Car Runs When Keys Removed


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
170,000 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
  2. replace ignition switch (1 reports)
2001 Saturn SL1 accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2001 Saturn SL1 Owner Comments

problem #2

Dec 112016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 190,000 miles


I had no idea that this was even possible until I accidentally pulled on my key ring while in the car and OOPS! There goes my key, while the CAR IS STILL RUNNING!! It completely freaked me out, because I thought I had broken something, so I shut the car off and restarted it. Realizing then that it was a problem with the car and not myself doing something on accident, it still becomes a problem.

- Samantha C., Flint, MI, US

problem #1

Apr 012014

SL1 1.9L Sohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

When I first bought the car in 2013 with 150, 000 miles the previous owners informed me that the key needs to be wiggled a bit to start sometimes. I figured that's no big deal and I did not really think about it. until I found that I could remove my keys while the vehicle was running and it would stay that way...

Again, no big deal, until I either cannot shut the car off because it is not catching the key (that happened a handful of times, once I got a system down it was okay) actually it was almost convenient in the winter when I did not want to shut the car off. I could leave it run and take my keys with me or let someone use the house keys without shutting the car off. Again, once I figured out its tricks no big deal.

Around 160, 000 miles when I hit bumps the car would shut off (the jerk of the keys) Now it was a problem..... especially when I am trying to get the vehicle stopped and off the road with no powers steering, or could not take off from a light and other drivers unaware are honking at me because they think I am not paying attention to the light change, when in reality I am trying the cars tricks in the ignition to get the car started. I never repaired the car because GM was doing all of its ignition switch recalls at that time and more and more vehicles were added. I figured mine was coming soon. it didn't. I drove it this way until This last October of 2014 with 168, 000 miles and I sold it for my 2007 Toyota 4Runner. According to the new buyers, the car is still going strong, unless you hit a bump....

I referred to that vehicle as my RELIABLE, OIL BURNING, FUEL EFFICIENT PIECE OF SH*T. haha. other Saturn drivers often get a kick out of that because it just seemed perfect.

- 4runner07, Bay City, MI, US

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