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Key cannot be inserted into ignition - '04 Deville


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My wife was running errands yesterday and the ignition key could not be inserted into the ignition.  I drove over to where the incident occurred and sure enough - the key could not be inserted into the ignition.  There was a brass tab sticking down and I used a pick to get it to retract and then was able to insert the key into the ignition except for the last 1/8".

I sprayed some lock graphite in there and worked the key in and out, tapping it but after 15-20 minutes, gave up and called a tow truck.  It's in my garage and I am about to tear into the column.  I figure the lock cylinder is worn out or somehow damaged.

I figure it's going to take a new lock cylinder and have a locksmith re-key it to the existing keys.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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I think you are on the right path -- tumbler is dirty/stuck in wrong place.  By cleaning the tumbler out you may get it clean, loose, and working again.

Another thought though -- with foot on brake, can you move the gear shift from park to drive and back to park and see if any difference?

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black; 2013 Cadillac ATS 2L Turbo Premium (Wife's)

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36 minutes ago, Bruce Nunnally said:

I think you are on the right path -- tumbler is dirty/stuck in wrong place.  By cleaning the tumbler out you may get it clean, loose, and working again.

Another thought though -- with foot on brake, can you move the gear shift from park to drive and back to park and see if any difference?

The column is locked - I can't move the shift lever out of park as the key won't go all the way in to unlock the column.

The column being locked presented a problem as I couldn't rotate the steering wheel to access the airbag release clips.  I was able to remove the lower column shroud and depress the lock pin with a right angle pick enough to rotate the steering wheel enough to access the airbag clips.  The center airbag is out and the steering wheel is ready to be pulled.  My puller is for the old style Saginaw columns that have threaded holes for the puller.  This one takes the type that uses j-bolts so it's off to one of the parts stores to borrow a puller.

My plan is to get the lock cylinder out tonight and get a new one ordered tomorrow morning.  Even if I were to free the existing cylinder, my fear is that it would act up again at a more inconvenient location or distance from my house.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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It's fixed.  I could not remove the lock cylinder since I could not insert the key and the lock cylinder couldn't be rotated to depress the release pin.  That failure mode was not listed in the service manual... I could not find any information online other than a locksmith from Georgia who repaired the same issue on a 2001 Deville but the video did not include the method he used to remove the cylinder...  I called a locksmith because I did not want to risk causing any damage to the column.

The locksmith confirmed there was a bent wafer in the furthest position in.  He removed the piece that has the two wings and worked it with a couple of picks and was able to remove it.  He replaced the bad wafer and re-installed it and started the engine.  I just need to re-assemble the covers, steering wheel, etc.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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