Key won't turn on engine
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Thread: Key won't turn on engine

  1. #1
    Driver's Ed
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    Question Key won't turn on engine

    i've only had my 2011 Cruze a couple of months. The last 2 Sunday mornings when I put key in ignition it seems to lock in - won't come out - and electrical system seems to be complete dead. First time I called tow truck and when I went back to car it started. Second time I just waited about 10 minutes and it started. What is causing this to happen? Very frustrating.

    Mryna1029

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  3. #2
    Aesop
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    If the horn or headlamps do not come on, sure sign of a dead battery. But your problem sounds more like Passlock or whatever they call it now. The anti-thief circuitry. Key also locks the steering wheel, and even park in an automatic transmission. Can have problems with either jamming the lock.

    These have been very common problems every since the 80's when they started locking the steering wheel and gear shift lever. And the history of anti-thief is far more preventing the rightful owner of the vehicle than deterring thieves. Neither is good for a thieve holding a gun against your head or a flat bed truck taking your vehicle. Jiggling the steering wheel or gear shift lever with AT may help you get your key out.

    If Stacy was here, she would say, take it back to your dealer.
    omieboy likes this.

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickD View Post
    If the horn or headlamps do not come on, sure sign of a dead battery.

    Jiggling the steering wheel or gear shift lever with AT may help you get your key out.
    Either of these two. I'm leaning toward parking on a hill, and the steering wheel needing to be really turned hard to let the ignition cylinder release.
    2012 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
    2009 Honda Fit Sport

    Learn from the mistakes of others, so when you err it can be in new and interesting ways.

  5. #4
    Off-Road Champion
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    This happened to my Cruze once. Parked on a hill (car facing up) with the front wheels turned out full lock. Could not get Key to turn. Tried turning the wheel both ways untill the key finally turned on the engine.

  6. #5
    Off-Road Champion Patman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickD View Post
    If the horn or headlamps do not come on, sure sign of a dead battery. But your problem sounds more like Passlock or whatever they call it now. The anti-thief circuitry. Key also locks the steering wheel, and even park in an automatic transmission. Can have problems with either jamming the lock.

    These have been very common problems every since the 80's when they started locking the steering wheel and gear shift lever. And the history of anti-thief is far more preventing the rightful owner of the vehicle than deterring thieves. Neither is good for a thieve holding a gun against your head or a flat bed truck taking your vehicle. Jiggling the steering wheel or gear shift lever with AT may help you get your key out.

    If Stacy was here, she would say, take it back to your dealer.

    If you have a security light flashing on the dash when you try and start the car, that is a sign of a Passlock problem which I experienced on a few of my older cars in which you just have to leave the key in the on position for 10 min turn the key off, the light should go out and the car will start.

    On another note for the jiggling of the key. Did any of you guys ever hear of that thing in the center called a hand brake. I know it is more necessary with a manual transmission but if you set the hand brake before putting the car in park in an automatic you will not have these problems with the engine locking on the park pin also makes the car easier to take out of park and remove the key esp on a hill. Try it I bet it helps.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patman View Post

    On another note for the jiggling of the key. Did any of you guys ever hear of that thing in the center called a hand brake. I know it is more necessary with a manual transmission but if you set the hand brake before putting the car in park in an automatic you will not have these problems with the engine locking on the park pin also makes the car easier to take out of park and remove the key esp on a hill. Try it I bet it helps.
    I did that on my old Buick, except for the one day when the parking brake froze on me and wouldn't let me leave for work. A set of vice-grips fixed that issue.

    The parking brake is set every day on my Cruze, only as a backup for leaving the car in gear (because manual). And, it does get lubricated with rustproofing oil before every winter.
    2012 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
    2009 Honda Fit Sport

    Learn from the mistakes of others, so when you err it can be in new and interesting ways.

  8. #7
    Chevrolet Customer Assistance Representative
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    myrna1029,

    Sorry to hear that you're experiencing this problem with your 2011 Cruze. As NickD said, we would recommend taking your vehicle to the dealership for a diagnosis. Please PM us with your VIN so that we may be able to further assist you with this issue.

    Sincerely,
    Ashley (assisting Stacy)

    Chevy Customer Service

  9. #8
    4th Gear CruzeTech's Avatar
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    Never had this problem. But if I do, now at least I know I won't be the only one.

    I don't leave my 6MT in gear while it's parked. This dates back about 18 years ago when I had remote start in my manual 1994 civic. Every manual I have ever owned stays in neutral while parked. It's just a habit.


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  10. #9
    Driver's Ed
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    Well I have the same problem. Turn the key and only get a click. After a few times it will finally start. Dealer took it in for a week and said they changed the anti theft module and ordered a new key. I picked it up yesterday and drove to work. When I finished work, got in the car and click...click...click again. Not very impressed since I bought it 2 weeks ago and was in the shop for full week

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CruzeTech View Post
    Never had this problem. But if I do, now at least I know I won't be the only one.

    I don't leave my 6MT in gear while it's parked. This dates back about 18 years ago when I had remote start in my manual 1994 civic. Every manual I have ever owned stays in neutral while parked. It's just a habit.
    Same I always park in neutral. I have to be a little more cautious about it now my brake pads arent what they used to be and I have to pull up on the parking brake using more force now or the brake wont engage and the car will roll.
    brian v likes this.

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