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Unread 10-29-2010, 07:25 PM   #1
DDavee
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Canton
Posts: 27
Key gets stuck in Ignition

I have a '97 Cherokee Country. The key sometimes doesn't come out of the Ignition. I have to take it for a little drive and when I come back it works. Now, for the past 2 days I tried having it in 2WD when I turn the car off and it's worked... However, it sometimes does and sometimes doesn't. So it's impossible to tell if the 2WD fixed it, or if its something else.. I heard it may be because I don't have the steering wheel straight, I don't know though.. Advice?

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Unread 10-29-2010, 07:56 PM   #2
PlatinumNiner
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Long Island NY
Posts: 2,724
Maybe its not 100% in park? Could be the steering wheen lock, Whats the condition of the key? If its the oem key from 97 i doubt its on good shape. Dealer can cut you a new key using your vin for about 15 bucks. hats what i did for my 95 then just had a few copies made. Did it this way so i had a perfect key to start with.
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Unread 10-29-2010, 08:00 PM   #3
DDavee
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Canton
Posts: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlatinumNiner View Post
Maybe its not 100% in park? Could be the steering wheen lock, Whats the condition of the key? If its the oem key from 97 i doubt its on good shape. Dealer can cut you a new key using your vin for about 15 bucks. hats what i did for my 95 then just had a few copies made. Did it this way so i had a perfect key to start with.
I have one that looks like its the one that came with it, but I have one thats much newer. The newer one that stuck one time, however that couldve been because that one time it wasn't parked right... Ugh, I wish it happened all the time atleast then itd be easier to pinpoint/
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Unread 10-29-2010, 08:08 PM   #4
ergolarry
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1994 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Barrie, Ontario
Posts: 45
What would having it in 2wd have to do with the key coming out? There is an interlock between being in park before the key is released in a lot of vehicles, but to my knowledge there is no relationship between the transfer case and the column. You can also try lubricating the lock mechanism with dry graphite, however my bet would be on a worn lock mechanism due to regular use and age. As the lock and key wears, the tumblers in the lock aren't moved as much and interference within the lock prevents proper function. On the positive side, after having torn my column apart for turn signal switch replacement, the replacement of components within the column aren't too overwhelming with a FSM and required tools.
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Unread 10-29-2010, 08:23 PM   #5
PlatinumNiner
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1998 ZJ 
 
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The signal switch can be replaced in like 20 mins thats super easy on the newer 95+ columns. Im not sure how much work it is to replace the cylinder. I wouldnt jump to that though id check everything else first.
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Unread 10-29-2010, 08:31 PM   #6
DDavee
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlatinumNiner View Post
The signal switch can be replaced in like 20 mins thats super easy on the newer 95+ columns. Im not sure how much work it is to replace the cylinder. I wouldnt jump to that though id check everything else first.
Is there a way to tell, like if I had a garage put it on a scope?
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Unread 10-29-2010, 08:35 PM   #7
PlatinumNiner
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Nope. If you have a perfect key, you play with the shifter and that doesnt help, you turn the wheel and that doesnt help, chances are its the cylinder.
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Unread 10-29-2010, 08:47 PM   #8
DDavee
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Location: Canton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlatinumNiner View Post
Nope. If you have a perfect key, you play with the shifter and that doesnt help, you turn the wheel and that doesnt help, chances are its the cylinder.
next time it happens I will play with the shift..> For whatevewr reason I didn't think of it.

Another question.. When switching between 2wd and 4wd etc... Will it seem like I'm switching? I can move back and forth withoout it seeming like im doing anything.
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Unread 10-30-2010, 08:46 AM   #9
jsmiddleton4
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Glendale, AZ
Posts: 676
I had same problem. It was the manual lock out that had fallen out of the back of the key cylinder assembly. Plugged it back in and it was fixed. You'll need to take the steering wheel column cover off, at least the bottom half, to see.
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Unread 10-30-2010, 08:58 AM   #10
blankskates15
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Cranberry
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I had a problem last year with my key getting stuck in the ignition, i had a to have a lock smith come and take a look at it, he said that the waffers they use in most jeeps and other cars are really cheap and bend and shear after awhile. he looked at mine and he was right, also i had alot of dirt and debris build up which was causing the key to stick. use some silcon lubericant and spray it in your tumbler and slowly move the key in a out to try and lubericate and clean your ignition. also tapping on the butt end of the key while it is in can work too, but do this very lightly, it can free up the waffers and knock dirt loose.
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Unread 10-30-2010, 09:02 AM   #11
Apostle
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2013 JK Wrangler 
 
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Have to push button on my shifter to get my key out, every time. i've learned to live with it
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Unread 10-31-2010, 05:24 PM   #12
DDavee
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Location: Canton
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Thanks everyone. All I have to do is push up on my shifter and it works. Key comes out everytime.
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