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GM Tech (Cam)
GM Tech (Cam), GMC Mechanic
Category: GM
Satisfied Customers: 29534
Experience:  GM Grand Master Technician 2007. 14 years experience.
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97 gmc: the ignition key cylinder is locked and the steering wheel

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i have a 97 gmc sierra and the ignition key cylinder is locked and the steering wheel is locked - what could it be.
Greetings and Welcome to Just answer.This sounds like the tumblers in the ignition have failed. When they fail, this is the result. I would try first to get the dealer and get a key cut by the code from your vin. If that does not work then you need a new ignition cylinder it fix this.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
would the theft alarm system have something to do with this?
No, the theft system cannot lock the cylinder. Nothing except the key and torque on the steering wheel will prevent the key from turning. The theft system only senses the rotation of the cylinder to determine it is not being stolen.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
do i need to remove the steering wheel to replace the key cylinder
If the key will not turn then yes. It release tab does not line up with the hole in the housing unless the key is in start so you need to remove the whole housing, remove the gears from the back and drill the tab off the housing so you don't have to replace the housing as well.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
how much do you think this will cost to get fixed. i would like to try to do it myself to save some money.
The cylinder is not expensive, 50 or so. The tricky part will be keying the new cylinder to your key unless you get one that has been coded. It will not match the truck's other cylinders then.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you. can i ask more questions if i come across more problems? I am going to try and change it myself.
You can ask follow up questions on this issue in this forum and I will continue to help you, even after you accept.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
okay. so by accepting i am paying $23? just want to make sure.
Yes, unless you decide to add a Bonus.
GM Tech (Cam) and 2 other GM Specialists are ready to help you