2002 dodge stratus ignition locks up

Last Edited By Krjb Donovan
Last Updated: Mar 11, 2014 07:46 PM GMT

Question

Hi Roland, my dodge stratus ignition keeps locking where you can't start the car period, my husbad and I tried both keys. I noticed its worst when its colder outside and its gettig worst. Can you please tell me what to do?? I'm trying to avoid the dealership.

Answer

Hi Katina, Some times this has to do with the steering wheel being locked tightly to the key action. So try rotating the wheel a bit one way or the other to see if that helps. Otherwise, I would be inclined to consider getting a new ignition lock cylinder. But to remove the old one you need to be able to move the key to the 'run' position, so you would want to deal with this before it advances to that condition. You remove the shrouds on the steering column and then you rotate the key to the run position, and then on the side of the column housing where the lock cylinder rotates you will see a tab that if you push in will allow the cylinder to come out. Yow would want to disconnect the battery at that point until you have the new lock cylinder or use the tip of a screwdriver to turn the ignition switch back to the off position. When you get the new cylinder turn the switch to the run position using the screwdriver so that it mates with the 'bar' on the end of the cylinder when you insert it back in the hole. While you have the lock cylinder removed and before you invest in a new lock cylinder you could try turn the ignition switch with the screwdriver from the 'run' to 'start' so as to verify that it is not the switch causing the problem but rather the lock cylinder. There is also an interconnection of the lock cylinder to the gear shifter that might be out of adjustment. I can copy some pages from the '04 manual that shows the details and attach them to an email. But I need to know you email address to do that, and to tell me that you will need to ask a NEW question, check the box to make it PRIVATE, and then in the text area list that email address. Roland

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