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Randall C
Randall C, ASE Master Tech
Category: Saturn
Satisfied Customers: 12719
Experience:  ASE Master Certified, 32 Yrs Exp, All Cars/trucks
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saturn ion: 2004 ignition key wont turn, have look..cylinder..turn key

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saturn ion 2004 ignition key wont turn, have look at info for changing the cylinder but it requires that you're able to turn key to acc position but what do you do it key won't turn at all?
Hello, I am Randall.

This does pose a problem and have run into this before.

Your choices are limited
You will either have to force break the lock pins or get lucky it will turn the one time or drill the pins or replace the housing as well

Force break, Not our first choice but can be done and does work. You have to insert a large screwdriver in key opening. grab handle of screwdriver with large channelocks. Force the tumbler to RUn then follow directions. This is breaking the tumblers inside.

Option 2: you have to drill both pins. this is hard as they are hard steel.

Option 3: keep playing with it, spray more where key goes in, may get lucky and it turns the one time

Option 4: replace the housing and the tumbler as one unit

I don't like the force turn since you may never have done, but, it can be done and this is most common on how we address this

BTW: its 2 pins to release. see below

  1. Turn the ignition lock cylinder to the RUN position.


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

  1. 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.
  2. Depress the second retainer through the lock housing access hole (1). The lock cylinder will back out slightly again.
  3. Pull the lock cylinder out enough to locate the second retainer to the lock housing access hole (2).
  4. 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.
  5. Remove the lock cylinder from the lock housing.
Randall C and 4 other Saturn Specialists are ready to help you
Sorry about that

i have now included a link to a .pdf file.

if you click HERE you can upload it