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HHR This retro crossover vehicle combines the usefulness of a minivan with the size of a mid sized car.
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Old 04-30-2008, 07:10 PM
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Default Key wont come out!

I just wanted everyone to know what the latest weird issue has happened to me. I could not get the key out of the car's ignition. I found out that if any type of dirt, or particles get into the automatic gear shift, it cant lock into park. I had to take it back to Chevy and they took the shift out and cleaned it. Works good now.
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:27 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 13
Default RE: Key wont come out!

I had the same thing, they said it had something spilled down in the shifter, we never did but could have been done before we got it on a test drive?
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Old 06-19-2009, 02:07 PM
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i have also heard (and had) this happen when your battery gets low, it locks the key in and you have to use the manual key release to remove it.
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Old 07-04-2009, 04:34 PM
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Location: Albuquerque, NM
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Manual key release = vicegrips and application of force? or just where is it?
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Old 06-08-2010, 06:23 PM
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Default Help...key won't come out.....issue

I have had this problem and have taken it apart and put the pin back in..but for some reason it keeps coming lose again..Can't get it to stay.
Is there suppose to be a cotter pin or something to hold that pin into place ?
I have tried to look this issue up in the manual, but does not seem to be covered. Can any one help me with this ???
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:38 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 3

Under the column is a square removable plastic cover. Once removed you can see a spring loaded piston that if pushed carefully with a small screwdriver will allow you to turn the key back and pull it out. Unfortunatly untill the shifter problem is resolved the key will have to be wanually disengaged to remove it every time you turn the key out of the off position.

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-19-2010, 04:47 PM
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it is the shifter sensor that tells the comp the shifter isnt in park, replace this switch, i had it go in my cobalt which is the same parts
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:37 AM
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: USA
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I had a problem with my Chevy 2006 HHR with the ignition key sticking it wouldn’t release so the key can come out, I went online and found out these a little button switch under the steering wheel Colum that senses when the car is in park that switch is depressed in and allows the key to release well my question is (what would happened if I rigged the switch to stay engaged all the time thus allowing the key to release) Now I discovered that something may have broke in my shift lever not allowing the key button to release but I still would like to know if anything would happen if I rigged the switch to stay engaged.

See my battery went dead and the battery is in the back but the back door was locked and there’s no key lock on that hatch door.

What I did was, Removed the steering colum cover and depressed the switch under the steering to release the key from the ignition.
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Old 06-03-2011, 08:43 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
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You don't have to take the cover off! Just the small square tab allows access to the release. Use a small screwdriver to depress it to get the key out.

The actual problem is in the shifter it's self (I had to replace mine) I didn't see exactly what was going on because i had it done under warranty but something broke in it and it wouldnt go into park good enough to tell the computer. Therefore the key wouldn't even turn to the off position, let alone come out of the ignition.

My wife drove from Sarnia to Windsor (1.5 hrs drive) when it happened and she drove all the way back home because she couldnt shut the car off.

What a pain in the butt. And GM knows about the problem because they put an access tab in it insted of fixing the cause of the problem.

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Old 06-11-2011, 06:56 AM
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2,395

Some genius at the design department at GM decided they didn't

want the transmission shifter to shift when the key is out of the ignition.

So they created a transmission-ignition interlock solenoid.

I'm sure none of us would have wanted them to think up something we could

really use...

I was SO PISSED, because when my Chevy is parked in the driveway,

I like to jump in every half hour or so all day, and shift the tranny while the

car's just sitting there,turned off. Now I, and thousands like me, can't do this

any more.

What happens, more often than not, is the interlock solenoid gets out of

alignment, then you can't get your key out of the lock cylinder.

IF you leave it in, it runs down your battery.

Ask an independent mechanic to remove this 287.43$ wonder, and since

it's useless as **** on a boar, throw it in the trash WITHOUT REPLACING

IT. Your car runs fine without it.
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