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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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  Jim Grant's Tech TipsJim Grant's Tech Tips
Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

'89 Buick LeSabre, Key is Stuck Can't Turn Engine Off

Q: My car is an ‘89 Buick LeSabre. My key is stuck in the switch, because the switch will not turn to the off position. I had to pull a fuse to kill the engine and I disconnected the battery. My brother wiggled the switch and was able to fix it once. It worked fine for about 10 days, then it would not turn all the way to start the car. I moved the tilt steering wheel to the lowest position and then it would allow me to turn the key to start the car. Now, again it will not let me turn the engine off. Is it just the ignition switch or could there be something else wrong in the steering column?

- Shirley W.

A: I would suggest that if you get the key working again you take your vehicle to the repair facility. To service the key/lock assembly is very simple when the key turns. When the key doesn’t it creates problems. In earlier vehicles like yours, the key has to be turned to the accessory position to line up the release pin to allow for unlocking and removing the cylinder/lock that the key goes into. To service or replace that assembly without being able to correctly position it for removal makes the job much more difficult and time consuming which means more money. In addition, the electrical part of the ignition switch is located down on the steering column. I have not had many problems with that component causing the key to bind or not turn. Most of the time, the problem is with the key/lock assembly in the upper part of the steering column. Delaying repairs is just going to cost you more and it is likely to be at an inconvenient time.

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