key locked in ignition just needs time?

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Hi, I just joined the forum today and I've been learning alot..

I've been searching the web trying to find out what may be wrong with my car. I have a 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix. Starting yesterday morning after I get to work my car will turn off but I can't turn the key far enough to let me take it out. I verified that the steering wheel isn't locked up and it is in park. I used my vob to lock the car leaving the key in the ignition. I went back out to my car in about a half hour and started it up and immediately turned off the car and it now let me get my key out. (I had tried that when I got to work as well without success.) It hapenned again when I got home.. Again, waited about 30 minutes and it let me take the key out after a simple start and stop .. No fiddling with shift or steering wheel.. It's almost like something was locked up and timed out? The same thing happened again this morning…Tomorrow I'm going to try my other key (both are the original keys from the manufacturer) and see if it has the same problem.

Have you heard of this before where simply waiting 30 minutes and restarting frees up the lock?

Any ideas would be appreciated,



posted by  disneymom

Time doesn't affect the tumbler. You need a new ignition switch it sounds like.

posted by  88GrandPrixSE

I tried my other key and it's stuck in the ignition.. it's been more than an hour and I still can't get the key out.... it's going to stay all night now. I would really appreciate any suggestions.. also should I see a regular mechanic or go to a dealership?


posted by  disneymom

If you get the key out, use a light lubricant, such as LPS1 or WD 40 in the ignition switch. If that doesn't help, take it to the mechanic (ASE CERT.)

posted by  lectroid

Thanks for all the helpfull information.. I was able to get my key out this morning after letting it sit overnight (didn't want to go out in the cold garage to keep trying last night) I verified that I can get the key out as long as I don't put the car in gear.. that's the duplicating factor. I'm planning on calling the dealer today to ask about it and maybe getting it looked at this weekend. This is just sounding really expensive right now.

Thanks again,


posted by  disneymom

Hey disneymom,
I've had the same thing going on, on my car for almost a year now. All it is on my 1999 Grand Prix GT is the shift lock thing-y acting up. It's no big deal, just a hassel. My shift lock release buttons are located in two places, one right by the shifter (I have an automatic) it's a small rectangle shaped button with shift lock release written by it and the other is right under the steering wheel kinda under the key. It's not just a hole it has a little round cover (all you can see is the outline of the hole) you grab a screw driver or what ever will fit and pry it off and just leave the round cover off if you want to save time if it happens often. All I do when it wont give me my key is stick something long and skinny like a straw or certian pens, in the hole and wiggle your key at the same and it will come right out. Now that's if your sick of fixing thing's on your car, like I am. I fix things all the time and this problem isn't anything but a hassle. So unless you have the money to blow, I would just wait until you have the extra money sitting around, to mess with it.

posted by  jbi25

Hi there,
I have a 2002 Grand Prix and this is the first time i had this problem with the key getting stuck. Is this thing minor? Would this cost me alot of $$$. I just can't seem to get the key out!! I just had it towed to a shop. So hopefully it doesn't hurt me too much.

posted by  yvette1

move the shifter down into 1 then up to park again wiggle steering wheel and see if that helps, answer to question.... yes it will probably cost some cash, a good guess is over 10 dollars and under 1000 dollars hope that helps

posted by  BanffAutoSpa_ap

That's a REALLY wide range.

posted by  torinoman80

im bad with estimates, the last week everyone keeps askin me well cmon just gimme a really rough estimate...i'll say man i dont know 500 bucks then they go OMG whoa holy shit are you serious...well you asked me to guess wtf do you expect.

posted by  BanffAutoSpa_ap

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