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Ask Dave Nova Your Own Question

Dave Nova
Dave Nova, Chevrolet Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 18875
Experience:  ASE Master Certification. GM World Class Certification
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car wont start, cant shift out of park when key is turned

Customer Question

car wont start, cant shift out of park when key is turned on, what do i do?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thank you for using JustAnswer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do my best to help you with your Chevy problem.

Sounds like the transmission may not be all the way in Park. Check the linkage at the transmission to make sure it is connected. Try pushing forward on the shift lever at the transmission (drivers side) to see if this makes a difference. Let me know what you find.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
i turn the key nothing happens, if ileave the key in on position the dashboard gauges go crazy. all lights work battery is fine. When i have the key in the on position i hear a buzzing noise on this silver looking box mounted on the side of engine and it has 3 separate harnesses plugged in it they are color coded. if i unplug the middle one i can shift to neutral. what is it, and could this be the problem?
Expert:  Dave Nova replied 3 years ago.
Sounds like you have an ignition switch failure. This is a common problem on the trailblazer. The buzzing is due to insufficient voltage reaching the relays. Replacing the ignition switch should fix the problem.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

how much is that & is that something i can do?

Expert:  Dave Nova replied 3 years ago.
The switch itself retails for around $35 GM part # 12450251. Labor is around $100 for installation. The air bag and steering wheel do need to be removed to replace the ignition switch.

Removal Procedure


1. Remove the hush and knee bolster.
  1. Remove the air bag and steering wheel.
  2. Remove the steering column trim covers.
  3. With the key installed, turn the key to the RUN position.

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  1. Install an allen wrench into the hole on top of the lock cylinder housing. Push down on the allen wrench to release the tab on the lock cylinder inside the lock cylinder housing.

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  1. Slide the lock cylinder out of the lock cylinder housing.
  2. Disconnect the passlock and key buzzer from the lock cylinder housing.

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  1. Insert J-42759 into the lock cylinder housing to release the tabs on the ignition switch.
  2. Pull the ignition switch out of the lock cylinder housing.
  3. Disconnect the connector from the ignition switch.

Installation Procedure

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Important: The gears between the ignition switch and the lock cylinder housing must be in the correct position. Failure to do so will cause a misalignment of the gears in the ignition switch and the lock cylinder housing, which may result in a NO START or BATTERY DRAIN.

  1. Verify the alignment of the gear (1) in the ignition switch (2). If gear (1) is not in position shown, turn gear in ignition switch (2) until you reach the correct position.

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Important: In order to reach a stop while rotating the lock cylinder housing gear you MUST push and hold in the solenoid on the electric park lock.

  1. Use a screwdriver to rotate the lock cylinder housing gear counterclockwise until it hits a stop.
  2. Connect the connector to the ignition switch.

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  1. Insert ignition switch into the lock cylinder housing. The tabs (2) on the ignition switch MUST be seated inside the lock cylinder housing (1) for proper installation.

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  1. Use a screwdriver to rotate the lock cylinder housing gear clockwise to the START position, allowing it to spring return into the RUN position.

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  1. Align the lock cylinder and install the lock cylinder into the lock cylinder housing.
  2. Connect the passlock and key buzzer into the lock housing.
  3. Install the steering column trim covers.
  4. Install the hush and knee bolster.

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