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Virtual Wrench, Chevy Mechanic
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Experience:  35 years Master Mechanic
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Chevrolet Impala LS: I have an 04 Impala my Key will not turn,

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I have an 04 Impala my Key will not turn, Ive tried multiple keys and it will not turn. I believe i need to replace my Ignition cylinder, but i have pass lock in my car. I was wondering how i should go about doing this, I do not want to pay a chevy dealer ship 500 dollars if i dont have to. Just don't know much about the pass lock system, can i relearn the key my self or do i need to have the dealer ship recode it. Any help would be great.

04 Impala Its an X-police car.


To be real honest, you are better off just installing a by pass module and do away with the Passlock. They had a lot of problems with this system and the trouble is that you can spend hundreds of dollars to get it fixed for awhile, only to find out that another part in the system fails and you are out another few hundred bucks, on and on and on.....If you click here it will take you to a site that we use to order the by pass kits. They are very easy to install and you will be done once and for all. Once you get the new switch and key, it does NOT have to be programed :-)

If you have further questions feel free to reply.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Okay. But is it possible for me to do it all my self with replacing all that stuff. Can I relearn the passlock by doing the 30 min trick? Or is it something that has to be done at the chevy dealer ship.

If the ignition cylinder s replaced and you install the by pass kit, there will be no programing needed. But if you replace the cylinder, the new key will need to b programmed by the dealer. The 30 minute relearn wont do it.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
So what do you feel is the cheaper cost? Can you link me the parts I would need for the bypass and then which cylinder I would need.

Try not to get ahead of yourself with this. It may only need a new lock cylinder and just replacing it by itself, you dont have to program anything because the passlock sensor is separate from the actual lock cylinder.

The biggest problem you have right now is replacing that cylinder because the key has to be in the "ON" position in order to remove the cylinder and if the key won turn, then you are probably better of just calling a mobile locksmith to come out and do it for you.

Now, you have to keep in mind that its always possible to have a passlock sensor issue at the same time, but its pretty rare to have both go out at the same time.

Call a locksmith. Its going to be cheaper in the long run than to have it towed to the dealer.

Best wishes!

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Okay. So one other question if I call a mobile lock smith and they get my car to turn to the on position will it then work for a while or will it only turn that one time the lock smith gets it to turn. I was told the ignition cylinder and the passlock was one part. Thats what I was told


They are separate on this vehicle.

We know for sure it needs a new lock cylinder so have it replaced and you stand a real good chance that's all it will need.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Is there a way to verify its two seperate parts? With my vin number or something? Cause all ive read is that they come as one unit. Sorry im such a pain. Just hate wasting money. Is a lock cylinder a different part from a ignition cylinder?


The ignition lock cylinder is different than the ignition switch. I think that's where the confusion is. The lock cylinder turns the ignition switch. The lock cylinder is what needs to be replaced in order for the key to even turn the ignition switch. The locksmith will know right away.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Okay so if the ignition switch needed to be replaced then the pass lock would need to be because they would be one piece. So I should wait ti call the lock smith till im ready to replace the cylinder.


Yes that is correct.
Customer: replied 4 years ago. this here says with passlock sensor. Im so lost



Sorry for any confusion. The Passlock(tm) sensor and ignition lock cylinder are one assembly. The Passlock(tm) sensor is separate from the key and lock cylinder. The key and the lock cylinder work together in order to determine if the proper ignition key was used to start the vehicle. The Passlock(tm) sensor contains 2 hall effect sensors. The tamper hall effect sensor is on the top. The security hall effect sensor is under the tamper hall effect sensor. Both of the hall effect sensors monitor the magnet of the lock cylinder through an opening. The tamper hall effect sensor is physically placed on top of the security hall effect sensor.

The electrical switching portion of the ignition lock cylinder assembly is separate from the key and lock cylinder. The electrical switch portion and the key and lock cylinder synchronize and work in conjunction through the action of the mechanical assembly between the two components.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

so what needs to be replaced then because I'm Lost.

Replace the lock cylinder because we know its bad and most likely thats all it will need.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ignition lock cylinder or key and lock cylinder?

They are BOTH one of the same.....In other words they both mean the same thing.

Just like that link you sent me from autozone.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Okay. So it will need to be recoded by dealership because it will be a new passlock system.


The mobile locksmith can handle that for you.
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