 reports)
  4. temp solution look under steering column (1 reports)
1996 Pontiac Grand Am accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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1996 Pontiac Grand Am Owner Comments

problem #8

May 012003

Grand Am V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles


I had this problem off and on for months until, finally, the key was permanently stuck in the ignition. Since the electrical system was still active, I had to disconnect the battery to keep it from draining and call a tow truck. After a lot of headache, my mechanic told me that he replaced a solenoid and this seemed to resolve the problem. Unfortunately, after just a few months, the problem returned. Rather than continue fighting with this car, which had numerous other problems, I got rid of it and swore off GM products for the rest of my life.

- , Frederick, MD, USA

problem #7

Oct 082004

(reported on)

Grand Am

  • 144,000 miles

It happened to my 96 Grand AM - to be able to remove the key I removed a plastic cover under the steering column - you need torx screw driver 5/32" - and then you will see a plunger coil and then push it toward the key and I taped it in the "pushed in" position with electrical tape. Also on the plastic cover under the steering column there is a small access hole with cover about 1" x 1 1/2" that can be removed with a regular screw driver (access cover has small slot for screw driver for removal slide the panel up the steering column) and you can insert your finger in there and push the same plunger in and release the key.

Good luck.

- , Oakville, ON, Canada

problem #6

Jun 022005

(reported on)

Grand Am GT

  • 128,000 miles

Pontiac suck , it has been one problem after the other, it seems every month i am fixing something on this dang car. when your ignition locks up thats mean it won't drive so you gotta call a tow truck that means big $$$.

- , Jackson, MI, USA

problem #5

Jun 152004

Grand Am SE 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles


it was fixed once. now it is doing it again, the dealer's service manger said there are 4 parts that go bad. it could be any one of those 4. he said grand am & grand prix have this problem.

- , Selinsgrove, PA, USA

problem #4

Jul 012000

Grand Am 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Just that if your key gets stuck in the ignition look under the steering column there is a hole put your finger in there and pull the lever froward while holding it it should always you to pull your stuck keys right out of the ignition...any more questions please feel free to email me....

- , El Paso, TX, USA

problem #3

Sep 162007

(reported on)

Grand Am 4cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 161,000 miles

My keys are always getting stuck in my ignition. They will not turn to the off position and it happens nearly daily. I have found a few things that help for about a week or so at minimum cost. Try squirting powdered graphite into your ignition or lock de icer (used in cold weather on door locks normally) it will clean and lubricate the ignition itself and make it unlock for the time being. Both of these products are less then 2 dollars at a part store or Walmart.

- , Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

problem #2

Oct 022004

(reported on)

Grand Am SE

  • 134,000 miles

I have 2 nearly identical Pontiac Grand Am's and one will not release the key from the ignition switch most of the time. It takes from 5 to 20 minutes to finally allow the switch to be locked and key removed. All that time all the instrument panel lights are on and draining the battery. Your only protection is to have a spare key to get in after you lock the doors and to have a set of jumper cables to start the car if you get back too late. If I could find the little sucker I'd disconnect or override it so it wouldn't lock the ignition switch from going to the locked position.

- , Pascagoula, MS, USA

problem #1

Aug 052004

(reported on)

Grand Am

  • 100,000 miles

My key got stuck in my car the other day so I left it. Usually I leave it for a few minutes and go back out and the key will come right out. Well, I was at work and got busy and by the time I got back out to the car the car was dead! Then I had to try and get it jumped in the dark and it was a big pain in the ass. The key gets stuck sometimes, but not every time. It seems to go in spurts.

- , Clinton, IA, USA

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