My ignition key will not turn to off. I can remove the key, but it stays in the accessory mode. What's the fix?


Asked by Feb 19, 2013 at 10:43 PM about the 2000 Chevrolet Malibu Base

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

19 Answers

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turn it on, turn the steering wheel so it's pointing directly forward, then remove the key.

11 out of 11 people think this is helpful.

I thought accessory mode is below on.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

Stateman, Sorry to hear you're having this issue and hopefully you will get it resolved quickly. Please refer to your owner’s manual. pg. 2-14. Ignition Positions, the ACC (Accessory) (B): unlocks the transaxle. It also lets you use things like the radio and windshield wipers when the engine is not running. To use ACC, turn the key clockwise to the first position. Use this position if your vehicle must be pushed or towed, but never try to push-start your vehicle. If your key seems stuck in OFF and you can’t turn it, be sure you are using the correct key; if so, is it all the way in? Turn the key only with your hand. Using a tool to force it could break the key or the ignition switch. If none of this works, then your vehicle needs service. Vanessa GM Customer Service

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

PLEASE HELP. My Malibu 2001 ignition key always, always gives me a hard time trying to turn off the car. I have to sit in the car and wait , keep trying back and forth drive around a bit, turn the wheel, it is so frustrating! I bought the car just last month. What is the problem?

46 out of 46 people think this is helpful.
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6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.
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think this MAY be one with a tiny hole in the 8 o'clock position when you turn the key past the ACC position and push a small scredriver into the hole to release the lock...think that's perhaps how you pop them out~

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

On my 2001 Malibu I have to smack the gear shift while its in park, towards the radio, a few times until I hear a slight buzz from the shifter and then the key turns off. I can also remove the key at all times, running or not in any position. Hope that helps

12 out of 12 people think this is helpful.

I turned off my 2013 malibu, left the car with the key in my hand. Came back an hour later and the car was running. Anyone having this problem. The car literally did not turn off and I had the key with me.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.
Laguana Zinkula

I have a 2004 Chevy Malibu Classic and I have had problems with my ignition switch for the last two years. It will start and run great but when I go to shut the motor off, it won't. I understand your frustration. I know there is a recall on a lot of GM cars and mine is one of them. But the repair is not a new ignition switch. It is a piece of plastic to cover your key, to keep you from putting any extra weight on your key . Like key rings or house keys. GM says that the extra weight my cause the switch to turn off during driving and result in crashes. But my problem is exactly the opposite. I cant get it to turn off and my key wont come out till I wiggle wiggle wiggle and reshift, restart, reshift, restart my car. Then if I don't have time to do all that I have to get out and unplug my battery cable so that it don't drain my battery power while its sitting there in ACC and wont turn completely off. I love my car. but this part of it has been extremely frustrating. I believe that GM should be replacing the entire ignition switch in these recalled cars not just placing a little plastic cover over my key to keep me from adding weight to my key. Because as I read more and more about these cars. They are almost all having ignition issues of one kind or another. The fact mine won't shut off is not life threatening but none the less forcing me to leave my key in the ignition cause it wont turn off and release the key is not safe at all. So if you are having the same or any problem with your GM car please check for recalls on the GM recall web site. Maybe they can do more for you than they did me. Sorry but I don't have that link.

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.

I also just recently purchased an 2004 Malibu, the ignition in the car was worn out and I had the same issue of the ignition not completely turning off and the battery going dead in accesory postion, someone previously must have ripped the keys out in frustration I think. So I went to junkyard and found a decent replacement for $20. After a I figured out how to properly install. I ended up with the same issue, key not turning all the way off however I noticed the BUTTON on the shifter was sticking on the IN position, I pushed it in and out a couple times until it popped out the the key turned all the way off like it was supposed to and the key came out no problem. May need to replace spring in shifter knob.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

Same issue with our 2000 Malibu. Replaced the ignition switch still has the problem however. Going to look into the shifter knob as a possible culprit now I guess since it's obviously not the ignition.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

I have a 2000 Malibu the initial panel broke in half and the key will start the car but will not turn off stuff inside the car like the clock Radio with wipers lights it is killing my battery what can I do to fix it ??

10 out of 10 people think this is helpful.
Kevin Beach

I put in a whole new switch piece w new keys. . Now. Theres 2 wiring harnesses and one spring loaded cable that plug the cable is clipped in...key wont release from switch....take cable out...key comes out. Am i doing something wrong?

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

Start with the easiest. Try a little shot of graphite lube in the keyhole. Worked for me.

Sara-e Franco

Thnx u to whoever commented about pusbing in the button to the shifter and turning key, i did that and my key finally turned all the way off, i had been struggling n stressing about wit it for awhile now. Think it needs a new shifter tho, bt for now its turning off all the way now.

Natasha Marie

I had to smack my shifter thing towards the radio and it worked. Lol thanks guya


I have a 1995 Honda Civic. My ignition Key got stuck in the ignition with the car turned on and you could not turn the car off. I took plastic shroud off the steering column and tried tapping on the ignition switch to try and jar the tumbler loose but that didn't work. Tried tapping on the end of the key. Removed the little white plastic box attached to the bottom of the ignition switch ( which is the safety solenoid switch) and removed the safety pin plunger. Nothing worked. I could turn the switch to the start position III and back to the on position II but couldnt turn it to position I (acc) or 0 (off). I ended up sticking a metal dental pick along side of the key and started pushing up on the tumbler pins that the key moves to allow the switch to turn. A short time later I hit the right combination that allowed the key to turn to the acc I position where I could push in on the key to turn it the rest of the way to the off position. It turns out it was a badly worn key. I tried the spare key and it works fine. I tried putting the warn key back in and you could tell it was draging on the tumblers as I inserted it. I didnt try and turn it as I didnt want it to get stuck again.

Jennifer Jackson

I have a 2005 Chevrolet Malibu and I have been having a lot of problems with the key getting stuck in the acc position and not turning off. So when it does that, I push the gear toward my cd player and it goes to off. It works, but I think Chevrolet should put a recall on these cars for this problem. I thought I was the only one having this problem until I looked here! WOW!


Had same problem of course, bought a new battery same problem car would die overnight. Bought a portable charger to jump car. 2001 Malibu by the way, and was sitting in it one day and heard shifter button pop out. Lights flashed, bells and all went off in my head lol looked at key which was off but about 1/8 of an inch from top dead center just enough to keep circuit energized tried key and went all the way off problem solved. Just have to make sure shift knob pops out when parking light tap forward usually works

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