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ignition cylinder jammed/broken?

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Old 31 Jan 2011, 09:49 pm
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Default ignition cylinder jammed/broken?

I have a 2001 PT and I noticed last night when i turned the key, it would not start on the first try. I would turn the key and everything would turn on, but it seemed the key would not turn far enough for the car to actually start. When I turned the key harder, it actually started. Today, it kept doing the same thing, everytime i turned the key, it would take a couple tries to get it to start. Now, I go to turn the key and it won't turn on at all. I can turn my key like I'm going to start it, take the key out, and everything stays on. I had a male friend look at it today and he jumped it, checked all my fuses and looked through the manual and couldn't find an answer. He thinks my ignition cylinder is jammed or broken because even when you take the key out, everything stays on. You have to turn the key all the way down until it clicks for everything to turn off and then take the key out. My question are, number 1, is it the igniton cyllinder? and number 2, does my key have an ignition chip? I know if my key does not, I know someone who can fix it a lot cheaper than taking it to a dealer if it is chipped. help?
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Old 31 Jan 2011, 11:11 pm
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Glendale, AZ
Posts: 496
Default Re: ignition cylinder jammed/broken?

This is a pretty common problem with PT Cruisers, and very easy to fix. That's the good news. The bad news is that the part is expensive if you get it from the dealer. It may be less expensive if you can find a locksmith who will work with you. You probably need a new lock cylinder, which is the part you slide the key into. If you keep a lot of keys, stuff, anvils, can openers, and doo-dads on your key ring, it will accelerate the lock cylinder wearing out, by the way. (My daughter used to have toy versions of the anvil, a real can opener, a stick of dead DDR2 memory, and a dozen keys to something before we had "that little talk.")

We had to replace this on our 2001, and the part was about $160. It took me 20 minutes to replace in the driveway, while my wife was making pancakes.

With the VIN for your car, the dealer or a good automotive locksmith can get you a ready-made lock cylinder so you can still use the same key. There's no chip issue. There are about five steps in the Technical Service Manual, which I can look up for you tomorrow evening if you want to do it yourself.

You'll need to disconnect the battery negative cable, a stiff wire coat hanger that you don't mind cutting, and some patience to get the old lock cylinder to work just one more time. Then it's like popping a champagne cork out of the bottle.

If it's any consolation, it is much more expensive on a Mercedes 450SL. At least I've heard that it is.
1996 Dodge diesel 4X4, 2001 PT Cruiser Touring with rear disc brakes, [Now gone 2004 PT Cruiser Base 5 speed], 2007 Chrysler T&C Touring
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