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Kitskaboodle

Steering column needs to come out ??

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The problem: ignition key decided it didn't want to come out of the lock cylinder the other day. It became obvious that if you can't turn the key/lock cylinder all the way back, then the key will not come out! Somehow my buddy was able to get the lock cylinder to go all the way back and he handed me the key. :) So, at this point we checked the key/lock cylinder action again and again (turning the car to the on position and starting it too) but it did not act up anymore.

Now I am worried it will happen again and I will have to leave my key in the ignition and the car unlocked, wherever I might be. Your opinions on what is wrong , how can it be fixed and must the column come out ?

P .S. It has been out before with two unrelated issues and I can discuss those if needed. Thanks, Kit

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How old and worn is the key? I have some problems sometimes with my most used key while newer spare works fine. Have you tried lubing the lock with graphite or silicone spray?

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Kit,

I would say that the column doesn't have to come out but you may have to replace the lock cylinder.

To remove the lock cylinder, the air bag, steering wheel, and (I believe) airbag coil have to come out.

Not sure whether or not the turn signal assy. needs to be removed. But, if memory serves me, once all this stuff is out of the way there is one screw or pin that, once removed, allows the lock cylinder to come free of the column. New lock cylinders (with keys) can be had from The Reatta Store and elsewhere.

John F.

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Thanks for all the input and sorry for the late reply. I checked all my keys and unfortunately the one I'm using now is the best one out of all my spare keys. It doesn't look that worn though. I will try the graphite or silicon spray. (I have both) I didn't know about the shifter linkage cable slack issue. If this occurs again I will move it back and forth between park and low 1, put it back in park and then try to get the lock cylinder all the way back. If I still have trouble I will try and remove the switch assembly next. And by the way, I do have a 90 but have tossed away that hideous 90 steering wheel years ago and swapped it for an 88-89 wheel.

Edited by Kitskaboodle
Grammer (see edit history)

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If you use a lubricant I would recommend you use one that is non-conductive. Otherwise it could interfere with key reader in the lock and cause you problems with the theft deterrent system on your '90 model.

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Kit,

Now that I've thought about it a bit, another possible issue would be the Lock Actuator Rack. For reasons unknown, they break.

Disassembly of the steering column is requires to replace it. Not fun.

John F.

post-67519-143142588507_thumb.jpg

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As to the shifter cable; the actual shifter cable isn't the problem. There are two cables hooked to the consol shifter; one to the tranny, and one to the steering column. It's this second one that maybe the problem. It may have just popped off its stud in the consol. Maybe I should have made this clearer earlier.

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Mine sometimes gets stuck if the wheel is turned in either direction. Just try gently turning the wheel a little both ways while turning the key next time it happens. In addition to the shifter cable slack

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All, I will be taking my 90 to Van Nuys VERY early Sunday morning to the All GM car show, problems or not. I'm hoping I will be ok . Worst case scenario the key will be stuck in the column.

On another note...Ronnie, you mentioned about using non-conductive grease. Where would I get this? So, graphite is out? What about motor oil, WD-40, etc???

Kit

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On another note...Ronnie, you mentioned about using non-conductive grease. Where would I get this? So, graphite is out? What about motor oil, WD-40, etc???

Kit

You're looking for dielectric grease. You can buy small tubes at any auto parts store. Great for multiple wire plug blocks, relay contacts, slide contact switches, rubber lube. Keeps electrical parts lubricated and easy to take back apart.

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