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FIRST make sure that your shifter is all the way up into the PARK position. Then make sure that the button on the shifter is not sticking. This button operates a switch that energizes a solenoid to keep the key from returning all the way back to the OFF position. If the button is stuck in, sometimes it can be released by tapping on the shift lever. This is a VERY COMMON problem.
Below is a link to a video that explains what I am talking about here.
Ignition - Key Stuck In Ignition Switch/Won't Turn
Bulletin No.: 06-02-35-005
Date: February 28, 2006
Key Stuck in Ignition, Key Will Not Return to Off Position, Shifter Button Won't Release in Park Position (Adjust Shifter Detent Finger)
2002-2005 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Customers may comment on any of the following conditions:
- The key is stuck in the ignition cylinder.
- They cannot return the key to the off position to remove the key.
- The shifter button won't release in the park position.
This condition may be caused by the detent finger shifting over time. This may result in mis-alignment and binding of the shift rod on the shift position guide.
WHERE YOUR SHIFTER IS YOU WILL HAVE TO TAKE IT APART ..MAYBE THE RUBBER BOOT IS IT THE WAY,OR THE SHIFT LOCK SELINOID WHENT BAD
GM has come out with a recall for the steering motor for the HHR, Cobalt and a few other cars that use the steering system. I agree it's junk. I am a GM technician and see too many of these come in for repair. The key is also a problem area. The ignition cylinder binds, The shifter can cause the key to stick in the ignition, etc. The turn signal is not a common. Gm customer assistance can help you.
This is a VERY common problem and there is a campaign though I am not sure it ever made it to full recall. The ultimate answer is to have the ignition switch replaced. In the meantime, you'll need to be able to get that key out. On the bottom side of the steering column there is a one inch square rubber plug that you pry out. You can then use your pointer finger to push the switch in. This will release the lock and let you turn your key to the off position and remove. You may want to leave this plug out as you'll be doing this a lot until it is repaired.
The key being stuck in the ignition is because the cars gears wont go into park all the way.. The shifter is the problem with this. You need to take it to a mechanic so they can take your actual shifter apart and fix the little button you press on the actual shifter. Sounds dumb, but thats what they did for me, and the key comes right out. Also, if you dont get it fixed soon, you will have some horrible times ahead of you .. See : Battery dying and Power steering Issues
start with the shifter. a common problem is the shifter is not making connection with the switch to tell the car its in park. jar ( hit) the shifter some and see if this doesnt let the key release. if this doesnt work then on plastic covering under the ignition switch is a small opening with a plastic cover. Remove the cover, feel with your finger until you find the release button for the key. The key will then come out.