Question about 2004 Chrysler Crossfire

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2004 Chrysler Crossfire

Last year at 25,000km the key/steering wheel had to be moved together, to get the ignition key to turn. This became chronic, and under warranty the cylinder lock was replaced (approx. $400).
(and one year and a few weeks) Thru this year we had to still giggle occasionally. Presently (1-year a& a few weeks from the service), and after only 6,000km, the key cannot be turned at all.
Chrysler says the ignition lock (A) and steering column parts (B) now have to be replaced (approx. $2,000), outside of the one year service warranty.
Chrysler says that they (A & B) are unrelated and both did not have to be replaced last year. A separate service manager told me that if both A & B were replaced last year, there would be no problem this year. Furthermore, B must have been faulty last year, though good enough to work with a new cylinder only. Clearly, under warranty, Chrysler elects to do as little as possible, but is that enough for an issue of this nature.
Can you comment on the technicality of replacing both A & B at the same time last year as proper service the servicing dealer of last year negligent, in your opinion. (might have sent this twice)

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  • mickeyjr Jan 06, 2009

    My wife has a 2005 Crossfire with the same problem. Chrysler want an arm and leg just to look to see what might be wrong. We have opted to simply leave the key in the ignition, it seems that once you get the "security" feature to unlock as long as you do not remove the key it does not engage the lock. The Crossfire's steering locks as soon as you take the key out where as most vehicles do not lock until the steering wheel is turned. We can get the key to turn once it has been removed but it can take as long as 15 minutes of turning the steering wheel and the key at the same time to get it to unlock. I think they must have made the locking mechanism out of plastic just like the rest of the interior.

  • bowersgarret May 16, 2009

    I recently bought a 2004 chrysler crossfire. It was always a little tricky to start, but never as difficult as it has been these past few weeks. I have to cut the sterring wheel so deep,while turning the key at the same time for about 10-20 minutes. Finally,it will start. It runs beautifully, if you can get the key to turn.



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I have no idea if this is a common fault with the model of car that you have. I would check this out. It is obvious at this point the necessary parts will have to be replaced to fix the fault. The parts used in the steering system and the labour to do the service work can be very expensive.

I would find a reliable private garage that works on the model type of your car to have another opinion and estimate.

Jerry G.

Posted on Nov 21, 2008


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I had the same problem. I had to replace the entire ignition module at my cost. It happens fast, first just sticks when turning, then a day or two later, it will lock. If you jiggle the steering wheel it will sometimes free the lock and you can turn the ignition. Just a poor design. The only way to get the ignition cylinder out is to turn the key to the on position (there are write ups on this on the internet). Most of the time that is not possible and you are stuck somewhere with no way to turn on your car. If you are able to do that do not turn the key off completely or it will probably never turn on again. Just leave it in the ACC setting until you figure out what you want to do. It is not that difficult to take the entire lock cylinder out and start the car with just the key tip that fits in the ignition slot (or a screwdriver if you have one). The only problem is that the key has a built in RFID sensor that needs to be within a few inches of the plastic piece around the key cylinder for the car to start, so even if you do that you have to find a place to stick the key to the dash right next to the ignition. Just take it to the dealer and have them fix it.

It is a very common problem and these wear out after use. A plastic actuator pushing a metal pin to unlock the key cylinder... it will be a replacement part and repair for Chrysler forever. At $525+ per repair it should be a recall, and it will happen to every crossfire owner. Mine went out at ~39,500 miles and I know it will again sometime in the car's life.

The other option is to drill out the steering wheel lock, much more difficult and extremely hard to get to under the dash. That would solve the problem forever, but most of us don't like dismantling our car's ignition and drilling into things that should not be taken apart.

Good Luck. Check out for other options, but everyone has had this problem.

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Chrysler 2003 ignition key wont turn

your key may be overly worn and need replaced, but try jiggling the key and steering wheel at the same time. if that doesnt work try sraying a penetrating oil, like WD40 or PB Blaster, into the lock cylinder. it could also be the gear shift safety switch not disengaging or a faulty ignition switch

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The lock cylinder in the steering column has to be changed. I have see these wear out.

To avoid having a new key combination for the ignition, when you go to the dealer and order new part, tell them that you want to have it in the same combination code as the original. You will have to loan them a copy of the key to have this done.

The last step is you will need someone who knows how to change the cylinder in the steering column. In many models of cars, this is an involved job.

Jerry G.

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