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Bill
Bill, Buick Technician
Category: Buick
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Experience:  GM Certified Master Technician
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2002 Rendezvous: The ignition tumbler wont turn..steering column..keys

Resolved Question:

I have a 2002 Rendezvous. The ignition tumbler wont turn, and the steering column appears locked. I tried different keys...checked the passkey fuses. I am assuming the solenoid is stuck? Help!! What do I have to do to get the key to turn?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Buick
Expert:  Bill replied 3 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
Bill :

Hi,

Bill :

Can you tell me what position the key is locked in? Will it come out? Does it turn at all? Or is it stuck in with the key turning only partially and will not turn to the off position to be removed.

Customer :

The vehicle is off. The key can be removed and inserted easily. The key is not stuck in the tumbler, the tumbler will not turn, and the column appears to be locked

Customer :

I also pulled off the cover to see if the solenoid had a button or something I could release...

Bill :

There's no solenoid to keep it from turning at all. If the cylinder will not turn at all, it's likely going to be an issue with a stuck or damaged tumber in the ignition cylinder. The cylinder should be replaced which involves re-keying it. It can also be difficult to remove as the cylinder needs to be turned to the on position to release it by using a bent tipped awl or a bent tip allen through the hole on top of the housing. I've been able to force some with the key in the ignition by using moderate force but not enough to damage anything. Either way the cylinder should be replaced. Let me know if you need additional assistance.

Bill :

Bill

Customer :

Can I buy a cylinder?

Customer :

If I can't fix this myself, How do I start the vehicle to take it in for repair?

Customer :

Can you tell me what my next steps are?

Bill :

The only thing you could try is some silicone spray in the cylinder then inserting the key and try using some moderate force to see if the (likely) one tumbler will come free. Short of that I could send instructions but there are some special tools and it is a bit of a tedious job. I've even had to cut the aluminum housing apart and replace it on occasion. If you don't feel up it or do not have the proper tools you may end up having to have it towed.

Customer :

I shot it with WD40...nothing yet. THis vehicle has 130000+ miles. I just want to unlock the steering and be able to start it. The key in the ignition does not have to be functional. What do I have to do to be able to drive the vehicle?

Bill :

The ignition key DOES have to be functional as it is part of the theft deterrant system. There is a sensor in the cylinder that is an input to the theft deterrant system and if it is not repaired properly, the vehicle will not start. Your answer is the cylinder has failed internally and must be replaced or disassembled and recoded. It may have to be cut or broken out as the release pin only works when it is in the on position. If using the moderate force (do NOT break off the key) does not work, you will likely need to have it towed to a repair facility. The theft deterrant system will have to be programmed after the repair as well. Sorry if it's not the answer you were hoping for but I assure you it is accurate.

Bill :

Hope this helps and you can click accept :)

Bill :

Bill

Customer :

Can the theft deterrant system be disabled? I don't need it either.

Bill :

No... it cannot be. It is part of the vehicle and it will not crank unless it receives the proper signal from the module. It must be repaired properly. There are multiple modules involved and they must receive the proper signal at the proper time or the vehicle will be disabled electronically.

Bill :

Hope that info helps. Sorry it's not such an easy fix!

Customer :

I don't know how I can tow it....the steering is locked, the trans. is locked...

Bill :

Unfortunately it will be until the repair is completed. Tow companies know what to do. The trans can be released by popping the shift cable off at the trans itself but the steering lock is internal in the column.

Customer :

Thanks for the stinky news. This vehicle has been a money pit ;(

Bill, Buick Technician
Category: Buick
Satisfied Customers: 1611
Experience: GM Certified Master Technician
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