Question about 1996 Geo Prizm

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Key only turns to accessory position, can't start car

Have had to jiggle the key before to get the car to start, but now the key only turns enough to unlock the steering wheel. Won't go to the "on" position, can't start the car. What needs to be replaced?

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  • Contributor
  • 12 Answers

Try making a new key first

Posted on Jan 13, 2013

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: 95 geo prizm steering problem

I just had this very same problem a couple of weeks ago on a '95 Prism. I had the ignition switch replaced. That has solved the issue to this point.

Posted on Jul 07, 2008

freetek
  • 5568 Answers

SOURCE: Key won't turn ignition in 1996 Geo Metro

The steering lock consists of a hardened pin and it may not be releasing any more although it shouldn't interfere with the turning of your key, just your steering unless the Geo is done differently.
If it was mine, I would get a little rough with it and turn the steering wheel hard from left to right while trying to turn the ignition key. 
Even disassembly is not easy since the lock area is supposed to be secure so it cannot be easily defeated.

Posted on Oct 12, 2008

  • 14 Answers

SOURCE: the key only turns far enough to unlock the

It is very possible that it can either be the brake switch or neutral safety switch. These switches will prevent the vehicle from shifting into gear because it doesn't see that the brake is depressed.

Posted on Feb 14, 2011

Gophering
  • 187 Answers

SOURCE: 1995 geo tracker won't start.

DISCONNECT YOUR BATTERY AND RECONNECT, THIS SHOULD RESET THE BRAIN.

ALSO...WHEN YOU TURN THE KEY, LISTEN TO HEAR IF YOU CAN HEAR THE FUEL PUMP COME ON...IF NOT, GUESS WHAT? HOPEFULLY NOT!... BUT,YOU MAY NEED TO REPLACE THE FUEL PUMP, IF YOU CAN'T HEAR IT WHEN YOU TURN THE KEY, AFTER YOU'VE RESET THE BATTERY!

HOPE THIS HELPS!

Posted on Aug 30, 2011

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1 Answer

KEY WON'T TURN ON THE IGNITION


Hi Aldene, Your vehicle seems too young to have a problem with a worn key so I suggest that the problem was related to the position of the steering wheel and the tongue of the locking mechanism. Sometimes when the lock engages it is under the load of the weight of the front wheels, if they are not in the straight ahead position. A small movement of the steering wheel is usually enough to release the steering lock. Regards John

Jan 27, 2013 | 2006 Toyota Camry

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Stuck eldorado key in DTS ignition now car won't start


Make sure your steering wheel isn't locked. Sometimes a key won't turn until you jiggle the wheel while trying to turn the key.

Aug 21, 2012 | 2004 Cadillac DeVille DTS

1 Answer

Ignition


he ignition switch generally has four positions: off, accessories, on, and start. Some cars have two off positions, off and lock; one turns off the car, and the other allows the key to be removed from the ignition. When the key is turned to the accessories position, certain accessories, such as the radio, are powered; however, accessories that use too much battery power, such as window motors, remain off in order to prevent the car's battery from being drained. The accessories position uses the least amount of battery power when the engine is not running, which is why drive-in movie theaters recommend that the car be left in theaccessories mode during the movie.

The on position turns on all of the car's systems, including systems such as the fuel pump, because this is the position the ignition switch remains in while the car's engine is running. The start position is spring loaded so that the ignition switch will not remain there when the key is released. When the key is inserted into the ignition switch lock cylinder and turned to the start position, the starter engages; when the key is released, it returns to the on position, cutting power to the starter. This is because the engine runs at speeds that the starter cannot match, meaning that the starter gear must be retracted once the engine is running on its own.

Either the ignition switch or the lock cylinder may fail in a car, but both circumstances have very different symptoms. When the ignition switch fails, generally the electrical wiring or the plastic housing develops problems. The car may not turn on and/or start when this happens. Also, the spring-loaded start position could malfunction, in which case the starter will not engage unless the key is manually turned back to the on position.

When the lock cylinder malfunctions, however, the operation of the key itself will become problematic. If the tumblers become stripped, the lock cylinder may be able to turn with any key, or you may be able to remove the key when the car is on. If the tumblers begin to shift, the lock cylinder may not turn. Sometimes the key can be wiggled until the lock cylinder turns, but it is important to remember that this is only a temporary fix.

Replacing an ignition switch can be tricky business, particularly in newer cars, because of the anti-theft devices used in cars. Once the ignition switch is separated from the back of the lock cylinder, the car can be started with a screwdriver, making it vital that this switch be difficult to get to. It is important to consult a shop manual before attempting this kind of repair, as the anti-theft devices may require special tools; attempting to remove an ignition switch without the proper tools can render the car inoperable.


increase engine horsepower

Jun 02, 2012 | Volkswagen Transporter Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

I have 02 pontiac grand am and it wont start, it cranks over and getting spark and getting fuel, I replaced crank sensor, however i pulled spark plugs and didnt smell gas in the cylinders when someone else...


Attempt to start the car by turning the key to the Start/Run Position.
Observe that the vehicle fails to start and that the security light is illuminated. leave the key in the 'ON/Accessory' Position. (DO NOT turn key to the 'off' position.)
Allow the vehicle to sit with the key in the 'ON/Accessory' Position for no less than 12 minutes.
Turn key to off position and allow the vehicle to remain in the 'OFF' position for no less than 30 seconds. Then start the engine. This worked for me.

Apr 06, 2012 | 2002 Pontiac Grand Am

1 Answer

Took my ford focus to a dealer because key would not turn either way. They said it was the tumbler and would have to be replaced. They jusy called and said they installed new tumbler and reprogramed the...


The reason that the key wouldn't turn must have come from a malfunction of the ignition switch or the connecting rod, rather than the just the tumbler. Since the dash lights & gauges work now, at least part of the ignition switch is working, but apparently not the part that's engaged when the switch is turned to the "start" position.
By replacing just the tumbler, the dealership tech would have jiggled the connecting rod just enough to reseat it (and fix the jam that was causing the key to fail to turn in the tumbler), but didn't fix the real problem, which seems to be a worn out ignition switch or worn connecting/actuating rod.

Here's your steering column anatomy - illustration courtesy Ford Motor Company.


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Oct 19, 2011 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Cannot turn key in ignition to start car


Hi nicoleelgert, i suspect the steering lock is giving you the problem, all you need to do is turn the steering wheel left and right ( jiggle ) while turning the key in the ignition, it won't move much because it's locked but it will be enough to release the steering lock and allow you to turn key.. make sure you have the shifter in Park position too. Good luck . OK

May 23, 2011 | Pontiac G5 Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

2001 Cavalier Key Won't Turn.


Key may be worn. Try another key or get a new one cut from the code at a dealer. Other than that something could be broken in steering column.

Jun 17, 2009 | 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier

1 Answer

96 accord - turn key, nothing happens. bad ignition switch? help!


Could be.

Also the jiggling thing could be a coincidence. :0)

Tell me this.... when you turn the key, do you hear a CLICK?? If so your starter is probably bad.

:0)

Jan 05, 2009 | 1990 Honda Civic

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