Last post on Jul 27, 2012 at 11:24 AM
You are in the Pontiac Grand Prix
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Pontiac Grand Prix, Sedan
Aug 24, 2011 (7:05 pm)
Does anybody know why this is an intermittent problem (at least it is for me)? it will be fine for a while, maybe a month or 2, then start sticking again.
I finally followed somebody else's advice and stuffed a straw into the hole. I lost the cover that I had to pop off, so I used a piece of duct tape to hold it in place. No problems so far!
Good luck to everyone!
#69 of 88 Re: Cannot remove key from ignition [moonbeam3]
Aug 24, 2011 (9:31 pm)
I can give you a step by step instruction for the first part to check if it is the green and purple wire which has come loose. all you will need is a flat head screwdriver and the car on a level surface, or blocks behind the back wheels so the car can't roll.
1. Open your central console and remove the insert where you keep your stuff (for me its change and gas receipts)
2. Locate a small rectangular hole on the front of the console just above the cup holder
3. Insert screwdriver into this opening
4. Gently but forcefully pry up on the plastic cover, it should 'pop' off
5. on a flat surface, with the car off, move the shifter to the neutral position
6. slide/pull the console cover up, gently pushing up on the seat heater insert from underneath
7. look under the shifter to where the now revealed wire harness is running from the area under the radio to the area under the shifter
8. you should see 6 or 7 wires, the wires you are interested in are green and purple. if they have come loose they will be apart from the white terminal to where the rest of the wires are attached.
I have a unedited version of my repair where all of this is shown, but most of the video is me cursing, walking back and forth, or just being silent as I work. Also I was just recovering from laryngitis when I made the video so I sound rather disgusting. If you need more of a visual for these steps I can make another video showing how I get the console cover off. It should run all of 45 seconds.
#70 of 88 This You tube video shows you how how to remove the key manually
Aug 26, 2011 (9:11 pm)
This u tube video shows you how how to remove the key manually
There are other videos on how fix the problem permently. You really see the work being done. What a stress reliever.
#71 of 88 Re: This You tube video shows you how how to remove the key manually [msktlee]
Aug 26, 2011 (9:33 pm)
Yes it does, and once you do that for over a year you just might get sick of the extra step. My video shows a simple repair to solve what may be the problem. A detached green and purple wire running out from the wire harness to the solenoid under the shifter.
To check if it is the green and purple wire all you need is 1 screw driver and a few minutes.
1. Remove the insert in the center console
2. Find the rectangular hole in the front of the center console just above the cup holder
3. Insert screw driver and leverage upward gently but forcefully to pop off the console cover
4. Shift the front end of the console in front of the shifter and look for a bunch of wires taped together running out from under the radio area to the shifter.
5. Follow the green and purple wire, pull on them gently, pulling away from the shifter.
6. If you feel no resistance and see the end of the cables, therein is your problem, if you feel resistance, quit pulling and look into getting your ignition switch replaced.
#72 of 88 Re: This You tube video shows you how how to remove the key manually [gearkat]
Aug 31, 2011 (7:26 pm)
Greetings My immediate question is to Gearcat:
Would you explain in detail how this problem is caused by the ignition switch and whether this is the only item needing replacement?
I have this problem on my 97 GTP and have checked the harness (it's tight) but have read of an actuator switch, possible gear shift solenoid etc.... so would like to read your take on the ig switch.
I look forward to your reply.
#73 of 88 Re: This You tube video shows you how how to remove the key manually [desraeligears]
Aug 31, 2011 (8:13 pm)
Well, the ignition switch solenoid needs 'to talk' to the gear shift solenoid in order to know when the car is in park. From what I've read it is the ignition switch that goes bad more often than the solenoid in the gear switch. I don't know of an actuator switch being involved in this process. But once again, I am not a trained mechanic, I can only relay my non-professional opinion.
#74 of 88 Key getting stuck and not changing gears
Nov 04, 2011 (6:17 pm)
Having that problem now and to add to it, the shifter will not move half the time. I think I have traced it down to the brake transaxle lockout solonoid. Is that strictly a dealer item?
#75 of 88 Re: Key won't come out of the ignition! [sykes01]
Dec 07, 2011 (12:48 pm)
I have had this same problem with my 2000 Grand Prix. An even cheaper fix is using a straw from a restaurant. You have to cut it down but most will fit on the back side of the little cover that is under the steering column. This has fixed my car for at least 3 years now. I had actually forgotten about it until I came across this post.
#76 of 88 First post...
Jan 22, 2012 (10:25 pm)
So i wanted to thank all on the site who have contributed to ideas/workarounds for what seems a very common problem. I was also having the same ignition not returning to lock and after reading through the responses to OP, I decided to dig into my 2000 GP. I will say that while i have no formal auto mechanic training, I have made a lot of repairs varying from wiper blade change to engine rebuilds. I would like to share what I found in my diagnostic and repair. My particular solenoid release issue was directly related to a coffe spill on the way to work about 2 months ago. The gear shift release mechanism was gummed up and not allowing the switch in the console/gear selector to fully disengage. A thorough cleaning of this with alchohol and lubrication with dielectric grease has fully solved my issue. I will say to anyone that is not looking to pay a dealership for repair, that any knowledgeable shade tree mechanic could correct this issue for you relatively inexpensively. I am in no way offering to do a repair for anyone but if I were to charge for this work, I would say less than 75 would be fair. In regards to those who have issues with being able to remove the key after the ignition is out of lock, the 2 issues that I have seen that create these problems in the past are improperly cut key or ignition lock assemblies wearing out due to excessive weight from many keys on your keyring after time... it can cause the tumblers to fail. Again, thank you to all who have contributed to solutions, and I hope that others may find help from my resolution.
#77 of 88 Re: This You tube video shows you how how to remove the key manually [gearkat]
Jan 23, 2012 (9:12 pm)
Thanks gearkat great instructions. I just bought a 2001 Grand Prix SE and it had the same problem until this evening !!!!!!!!