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Replaced ignition actuator switch, now radio display doesn't work

 
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Old 06 Feb 2014, 01:12 pm
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Default Replaced ignition actuator switch, now radio display doesn't work

Hi, all! This is my first post here, but I've been lurking for a couple of days.

The ignition key in my '02 Cruiser has been refusing to turn. This first happened last summer, to the point where it would no longer turn at all. I had to have it towed to our local repair shop, where the mechanic (whom I trust) said I needed to replace the steering column because the actuator pin was broken. He got a used steering column from a junk yard and installed it. Problem solved--for about 6 months. The ignition started locking up again last weekend. THIS time I Googled it and found out about the Dorman replacement actuator switch, which was 1/10th the cost of the used steering column...

Anyway, I followed the Dorman video and replaced the actuator switch yesterday. (Oddly, the switch I removed looked to be in as good of shape as the one I just bought...)

When I was through with the repair, I found a tiny silver-colored metal part on the carpet beneath the steering wheel--same kind of metal as the ignition lock housing and cover. The car still started so I wasn't too worried about it, until today when I realized that the radio display does not work. Radio plays, but no clock or station is displayed on the LED face. More Googling shows that this is a common ignition-related problem, but there are no listed fixes for it.

So, my questions are: Where does that tiny metal part actually fit, and how can I get the radio display working again?

--Kathy
who hasn't worked on a car since about 1979
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Old 06 Feb 2014, 01:33 pm
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Default Re: Replaced ignition actuator switch, now radio display doesn't work

Kathy,

Welcome to the forum. Once in awhile, the wiring harness that runs down the steering column has something to do with the radio. The harness gets stretched or pinched. Replacing the ignition switch, was the steering column moved up and down at all? Anyway, try adjusting the column in every which way it will go, all the way up and down and see if that has any affect on the radio.
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Old 06 Feb 2014, 02:20 pm
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Lightbulb Re: Replaced ignition actuator switch, now radio display doesn't work

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caelestis View Post
I had to have it towed to our local repair shop, where the mechanic (whom I trust) said I needed to replace the steering column because the actuator pin was broken. He got a used steering column from a junk yard and installed it.
SEE:2001 PT IGNITION CYLINDER STUCK

Also see-(#7a):Hosed | Define Hosed at Dictionary.com
Now I'm probably not telling you anything you haven't already figured out........But,you got 'hosed' by your 'trusted' mechanic!
If the key won't turn,or it's hard to turn,there's a good chance it was(and still is!) the 'key cylinder';Replacing the entire steering column when it's more likely the key cylinder,actuator,or switch,is basically the equivalent of throwing the baby out with the bathwater!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caelestis View Post
and how can I get the radio display working again?
Try pushing in on the key hard!(with key in 'ON' or 'ACC' position).......Does the radio display come on then???
It may or may not....But,I would suggest the one thing that hasn't been done yet;Replace the 'key cylinder'(easy to do!)
As you will see in the video I posted,you'll need to arrange(re-key) the cylinder to fit your existing keys(you don't need NEW keys!).




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Last edited by randyincctx; 06 Feb 2014 at 02:24 pm.
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Old 06 Feb 2014, 02:32 pm
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Default Re: Replaced ignition actuator switch, now radio display doesn't work

Wiggling the key does occasionally get the radio display to come on, but as soon as I let go of the key it goes off again. I'm about to go out and take the shrouds off again to check out the wiring. Nobody has any clues about that tiny part I found? It had to come out of the ignition, as the carpet/floormat area was cleared before I started working.

As for the key cylinder...that is probably going to be my next step if I can't figure this out, although I really don't feel like messing with it. I'm going to try my husband's copy of the car key first and see if that makes a difference.

re: mechanic--he is a good guy, based on years of dealings with him with several different cars. He could not find any info from dealer or in his repair books on how to replace just the actuator--every source he checked said he had to replace the whole column (he's not internet-savvy). He actually ended up replacing it 3 times due to problems with the used ones he was sent, and did not charge me any extra for all that work.
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Old 06 Feb 2014, 02:46 pm
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Default Re: Replaced ignition actuator switch, now radio display doesn't work

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caelestis View Post
Wiggling the key does occasionally get the radio display to come on, but as soon as I let go of the key it goes off again.
That IS a bad 'key cylinder'.....You don't need to remove the shroud/s,there is a hole designed strictly for this purpose.
There is a hole on the right,underneath the plastic shroud,place the key in the cylinder,turn the key to 'ON' position,insert a screwdriver into the hole,and push up,then pull outward on the key...The cylinder will come right out.


At 1:27 this video explains the hole I'm referring to:

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Old 06 Feb 2014, 03:57 pm
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Default Re: Replaced ignition actuator switch, now radio display doesn't work

I just took off the shroud so I could check the wiring. It all seemed to be OK, and wiggling it only got the clock to blink on just one time, never again after that. I did figure out where the extra teeny tiny part came from (I think). It fit into a depression on the inside of the ignition housing cover. I put it back but it didn't make a difference in anything.

Pulling *hard* on the key, up and toward the steering wheel, did consistently turn the clock display back on. You're right, I need a new ignition key cylinder. 12+ years and 160,000 commuter miles---it's probably long overdue. I wish I'd known this first, would have saved me some work yesterday. Oh well...

I've read in other places that sometimes the horn and/or air bag won't work when the clock display is affected. The horn does still work. Not willing to test the air bag however.

For the moment I can live without the clock/radio display. It's freakin' cold out there and our garage is not heated. I'll fix the ignition key cylinder when the temps are above freezing again. In the meantime I can at least get the part and watch the video a few times so I'll have a clue when I finally get a chance to work on it.

Thanks a lot for the help, randyincctx and crewzin!

--Kathy
in the solidly frozen armpit of Detroit
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Old 06 Feb 2014, 05:38 pm
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Lightbulb Re: Replaced ignition actuator switch, now radio display doesn't work

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caelestis View Post
I need a new ignition key cylinder. 12+ years and 160,000 commuter miles---it's probably long overdue.
I'd recommend the sooner the better(literally!).
The key needs to be able to turn in the ignition,in order to do the easy repair.
Order or purchase the new cylinder(w/tumblers),and then it only takes one minute to remove the old one,go into a warm home,lay the old & new out on a table,set the new one up to match the old,then run out and pop it in,and your done.
Downside;If the key gets stuck,or the ignition won't turn...It can leave you stranded,and end up with an expensive towing,or locksmith bill.
Here are just 2 examples of PTCL members that waited a little too long:

inserted key wont key in any direction
Help with ignition cylinder?
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Old 07 Feb 2014, 09:33 am
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Default Re: Replaced ignition actuator switch, now radio display doesn't work

I ordered the cylinder this morning. Can't do anything more until it arrives.
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Old 13 Feb 2014, 05:26 pm
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Default Re: Replaced ignition actuator switch, now radio display doesn't work

The new ignition cylinder came yesterday. Today I pulled out the old one and started to work on it. I'm stuck immediately. I can't get past those two little spring-loaded pins that keep the internal portion with the tumblers inside the cylinder. My fingernails are all trashed from working with metal (I make jewelry) so I have no thumbnails with which to hold the spring-loaded pins down while I try to turn the key/cylinder. I've tried tiny screwdrivers and other various tools, tape, bracing them with small pieces of thin copper sheet, wire--nothing works. Suggestions would be extremely welcome right now.

--Kathy
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Old 13 Feb 2014, 06:11 pm
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Default Re: Replaced ignition actuator switch, now radio display doesn't work

Never mind! I got it--tore the heck out of the quicks of my thumbnails, but got it. Tumblers are changed, new cylinder is installed, car starts and runs, and the radio display works again! Thanks for all your help!

--Kathy
wondering how long aluminum tumblers will last before they begin to wear...
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