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Reggie Whiddon
Reggie Whiddon,
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 110
Experience:  Lead tech at river regions auto
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I recently replaced the lock cylinder on my 98 Malibu but

Customer Question

Customer: I recently replaced the lock cylinder on my 98 Malibu but now the theft light stays on and my key won't release from the ignition
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: I replaced the inner part of the ignition switch because it was older and I couldn't turn the key all the way to the off position, I was having to disconnect the battery to turn off my car. It worked fine for about two weeks but the theft light stayed on. Now I can't get my key to turn all the way to the off position. I can disconnect the battery and pump the break 5 times then reconnect the battery but that solution only works for a couple days.
JA: OK got it. Last thing — Chevy Mechanics generally expect a deposit of about $18 to help with your type of question (you only pay if satisfied). Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  TIM MOHR replied 10 months ago.

Hi, my name is ***** ***** you done a relearn on the key yet?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I may need to try it again but I did that when I installed the lock cylinder. It worked for almost two weeks. Everything I have read says that if the THEFT light is flashing and the car won't start, that is the problem. My THEFT light is solid all the time and I can start my car my key just won't turn all the way to the off position causing me to not be able to shut down my car and remove my key.
Expert:  TIM MOHR replied 10 months ago.

ok, what procedure did you use to relearn it?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I did the on for 10 mins then off for 6 sec 3X.
Expert:  TIM MOHR replied 10 months ago.

does the security light go off, after about 10 minutes when doing the procedure?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
No it stays on solid, it doesn't go off, it doesn't flash.
Expert:  TIM MOHR replied 10 months ago.

ok,what was the original problem with the lock cylinder, why did you replace it?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I replaced it because the key wouldn't turn all the way to the off position. It was old and worn out, the key would slip out about half way so I talked to a mechanic friend of mine and he looked at it and said that was the problem. It was only after I replaced it that the theft light came on and I had the same issue until I did the relearn procedure. When I do the relearn procedure am I supposed to leave the car running? Every where I read was unclear on that point since most people were unable to start the car and I have never had an issue with that.
Expert:  TIM MOHR replied 10 months ago.

ok, so this problem was there before you did the lock cylinder, the key not turning all the way off? but with the new cylinder the light is always on, correct?

Expert:  TIM MOHR replied 10 months ago.

are you still here?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
this was the same problem from before and after I replaced the cylinder it did the same thing until I did the relearn procedure and then it worked fine except the light was on all the time. I didn't think too much about it until I started to have this issue again.
Expert:  TIM MOHR replied 10 months ago.

ok, so I think you either got a bad cylinder, or the switch in your shifter is bad, the switch in the shifter sends power to the solenoid in the dash, to unlock it and let the cylinder rotate to the off position, have tried holding the shifter hard toward the park, and seeing if the cylinder turns all the way back?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
OK I have tried messing with the shifter because I thought that's what is was before. I just messed with it again and that didn't change anything. I can order a new cylinder if it sounds like that may be the problem. I think I will try to do the relearn procedure one more time before I buy that part. When I do the relearn procedure am I supposed to leave the car running? Every where I read was unclear on that point since most people were unable to start the car and I have never had an issue with that.
Expert:  TIM MOHR replied 10 months ago.

you cant do the relearn until you get the cylinder to go into the off position, the procedure is to stat in the off position, then try to start it and let the cylinder go back to the run position, then observe the light for about 10 minutes, until it shuts off, then turn the ignition offf, so if the cylinder is not going back to off, it wont complete the relearn, if the new cylinder does the same thing, then you will have to check the wires at the shifter, the pink wire should have power at all times, and then when in park, the white wire has to have power, if th white wire does not have power when in park, then you will need to replace the switch,Tim

Expert:  TIM MOHR replied 10 months ago.

Please dont forget to rate me , as this is the only way I get credit for helping, you can always return to this question and ask follow up questions at no charge,Thanks,Tim

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I messed with it yesterday and got the key to release. I did the relearn procedure (3X) but the THEFT light never went off and is still solid. After I drove it around for about 5 minuets the key wouldn't release again.
Expert:  TIM MOHR replied 10 months ago.

dDid you replace he lock cylinder again?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
the new one was no different from the other one.
Expert:  Reggie Whiddon replied 10 months ago.

Hello I am Reggie and i believe i know where your problem is your gear shifter if it does not engage all the way in park you want be able to turn key off and remove you even think heck the shifter looks like it is in park but pull up the console and it will almost be drinks and liquids get spilled there and want allow that solenoid to close all the way next when you replaced the passlock cylinder did you replace the small 3 wire connector that it plugs into? If not do so now. the tension with the terminals is big problem