Question about Chrysler PT Cruiser

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Remove and replace ignition key tumbler on 03 Pt

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  • larry_engels Aug 29, 2010

    Thanks for getting back so fast. I greatly appreceiate it.

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Hi. Removing the key tumbler requires expertise. Anyway here's the procedure. remove your starter ignition switch,held on by one screw, remove top and bottom plastic couple screws,two screws on top to remove blinker switch's and lights.under tumbler casing two small screws hold shift cable remove that and in between starter switch and tumbler the rest off your ignition. remove this at the more than likely at the end the soft metal has broken so instead off it having a square end it's rounded so it can't turn your ignition you will have to replace that unit

Posted on Aug 30, 2010

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It is not necessary to remove the steering wheel. It requires having a serviceable key and the lock cylinder has to be capable of being manipulated into the RUN position. REMOVAL
(1) Disconnect negative battery cable.
(2) Place key cylinder in RUN position. [This takes some manipulating due to the cylinder's condition.] Through the hole in the lower shroud, depress lock cylinder retaining tab and remove key cylinder. [You can use No. 2 square drive screwdriver.]
INSTALLATION
(1) Install key in lock cylinder. Turn key to run position (retaining tab on lock cylinder can be depressed).
(2) The shaft at the end of the lock cylinder aligns with the end of the housing. To align the socket with the lock cylinder, ensure the socket is in the run position. [The socket is the place in the steering column that the cylinder fits into. If you didn't disturb the electrical part of the assembly, it is already aligned.]
(3) Align the lock cylinder with the grooves in the housing. Slide the lock cylinder into the housing until the tab sticks through the opening of the housing. [Actually, you will feel the -snap- as it engages.]
(4) Turn key to the OFF position. Remove the key.
Connect the battery terminals . ---------- In some cases the steering shroud needs to be removed. Remove the sttering column shroud. put the key in and turn it to the run position. on the botton of the column where the cylinder goes in there is a button that has to be pushed. the cylinder will slide out. if the key will not turn, you will have to drill out the button. Thanks. Keep updated for any more query. You can rate this solution and show your appreciation.

Posted on Aug 29, 2010

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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Physically removing a piece of an ignition key from the tumbler is practically impossible. The tumbler is filled with spring loaded tabs which raise and lower against EVERY notch on a key. That resistance will fight your every motion as you try to back the key remnant out. As one tab releases, the next in line raises into the vacancy just created. GM, even with the "fob"/ chip installed in most of their keys, also put greater anti-theft detail into their ignition tumblers. IF this is an ignition lock that has a chip sensor, the practical repair is a complete key/tumbler replacement. This isn't a DIY repair. It will involve removing the steering wheel and column covers, air bag, AND re-coding the vehicle computer to accept and recognize the new key/chip code. The re-coding CAN be done at home. Immediately after the new tumbler is installed, leaving the ignition in the "run" position for 1 hour, will re-code the antitheft in the computer.

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My 2001 PT Cruiser ignition switch will not turn. I have tried moving the steering wheel up and down, moving the steering wheel left to right while trying to turn the ignition on all to no avail. Help.


was the ignition switch getting hard to turn with the key for a while or did this just all of a sudden happen usually the problem has been going of for a while but people just ignore it until it gets to this point,it sounds like the tumblers in the ignition key switch have gone bad and the tumbler assembly needs to be replaced,the new tumbler assembly can keyed to the original key if the key is not worn out.this should be replaced with a new key if it is.

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Yes, the tumbler is worn, possibly from a heavy key chain or abnormally frequent stop/starts. Ther amy also be a bad connection in the switch connections itself, that may not require a whole new ignition switch.

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I had the same problem.does your key spring back? If it doesn't take out your tumbler remove your starter ignition switch,held on by one srew,remove top and bottom plasticcouple screws,two screws on top to remove blinker switchs and lights.under tumbler casing two small screws hold shift cble remove that and in between starter switch and tumbler the rest off your ignition. remove this at the more than likely at the end the soft metal has broken so instead off it having a square end it's rounded so it can't turn your ignition you will have to replsce that unit .goodluck It has been a real pain in the *** trying ti figure it out.

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Most often the lack of spring back is not the key and tumbler set itself. There is no spring back in the tumbler but rather the internal area of the column- you can determine this by cylinder removal if you know how to remove. A 96 is most often what they consider a 10 cut side bar ignition. by diconnecting your battery and removing some shroud around the ignition. You will need to turn the key to crank postion and hold it their in order to depress the retainer that holds the cylinder in place, located top ignition.( Retainer small hole area)
While depressing retainer pull cylinder out -and you will have lock in hand for you to examine.

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1 Answer

2001 P.T. Cruiser


It's possible the tumblers have fallen in your ignition. I had a similar incident with a Focus I owned. Everything locked and I couldn't get the key to turn at all. They had to tow the car to the dealership and replace the tumblers.

Oct 26, 2008 | 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser

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