Key Stuck In The Ignition

2002 Pontiac Grand Prix (Page 3 of 3)


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
97,610 miles
Total Complaints:
59 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (24 reports)
  2. release under steering column up a channel. (10 reports)
  3. put it in park until i hear the ignition unlock (4 reports)
  4. replace switch behind ignition (4 reports)
  5. depressed button (3 reports)
  6. automatic shifter pushed up to far (2 reports)
2002 Pontiac Grand Prix accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2002 Pontiac Grand Prix Owner Comments (Page 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #19

Aug 082007

Grand Prix

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles


The key keeps getting stuck in the ignition. A huge pain in the rear when you're trying to run a quick errand, but can't get the key out of the flippin ignition. A few times I just had to leave the keys in the car, hoping it wouldn't disappear while I was in a store. It is such a random problem. We took in to our friends shop to have it repaired. It was going to cost approximately $300.00. We opted for a different solution. He removed a small round cap under the steering column, right below the ignition. Stick a screw driver up into the hole and move it towards the dash until you feel the switch pop. This will release the ignition. I'm beginning to hate this car! Transmission is slipping, CD player is broke, and my rear passenger window is stuck DOWN! This car is only 6 years old.

- , St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #18

Apr 162008

Grand Prix SE 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles

I just bought this car. It is immaculate. But the stupid key won't come out of the ignition!!! And you know what? I have friends, both with 97 GTP's that do the same exact thing!

I usually pull the gear shifter down and back up again, or restart the car and move the car and try again. Annoying!

- , Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #17

Jul 152007

Grand Prix 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

I just wanted to add mine to the list! Argh! My key gets stuck in the ignition. When it gets stuck, I have to push the gear shifter into park as far as it will go - sometimes jiggling it a little. It is a temporary fix that hopefully lasts a while - still very annoying none the less.

- , Seattle, WA, USA

problem #16

Jun 142008

Grand Prix 40TH 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles


My car is a well maintained 2002 Grand Prix 40TH 3.8L V6. About 6 mon't ago the windshield washers stopped working and they said it was a power problem in the steering column. Now, the key is getting stuck. Once the key is stuck I couldn't put in it park or reverse so I always have to leave the key in and lock it and hope it is there when I get back. I now can find the release button on the inside of the steering column, but this is a major inconvenience for my wife. Judging from the number of references to this problem, it is a major fault with the Grand Prix. Why can't Pontiac address the problem properly. I guess it's time to trade back to a reliable vehicle.

- , Mapleton, IA, USA

problem #15

Jan 102008

Grand Prix 40TH 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

I removed the console twice to release the switch on the shifter but the problem seems to be coming from the switch behind the ignition. I'm in the process of replacing it now. The key is always getting stuck. Once the key is stuck I couldn't put in it park or reverse so I always have to leave the key in and lock it and hope it is there when I get back.

- , Lunenburg, MA, USA

problem #14

Jan 012008

Grand Prix SE 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

This is a very will maintained 2002 Pontiac SE, with a 3.1L V6 and auto trans. We've owned it since new. The problem began when the gear shift would not go completely into Park. Also, sometimes it would go into park but the key would not turn to the OFF position. Therefore, in both situations above, the key would be stuck in the ignition. An emergency solution was to remove the small rectangular tab on the center console and use a key or screwdriver to release the gearshift. * Our local Pontiac dealer's first attempt to fix the issue resulted in a $465 replacement of the gearshift assembly linkage. THis didn't fix the problem. A week later, they replaced the ignition assembly and tried to charge me another $250. I complained and said they were already paid $450 to fix the problem. They agreed. A week later it broke again. Not sure what they did the 3rd time (for free) but it is working fine now. I'm not happy about dropping $450, but they were good to work with in finally resolving the problem. I've owned Grand Prix's since 1990 with very good success until this one.

- , Centre Hall, PA, USA

problem #13

Mar 182008

(reported on)

Grand Prix GTP V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles


I took the car to the dealer 2x's and they find nothing wrong. It seem the gear shift does not register in park so it won't release the key. I can leave it for 10 minutes and it will then release but I usual hit the gear shift into park and it allows me to move the ignition and pull out the key, very frustrating. I've left my car parked in the garage overnight because I can't get the key out. How can this be fixed? Shouldn't this be a recall?/

- , Elgin, IL, USA

problem #12

Aug 012007

Grand Prix GT 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,488 miles

kimmythepooh has the same solution that has been working for me since it started happening to my car

although sometimes i have to take it all the way out of park and back in

- , Saint John, NB, Canada

problem #11

Dec 252007

Grand Prix SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

This morning my key got stuck in the ignition and it took me about 30 minutes to get it out. it was a pain in the ass. a few hours later, i go to turn on my car and i stick the key in the ignition but it wont move. the steering wheel is locked and so is the ignition. i tried taking it apart but i dont want to cause any more damage.

- , Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #10

Nov 122007

Grand Prix SE 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,657 miles

Tilt the steering wheel all the way up. In the gap on the underside of the column just below the ignition switch. Inside the gap a little to the right you can feel a round button protruding. Simply press on that round button just enough to release the key. My husband figured it out. Gotta love those quirks.

- , Monroe City, MO, USA

problem #9

Oct 182007

(reported on)

Grand Prix SE 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,100 miles


Earlier this summer my car was having this trouble. Nothing I did was a solution, it would just eventually give me the key back. Then I got it fixed at a Pontiac dealer (for an amount I can't remember off hand) and they totally replaced a certain part that fixed the problem. So now it's October and I've moved halfway across the country, away from the dealer that fixed the car, and it's again no longer giving me my key back at all. Nothing I try, no tricks, no methods will give me my key back. This is no good because that little park light stays on and I don't know how long it needs to be on to drain my battery. So I don't know what would make a replaced part break so soon.

- , Fairchild AFB, WA, USA

problem #8

Jun 082007

(reported on)

Grand Prix GT 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,010 miles

I really hope this helps you guys as I'm realizing now how nice the dealer who sold me my used car was. He actually thought of mentioning this to me... Anyway, the reason why the key gets stuck in the ignition is because the automatic shifter is pushed up too far. To solve this problem you simple have to remind yourself not too push it up so far or if you forget you simply have to pull your shifter slightly (no more than a few millimeters) towards reverse (R). Actually, when I do this I hear a little tiny click and I know its ok. I love my car :)

- , Jonquiere, Quebec, Canada

problem #7

Jun 182007

(reported on)

Grand Prix

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

As with the others above, my fiancee's 2002 Grand Prix is experiencing the ignition key stuck in the cylinder problem. So far it's only occasionally; however, it won't get better on it's own. Has anyone had any luck getting this fixed? If so, what was required in the course of the repair? Thanks!

- , Three Oaks, MI, USA

problem #6

Jul 202007

(reported on)

Grand Prix

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,000 miles

I use a screwdriver to release the key so I can take it out of the ignition. I can live with this versus the cost of the repair.

- , Lexington, TN, USA

problem #5

Feb 272007

(reported on)

Grand Prix Limited 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I believe that not getting my ignition fixed has lead to the shifter not operating also.(I have heard there is a sensor between the ignition and the shifter) I now have to release the shifter to get it out of gear by sticking something down into the release slot to the right of the shifter.

- , Sandoval, IL, USA

problem #4

Jan 202007

(reported on)

Grand Prix 3.2 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles

Key frequently gets stuck in the ignition. It is not a matter of moving the steering wheel or dealing with a locked steering wheel. I am not sure what the problem is because it happens intermmitently. It often takes putting the car in and out of park or taking it for a ride in order to fix it. Some people say the linkage isn't lined up properly when in park, others think it is in the ignition itself. I really don't want to pay someone $80.00 and hour to try and fix it. It hasn't become totally intolerable... yet. there have been times, however, when I have had to lock the keys in the car, in the ignition and use the spare set to get in and out of the car. It is a royal pain!

- , Cumberland, RI, USA

problem #3

Jan 182007

(reported on)

Grand Prix SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

On my 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix, my key tends to get stuck in the ignition. This is a major inconvenience, when you are some place where it could possibly get stolen. I have noticed when this happens and I leave it alone for five minutes or so, it will come out. Anyone might know why this is happening please let me know. Thank you.

- , Farmington, NM, USA

problem #2

Aug 272006

(reported on)

Grand Prix

  • 71,000 miles

When we shut off the car, our key is stuck in the ignition. Sometimes, it does not stick. We have to restart the car, put it in reverse, or put it in drive, or both and it works about half the time. any suggestions??

- , Fort Wayne, IN, US

problem #1

Apr 202006

(reported on)

Grand Prix

  • 89,000 miles

When I park and try to cut off the ignition the key will not go to the off position. Some times I have to to start back up and go through reverse and drive several times and then listen for a click in the steering column before I can place the switch all the way in off and remove the keys. I tried the shift lock override next to the shifter but still no avail. Sometimes I park the car at home and lock with the remote and then go back a couple of hours later and try to remove the keys. Sometimes it works.

- , Lexington Park, MD, USA

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