Question about 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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Ignition Key Doesn't Turn Sometimes in 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee

One of the two keys won't turn now and the other works but infrequently won't turn in ignition. Is this a tumbler problem or a rekey issue?

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  • sassyfrye Oct 13, 2008

    Thank you very much! I appreciate your help and the quickness of the response. I feared as much with this never ending repair vehicle!

  • stymjules Dec 19, 2008

    I had the same problem in my 2000 Cherokee  Sport.  The ignition key would occasionally lock up.  Moving the steering wheel and turning the key at the same time would free it up, at first.  Then it started locking up more often over time and I discovered the jiggling method (stick the key in and jiggle it in and out several times and then turn it)  Then one day the ignition cylinder just locked up and I sat there for an hour trying to get it to turn.  Bottom line: unless you know how to fix it yourself you're probably going to need to get the car towed to your mechanic, he is going to have to order a new cylinder from a dealer (90.00)  then the cylinder has to go to a locksmith to be keyed to your existing key (35.00) so your door key and ignition key can stay the same, and then add an hour or so of labor and your $200 problem is fixed.  My advice: after your key locks up once or twice start saving up for the repair and WD 40 your cylinder and key every couple months to stave off the inevitable.

  • Anonymous Dec 27, 2008

    ignition key doesn't turn 2000 jeep cherokee

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Posted on Dec 22, 2008

  • B A Dec 23, 2008

    Here's the solution if this happens to anyone else. I just went though this and it can save you a lot of money. My key would not turn at all, this is definitely a tumbler issue but STOP do not call the dealership or a mechanic. The one dealership I called told me there would be a $150.00 diagnostic fee. I told him I KNOW what the problem is already. Their total estimate to repair was about $450.00. So then I called a normal mechanic, he told me we would have to drill it out, cost about $400.00. Anyway, back to what to do, if your stranded and your key won't run, first call a locksmith. They will come out and fix the problem in just a few minutes. My cost $90.00 and they came to me. Here's a couple hints, if your key will not turn ( which is what you need when you want to remove the tumber) slightly tap on the key while it is in the tumbler with a soft rubber hammer. This will probably free it up, if not go to the auto parts store and buy "TRIFLOW" lubricant and spray in the tumbler, give it a heathy dose, then move your key in and out a couple times. This should free up the brass slides that are in the tumbler. Once your key turns again you can remove the tumbler by depressing the small latch on the bottom of the housing (after removing the shroud) the key must be in the ON position. Then you can clean each brass slide thoroughly with the TRIFLOW. The last thing, since this is a bad design, remove the "FIRST" two brass slides from the tumbler, one on top, one on the bottom. You don't need them!! What happens is when you insert your key, the key usually goes in depending on you slightly pointing up or down, this scores the first brass slides and cause them to stick open. Once the key is inserted pass the first slide it ends up in the proper groove and goes in straight. Remove the first two slides and keep a can of Triflow handy and tell the dealership to kiss your ****!! Keep a good auto locksmith number handy and spend the money you save on beer!!! I hope this helps someone else.

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This is a tumbler problem. If you want to fix it yourself, you need to disassemble the the column untill you get to the lock cylinder and figure out how to remove it and remove the tumblers. This will allow many different keys to start the car however. Your other option is to replace the lock cylinder with a new one and new keys. That is up to you, but you should do something before the keys quit working all together.

Posted on Oct 13, 2008

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