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Robert R
Robert R, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Chrysler
Satisfied Customers: 4536
Experience:  28 years experience, ASE Master Certified, Chrysler Master Certified, Sprinter Van Certified
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My son attempted to start my sebring with a door key. No

Customer Question

My son attempted to start my sebring with a door key. No transponder. After 3rd time the ignition locked.
JA: How many miles are on the car? Has this ever happened before?
Customer: 160xxx, not that I know of I recently purchased it
JA: What year is your Sebring?
Customer: 98
JA: Are you fixing your Sebring yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: A bunch of stupid tricks, battery cables, hold the unlock for 30 sec, nothing has worked
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
JA: I'm sorry but I'm not sure we have an expert who covers what you are looking for. Maybe if you give me more details I will find you a connection to someone who can help you.
Customer: I'm sure that it just needs a reset code for the computer
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Chrysler
Expert:  Robert R replied 10 months ago.

Hello, welcome and thanks for asking your question. My name is*****'m a Certified Auto Technician with 29+ years experience. I will do my best to assist you. please keep in mind that I may need to ask questions of you before I can answer. When you reply please feel free to add as much detailed information as possible pertaining to your concern.

Lets start with getting additional info about your car. Can you post the last 8 digits of the VIN so that I can do some research on this concern for you?

Also, I need to know what color the key is that was used when the Immobilizer locked you out?

You stated that it was a "Door Key", does this key have a black or grey plastic casing around the head of the key?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Vin# *****
The original key has a round Grey head , but the "door" key I found is just a copy that the original owner had made.
Note, my son tried 3 times. And the car started but then died. On the fourth try the key wouldn't turn. And obviously all the hokey remedies I've tried have not worked.
Expert:  Robert R replied 10 months ago.

OK, did you or your son go ahead and try to start the vehicle with the Grey Key? This should be all that is necessary to get this thing started. Using the correct "Programmed" key should get it started unless there has been a malfunction of the Immobilizer System.

There is no codes or any thing that can be entered on a vehicle that is equipped with Immobilizer (AKA SKIM - Sentry Key Immobilizer Module). If you are unable to get it started with the Grey key you will need to visit the dealer for an issue with the Immobilizer. This would be if the key in fact does turn to the run and start positions and you see a "Red Dot" illuminated or flashing on the instrument cluster. If you are unable to get the ignition to turn at all even using the grey key, it means that there is a "Mechanical" issue with the Ignition Lock Cylinder that may require repair or replacement of the Ignition Lock Cylinder...

Hopefully this helps and let me know if you have any additional questions or concerns..

Thank you and thanks for using JustAnswer!

Robert

______________________________________

If you need additional information, don't hesitate to ask, I am happy to help as long as necessary to help solve your concern. Remember, a "Positive" Rating will not close this question, You can post a reply here whenever you want, even after rating my answer! .

Expert:  Robert R replied 10 months ago.

One thing that comes to mind that if the steering wheel happens to be "Locked" it may be putting pressure against the ignition lock cylinder and not allowing it to turn, if this is the case, grabbing the steering wheel and with a bit of force, turn the steering wheel a bit to the right AND left while turning the key at the same time and it may unlock and allow the key to turn and start the vehicle...

I'd try this first before anything else, if you are unable to turn the key in the ignition.

Keep me posted...

Thank you,

Robert

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The steering wheel is not locked, completely free to move, yet the "chipped" key will not turn the ignition what so ever. I've had no previous problems with the ignition, typically they ware out and begin to catch. I do believe that it is a computer coded of some sort. Please help me out
Expert:  Robert R replied 10 months ago.

These ignition lock cylinders are notorious for just this concern. There is NO electronics that can stop the key from turining in the ignition. The Imobilizer ONLY disables the fuel system, then disables the starter after 3 attempts. It does NOT have any provisions in the electronics to stop the key from turning the ignition.

I can suggest that you try and get some WD-40 or equivalent and spray some inside the key cylinder. Then use the grey key and while attempting to turn it, try wiggling it to see if you can get it to turn.

If you are not able to get it to turn, you will have no choice but to replace the ignition Lock Cylinder. I recommend to purchase one that can be coded to the original key to avoid the expense of having to have new keys programmed to the vehicle.

Since the ignition won't turn, you WILL need to drill out the lock cylinder by drilling where you enter the key at by starting with a small drill bit and going larger and larger until you can get the cylinder to come out of the lock housing. The normal procedure for removing the lock cylinder requires the key to be able to turn to the "Run" position before the retaining button can be pressed to remove the key cylinder, since it is stuck you have no choice but to drill it out to remove it...

Keep me posted and let me know if you have any additional questions...

Thank you,

Robert