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txdore 10/3/2012
2001 Oldsmobile Alero GL 4 Cyl 2.4L - Engine
Should I replace the ignition switch or the lock cylinder?
Key will intermittently not turn in the ignition switch. Turning the key from the off position to any other position has gotten worse over time. It feels worn. I don't think it is related to the steering lock because it happens when the steering wheel is turned and locked or not. I can get it to turn by jiggling the key back and forth, and in and out.
3 Answers
  • HouseCallAuto
    HouseCallAuto 10/3/2012
    Replace the lock cylinder but do not use the original key, have a new key made by replicating the key code from the cylinder that is removed. You can do this yourself. if you buy ACDELCO lock cylinder, AKA a passlock sensor, it will come with instructions how to rekey the cylinder to match the original. It does not come with a new key.
    txdore 10/4/2012
    Thanks for the help. I assume the keys I have are not worn, but if they do not work, I assume I could have new keys made using the code off the old cylinder, correct?

    Also, do you know if the cylinder can be removed without taking the dash apart? It appears you can release the retainer from the front, in addition to the side slot in the ignition switch.
  • HouseCallAuto
    HouseCallAuto 10/4/2012
    I assume you will follow your auto repair guide for the specifics, but simply, the only component that has to come out is the radio and the small round bezel surrounding the ignition lock cylinder. All keys become worn and a new key should not be made from a worn key because the wear will be duplicated on to the new key. After you replace the lock cylinder the car will not run until you relearn the passlock cylinder code. I can post it if you need the procedure but the guide will likely have it.
    txdore 10/5/2012
    Please post the procedure. I only have one of those store bought repair guides, and it doesn't cover how to set teh key code.
  • HouseCallAuto
    HouseCallAuto 10/5/2012
    1. Verify that the battery is fully charged.

    2. Use the scan tool to clear any Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC)s.

    3. Turn the ignition switch from the OFF position to the CRANK position, allowing the engine to start/stall.

    4. Release the key, leave the ignition in the ON position for a minimum of 10 minutes. Do not continue until at least 10 minutes has passed or the relearn will abort. Going over 10 minutes is OK.

    5. After the 10 minute cycle, turn the key off for 15 seconds.

    6. Repeat Steps 3-5 two more times (3 times total).

    7. After the 3rd cycle, the theft system should synchronize to the new Passlock sensor. It should start and run normally.

    NOTE: In some cases, the vehicle may start and run before the 3rd relearn cycle. This means that the relearn has finished early, the vehicle should start and run normally from this point.

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