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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2013, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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Key Stuck in Ignition/fixing Shifter

2006 Cobalt LT

I originally had a problem with the key getting stuck in the ignition, but I found two short-term fixes to get the key out (switch in the steering column or microswitch in the shifter assembly).

In attempting to find the root of the problem I came across the misplaced rod that is supposed to engage the microswitch. I watched a youtube video that said if I have the shifter in P and push on the button, I should be able to slide the rod through a hole and under the microswitch.


However, there is no hole in the shaft for me to put the rod through. Note that I had to fix the shifter knob button because it was always de-pressed. I fixed it so it moves the plastic piece inside the shaft up and down, but it still hasn't helped solve my problem. As of now, I can move the shifter freely without my foot on the brake or pressing the button.

Any ideas? Or do I need someone to replace the entire shifter assembly?

Thanks.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 05:46 AM
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Same thing happened to me.
It was a blown fuse though.


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 08:21 AM
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It's a pretty common problem. Replacing the assembly will solve the issue, as the part is updated to prevent the issue from reoccurring. I recall the part being about $140.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 05:14 PM
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My daughter came home yesterday with the Cobalt and had the same problem. I fixed it today and here's how.

1. Pull parking brake lever and remove plastic bezel. It just unsnaps.

2. Put shifting lever in Neutral. Remove bezel from around shifter. It just unsnaps. Disconnect cigar lighter outlet and accessory outlet. There is a press tab on plug.



By the way this is a great time to clean all the knooks and crany not to mention spilled coffee.

3. Remove shifter knob, again lever has to be at least in neutral away from park so you can lower the bottom half of the knob to access the T10 torx screw.



4. Remove top cover plate, 4 clips, one at every corner.



5. Now with the help of a bunch of pictures I will try to show what needs to be done. First picture shows what you're going to see when you look at the key release micro switch. At least this is what happened to mine. Not obvious at first look.



This picture shows shifter switch actuator pin highlighted in yellow.



Now if you look at microswitch lever (highlighted in red here) you will notice it is tucked to one side and under the shifter actuator pin.



You will need to push that lever and micro switch back into position closer to the shifter because it has come off of it mount. It is only held in place by pressure fit.



Here you see it once pushed back into place. At this point microswitch and lever are in the right place but shifter actuator pin is still on top instead of bottom of lever.



All You have to do next is Pull lever out of park position and back into Park and pin will reseat itself under the lever and in the proper position.



Pin better seen here in yellow.



Hope this helps!!! Feel free to ask any question. My daughter has been driving it all day, oh! there she goes again. Works great apparently.

So while I had it apart I took the opportunity to clean and replace the shifter indicator bulb (which was burnt) with an LED.

1. Removed Indicator plate. It was all gummed-up with coffee, pop and who knows what else. It was pretty grosse.



2. Before and after cleaning pictures. There were actual letters and numbers on there.



3. Removed and cleaned the shift position indicator strip.



4. Removed the lamp housing. Oops no picture, but the white part in this picture.



Here it is removed.



5. So took out a mini wedge bulb mount and a 12 Volt LED and put them together.



My first attempt failed because overall length was excessive and refractor wouldn't fit.



So ran the base on the fine emery wheel.



And by trial and error.



Finally got the right length. Reassembled, shortened the leads and voilà!



Tried it in to make sure I had the right polarity and alls good. Put everything back together. Looks like new again. Hope this helps some of you!!!



---------- Post added at 09:14 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:32 PM ----------

Also took this time to install my USB ports but that's an other story and an other thread.

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Last edited by Coby7; 06-20-2013 at 01:36 PM.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for posting this! I'm sure it will be a big help to me and others. However, my problem is that the pin fell out completely and I'm trying to figure out how to reinsert it through the left side of the shifter assembly and under the microswitch. There might be something wrong with the shifter internals because there is no opening to do so.

I replied to your private message as such.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 07:16 PM
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You see, I did not know that part.... The shifter assembly all comes apart piece by piece you can probably figure it out. I didn't have to go that far for mine. Sorry, maybe next time.

So as you can see in this picture you can't lower the chrome piece in "Park"because it is already touching the dust cover.



You will need to pull your parking or ebrake to set it.



Turn key to "ON" position.



Move shifting lever in neutral or any of the drive gears, in this case neutral was a more comfortableplace to work. As you can seethis leaves about ¾" of room below the chrome part so you can pull it down.



Twist the chrome piece counterclockwise and pull downwards.



This will expose the T10 torx screw at the back of the lever.



Unscrew until lever is free.



Remove Knob by pulling upwards.



Exposed lever.



Top view where you can see the actuator inside. This is the part that pushes on the pin so you can move lever away from "Park".



This is the piece that may fall out of knob, if it does reinsert teeth facing knob button.



Reverse the procedure to reassemble into place.

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Last edited by Coby7; 06-21-2013 at 08:50 AM.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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Great news! I fixed it. The key was to take the knob off the shifter again and push down on the part inside with a screwdriver, thus revealing the hole to push the pin through. Tested it a few times and the key releases normally. Huge relief.

Thanks for your help. I was about to give up until I saw your posts/messages.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-14-2013, 03:30 PM
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Took everything apart today. Ended up flattening LED tip to remove hot spot in the "D".


Every minute spent angry is a happy minute lost for ever and ever!!!
Drives 2016 Cocoa Buick Encore 1.4L Turbo auto KL4CJDSB2GB652675
Drives 2016 Sunset Orange Trax LT1 1.4L Turbo auto 3GNCJPSB8GL142716

Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly

Last edited by Coby7; 06-21-2013 at 08:50 AM.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-20-2013, 01:26 PM
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I reset the pin but i guess its not hitting the lever up high enough because the key remains stuck in the ignition. When i push it up manually it hits and the key is released. Second problem is i can't get the shifter knob back on. it won't go all the way down because the black rod in the gear shaft. Am i putting it back together incorrectly?
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-20-2013, 01:40 PM
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Maybe, there's a white toothed piece of plastic that goes only one way in the knob for it to work. If you flip 180° it won't fit on the lever.

Every minute spent angry is a happy minute lost for ever and ever!!!
Drives 2016 Cocoa Buick Encore 1.4L Turbo auto KL4CJDSB2GB652675
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