Have problems with the key not coming out of the ignition

Asked by Aug 20, 2013 at 02:52 PM about the 2008 Chrysler Town & Country Touring

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

the key stay in and the battery dies

60 Answers

here's something...not quite certain about it, but something~FOBIK TRAPPED IN WIN The Fob with Integrated Key (FOBIK) cannot be rotated to the LOCK position, allowing it to be removed from the ignition switch also referred to as the Wireless Ignition Node/WIN. The automatic transmission or transaxle is shifted mechanically through a cable from the gearshift lever mechanism to the transmission or transaxle valve body. A gated park switch is physically located on and integral to the gearshift lever mechanism and is hard wired directly to the WIN. The gated park switch is a simple plunger-like actuated open or closed contact switch that could be considered redundant to the Transmission Range Sensor (TRS) except that it monitors the position selected with the gearshift lever, while the TRS monitors the position or gear of the transmission or transaxle that is actually engaged. A damaged or improperly adjusted gearshift cable could result in a different gear being engaged than that which is selected. The WIN uses the gated park switch input to control an internal key lock solenoid, which controls whether the FOBIK can be rotated to the LOCK position. When the gearshift lever is not in the PARK position, the gated park switch is a closed circuit, the key lock solenoid is energized and the FOBIK cannot be rotated to the LOCK position for removal.

41 out of 41 people think this is helpful.

in short make sure it's firmly in PARK, twist momemtarily to the ACC position and we just might be cleared for departure~

14 out of 14 people think this is helpful.

no TSB's or recalls pertaining to your exact problem, but is interesting reading and red flags for you to look out for~_____ http://www.automd.com/tsb/chrysler_m/town-and-country_mm/2008_y/? page=1

10 out of 10 people think this is helpful.

thank you for your answers. Sometimes we have to wait up to a hour before for the key will come out.

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.

you know I'm always suspicious of the system ground...this is the fat ole 1/0awg cable that comes from your battery to the chassis ground...grab a wirebrush and clean ANY corrosion from the end of this 1/0 cable lug, and the spot that it bolts to....really dig in with your coarse wirebrush removing paint, corrosion to bring it to a shiny 300 amp cold cranking condition...this will also reset any troubles you are having with the ECU~

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

this connection actually "WELDS" itself with each use...eventually gets clobbed up with burned metal and carbon~ shame they still count on this for the perhaps 1 amp ECU (very delicate electronics)...you'd think that by now they would understand the nature of HIGH amperage connections~

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

We have had the same problem. Sometimes the key will release in a few seconds on its own, sometimes we start, stop, shift out and back to park, and eventually the key will release. At some point, the key would not turn from the off position. We were stranded. I called the dealer, they had no idea, suggested we have it towed there. As a last resort, I disconnected the battery for a couple minutes. After that, the key turned, the car started. It works fine for a while, starts to stick in the on position again, then gets stuck in the off position. I disconnect the battery, reconnect, and we're ok for a while, until it happens again. Does this sound like a problem with the park switch, or something else?

40 out of 40 people think this is helpful.
50

Yes that is what I am having to do.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.
50

This is the same issue that I am having. A few months ago I had to have the car towed because the key was bad. They had to pop off the lid behind the gear shift and, since then I seem to have an issue. It is quite frustrating... Has anyone tried cleaning the connecters as mentioned above?

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.
160

I am having the same issue with my car but it is always when i need to turn the car off and get the key out... it goes from acc on to start but not to where it will release it to come out. we bought a new key.. waiting to get it programed.. does anyone know if that helps

16 out of 16 people think this is helpful.

A new key did not help with our car. The only thing that would help us, temporarily, is to disconnect the battery for a couple of minutes.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
130

This happened to us for about a month, now we cannot start the car- locked in park and will not turn

9 out of 9 people think this is helpful.

when our 08 ignition switch gets stuck and will not turn to on, I disconnect the battery for a couple of minutes.When I reconnect it, the ignition works fine for a while. More recently, it has been several months between episodes. The key still sticks in the on position occasionally.

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.
130

Disconnecting the battery yesterday worked for us yesterday as well when we couldn't get the ignition to move. After this, only one key would start the car, though both would at least get it to turn to the on position. Not looking forward to the estimate to replace the key and look at the ignition.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

We were reluctant to spend the money for repair at the dealer, esp. after they told me that when the key was stuck in the off position, the car would have to be towed to the dealer. I tried disconnecting the battery as a last resort, and the key turned. Our key has not been stuck in the off for a long time. When it sticks in the on position,it will usually turn if you wait a moment until you hear a "click", then turn it the rest ogf the way.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.
120

As a temporary Workaround it might help to put the ignition to on and to put the transmission into parking mode. Then push and hold the button on the transmission handle with your thumb. Now slide your thumb sideways off the button, to that it releases with a snap. Sometimes i need to repeat this once or twice, but it works for me all the times.

10 out of 10 people think this is helpful.
130

We disconnected the battery and reconnected to get it to move. Could switch gears at this point, but one fob lost all ability to turn the car on. Would turn but nothing would happen. Finally brought to dealer to find the wireless control module needed to be replaced for $600. Only one key was replaced for us. 2 drivers, one car. Not happy, but we need this car to get us to the jobs that pay for this car. Ford before this one died 1 year into payments so had to roll that into this chrysler. We cant do anything but repair, repair, repair until the loans from both are down some. They got us.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
160

I have the same problem, only I also have some slow starts. I have been told the WIN needs to be replaced and a dealer has to do it since it must be programmed. I was quoted today $344 for the part, $200 for 2 hours of labor. (I am in the wrong profession) My temporary fix it pulling the fuse. (M27) A little easier than disconnecting the battery although having to do it every single time I turn the car off is highly annoying and inconvenient. The clock being reset is a minor issue I can live with. Why this hasn't been recalled with the wide spread issue, I don't know. (The current L25 recall will not fix this problem as they are only replacing a detent ring to keep the key from moving from on to accessory)

16 out of 16 people think this is helpful.
20

I just had same problem and had to replace the WIN. Cost me $862 400 something in parts, 400 something in labor. Also I had to have van towed to the dealer because I couldn't get the key to turn on the car or even put into neutral. 2 weeks leading up to the key not turning the vehicle on, I couldn't get the key out. I would have to restart the car and turn on and off or move the car a few feet to get the key out. Never figured out exactly how to get the key out maybe making sure the wheel was perfectly straight. Frustrating. I see there is recall on the ignition but it didn't pertain to my issue so had to pay and get fixed and I am still on the recall list. They couldn't fix it at the same time because they didn't have the part.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
40

Im having the same issues. My car has been stuck at ACC for 5 hours now and I can't turn it off. This is very frustrating because Chrysler told me the recall was for the same location just the car would shut off by itself.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

Disconnect the battery for a few minutes and the key should come out. this always works for us. Our key still gets stuck occasionally, but usually will release in a minute or so if we leave it alone and wait. When it doesn't, I disconnect the battery. I'm hoping that the repairs they are doing for the recall will take care of this, although it is not the problem the recall is intended to fix.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
40

Thanks Timothy. The Chrysler dealership told me to disconnect the battery to save the battery and now that Ive reconnected the battery the car is locking no problem. I still need it to get fixed because disconnecting all the time is a little bit of a hassel.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
30

has anyone had problem with engine not turning over related to the win module? my 2009 has been doing this for about a year, it will not crank at times until you turn the key 3-10 times, then turns fine. This is very intermittent, maybe once every few weeks. I replaced starter on the recommendation of dealer and it still happens. Tonight was the first time in awhile that I had it happen ( wife's daily driver ) when I shut it off the key did not want to lock until I moved from park to R and back, then on restart I had to go P-N-P after 4-5 tries and it cranked fine. Wondering if shift linkage needs adjusted?

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
160

Mine is slow to start every once in a while and on 2 separate occasions it has failed to start the first time. Just a click until I try again. All the usual culprits have been checked and found to be fine. To update my previous post saying I was pulling the fuse, I have since found something even easier that is working for me. When the key gets stuck, I only have to push the gear shift button in and slide my finger off so it "flicks" out. Sometimes I have to do it twice, but I haven't had to pull the fuse out in weeks. (Thanks to 1840858 for posting that fix) And since I started doing that, the key has gotten stuck less. It went from every time I drove the van, to every third time I drive it. Maybe my problem isn't the WIN after all but something with the gear shift?

30

That just started with my 2008 town and country. When i got to turn the van off the key won't come out of the ignition. It is in park, i have to turn it on and off a few times untill it finally works. I hate that van. Nothing but problems.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
10

We have a 2008 and the problem is with the key staying in the ACC position and having to disconnect the red battery cable just to remove the key. It started with a simple few minute delay and as soon as we heard a click we knew we could remove the key. Then it got increasing worse - until the battery cable was the only resort. We had reapir done and received 2 new key fobs at a cost of around $800 (still arguing with recall people since the ignition was part of replacement). Anyway after 2 days of repair we are starting to have issues again. My husband told the dealership shop at the time that he believed it was a computer issues and now that the problem has returned he still thinks it is. Wonder if a computer reset or updated on all of our vans would fix the problem. After all computers and phones needs a reset every once in awhile too.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
30

Yes- It looks to me like it could be caused by the win module, the shifter, or the computer. All very expensive, so I am living with the problem until we can get a positive diagnosis, which seems remote, of the problem becomes unbearable. We have not needed to disconnect the battery for several months now.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
15

At times when I turned the ignition off, (2013 Caravan) the engine would stop and I could remove the FOBIK, but could not lock the car. The computer felt the FOB was still in place.The following morning it still would not lock. After another drive to the dealer, it was agreed to replace the WINN modular stick and reprogram two fobs (Under warrenty). It has worked properly for past 12 hours.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
20

I have had the same problem a few times with a 2010 Grand Caravan, i.e. I could not turn the FOB to LOCK and remove it. Last time I was finally able to remove it after restarting the engine and moving the gear shift through its positions a few times.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
20

I'm having the same problem with the key in the ac position this past weekend it took 6 hours to get the key out. I'm taking it this morning to have it looked at. He's told me he has to take it out & reset not sure if this should be done for I was quoted around$550 for the job. Do you think I should try this.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
110

I had the same problem. Whenever it happened I would shift the key back to the on position without restarting, and shift out of park and back into park. Sometimes I had to do this a few times. It was getting worse so I had to replace the win module (about $500 for the part and $300 for labor) but 2 days later I have an engine malfunction light and the car is running very shaky. Dealer said it sounds like a misfiring problem unrelated to what they did, and bring it in to diagnose the problem. I am currently on hold with the Chrysler L25 recall department.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Yeap, I have the same problem on a used 08 that I just bought. The M27 fuse trick helped. Hopefully the dealer will fix it.

20

Couldn't turn the fob in my 2008 Dodge caravan. Good thing hubby was home to take my son to school. Disconnected the battery for a few minutes and that still didn't help. With all of the complaints I am seeing, this should be a recall issue.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
110

Jennifer - it is a recall issue. The part that needs to be replaced to fix the above issue is the entire key fob, which is the cause of the current recall. The current letter says there is a shortage of the required part which is why they are not ready to fix the issue en masse. We had this done by a Chrysler dealer and I am in the process of writing Chrysler a letter to try to recoup our costs. The way I was able to turn the car on/off was to turn the key to half-on position, take it out of park gear and put it back into park, then try again. It was getting worse so that is why I went ahead and had it fixed.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
110

Further to the above - the job done was the win module plus a new set of keys, for a total cost of about $800 with parts and labor.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
20

I called the dodge dealership and they told me they have a massive waiting list for the part with no expected date when they will receive it. And I couldn't get my key to turn at all this morning. Stuck in off position.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
110

Yes, they will say that about the specific part involved in the recall. They replaced my entire WIN Module, which is available but you will have to pay for it. That is why I now have to fight to get my money back. I suspect they won't recall for our specific complaint because it hasn't killed anybody.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
20

They can't even get the whole module anymore. Guy at the dealership said that it's probably because there will be another recall.

110

Wow. I have delayed writing our letter because after had the win module part replaced the ignition wiring went, and after that was replaced we still had an engine light but we ran out of money and time to keep bringing it in. So I don't even know if there's a problem with the win module they put in. It's a mess. I can certainly sympathize with your situation and hope they find a solution soon!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
20

I not only have the same problem but a new one very hard to get the Van out of Park this is something new just started 1 week ago. I've called Chrysler Customer Service I think they read from a book of what to say. All she could say was 'VERY SORRY FOR ANYINCONIVENCE THIS MAY CAUSE YOU." Well it is and I'm not using my Van right now for fear it might just shut off while driving. I really think we all should get together and do somthing it's always good in large numbers. Any sugestions

20

I had the problem of key FOB getting stuck in the ignition in my 2011 Routan (i.e. 2010 Town & Country) and based on the comments here eventually fixed mine by taking an allen wrench and removing the gear knob and manually depressing the shift bar. This allowed it to fully engage in park and then I could turn the key fully to off and remove. Note, I had to turn the engine on and move the shift lever to reverse before going back to Park and depressing the 'bar'. In short, its a faulty knob mechanism - not an $800 FOB unit to blame for my woes. Thought others may have the same.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
40

I am also having trouble removing my key fob from my 2010 T&C. The problem occurs about 1 our of every five times I turn it off. I switch the key to on, cycle the gearshift from drive to park and then try turning it off and removing the key. Sometimes I have to do this two or three times before the key finally can be removed. I saw a post explaining that gives and full description of the problem and its fix. See: http://www.allpar.com/model/m/shifter-fix.html This problem is caused by a faulty microswitch which is mechanically linked to the gearshift lever. When the linkage gets too much play, the switch doesn't reliably actuate. Unfortunately you have to tear the whole dash apart to get to it. The post recommended replacement, but if I tear the dash apart I'll first try to bend the switch's actuator tab or epoxy a little material on the actuator bar to reduced the needed travel. Hopefully, the problem can be solved at no cost, just a couple hours of my labor. Please let us know if you try it!

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
110

We just received our letter that the part is now in to replace the WIN. Since we already repaired it out of pocket, we now have to put in for reimbursement. Hopefully you will receive your letter soon. Make sure you go to a dealer you trust. After we had this done we had a bunch of electrical problems. First the fuel ignition, then the starter had to be replaced, and we still have an engine malfunction light. Never had any trouble before having the WIN replacement done.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Now my chrysler smart car is cannot eingine start why? plaase

120

I posted a small workaround nearly a year ago (see above). I check back once and a while to see if someone found a more permanent solution to this. And there is this: http://www.allpar.com/model/m/shifter-fix.html posted by Jim. Works perfect. Instead of replacing the whole shift mechanism, i decided to repair the actuater bar on the little switch. In my solution i used a blade connecter/receptacle, then cut off excess material and soldered it to the actuator bar. This adds roughly 1/10 of an inch to the bar, which is enough (in my case) to reliable actuate the switch. So far it works like a charm, the key comes out every time now.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Ekgeroldmiller....we had WIN module and 2 fobs replaced in January 2015...for same issues you experienced. $600+ to fix and Chrysler royally screwed up ordering the parts so we were stuck with no vehicle for over a week. Then we received our recall for WIN replacement and submitted request for reimbursement for January repairs, only to be contacted by phone yesterday that we were denied bease the repair invoice listed "engine wouldn't start" as main complaint, but that was secondary to the main problem that the key would be stuck in ACC and would not release and turn to off and stuck in ignition. So although the same WIN module was replaced just like the recall, the shoddy verbiage on my invoice AND the technical fact I did not experience the key slipping out of ON to ACC like the current recall states, they want us to make an appointment at the dealership to replace the WIN module and fobs which "should only take an hour" (guess the labor charge for our Jan repair was ridiculously dishonest be a use we paid for way more than 1 hour of Labor!!!!!!) AND we're out the cost of our January repair. Unbelievable. I will NEVER buy a Chrysler again. Clearly This Is their design flaw and if I would have been "lucky" enough for this WIN problem to have happened after the current recall was issued I wouldn't have paid out of pocket key for the same part to be replaced. I am going to bat and contacting my dealer again and calling Chrysler corporate until they know me by name. I guess there has to be fatalities for them to recall something but pure inconvenience and the fact you can't remove your key which is STILL a grave safety issue isn't enough for Chrysler to give a rip even though it's a widespread problem.

110

I have had multiple problems since replacing the key fob and called a different dealer who ran our registration number and told me they put THE WRONG PART IN which means the recall has to be redone and furthermore this wrong part could be causing all the damage that has occurred since then. That includes fuel ignition and starter burnt out, and probably new carburetor needed. I will never buy another Chrysler again. Where is Lee Iaccoca when you need him?

30

Update; We had the WIN module replaced under the recall. Problem solved. No more stuck key. 2008 Town & Country

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
20

My sister had the same problem with her T&C. I engineered a temporary interrupt switch and mounted the switch next to the other switches on the dash. Now she is able to flip the switch releasing the key from the WIN fob socket without having to pop the hood and remove anything in the engine compartment. Email me at "chuck.netbox@gmail.com" if you would like one built for your vehicle.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
10

I just got my WIN module replaced on my 2008 T&C. I took it in because we were having similar problems. First the key would get stuck and we couldn't take it out of the ignition. Then it was locked in the off position and we couldn't turn it to start it. They supposedly switched out the part because of the Recall and the minute we got it back the key got stuck in the ignition again. I fear that they replaced it with the wrong part. Does anyone know if the key FOB's for the new part are exactly the same as the old key FOB's? The key FOB's they gave us are exactly the same as our old ones.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

2010 Town & Country left in garage overnight with fob in place, off. In the morning, no dinging when door opened, no ignition nor would the fob come out, no display or other signs of power, but clock time correct. Battery tested ~low, maybe 8 volts. Attached charger. Dinging, etc., after 5 minutes. Going straight to battery dealer after 30 minutes charging!

2011 Dodge Grand Caravan, key gets stuck in ignition or ignition gets pushed in and won't pop out or randomly car will not start. Dealer will not honor my extended warranty to replace the WIN Module (their best repair guess) because they "cannot duplicate the problem." I'm not about to pay $500++ for their best guess. This issue started at around 50K miles, I'm now at 75K.

I have to take the fuse out each time I stop to get my key out. Has anyone gotten this fixed?

2008 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT, Mine just started doing this. I'm not happy to hear that all of you have this same issue and there is no recall on this part. Seems to me that it's pretty clear, there is a manufacturer defect at play here. Calling the Deaelrship and maybe Dodge to find out more....

10

Great instructions from Jeremy on http://www.allpar.com/model/m/shifter-fix.html, and thank you Jeff for posting it, but what is the name of he part listed? I tried shift mechanism and many others...

10

Found it! For the 2010 caravan it is OEM part # 1GJ35BD5AJ .

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
10

So I started my 2010 GC and put it in reverse, and the fobik dropped out of the ignition and onto the floor mat with the car still running. While I thought a keyless system was pretty cool initially, with all the switches turning off while driving, I thought it prudent to at least have the fob in the switch to be able to tell when it was doing that or be able to restart. So I placed the car in park, reinserted the fobik, turned off the car, then tried to restart it. Now, I cannot turn the fobik to start the car. I released the transmission with the release button, but was still unable to turn the fobik. Anyone else experience this, and better yet, does anyone have a fix? I have reset the fuse as suggested in an earlier post, disconnected the battery for 10 minutes as suggested earlier, and as I mentioned earlier, released the tranny and tried starting it in neutral and park. I am in the middle of my vacation and trying to go to the next destination...

10

In addition to the above, my wheels are not locked so I can turn them freely in both directions. I thought initially it was the sensor on the shift mechanism not registering the vehicle is in park and thereby locking out the ignition switch, but now am not sure.

My problem is similar, but not quite the same. I have a 1997 Dodge Grand Caravan. It uses a regular key in the ignition, with a clicker to help with door locks. You can drive the car without the clicker present. recently, I have started having trouble removing the key and sometimes even turning off the car. Today, I spent 5 minutes in the driveway, unable to turn off the car. I even put it in gear and back into park twice. Not sure what finally released it. How do I determine if the problem is the ignition assembly, or maybe the car isn't going into park all the way? I do have occasional problems when I will switch to reverse, and it doesn't actually go into reverse. I have to redo the gear change, and then it is fine. That only happens maybe once every few months. This is an older vehicle, so I'm aware that things will happen. I'm just wondering what I should have a repair shop look at.

20

I dealt with this problem for several months and tried most of the solutions I found online with no success. After draining the battery twice by leaving the key in the ignition overnight, I finally gave in and took the van to my local Chrysler/Dodge dealership. I was excited to find out that this problem had been recalled. The WIN Module was replaced and we were given two new Fobik keys for no cost. This is the link with the recall info. https://www.chrysler.com/universal/webselfservice/pdf/R03.pdf

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

Town & Country

Looking for a Used Town & Country in your area?

CarGurus has 20,535 nationwide Town & Country listings starting at $2,395.

ZIP:

Search Chrysler Town & Country Questions

Chrysler Town & Country Experts

#1 Tom Demyan
Tom Demyan
Reputation 1,680
#2 thejeepdoctor
thejeepdoctor
Reputation 1,370
#3 dandyoun
dandyoun
Reputation 1,360
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Dodge Grand Caravan
471 Great Deals out of 32,073 listings starting at $2,499
Used Honda Odyssey
458 Great Deals out of 27,822 listings starting at $2,295
Used Toyota Sienna
370 Great Deals out of 27,070 listings starting at $1,195
Used Chrysler Pacifica
20 Great Deals out of 23,585 listings starting at $3,000
Used Dodge Caravan
891 listings starting at $3,990
Used Kia Sedona
130 Great Deals out of 8,688 listings starting at $1,300
Used Nissan Quest
120 Great Deals out of 3,416 listings starting at $2,500
Used Ford Explorer
1,490 Great Deals out of 72,941 listings starting at $985
Used Honda Pilot
605 Great Deals out of 20,517 listings starting at $1,500
Used Chevrolet Tahoe
1,091 Great Deals out of 31,949 listings starting at $1,495
Used Chevrolet Traverse
1,073 Great Deals out of 39,124 listings starting at $5,700
Used GMC Acadia
1,051 Great Deals out of 40,825 listings starting at $3,505
Used Volkswagen Routan
55 Great Deals out of 922 listings starting at $4,890
Used Chrysler 300
502 Great Deals out of 21,026 listings starting at $1,500
Used Chevrolet Suburban
690 Great Deals out of 21,765 listings starting at $2,095

Used Cars For Sale

2016 Chrysler Town & Country Touring For Sale
236 Great Deals out of 5,221 listings starting at $16,905
2015 Chrysler Town & Country Touring For Sale
69 Great Deals out of 1,865 listings starting at $13,998
2014 Chrysler Town & Country Touring For Sale
72 Great Deals out of 1,417 listings starting at $10,995
2013 Chrysler Town & Country Touring For Sale
49 Great Deals out of 1,051 listings starting at $6,995
2012 Chrysler Town & Country Touring For Sale
23 Great Deals out of 610 listings starting at $5,400