'90 Corsica - Car Won't Shut Off


Old 10-22-06, 11:21 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Canada
Posts: 275
'90 Corsica - Car Won't Shut Off

Hi. I have a 4 cylinder, 1990 chev corsica.

Came home tonight and went to turn the car off, and the key came out into my hand, and the car kept running. Strange.

I ended up calling BCAA with the car still running, and after close to an hour, they finally showed up... The BCAA guy thinks it is a problem with the ignition switch and the ignition drum (?....not quite sure what that is). Is it all one unit?

Anyhow, to turn the car off, he unplugged the spark plugs, and then disconnected the battery. Apparently you can't just disconnect the battery or it will harm the distributor or alternator.

Does anyone know if an ignition switch/drum is easy to replace? I will try and get one up at the auto wreckers, and hopefully I can find a friend that might be able to install it (without having to pay a real mechanic). I just really don't think the car is worth buying a new part.

Does it sound to you like the ignition switch/drum needs replacing?
Anyone have any idea of the cost of this part (new or used)?
Is it easy to replace?

Thanks for any advice you can offer.
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Old 10-22-06, 11:49 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 24
I've replaced a couple switches. Wore out, smooth keys were the problem there. They say having several keys on the key ring causes a lot of the wear on the tumblers. Cost maybe 30 bucks at the dealer (with 2 new keys).
Not difficult. Istruction were included. Seems like put the key in, turn a certain way and insert
a bent paper clip into a hole to release switch. Been a few years since I've done it. Forget the junkyard. Get it new at the dealer. Hopefully you don't have the resistor in the key or the cost is considerably higher. Or worse, the new remote starter keys. 2 friends have those, 1 BMW, 1 Mercedes. Expect 2-300 dollars there.
Old 11-01-06, 12:55 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Canada
Posts: 275
Just wanted to say thanks for your reply.

The culprit was a metal piece (about 3 inches long) somewhere in the steering column that had snapped. I suppose that even metal wears out over time.

Thank goodness, a friend of a friend did the work for me. I wasn't able to get the piece at an auto wreckers, so had to buy it new from the dealership. (I couldn't believe that one lousy piece of metal was almost $150 though. Oh well...what can you do.)

Anyhow.....Thanks again. The response was much appreciated.

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