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Starters and Ignition Systems
1995-2005 Chevy Cavaliers

What would cause your key to be stuck in the ignition and you can't shift out of park?

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Answered 2015-07-17 17:51:59

A short term fix is to unplug the battery from the car. This, at least it did for me, should let you remove the key from the ignition. But this also disables any security system you may have.

you can try cleaning the contacts on the shift linkage. Your ignition must be in park. If the contacts are dirty, the circuit is interupted. Also could be the tumbler is worn in which case you have to replace the switch. Not an easy thing to do, and you need to deactivate the airbag if you have one. Some ignitions have a manual release the you can access on the underside of the ignition. You have to insert a pin to pull the key out. good luck to you.

start simple, some times when the steering wheel is pulling too hard against the lock it will prevent the key from moving. Try wiggling the steering wheel when moving the key.

Hi, we had the same problem with our 2001 Ford Focus. We will need the have the lock replaced long-term but for now we just have to hit the key toward the lock a few times which straightens the pins enough that you can start her up.

In some cars, the 2001 Toyota Tacoma for example, when the fuse blows for the brake lights, the shifter will not come out of park. Also, when the key sticks, it can be the switch that is activated by the shifter (automatics) is broken, bad or out of adjustment. Check in a Chiltons or the Field Service Manual for your car.

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