96 Achieva - Ignition cyl. or switch?


Old 09-05-03, 12:29 PM
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Question 96 Achieva - Ignition cyl. or switch?

1996 Olsmobile Achieva S
2.4L 4cyl. DOHC; Automatic w/Air

Lock cyl. has gotten sloppy, it sometimes doesn't return from 'Start' to 'On' on its own, and has jammed in 'On' when trying to turn it to off. When this happens, I may not have dash power when I restart.

This happens whether or not, the Trans connected release solenoid (which is also giving me fits) is activated.

I expect to replace either the keyed cylinder, or the switch; but which? (I hope not to need both!)

I also intend to disengage the trans interlock, to eliminate that problem.

Any suggestions on what I need first?

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Old 09-05-03, 01:25 PM
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Probably a lock problem. If service involves disarming the airbag, STOP!

Professional service required if so. Some steering columns "clamshell and the bottom comes off to acccess the switch.

A locksmith can probably handle this problem for you quite reasonably and key up your new lock to your original key.

Do not defeat any interlocks or safety features, fix the problem correctly.
Old 09-08-03, 03:09 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: North Texas
Posts: 2,345

Many ignition locks die early because people have too many keys hanging on the key chain.This puts lots of stress on the lock and wears it out.
I heard this from my friend that is a locksmith.Get a keychain were you can remove just the one key and stick all the other ones in your pocket or purse.
Old 09-08-03, 05:18 PM
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Old 09-09-03, 06:37 AM
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Yes, the forum works again .
Old 09-11-03, 08:40 AM
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The advice about the heavy keychains is good. I had pared way down, and it got big again. You have to be diligent, I guess.

The work has gone steady. I followed the Chilton advice to disconnect the battery and the fuse, and waited half an hour (they suggested 10 minutes). I disconnected both airbags and opened the cowling.

I removed the lock cyl., and it does appear to have been the problem. As it was Sunday, I was forced to use a screwdriver to start the car, but it seemed to be working fine.

The new ignition lock cylinder would cost $190! A used column, with all parts and a key, can be had for between $75 and $125 here. I'll probably go used, if the parts seem good. I think I need a new switch as well, another $35 new, but comes with the used column.

Right now, the 'Security' light is flashing and the car doesn't want to start. I'm told that this can be solved by reconnecting the battery for 3-10 minutes with the key in the on position, starting the car, and turning it to off. I can do that when I get the parts.

Am I missing anything? Any further advice?

Thanks, again, Joe F. Sorry the reply function wasn't working when I tried to express my appreciation the other day.

BTW: Nice Web Site.
Old 09-11-03, 09:15 AM
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Replace the defective part with the right OEM replacement. Used stuff is likely to be the same junk you have. Best bet.
Old 09-11-03, 02:59 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Barre,Vermont
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first get a new key cut at the dealership.

Specify u want it cut from the code, not a copy. If u make a copy from a worn out key, u get a copy of a worn out key....

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