ignition switch problem 2008 Impala

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Anyone know of any issue that would commonly keep the key from being
turned to the "off" position?  Started maybe a month and a half ago
where every now and then I would have to play with the key, shifter, and
brake pedal for a while until I could turn the key all the way to "off"
so that I could remove the key.  Just this evening it happened again and
no amount of playing, starting/stopping engine, whatever would get the
key to release.  I was resigned to leaving the key in the car overnight
and then having to drop it off somewhere and take my pickemup truck to
my 11AM meeting.

Now when I came inside the house, I realized that there was nobody home
and therefore my friend's truck was not in the garage as I thought, so
my car was blocking his path back into the garage.  So I went back out,
moved the car to the yard beside the driveway, and the key came right
out.  Only thing I could think that is pertinent is that when parked in
the driveway the car was sitting nose up; when in the yard was pretty
close to level, maybe slightly nose down.  But after this happened I
pulled back into the driveway again and was able to remove the key, then
parked car in the yard a second time and was also able to remove the key.

Two questions:

1) when the issue occurs, the key is in the very first position forward
from "off."  Only the "brake" warning light and PRNDL indication are
lit, and the heater fan is not running.  If I had to, could I leave the
car like this overnight, or if this happens again, should I hook up a
trickle charger so as not to run down the battery?  Car has a little
over 50K miles on it and still has original battery, although I have no
reason to believe that the battery is in anything other than fine shape
(it's never run dead, I've not experienced slow cranking even on cold
mornings, etc.)

2) I'd really like to get this fixed before the car goes off lease (I
think I may buy it) in another 20K miles, but seeing as the problem is
intermittent and does not occur often, I'm not sure if taking it in now
will be productive.  Does anyone know if there is a TSB or anything like
that regarding this kind of issue, and/or is there a common problem
where if I take the car in and describe the issue as I have above, the
service writer will say "oh, yeah, it's your doomaflatchey" and
replacing the doomaflatchey will actually fix the problem for at least
another 50K miles, hopefully more?

thanks,

Nate
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Re: ignition switch problem 2008 Impala
You will doubtlessly get a better answer than mine, Nate, but I think
the problem is in the switch itself.   As I remember from the olden days,
most switches had to have the steering wheel at the right spot to be
able to extract the key.  If that were not right, you couldnt get it out.

If you parked such that there was pressure on the steering system, you
might not be able to operate the lock.

Also, the switch (tumblers and key lands) itself must me within specs.
Wear, etc, could hang you up here.

Are you using a re-cut key?  Do you have a fresh key to try?

Hope you get this sorted out quickly. Not only irritating but a little
dangerous

Re: ignition switch problem 2008 Impala
On 01/03/2011 05:43 PM, hls wrote:
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don't think that's the problem, although I am familiar with it working
the other way (not being able to *start* the car because of pressure on
steering shaft/lock) because car has power steering and I am also in the
habit of letting go of steering wheel while trying to turn off key
(because of issues with other cars and binding steering linkages and
no-start, above)  also I did try wiggling the steering wheel to no effect.


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using a copy of the one key that I got with the car.  I do have that key
but that is typically safely tucked away in drawer


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indeed...  I can lock the car with the remote fob and leave the key in
if I have to (in fact, I have deliberately done that a few times, e.g.
cold mornings when stopping for a cup of coffee at store before inside
is warmed up.  But that is not an ideal long term solution.

nate

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Re: ignition switch problem 2008 Impala

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Does it have a security system (beyond the key fob)? In other words is
the duplicate key a plain 'ol metal key or is there a resistor, chip,
etc. in it which must match up with the car?

*IF* plain ol' key, there is a key-can't-remove solenoid. The solenoid
only allows key removal if shift linkage in park. In this system, you
can't move the cylinder back to the "remove" position; you are stuck
in "off" but it's totall off.
 
Two tiny wires power the solenoid, and I've had them fail. In this
system, the mechanical cylinder is connected with a linkage to the
electrical switchl


Re: ignition switch problem 2008 Impala
On 01/03/2011 07:52 PM, Miller wrote:
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There is something in the key, because when I had a new key cut, I had
to go through some procedure which I don't exactly remember at the
moment to make the copy start the car.

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so do the wires run directly from the column to the shifter?  (floor
shift, BTW.  not sure if they still offered column shift in '08 but my
'05 had one so I figured I'd specify.)

nate


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Re: ignition switch problem 2008 Impala
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There's an interlock between the shifter and ignition lock. The lock
must be told that the car is in park for it to allow you to turn it
all the way off. It's either a cable or solenoid, and it's probably
still a very common problem. The dealer will know exactly what you're
talking about.

Re: ignition switch problem 2008 Impala
Nate Nagel wrote:
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Sounds like the ignition switch interlock solenoid is getting sticky. It
is a small solenoid that normally prevents you from shutting the key all
the way off while the vehicle is in gear and in motion. It allows you to
shut the engine off but not get to the lock position. It is NOT the same
one that locks you from shifting gears unless the brake is pressed.

Usually you will find a small plug or hole in the bottom of the steering
column in the area of the ignition switch. If you stick a small straight
object in the hole you will find a spring loaded plunger that will move
the solenoid and allow you to turn the ignition off and get the key out.

As to the repair, there are two options, new solenoid (not hard to
replace) or remove it and just leave the wire unplugged IF the solenoid
doesn't have to be connected (most don't)

I have done this on about 5 vehicles that I own. I figure I'm smart
enough that I won't lock the column if I have to kill the engine.

GM has a bulletin out BUT they have discovered that the fix they do
doesn't always work. I sent you a copy.

--
Steve W.

Re: ignition switch problem 2008 Impala
On 01/03/2011 10:13 PM, Steve W. wrote:
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got your email, thanks.  also sounds like you might be onto something
with your assumption of what the problem may be.  I'll have to check it
out tomorrow while it's light out, and be prepared to try to release it
manually next time it does it to confirm the problem.

nate

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Re: ignition switch problem 2008 Impala
On 01/03/2011 10:13 PM, Steve W. wrote:
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It's doing it again right now, haven't seemed to find the magic touch to
jiggle it loose, there are several holes under the column but none seems
to release the key...?

am actually home sick and not supposed to go to work for another week
(just got back from doctor) so would really like to get this key out
rather than run the battery down

nate

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Re: ignition switch problem 2008 Impala
On 1/11/2011 8:26 AM, Nate Nagel wrote:
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I think you're looking in the wrong area. I don't know about GM but my
Hyundai and Toyota won't release the key until the shift lever is in
park. That's where you should be checking. Check the shifter by putting
it in drive and then to park until you're able to take out the key. It
would probably help if you were firm about it.

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Re: ignition switch problem 2008 Impala
On 01/11/2011 02:42 PM, dsi1 wrote:
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tried that, no joy.  I think I have located the problem. there is a
connector on the side of the shifter with a loose - as in dangling -
wire.  the connector moves with the shifter so I am assuming it went
intermittent and then finally broke today.  unfortuantely I cannot see
how to disconnect it.  yes, I pulled the top of the console off in the
driveway just out of curiosity.  Right now it's locked with the remote
but the key is still stuck in.

my shifter doesn't really look a lot like the ones in any of the links
posted (earlier body style)

n

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Re: ignition switch problem 2008 Impala
Nate Nagel wrote:
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That is likely the wire that triggers the solenoid. Repair it and you
should be GTG.

Most of them have either a tab or a pin lock. Some are just a PIA
regardless.

--
Steve W.
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Re: ignition switch problem 2008 Impala
On 01/11/2011 03:37 PM, Steve W. wrote:
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Unfortunately I don't see how to do that without removing the whole
console...  can't see how to remove the connector and not sure that I
could pull it above the console even if I did.  And, I don't
particularly have a lot of patience at the moment, having been sick for
the last four days and all. :(

Maybe I can get a kind coworker to trade cars with me and run it into
the shop for me?

nate

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Re: ignition switch problem 2008 Impala
On 01/11/2011 03:51 PM, Nate Nagel wrote:
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well funk.  neighbor just knocked on the door to say lights were on.
weren't when I came inside.  car wouldn't start.  put battery charger
on.  hands now really, really cold.  (I did mention I'd been sick?  All
my normal resistance to cold weather is shot.)  will see what's up in
AM.  hope stupid automatic lights don't kick on again.

nate

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Re: ignition switch problem 2008 Impala
Check where wires enter connector on shift lever. You need to remove center console. Harness may be pinched, or broken wire at connector.

Re: ignition switch problem 2008 Impala
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:
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Nate will be glad to hear that.  He has been waiting over three
years for an answer.

Re: ignition switch problem 2008 Impala
Nate Nagel wrote:
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Usually you need a pen or similar to hit the plunger. Most of the time
the key release hole will have a cap in/over it. On most of the ones I
have seen the cover is sort of clipped into a hole.

--
Steve W.

Re: ignition switch problem 2008 Impala
On 1/3/2011 12:33 PM, Nate Nagel wrote:
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You might want to make sure the shifter is in Park position. You should
also try putting it into drive and into Park several times to see if
that releases the key. If it does there's some problem with the
interlock on the shifter. Well, that's my guess anyway.

Re: ignition switch problem 2008 Impala
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what condition is the key itself in?? Worn keys can cause problems
too. If the key is fine it's most likely the lock cylinder that is
bad..

Re: ignition switch problem 2008 Impala
On 1/3/2011 5:33 PM, Nate Nagel wrote:
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I not sure if this applies but many years of this model had a cable
between floor shifter and switch that is adjustable.  The adjustment is
at about the middle of the cable.

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