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  #1  
Old 05-23-2011, 05:51 AM
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Unhappy Shifter Button and Ignition Key Stuck on Cobalt LT 4-door

Hi,

Can anybody help me with this problem on my 2005 Chevy Cobalt (LT 4-door)?

Last night I could not take the ignition key out. It will not turn back to the OFF position. After wiggling it for a bit, it finally got out in the second position, but I realize now that left the electric system turned on and it drained my battery! :-(

That is not the main problem though, because I can ask a neighbor to help me with some jumping cables. After looking a bit more at it this morning, I think I might have found what the problem is, but I need help in figuring out how to fix it w/o having to get the car to service.

I have noticed that the shifter button was loose and that the shifter was able to shift through all the gears without the need of pressing the button. Then after pressing releasing the button a few times (hoping that this will help the key move to the OFF position), now the shifter got stuck in the park position. I bet the cause for this problem is the same cause for the ignition key being stuck as well: I would guess probably some type of pin that gets switched by shifter button got loose.

I cannot figure out how to get to that area. How can I remove all the covering around the shifter so I can take a look inside and see what's wrong?

I would appreciate any advice anybody could give me!!! Or even better if anybody knows some URL/link to some YouTube video showing that it would be great.

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 05-23-2011, 06:14 AM
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These threads show you how to remove the trim around the shifter and how to remove the auto shift knob. Hope that helps you.

http://www.yourcobalt.com/forums/ins...-trim-mod.html

http://www.yourcobalt.com/forums/ins...-any-year.html

Also, our ignition lock cylinders are notorious for failing. If your key gets stuck again there is a release button inside the underside panel of the steering column.
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Old 05-23-2011, 03:12 PM
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Smile Update:

Thanks krazedkitty!

I was finally able to fix the problem. Thanks for the links you posted, the first one was really helpful to learn how to remove the shift box console trim!

I ended up finding also some other sites that helped me figure out what the problem was. In my case the pin that activates the micro-shift was displaced: I found it under the peg (/rod) that gets moved up and down by the shifter-button, instead of above it.

I shall provide below links to the info that helped me, so that all the info is gathered in one thread, thus easier to find for anybody else who might end up searching for a fix to similar problems:

I found a good explanation and diagram at: Can't remove key - Chevrolet Forum - Chevy Enthusiasts Forums and a good video at: YouTube - ‪CHEVY HHR gearshift repair‬‏ . The video is a bit dark, so you might want to watch it only after examining the diagram I mentioned above, and also after taking a look at some very good pictures that really help to clearly identify the parts, found at Auto Shifter problem

It is also good to know that in order to avoid getting your battery drained by leaving the key stuck in the “acc” position, there's a small plastic cover panel (a bit smaller than a square inch) on the bottom of the wheel casing, below the key. You can remove it, and through the exposed opening search with your fingers for a lever which releases the key so you can turn it all the way to the left, to reach the “off” position..

Hope this might help next person searching to fix this type of problem!
  #4  
Old 05-29-2011, 05:48 AM
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I'm having the same problem with my 2009 Cobalt (8700 miles). Last night the key got stuck in the on position. Had to have a tow driver disconnect the battery to get the engine to stop. I've tried pushing the lever or plunger or whatever up inside the steering column but it didnt help. Gear shift can be moved to all positions and car will drive but wont shut off. Last year when the gear shift recall came out the dealer looked at it but determined it didnt need any repairs.
I'll be taking it to the dealer on Mon or Tues (I cant do my own repairs) unless someone here has any suggestions.
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Old 05-29-2011, 06:47 AM
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  #6  
Old 06-08-2011, 11:10 AM
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help! Shifter problems on 06 cobalt automatic

@ Catalina - I had the same problem. My key was stuck in the ignition not being able to release. I thought it was the ignition but i then realize the silver button on the shifter was stuck down, not letting the key to come out. after i freaked out, i realized to get the key out, you can pop open the little gray opening right under the steering wheel with a screwdriver, reach up in there with your finger and press the key release button.

I then took off the silver button to find the plastic mechanisim that makes the shifter work was stuck and after taking it apart, i realize there is no hope to put it back together properly. i think it is broken or missing pieces. i now have to use an allen wrench to push the shifting mechanism down in order to get it out of park and into other gears. maguyver style. as well as pressing the key release button each time i need to get the key out.

does anyone know if i could just purchase another shifter knob without having to take it to a dealer?? any help is appreciated.

thanks!

---------- Post added at 11:10 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:08 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by krazedkitty View Post
These threads show you how to remove the trim around the shifter and how to remove the auto shift knob. Hope that helps you.

http://www.yourcobalt.com/forums/ins...-trim-mod.html

http://www.yourcobalt.com/forums/ins...-any-year.html

Also, our ignition lock cylinders are notorious for failing. If your key gets stuck again there is a release button inside the underside panel of the steering column.
hi krazed kitty... do you know if and where you can get a new shifter knob for automatics?
  #7  
Old 06-08-2011, 11:14 AM
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If you look in the owners manual it tells you how to turn the key to the off possition if it wont go all the way. There is a small pannel on the steering wheel column that you can remove and in there there is a lever you can press to release the key. I beleive its in the section about the pass key III system. I had an old aztec at one point that did this and it had the same thing press the lever and the key comes right out.
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:25 AM
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I replaced the shifter knob on my automatic with one I bought from pepboys and added a shift boot. I had to rig it up though so that the actual shifter button pushed down on the release button inside the shifter "shaft". I just cut a pencil to size and then tightened the knob on. Had to find the right position though or else the key wont release.

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  #9  
Old 06-08-2011, 02:43 PM
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shifter

Quote:
Originally Posted by GpB311 View Post
I replaced the shifter knob on my automatic with one I bought from pepboys and added a shift boot. I had to rig it up though so that the actual shifter button pushed down on the release button inside the shifter "shaft". I just cut a pencil to size and then tightened the knob on. Had to find the right position though or else the key wont release.



awesome! seems like something I might try. that looks better anyway. thanks for the suggestion!
  #10  
Old 07-07-2011, 09:55 AM
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if you look at this DIY i show how you can bypass the lock if it is the knob that is broken or u choose to switch to a manual knob. basically what it sounds like is the button is not fully depressing like it should when in park thus allowing you to move into other gears and not pushing up on the button that unlocks the key. simple fix for me was to hot glue a piece of plastic to keep the button perminately pressed. Now the only way i cannot remove my key is if i disconnect my battery on accident lol

http://www.yourcobalt.com/forums/ins...automatic.html
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