MY steering column is locked on my 2004 Saturn Ion the key will not turn on. What do I do?

Payne Joseph

Asked by Payne May 23, 2013 at 06:21 PM about the 2004 Saturn ION 2 Coupe

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Light with a car and lock shows up on the dash

8 Answers

Joshua Carlson

That light is the theft-deterrant system. Does the key not turn, or does the car refuse to start? If the key isn't turning, you should just need to wiggle the steering wheel to take the force off the column lock so the ignition can turn.

Payne Joseph

The key will not turn at all. We have tried every thing.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Joshua Carlson

This leads me to believe there's something mechanical going on here. Do you have a spare key to try? I wonder if your key has worn down faster than the pins in your ignition switch.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Payne Joseph

The locksmith I talked to said I will need a new key made.

Joshua Carlson

That's what it sounds like to me. Don't have your current key cloned- you should head to the dealer and have them make a fresh one that meets the original shape according to the VIN number. It's gonna be a bit expensive since it's a chipped key, but hopefully that'll fix the problem.


Happened and is happening again with 2001 Saturn SL1. Had problem with key turning since I bought car new and a stranger taught me to shake the steering wheel while turning key to help unlock. Finally had ignition (key entry) replaced years' ago at Saturn. They said I may have caused w an over-heavy keychain, however there's something seriously wrong: The key can come out of ignition while driving and the car keeps running. I think this should have been a recall matter. Also gear handle can move from one position to another by a knee hitting it and not pressing knob on gear lever (auto).


With the key-not-turning problem which is now intermittent, I first used the "skeleton" key that came with car. Sometimes I put key in and have to pull it back a little and in and can get key to turn. It's a real pain and has panicked me at times.


P.S. Also, initially had problems with theft- deterrence system light flashing and key not working. I wish I could remember what I researched online re how to re-program your key fob, but perhaps another member knows.

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