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Daniel Wilson
Daniel Wilson,
Category: Chevy
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Experience:  Owner at DJ Wilson
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Chevrolet cobalt: My 2009 chevy cobalt 2.2L won't even turn

Customer Question

My 2009 chevy cobalt 2.2L won't even turn over,key gets stuck in ignition and none of the interior or exterior lights will turn on. This doesn't happen every time and then all of a sudden the vehicle will start. I've verified that the battery is good and I have had the ignition lock replaced due to the recall. Seems like I've had these problems since they replaced the ignition last year. I think it may have a short because the brake light would flicker when it was sitting in the driveway with the ignition still stuck in the on position. Any other suggestions on what to look for? Also verified battery connections are clean and not loose. Help please!!
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Chris (aka-Moose) replied 7 months ago.
Welcome, I'm Chris (aka Moose). I normally log in after 3 pm central. Please make sure to let me know exactly what is needed from me so I can provide EXCELLENT 5 STAR service. When the key gets stuck, unable to be removed. Will the key still turn to different positions?When the lights will not turn on, does the instrument cluster respond to the key in the run position, does the radio work?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
When the key gets stuck it will turn forward to ignition but it won't let it return to the off position to remove the key. The instrument panel doesn't respond to the key being turned
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Nothing works at all. But I wait 20 minutes and try it again and sometimes it starts up and runs fine. Like it just did. Fusable link maybe?
Expert:  Chris (aka-Moose) replied 7 months ago.
I believe the key will not allow returning to the off position due to the ignition lock solenoid not energizing from this loss of power issue. When nothing has power, have you checked the fuses under the hood to see if they are powered with 12.6 volts? If not and the battery cable connections are clean then the issue would be the fuse box to blame. If the fuses do have power during this issue, let me know. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On your screen at the top you should see a rating 1-5 stars and a green submit button. Please make sure to select one and press submit. I am not compensated by the website unless a customer rates. Rating only pays me from the deposit you have already made, it does not charge you more, nor close the post. Also all follow ups are free and welcome.Thanks Chris
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
None of the underhood fuses were receiving power. Only way fuse box could be bad is if water got into it. Right?
Expert:  Chris (aka-Moose) replied 7 months ago.
A fuse box can fail for many reasons, water getting into it is only one possible cause.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Would a used replacement box be ok or should I just get a new one ?
Expert:  Chris (aka-Moose) replied 7 months ago.
I see no problem with a used part.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Still wondering why it's not a constant problem with it starting, because it's starting and running fine now but probably won't tomorrow
Expert:  Chris (aka-Moose) replied 7 months ago.
Intermittent concerns are the hardest to diagnose. If the fuses had no power then it has to be the fuse box since its wired direct to the battery and you already ruled out the battery cables to blame.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Would that explain why the taillight was flickering when it was just sitting in the driveway with the key in the ignition?
Expert:  Chris (aka-Moose) replied 7 months ago.
When you have a fuse box issue its hard to diagnose why other issues are occurring but yes the fuse box can be to blame.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Ok, I'll replace BCM tomorrow and if it works I'll leave you a good rating
Expert:  Chris (aka-Moose) replied 7 months ago.
Thanks
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I was wrong, I am getting power to the fuse relay box
Expert:  Chris (aka-Moose) replied 7 months ago.
Based on the new results I do not believe I can figure this out not in person. I will opt out and let another give it a shot.
Expert:  mike switzer replied 7 months ago.
i have actually seen this happen on another gm vehicle in person and it ended up being a combination between the ignition lock cylinder and ignition switch. they both had to be replaced together. i could never figure out why it was intermittent but all i came to conclude was the contact in the ignition switch were worn out that is why.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I never had a problem with this until GM did the factory recall replacement of the lock cylinder
Expert:  mike switzer replied 7 months ago.
then you may only need to replace the ignition switch if the cylinder has been replaced. to be honest they may have damaged something during the recall but i am not there so i wouldnt be able to tell if it is damaged or not.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
This issue would be the reason why the interior lights wouldn't even turn on also ? And cause the key to get stuck in the ignition?
Expert:  mike switzer replied 7 months ago.
interior lights yes and surprisingly yes it prevents the cylinder from turning back all the way to release the key.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I should replace the ignition switch and the ignition lock cylinder just to be sure?
Expert:  mike switzer replied 7 months ago.
if you want to be sure then yes replace both
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Ok, will do. If it works I'll leave you a good rating and if not I will contact you again. Thanks
Expert:  mike switzer replied 7 months ago.
sounds good
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Didn't work. Waste of money
Expert:  Daniel Wilson replied 6 months ago.
Hi John, My name is***** will be glad to try to help on this one In the shifter linkage in the center console there is an electrical switch and a lever that is made pretty cheaply that causes a lot of these problems. If that switch or harness is faulty or not mechanically being fully engaged due to wear, it will not allow the ignition switch to release the key as it is not reading the car is in Neutral. There is a lot of problems with this model for these same symptoms. I recommend you inspect the shifter for wear or broken parts and verify it is engaging the switch to read neutral. Test the switch and inspect the harness and connector pins for corrosion and damaged wires. With the GM diagnostic software the switch status can be read in live data to confirm all this if you would prefer to have a dealer run a quick diagnostic. If you prefer to check this yourself you will have to access the shift linkage ans switch inside the center console. Let me know
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
How does that explain having absolutely no power to anything in the car. No dash lights, no interior lights and power only to the steering assist and nowhere else on the column. Already checked all ground connections and even ran a direct ground from the battery to the starter and still no power coming from fuse relay box to the column
Expert:  Daniel Wilson replied 6 months ago.
2009 Chevrolet COBALT RecallItem Affected: POWER TRAIN:AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION:LEVER AND LINKAGE:COLUMN SHIFTDate Announced: 3/6/2009Description of Recall:GENERAL MOTORS IS RECALLING 276,729 MY 2009 BUICK ENCLAVE, CHEVROLET COBALT, HHR, MALIBU, TRAVERSE, GMC ACADIA, PONTIAC G5, G6 AND SATURN AURA AND OUTLOOK PASSENGER VEHICLES. THESE VEHICLES FAIL TO COMPLY WITH FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLES SAFETY STANDARD 102, "TRANSMISSION SHIFT POSITION SEQUENCE, STARTER INTERLOCK, AND TRANSMISSION BRAKING EFFECT", AND FMVSS 114, "THEFT PROTECTION AND ROLLAWAY PREVENTION". ON SOME OF THESE VEHICLES, THE TRANSMISSION SHIFT CABLE ADJUSTMENT CLIP MAY NOT BE FULLY ENGAGED. IF THE CLIP IS NOT FULLY ENGAGED, THE SHIFT LEVER AND THE ACTUAL POSITION OF THE TRANSMISSION GEAR MAY NOT MATCH. WITH THIS CONDITION, THE DRIVE COULD MOVE THE SHIFTER TO "PARK" AND REMOVE THE IGNITION KEY, BUT THE TRANSMISSION GEAR MAY NOT BE IN "PARK".Action Needed To Fix It:DEALERS WILL INSPECT AND ENSURE THAT THE SHIFT CABLE ADJUSTMENT CLIP IS FULLY ENGAGED. IN THE EVENT THAT THE CLIP DOES NOT ENGAGE, THE SHIFT CABLE WILL BE REPLACED FREE OF CHARGE. THE RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN ON OR BEFORE MARCH 24, 2009. OWNERS MAY CONTACT BUICK AT 1-***-***-****, CHEVROLET AT 1-***-***-****, GMC AT 1-***-***-****, PONTIAC AT 1-***-***-**** AND SATURN AT 1-***-***-**** OR AT WWW.GMOWNERCENTER.COM.
Expert:  Daniel Wilson replied 6 months ago.
Have you tested all your fuses and relays under the hood and tested power and grounds to the Body control module?
Expert:  Daniel Wilson replied 6 months ago.
Click on this link for the BCM pinout
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Already checked the BCM and had power to everything. Already had both of those recalls done and after they replaced the ignition switch is when the problems seem to have started. But they were GM certified and couldn't have possibly screwed anything up when they did it "blah,blah,blah"
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The only fuses that intermittently lose power when everything on the dash does are the ones labeled IP Ignition in the fuse relay box under the hood
Expert:  Daniel Wilson replied 6 months ago.
Thanks for the update John. If the harness and grounds all check out then the problem is highly likely in the BCM itself. Try having the software reflashed and see if it will take a reflash or fail reprogramming. If successful, see if the problem remains. Let me know
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Is it possible to reflash myself or do I have to take to dealer ?
Expert:  Daniel Wilson replied 6 months ago.
The dealer or you need to have the Tech 2 software to do it.I am not 100% sure all parameters and programming is accessible with tech 2 either. You will only be paying them what they charge for the reflash of the BCM and at the same time you will know if a problem is detected with the BCM.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Only problem is I can't get car running long enough to get to dealer.
Expert:  Daniel Wilson replied 6 months ago.
Not sure if you have access to a truck but a uhaul dolly is only about 50 to rent. Much cheaper than a tow bill. Just a thought.
Expert:  Daniel Wilson replied 6 months ago.
Hi John, Did you get this resolved? Please take a moment and rate my service as that is how the site credits the experts for their time helping on the site. Let me know
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Stil waiting on dealer to reflash BCM. Supposed to be done today, GM service is always the slowest
Expert:  Daniel Wilson replied 6 months ago.
Thanks for the update John. Keep me posted.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
It ended up being a wire that ran from the BCM to the fuse box underneath the floor carpet that was worn and shorting out. You were at least helpful, but the first guy had me buy $70 in parts that I didn't need. Not your fault, but I think I am going to ask for a refund to help offset the cost of parts and $240 in labor at the dealership
Expert:  Daniel Wilson replied 6 months ago.
Thanks for the update John, the Experts on the site are users of the site just like you and are not employees of the site. Questions are posted on a board for all experts to see when they log in. When another expert opts out the question goes back on the same board for all experts to see. No one has gotten a dime for their time as your deposit sits with the site and gets split with the expert you would leave positive feedback or accept an answer. I help out on here in between jobs and as time allows for some extra cash. I agree its not my fault and I did take the time to post and research the BCM diagram and get you back in the right direction with your troubleshooting. I think in the future I will think twice about grabbing opted out questions under circumstances such as this.