Last post on Jan 05, 2013 at 5:41 PM
You are in the Saturn ION
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Saturn ION, Saturn ION Red Line, Coupe, Sedan
#7 of 39 Stuck Key
Sep 25, 2009 (7:54 am)
I have a 2007 Saturn Ion that I purchased in early August. It is now back at the dealer for the SECOND TIME because without warning, the key will not disengage from the ignition. The car CANNOT be turned off. My car is a 5speed and they just have me stall it. This last time it was stalled in my driveway overnight and of course in the morning the battery was dead (told the svc. mgr. that would happen). The first time they replace the ignition switch and cut a new key.
I really love the car, and previously drove an SL-1 for more than 13 years. But this key situation is really disturbing to me. Any suggestions?
#8 of 39 Re: Stuck Key [arlowe]
Sep 26, 2009 (6:04 am)
Saturn replaced the shift solenoid, which finally solved my problem. I have an automatic transmission, though.
Prior to that, they replaced the ignition and "the computer" although I'm not sure which "computer" they were referring to. I don't beleive I have that service receipt.
#9 of 39 Re: Stuck Key [mimi2694]
Sep 27, 2009 (3:00 pm)
I have basically just coped with the situation. I can remove the key eventually, it just takes a few tries and sitting in my car longer than I want to which is an inconvenience. Since it does not affect the overall operation of the car, I really don't want to pay the dealership to do a bunch of explorative surgery that may never fix the problem. At least that is my impression of what other people have gone through. I am thinking of installing a remote egnition switch to bypass the problem entirely. Has anyone else tried this?
#10 of 39 Stuck key in 2006 Ion
Sep 27, 2009 (3:54 pm)
Saturn had already done the "exploratory surgery" on mine, replacing the ignition switch itself, some sort of computer. They finally narrowed it down the shift solenoid when I told them if I played with the key and the gear shift, taking it out of park and putting it back into park, sometimes that would work. So far the shift solenoid has been the answer and my key comes out with no problem. It seems over time, the symptoms changed or got worse so they could finally pinpoint the problem. I never took the car in specifically for this problem until the last visit when it just became intolerable and since my car is still under the extended warranty, might as well have them fix it.
#11 of 39 Re: Stuck Key [arlowe]
Feb 25, 2010 (8:35 am)
The problem with the Saturn ION's not turning off, I.E. ignition will not turn to the off position is with the lock cylinder. Specifically the retaining clip that holds the tumblers and springs in place.
I just replaced a lock cylinder on my girlfriends car because the only way she could stop the engine was to stall out her manual transmission.
When reassembling the new lock cylinder (stock OEM replacement part) I noticed there was nothing holding the retaining clip in place. The instructions indicate you need to use cylinder material on all four corners of the clip to hold it in place. This essentially means gouging and or bending existing metal material on the lock cylinder pushing it over the retaining clip to hold it in place.
no matter what I or how I did it even with a new cylinder I would only get a few turns out of the new cylinder until it reverted to the same problem.
Remove tumblers, springs, and retaining clip. Install cylinder..... end of problem.... Of course any key that will fit into the slot will now start the car....
Cheap car, cheap parts..... we get what we pay for...... personally I never have nor will I ever purchase a GM.....
#12 of 39 Re: Stuck Key - saturn ion ignition key stuck now fixed
Aug 26, 2010 (8:15 am)
Saturn Ion key stuck in ignition? Intermittent problem for Saturn Ion whereby ignition key will not remove from ignition switch after automatic transmission is placed in Park? Is your key stuck in the ignition lock cylinder?
A possible solution is to replace the Brake Transmission Shift Interlock (BTSI) SOLENOID. The Saturn dealership pronounced it "bitsy cell-a-noid" - It is the circuit that tells the keylock mechanism that the car is parked and allows the key to rotate to Off.
I was experiencing intermittent problem whereby ignition key would not remove from ignition switch after automatic transmission is placed in Park.
Stuck key solution was to replace the Brake Transmission Shift Interlock (BTSI) SOLENOID circuit.
New BTSI solenoid fixed my 2007 Saturn Ion when the key would not rotate out of the ignition lock cylinder after car was placed in Park.
#13 of 39 Re: Stuck Key - saturn ion ignition key stuck now fixed [orbit9090]
Aug 26, 2010 (9:10 am)
Thanks for the tip.
I figured it had something to do with the car not registering that it was in park, because sometimes, I was able to get the key out by shifting the gears in and out of park several times.
For a while, I was able to jiggle my key out of the ignition, which left the electrical system on while the engine was off. Eventually, I was not able to turn the electrics off at all with the key, and started having trouble with my battery due to the electrics running it down. AAA replaced my battery under warranty and jump started me several times.
I finally got sick of this, and since I found I was no longer able to remove the key at all, I broke open the owner's manual to find out about the kill switch under the steering column. Not terribly difficult to locate. There's a little panel on the underside of the steering column that I took off, and if you reach inside, there's a button that you push, and Voila, I can turn the car out and remove the key!
I know this is a temporary solution, but it's a free one until I can afford to take the car to the dealer for repairs.
Oct 14, 2010 (11:14 am)
I've read a ton of posts on this common problem. My problem is that the key won't come out with any of the posted methods: pushing the little plunger does not work; jiggling the key does not work; shifting back and forth does not work (it's an automatic).
And it seems a consensus that replacing the ignition switch will not resolve the issue. But is replacing the BTSI a more surefire resolution?
any ideas? thanks!
#15 of 39 Re: Stuck Key - saturn ion ignition key stuck now fixed [silverisis]
Mar 07, 2011 (10:22 am)
This seems to be very good information. I looked in my 2007 Ion manual and could not find details without reading the whole manual. Can you post where the info is located?
I called AAA and the driver opened the fuse box and pulled the ECM (engine control module?) fuse to shut the engine down. He replaced the fuse and we re-started the engine. The engine ran VERY rough. Hope it didn't damage the ECM. We shut down the engine and I located the battery in the trunk spare tire well to disconnect the negative lead and prevent the battery discharge. Now I'm looking for the "magic" button. I will also try replacing the BTSI solenoid. If I can remember, I'll post my results.