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key won't come out right away

Posted on 2016-08-17
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Last Modified: 2016-08-18
I have a 1998 buick regal and the key will not come out of the ignition right away.  I have to keep the key forward and I wait for about 20 seconds and then I hear a click sound and I can take the key out. Sometimes this click does not happen right away.  I had to wait 5 minutes one time and other times it comes out immediatley.  I have sprayed some graphite in the ignition and this made it worse so I have to blow it out with a can of air.  Maybe it has something to do with the anti theft thing.  Any ideas for remedying this?
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Question by:mkramer777
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LVL 99

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41759380
Any ideas for remedying this?  Yes. The car is near 20 years old, and the key and inside mechanism has worn causing the issue you see. You need to replace the ignition key mechanism and the key.

You can try cutting a new key, but in my experience, this will not work well.
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Author Comment

by:mkramer777
ID: 41759391
Can you explain the click I hear and every time I hear this the key comes out just fine?  Happens every time if I just wait.
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LVL 99

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41759403
Given all the wear, I assume the click was the inside of the key mechanism finally unlocking.
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Accepted Solution

by:
akahan earned 2000 total points
ID: 41760539
I think the steering column lock is likely binding (sticky with age).

When you have this issue, can you prompt the "click" to happen, and the key to be released, by jiggling the steering wheel back and forth?

If so, you can either live with the problem (as long as you're willing to jiggle the steering wheel to solve it each time), or you can replace the lock cylinder.
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LVL 99

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41760926
Sticking key is what I told you in the first post here.
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Author Comment

by:mkramer777
ID: 41760971
I tried the idea of turning the steering wheel to force the click sound and it worked.
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