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Jerry Newton
Jerry Newton, Chevy Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 3635
Experience:  ASE Master Technician, L1, Master GM Technician. Over 20 years of bumper to bumper GM experience.
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Chevrolet Cobalt LT 2005 Cobalt LT. Replace Ignition Lock

Customer Question

2005 Cobalt LT. Replace Ignition Lock Cylinder
Need instructions to remove and replace ignition lock cylinder.

I can only get the cylinder half way out. I assume I must have missed a release or I'm pressing the releases out of sequence. Was successful a year ago with a Saturn Ion, but this time no go.

GM has a bulletin on this problem reuiring replace by the dealership. However, I have already started this project and now the car won't start. Seems that the ignition will not make all connections in order to turn the motor. The key is now very loose in the slot. I twisted and pull on the cylinder so much that it is now very hard to turn.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Jerry Newton replied 2 years ago.

Removal Procedure

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable. Refer to Battery Negative Cable Disconnection and Connection in Engine Electrical.
  2. Disable the SIR system. Refer to SIR Disabling and Enabling in SIR.
  3. Remove the steering column trim covers. Refer to Steering Column Trim Covers Replacement .

  4. Object Number: 874786  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  5. Turn the ignition lock cylinder to the RUN position.

  6. Object Number: 874789  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.

    Important: There are two retainers on the ignition lock cylinder. Depress both retainers to remove the lock cylinder from the housing.

  7. Depress the first retainer through the lock housing access hole (2) with a small allen wrench or similar pick-type tool. The lock cylinder will back out slightly.
  8. Depress the second retainer through the lock housing access hole (1). The lock cylinder will back out slightly again.
  9. Pull the lock cylinder out enough to locate the second retainer to the lock housing access hole (2).
  10. Depress the retainer though the access hole (2) a second time. The ignition cylinder should release from the housing. If not, the ignition cylinder may need to be moved in and out several times to locate the retainer correctly in the hole.
  11. Remove the lock cylinder from the lock housing.

Installation Procedure


    Object Number: 874786  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.

    Important: If you are installing a new lock cylinder, refer to Key and Lock Cylinder Coding in General Information.

  1. Position the lock cylinder in the run position. Insert the cylinder into the lock housing.
  2. Rotate the lock cylinder in the housing. Verify proper rotation.
  3. Install the steering column trim covers. Refer to Steering Column Trim Covers Replacement .
  4. Enable the SIR system. Refer to SIR Disabling and Enabling in SIR.
  5. Connect the negative battery cable. Refer to Battery Negative Cable Disconnection and Connection in Engine Electrical.
However, I assume that you need to be replacing the ignition switch, not the lock cylinder, to repair various electrical issues. And that doesn't require removal of the lock cylinder.

Removal Procedure

  1. Remove the steering column trim covers. Refer to Steering Column Trim Covers Replacement .
  2. Disconnect the ignition switch harness connector.
  3. Turn the ignition switch to the run position.

  4. Object Number: 854768  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  5. Remove the ignition switch screws.
  6. Important: The ignition switch must be in the run position during removal in order to avoid damage to the ignition switch.

  7. Remove the ignition switch from the steering column.

Installation Procedure

    Notice: Refer to Fastener Notice in the Preface section.


    Object Number: 854768  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  1. Install the ignition switch and screws on to the steering column.
  2. Tighten
    Tighten the screws to 2 N·m (17 lb in).

  3. Connect the ignition switch harness connector.
  4. Install the steering column trim covers. Refer to Steering Column Trim Covers Replacement .
  5. Important: If the ignition switch is replaced and a learn procedure is not performed, the engine will crank but not start or will start and stall immediately.

  6. Perform the vehicle theft deterrent system learn procedure. Refer to Programming Theft Deterrent System Components in Theft Deterrent.


Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Lock cylinder diagram looks a little different. I have only two hole in slightly different positions than the diagram. I release hole 1 (back) first and it moves out a little. Then release hole 2 (front) while turning back to off position. I have to push the plunger to get back to off position. I turn the key and pull then press plunger and the cylinder comes out half-way. Then no more.
Expert:  Jerry Newton replied 2 years ago.
I am looking at step 7 in the first set of instructions, and thinking that this is where you're hung up. This should come all the way out with the lock in the RUN position. The way I'm looking at this, you should be able to depress the 2nd lock through hole 2 as you're pulling it out.

Are you able to put the lock back in all the way? Because ultimately, I think you're making the wrong repair to this car to fix the problem you have.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes, I can put it back in. I can turn it but it will not start.

 

Problem started when car would not start. Car said power low and would barely run when jump started. Swapped battery for new DieHard. Car started on its own and ran. However, key would not turn to off position after a few test starts. Had to use the plunger to get to off position. That made me think it was the ignition cylinder like on my Saturn last year.

Expert:  Jerry Newton replied 2 years ago.
Ah, OK, so you have a binding lock cylinder? I was thinking you had a faulty ignition switch.

I wish I were there to put my eyes on it and see what's going on, this is a tough one for me to help you with. The best I can do is give you the directions on how to remove it. But since you can get it to go back in, one trick I like that almost always works is spraying the inside of the lock cylinder with some WD40, putting the key in, and then tapping it repeatedly with a screwdriver handle or similar implement. Not trying to do damage, the idea is to lubricate the tumblers and get them moving around, and they usually fall into place and start working again. This step might save you a real headache from this point, I'd like to see you get the old one working again if you can, since you can't seem to get it out of the lock housing. If this gets too destroyed, it will be getting a lock housing, and youll be into some pretty serious money if that happens.
Jerry Newton, Chevy Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 3635
Experience: ASE Master Technician, L1, Master GM Technician. Over 20 years of bumper to bumper GM experience.
Jerry Newton and 4 other Chevy Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Are we sure the instructions are for the 2005-2006 car? The hole positions in my car are in slightly different positions. They look like this top down:

 

-----------------#1 (back and towrad the dashboard)

-

-

-------#2 (front near key entry and mid lock housing like the drawing)

Expert:  Jerry Newton replied 2 years ago.
I pulled those instructions from the GM website for a 2005 Cobalt. I'll look at a 2006 and see if it's different.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I tried again this morning. No luck. Had vehicle towed to dealership. I thought it would put repaired since the service bulletin identified the known flawed part. They just called. $385 to replace plus key. And I've already purchased the part. I'm pissed. That's why I wanted to do myself. With the Saturn there was no recall or service bulletin so I repaired it myself. Why won't the cylinder come out?
Expert:  Jerry Newton replied 2 years ago.
I understand your frustration. I don't know why it wouldn't come out, it's one of those things that I can't know unless I'm looking at it in person. Was the dealer able to get it out? Did they install your part, or make you buy another one?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I will find out tommorrow. They will assess original cause and said they would "take to factory to recover cost as factory defect". But no promises. Of course it's dective part or else there would not be service bulletins out. The bulletin does say repair. It says replace with the new designed part which is supposed to be better. That sounds like a recall.
Expert:  Jerry Newton replied 2 years ago.
It's an important distinction. Recall means they are making every car come back to the dealer for repair due to a safety defect or a high failure component. A service bulletin is not the same as a recall. Service bulletins simply say, "We recognize that we're seeing a lot of this, so we redesigned it, and if you have trouble with this component, replace it with the new style." I know it seems like not much of a distinction, but there are literally thousands of bulletins every year that help technicians with better diagnostics or improved parts, but only a few recalls each year.

Sounds like the service manager is going to try to get it covered for you, though. Good luck with that, he will probably be successful.

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