Ignition Key won't turn in 99 Grand Voyager

Discussion in 'Voyager' started by dcervoni1, Dec 1, 2005.

  1. dcervoni1

    dcervoni1 Guest

    The ignition key wouldn't turn on only one occassion a number of years
    ago. Problem resurfaced a couple of years ago but only happened once
    every few months. Lately though it is happening with greater

    Steering doesn't lock when problem rears it's ugly head. Dealer wants
    $300 - $400 (Cdn) to replace key cylinder. I tried graphite, WD40,
    turning steering wheel, applying brakes, ensuring shifter firmly in
    park, even tried dealers suggestion of light taps on key with hammer!
    Nothing works. It's just hit and miss now and trying every few hours
    or next day key will turn fine but not for long.

    Should I just bite the bullet and shell out the cash to the dealer
    (sorry kids - no visit from Santa this year) or are there less
    expensive options?

    Thanks - D. Cervoni
    dcervoni1, Dec 1, 2005
  2. dcervoni1

    Bob Shuman Guest

    Seems to be a common problem as it happened to our 1999 T&C twice now.
    First time was under warranty , but the last time was in March of this last
    year. I bought the dealer ignition cylinder and had them key to my existing
    key. I then took out the old one and put in the new saving the labor. I
    actually did this through a dealer in SC (Galeana) that advertised its
    services at a discount via the Internet. I just looked at the parts bill
    and found it cost me $107.58 total. This broke down to $70.00 for the
    cylinder, $3.60 for a spring, $1.03 for 4 tumblers, $25.00 for re-keying
    labor, and $7.95 for shipping.

    The only thing that was a pain was I needed to send them a key so they could
    use for the re-keying. Removal and Replacement is pretty simple. Good

    Bob Shuman, Dec 2, 2005
  3. dcervoni1

    NewMan Guest

    Look up Locksmiths in the yellow pages. Find one that specializes in
    Automtive. These guys have more tools than an Aircraft mechanic! My
    bet is he can do the job quicker, better, and cheaper than the dealer.
    Plus he will come right to where the van is - and may not charge any
    extra to do it if you schedule him (as opposed to an "emergency"

    NewMan, Dec 2, 2005

  4. My 99 did that. I bought an aftermarket lock cylinder from a local
    locksmith and put it in myself. Wasn't hard to do. Lock cylinder
    cost about $50-60, as I recall about two years ago.
    Frank Boettcher, Dec 2, 2005
  5. dcervoni1

    philthy Guest

    are u in michigan??
    the key cylinder relacement is real easy to do and not expensive
    if a locksmith can fix it. but if the steering colum shift interlock
    mechinizm is locking up then a good mechinac will need to relace the
    belcrank and cover not a dealer tech
    philthy, Dec 3, 2005
  6. dcervoni1

    dcervoni1 Guest

    Thanks for all the advise. I called a locksmith and he came right to
    my driveway and changed the tumblers/waffers inside the key cylinder
    for $130 Cdn. Still cheaper than the dealer and his warranty is 90
    days. If it didn't work, problem will likely resurface before the 90
    days are up and we'll get him back, although I'm cautiously optimistic
    that the problem is now history.

    Thanks Again - D.Cervoni
    dcervoni1, Dec 6, 2005
  7. dcervoni1

    jmw8000 Guest

    jmw8000, Dec 13, 2005
  8. dcervoni1

    jmw8000 Guest

    I just had the same problem with a 1999 T & C Van, The key would not
    turn at all.

    I tapped on it a little with a small hammer and was able to get one
    more turn out of it.

    I was going to my mechanic to have some minor work done and when the
    car was done
    we could not get it to turn without tapping it again with a hammer.
    The steering wheel pod (2 pcs plastic cover comes off when you remove
    the 3 screws. The key has to be turned
    to the acc. position so you can push the silver square button in that
    holds it in place.
    Just push the button and pull the entire cylinder straight out. I
    used a super large screw driver to drive around over the weekend until
    I got it fixed.
    I called 3 different dealers to pick their brains. Dealer 1 $
    300.00 if you bring the car in Dealer 2 also in Los angelas $250.00.
    My local dealer said if I bring in the key they would match the new
    cylinder to my old key in about 5 minutes Total $ 108.00 I would have
    to put it back myself. I called the local locksmith He put new wafer
    pins and rebuilt my cylinder total price $ 42.40 Always skip the
    dealer whenever possible. This problem is common for these vans and is
    not hard to do, just follow the directions I used.
    jmw8000, Dec 13, 2005
  9. dcervoni1

    NewMan Guest

    You are very welcome! Been there, done that - and on Labour Day of all
    (^*&^ days! :)
    NewMan, Dec 13, 2005
  10. dcervoni1

    leftie Guest

    Let me add my own experience regarding this problem. We did the "hit the
    end of the key while in the ignition cylinder" for about a year until it
    decided to finally die. Thank God that it died right in my driveway.
    (Footnote here: I couldn't get it to turn to the start position in order
    to get it out of the column. What finally worked was putting my propane
    torch to it for about 30 seconds followed by putting in the key and
    hitting it a couple of times. It finally turned.) Anyway, the only place
    that had a replacement cylinder was the dealer who was going to charge
    me about $102 for the cylinder and about $30 to set it up for my
    existing key. Since that didn't sit well with me, I tried one more auto
    wrecker who, like some others, said they only would sell the entire
    steering column (no thanks). However, he recommended that I call a fella
    he dealt with that is an ACE Locksmith. Huh...was my reaction but, hey,
    I'm desparate, right? So I call the guy and, sure enough, he says "sure,
    just bring me your key and (here's the kicker) for $50 I'll have it
    done". I actually called him back to confirm that for the $50 that I was
    getting a new cylinder. He said I was. Well, I met the guy who proceeded
    to take a cylinder apart (he said he does this about 6-8 times a week.
    By the way, the cylinder he had was a new blank one which means it
    didn't have any of the internal guts (tumblers, whatever you call them)
    in it. He took my key, installed the internal pins and gave it back to
    me all in the space of about 5 mins tops. He also said that the
    lubricant to use when one of these things does start sticking is BP
    Blast...never use WD40. He also said that you should only have the key
    and maybe the remote on the key chain when it's in the ignition vs.
    having a ton of keys hanging off of it....the weight of the other keys
    eventually damages the cylinder. ACE Locksmith, who would have thought!?
    I hope this helps someone in the future that experiences this problem on
    these vans.
    leftie, Feb 3, 2009
  11. dcervoni1

    Bill Putney Guest

    He is right about WD40 - it has no lubricating properties or staying
    power whatsoever - not a good lubricant, nor is it a good penetrating
    oil at all either. I suspect what he recommended was "PB Blaster" -
    which is a very good penetrating oil. Never heard of BP Blast.
    Personally, I use spray lithium grease - real lithium grease in a very
    light carrier - the carrier evaporates leaving a nice, very thin layer
    of the white lithium grease - has good lubricating properties and real
    staying power.
    I know he's technically right, but that's not practical. I mean - I'm
    either supposed to carry around multiple key chains - one for each
    vehicle I own and and another for all other keys, or stop and separate a
    single on into two every time I get in, and put them back together when
    I get out of the car - give me a break. :)

    I carry around a fairly good size set of keys, and in 40 years of
    driving I've had to replace or lube two ignition switch cylinders on my
    personal vehicles.
    Bill Putney, Feb 3, 2009
  12. dcervoni1

    leftie Guest

    Yes, you are correct (my apologies)...it was PB Blaster. As for th
    other keys hanging off of your key chain, I agree. While it's goo
    advice, it's not practical. I've been driving for the same amount o
    years and this is the first time I've had to replace a cylinder. Ergo
    I'm not to worried about having a somewhat substantial collection o
    keys on my chain. I think one of the main considerations in all of thi
    discussion is that if you can avoid going to a dealer to get somethin
    fixed then go that route
    leftie, Feb 4, 2009
  13. dcervoni1

    Joe Pfeiffer Guest

    I frankly don't believe the claim about extra keys. I just can't
    think of a credible mechanism by which this can cause extra wear.

    Disclaimer: I did indeed need to replace the ignition switch cylinder
    on my '78 Newport a couple of years ago. So it did indeed fail after
    just short of 30 years, with my Mom hanging all her keys for the first
    20 or so and me hanging all mine in the years after.
    Joe Pfeiffer, Feb 4, 2009
  14. dcervoni1

    Bill Putney Guest

    Amen to that! Been my philosophy for years ever since my first bad
    experiences some years ago.
    Bill Putney, Feb 4, 2009
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