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Dan
Dan, Auto Technician
Category: Chevy
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Experience:  GM Mark of Excellence/ Service Guild Participant with 13 years experience, ASE Master Certified
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2003 chevy Impala. has command start. key wont turn in ignition.

Customer Question

2003 chevy Impala. has command start. key won't turn in ignition. wheels not locked. happened once before but worked after about an hour. no luck this time.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Dan replied 5 years ago.
Do you have another key to try in the ignition cylinder?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes. I tried both keys, and thought it was a security issue. So I exited the car locked with the key fob. and then started all over again twice and each time used a different key fob and alternate key.
Expert:  Dan replied 5 years ago.

If the keys are not worn significantly suspect a worn ignition cylinder. Here is how to change the cylinder if bound up.

 

Ignition Switch Lock Cylinder Replacement

Removal Procedure

    Important: Perform the body control module (BCM) theft deterrent relearn procedure whenever you replace the ignition switch lock cylinder.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable. Refer to Battery Negative Cable Disconnection and Connection in Engine Electrical.
  2. Remove the instrument panel (I/P) cluster trim plate. Refer to Instrument Panel Cluster Trim Plate Bezel Replacement .
    Object Number:(NNN) NNN-NNNN Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  3. Insert the key and turn the ignition lock cylinder to the ON/RUN position.
  4. Using a small curved tool or an L-shaped hex wrench, depress and hold the detent on the ignition lock cylinder. Access the detent by placing the tool through the I/P opening to the right of the ignition switch. If you cannot locate the detent with the tool, lower the ignition switch away from the I/P. Refer to Ignition and Start Switch Replacement .
    Object Number:(NNN) NNN-NNNN Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  5. Using the key as an aid, pull to remove the lock cylinder from the switch.
  6. Remove the key from the lock cylinder.
  7. If the cylinder does not rotate or is seized, follow the procedure in the ignition switch replacement. Refer to Ignition and Start Switch Replacement .

Installation Procedure


    Object Number:(NNN) NNN-NNNN Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  1. Code the ignition lock cylinder, if necessary. Refer to Key and Lock Cylinder Coding in General Information.
  2. Insert the key and turn the lock cylinder to the ON/RUN position.
  3. Position the lock cylinder to the ignition switch. Press the cylinder into place. If you turned the key slightly while removing the lock cylinder, you may have to align the white colored ignition switch rotor (1) with the lock cylinder (2). You can rotate the ignition switch rotor (1) with your finger.
  4. Turn the key to the OFF position and remove the key.
  5. Install the I/P cluster trim plate. Refer to Instrument Panel Cluster Trim Plate Bezel Replacement .
  6. Connect the negative battery cable. Refer to Battery Negative Cable Disconnection and Connection in Engine Electrical.
  7. If you installed a new lock cylinder, perform the BCM theft deterrent relearn procedure. Refer to Body Control Module (BCM) Programming/RPO Configuration in Body Control System.

Ignition and Start Switch Replacement

Removal Procedure


    Object Number: 519619  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  1. Disconnect the battery ground cable. Refer to Battery Negative Cable Disconnection and Connection in Engine Electrical.
  2. Remove the steering column filler panel. Refer to Steering Column Opening Filler Replacement .
  3. Remove the knee bolster bracket. Refer to Driver Knee Bolster Bracket Replacement .
  4. Remove the instrument panel (I/P) cluster trim plate. Refer to Instrument Panel Cluster Trim Plate Bezel Replacement .
  5. Remove the ignition switch bolts.
  6. Lower the ignition switch away from the instrument carrier.
  7. Insert the key into the ignition lock cylinder. Turn the key to the ON/RUN position.
  8. Depress the retainer to release the transaxle park/lock cable. Remove the park/lock cable from the ignition switch by pulling on the cable.

    Important: You cannot remove the PasslockTM electrical connector until the lock cylinder is removed.

  9. Depress and hold the detent on the bottom of the ignition switch in order to release the ignition lock cylinder. Remove the ignition lock cylinder with the key.
    Object Number: 519487  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  10. Disconnect the PasslockTM electrical connector.
  11. Disconnect the electrical connectors.
    Object Number: 762724  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  12. Use the following procedure if the ignition switch lock cylinder is seized or won't rotate:
    12.1. Protect the immediate work area with suitable material such as clean shop towels or a clean fender cover.
    12.2. Locate the surface for the release button (2) for the ignition switch lock cylinder on the plastic ignition switch housing. Center punch a location (1) on the rib approximately 3/8 inch reward, toward the key entry end, from the cylinder release button.
    12.3. Carefully drill a pilot hole through the plastic housing with a 1/8-inch drill bit.
    12.4. Using a 9/32-inch drill bit, carefully drill a larger hole at the pilot location, and slightly into the surface of the ignition switch lock cylinder, to break the release button retaining spring.
    12.5. Remove portions of the broken spring from the hole using a small suitable tool.
    12.6. Grasp the ignition switch lock cylinder and remove the cylinder from the switch housing.
    12.7. Remove any plastic flash from the drilling operation, and using compressed air blow out the ignition switch assembly.
    12.8. Follow service manual procedures when cylinder coding is required. Refer to Key and Lock Cylinder Coding in General Information.

Installation Procedure

  1. If the lock cylinder would not rotate or was seized, perform the following procedure:
    1.1. Install the new ignition switch lock cylinder as required by rotating both the cylinder and the ignition switch to the ON position.
    1.2. Push the ignition switch lock cylinder into the ignition switch housing until fully seated.
    1.3. You may have to slightly depress the release button as the button passes by the 9/32-in hole previously drilled in the ignition switch housing.

    Object Number: 519487  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  2. Connect the electrical connectors.
  3. Connect the PasslockTM electrical connector.
  4. Connect the park/lock cable to the ignition switch.
    Object Number:(NNN) NNN-NNNN Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  5. Turn the key to the ON/RUN position. Install the ignition lock cylinder into the ignition switch. If you turned the key slightly while removing the lock cylinder, you may have to align the white colored ignition switch rotor (1) with the lock cylinder (2). You can rotate the ignition switch rotor (1) with your finger.
  6. Remove the key.
    Object Number: 519619  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  7. Position the ignition switch to the instrument carrier.

    Notice: Use the correct fastener in the correct location. Replacement fasteners must be the correct part number for that application. Fasteners requiring replacement or fasteners requiring the use of thread locking compound or sealant are identified in the service procedure. Do not use paints, lubricants, or corrosion inhibitors on fasteners or fastener joint surfaces unless specified. These coatings affect fastener torque and joint clamping force and may damage the fastener. Use the correct tightening sequence and specifications when installing fasteners in order to avoid damage to parts and systems.

  8. Install the ignition switch bolts.

    Tighten
    Tighten the bolts to 10 N·m (89 lb in).

  9. Install the trim plate bezel to the I/P cluster. Refer to Instrument Panel Cluster Trim Plate Bezel Replacement .
  10. Install the knee bolster bracket. Refer to Driver Knee Bolster Bracket Replacement .
  11. Install the steering column filler panel. Refer to Steering Column Opening Filler Replacement .
  12. Connect the battery ground cable. Refer to Battery Negative Cable Disconnection and Connection in Engine Electrical.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
hard to believe cylinder is worn. Car is not well used. this happened once before just after the command start was installed, and then it unlocked itself.
Expert:  Dan replied 5 years ago.
By command start do you mean remote start? If so I would try disconnecting the remote start and retesting. These systems really lower the integrity of the wiring as far as resistance, power or voltage drop in the circuitry and may even do more harm than good.

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Dan
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GM Mark of Excellence/ Service Guild Participant with 13 years experience, ASE Master Certified