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 statman Feb 19, 2013 at 10:43 PM about the 2000 Chevrolet Malibu FWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

32 Answers

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

27 people found this helpful.

I thought accessory mode is below on.

14 people found this 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

13 people found this 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?

134 people found this helpful.

17 people found this helpful.

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~

13 people found this 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

53 people found this 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.

34 people found this helpful.

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.

33 people found this 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.

22 people found this 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.

15 people found this 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 ??

38 people found this helpful.

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?

14 people found this helpful.

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

8 people found this helpful.

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.

12 people found this helpful.

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

7 people found this helpful.

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.

3 people found this helpful.

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!

12 people found this helpful.

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

6 people found this helpful.

I would try the graphite first for a sticking ignition key. Tumblers can be dirty. Then it can be the shifter if moving the shifter about to get the key to work. Remember the lock position in the ignition key also locks the shifter in place. Play with the shifter as well and the button. WD-40 is good as well as graphite.

2 people found this helpful.

there is a bulletin from gm/Chevrolet about an ignition switch problem that is a factory recall. Free fix. Recommend checking the chevy dealer first and find out if the recall fix will fix the problem.

6 people found this helpful.

It appears that a lot of these problems are dealer related. Hopefully there is a gm recall for a free fix at the dealers.

1 people found this helpful.

To fix this issue remove the cover of the shift knob to get inside the gear shifter. Remove cover with a butter knife it will popped up. Then lift up the gear indicator plastic covering. Now you can see the moving parts. Get some WD 40 or graphite lube better. Move the Gear shifter back and forth look at all the moving parts and spray them especially the shift rod spray inside so the lubricant can go down into it. Move it back and forth for 3 minutes. That should work. Issue is over time these moving parts get dry. The dealerships are aware and will tell you all kinds of crazy scenarios for you to spend money over 1000 in parts plus another 1000 in labor.

11 people found this helpful.

gm needs to have a recall so many cars have this shifter problem mine is impala the shifter connector wires break sometimes it keeps the car from going into park an sometimes it wont let the key turn all the way off so the key will not come out depends on which wire breaks. fixed all four wires so far now the key still wont come out

1 people found this helpful.

My 2002 Malibu has this problem. I always keep the radio on to alert me if the car isn't off all the way. Unfortunately, someone else drove my car yesterday and just yanked out the keys without jiggling the shifter fully into park. I am currently charging a very dead battery. Very frustrating!

1 people found this helpful.

I get to join the club. Make a complaint at or 1-888-327-4236. My 2000 Chevy Malibu started getting stuck in ACC and will not turn off draining my battery. The manufacturer doesn't seem to care and is only recalling the actual ignition on 2013-2016s. I am stuck with a new piece of plastic on my key. Did not help!!! I have already made a complaint with the highway safety at 1-888- 327-4236 or you can make a complaint at The more complaints the more likely the manufacturer will recall additional ignitions/shifters until then we will pay out of our own pockets or live with a rediculous regiment of disconnecting our batteries or hitting the shifter. More voices can make a difference.

3 people found this helpful.

Further to my message I now have a dead battery; but my neighbor came over and completely disconnected the battery as the parking lights and the rear lights would not go off even tho yyjje battery was dead

2 people found this helpful.

My mother in laws 1999 Malibu started having this problem. When you put the car in park, without the button being pushed in, gently push the shifter towards the reverse (not in reverse). You will hear a click and then be able to shut off the car.

4 people found this helpful.

It's your park position sensor, when you shift and then return to park , the park position sensor is misaligned, don'tt pushing the shift button. Pull Slightly back until it clicks then it should turn the ignition off , if you don't do this it will drain your battery because it will not shut everything off make sure that it is in the park position people push the shifter too far forward and throws out the alignment on the park position sensor if you pull back you'll hear a pop and then it should be in position then you should be able to remove the key and everything will be off!

7 people found this helpful.

This was happening to me for 2 weeks! I was under my hood taking the battery cord off every day I got home or to work so my battery didn't die. It's a headache! I have 3 mechanics. Each one is good but I do business with all of them just depending on what I need done. My shop mechanic told me to spray some Wd40 in the key hole which worked for 2 days and to call Monday if I still needed help. My 2nd mechanic who is this old man but he's very close to me because he has always been there for me in emergency situations and I always call him for my brakes, starters and etc small stuff but he wanted to just replace the whole key ignition then my 3rd mechanic is a street mechanic and will pull up on you and pop his trunk and have every tool he needs in his trunk. Which I ain't mad because hes the one who fix the promblem. It's the park and release switch that's causing this and it's not in the key ignition either Chevy owners. If you get a flat head screwdriver and left up the plastic around the gear shifter ( it's simple because I did it when he showed me) just pop it up and pull it open theres a little like switch with a cord right next to the park symbol on the driver's side kind of pull it back a little then put your feet on the brake while your car is turned off please and move your gear shifter all the way back to the number 3 and then back to park. It should pop it back in place. I didn't want to keep having to do that so he took mines off with some tools popped it the side and broke it off. It cost me $25 dollars for him to do it and now I don't have to worry about my battery. Hope this helps

8 people found this helpful.

Thank you for this post. Thanks to the person who said make sure the button is out. The button on the shifter have to be out for it to go into the off position. I just purchased my car a few days ago. Great condition 2003 but have a few little problems and the key being in ACC mode was one.

2 people found this helpful.

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