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Old 02-06-2013, 09:36 AM   #1
Deke736
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Key stuck in ignition/ Battery Issue

I need some help from you guys. I seem to having a battery issue. I haven't driven the car in at least a week, and when I went to pop the trunk this morning my Technostalgia taillights started flashing constant but at a reduced power output, and the trunk did not release. I opened the drivers door to push the button and it wouldn't pop there either, and the dome light had low light output. I'm figuring that the battery is almost dead or has a bad connection somewhere. I put the key in the ignition just to see if it will crank and I get nothing but a few clicks.

Now here's the weird part, I cannot get the key out of the ignition. I turned it back and forth to no avail. I pulled on it, wiggled it, and nothing. Not wanting to damage the iginition cylinder, I just left it for now.

I am thinking the battery issue might just be a loose power connection to the engine bay fuse box since I was testing my new scanner bar that I got from AAC last week. I hope I just forgot to tighten the bolt back down when I unhooked the scanner. I don't think it's my taillights since they have been installed for 6 months without any issues, but I will be checking that out as well this evening.

It's the stuck key that has me really confused. Would this be some sort of safety mechanism due to the dead battery (or almost dead)? I ended up having to take my other car to work and I left the key in the ignition with the taillights flashing away (they never turned off after trying to pop the trunk).

Has anybody experienced this before?

EDIT: UPDATE: after putting the car on a battery charger for a few minutes we were able to get the key out. Now the battery is charging and hopefully I can find the source of the drain after work tonight.
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:58 AM   #2
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I have heard alot of complaints on those tail lights, causing problems just like yours. Thats why I never bought them.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:03 AM   #3
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Try pulling on the steering wheel in either direction while trying to remove the key. Mine sticks sometimes but from pressure from wheels, I guess you call it torque lock. I have let my car sit without starting issues for a month.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:10 AM   #4
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Yes make sure the steering lock is not causing "pressure" on the cylinder.

Just slightly turn the wheel a bit left or right and see . . .
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:17 AM   #5
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I had this happen.hook up jump cables and then you can get your key out. That's what happened to me.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Ray View Post
I have heard alot of complaints on those tail lights, causing problems just like yours. Thats why I never bought them.
I am not ruling this out as the issue, but I don't think this is it only because I was messing around with the electrical power the other day while testing the AAC lights. In order to hook up power to the LED's I used the main power wire to the engine compartment fuse box since it is easy to access. I am hoping that I just didn't tighten it back up. It is on my list to test tonight when I get home. I hope the taillights aren't the cause, because they are one of my favorite mods and I have not had any problems to date!

Quote:
Originally Posted by drrm123 View Post
Try pulling on the steering wheel in either direction while trying to remove the key. Mine sticks sometimes but from pressure from wheels, I guess you call it torque lock. I have let my car sit without starting issues for a month.
That was the first thing I tried. The wheels turn freely, but the key won't budge. I have let mine sit for long periods too without problems, which was part of my confusion this morning.

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Originally Posted by chevy 3 View Post
I had this happen.hook up jump cables and then you can get your key out. That's what happened to me.
I will try this! The more I thought about it it makes sense that the lack of power caused the ignition to lock. Since the fuses for the starter and the ignition are under the hood, I am really leaning toward the loose power wire to the fuse box in the engine compartment. My dad is going to swing by the house in a little while to check it out for me while I am at work and if necessary put the battery on a charger.

Thanks for the input guys. If anyone has any other suggestions, please let me know! It is going to drive me crazy sitting here in the office wondering what it could be until I get home tonight.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:39 AM   #7
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Hope you get it sorted out and find the drain or
what ever to the battery. ~

Dont know why it does that , The key getting stuck
but i have a 2003 S10 Blazer and when its battery
was real low i could not remove the key either.
And i was dumb enuff to do it twice
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver85IrocZ View Post
Hope you get it sorted out and find the drain or
what ever to the battery. ~

Dont know why it does that , The key getting stuck
but i have a 2003 S10 Blazer and when its battery
was real low i could not remove the key either.
And i was dumb enuff to do it twice
Thanks! I hope it's a simple fix. Are you in the St. Louis area? I am too- I live in Glen Carbon, IL but work over in Sunset Hills, MO.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:55 AM   #9
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well hopefully the key being stuck is because of low voltage.
chevy HHRs had a recall last year for the key unable to turn off or remove, we sent two of our customers straight to the dealer unable to turn them off.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:45 AM   #10
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I'm curious.
What is there in the ignition key cylinder that would be able to physically prevent a key from being pulled out?

now, I'm assuming that the key cylinder is turned to the 'off' position.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:58 AM   #11
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When the battery is low the Technostalgia taillights with go in to show mode, and they are always drawing current from the battery, The manufacturer has acknowledged that the lights will eventually drain the battery if the car is not used ofter and you dont use a trickle charger. As of right now the manufacturer doesn't have a solution for this problem.

I have no idea whats the deal with the key not being released. but most definitely looks like the dead battery is the cause here.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:02 PM   #12
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It's a simple fix, done this for a few friends already, you need a heavy duty battery charger and charge the battery up from the posts under the hood, after you get an adequate charge, you will be able to turn the car on, then the key will work normal again!

You will have to reset your windows though, up down a few times with the door closed

this is not any kind of a defect in the auto, it's just the way it works, the key cylinder needs power to release the key, not sure why, but they all do that from what I understand.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:03 PM   #13
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Keep us posted. I agree with you that's its very unlikely the taillights have anything to do with the key/power. I just recently purchased the taillights, haven't installed yet, still looking for a good install video to watch first and warmer weather. Most likely since you were working with the power connections, I'd think that may be the cause. Also, do you have a "mild to wild" switch? Instructions say to keep it in the "OFF" position if its going to be sitting awhile or it can drain the battery.

Have you called/talked to a tech at your dealership service dept? Had mine in a week or so ago to get my warranty tire and new rim installed. I noticed that when the tech was finished he did something that had the lights, all I could see was the back end of my car, flashing in some odd/irregular mode and the horn sounded as well. He wasn't in the car when he did this, so I should of asked him "what the heck was that" but forgot about it when he later handed me the keys. And no it wasn't the alarm. Anyway this could be an on-going problem with Chevy vehicles from what other comments/responses people have posted.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:11 PM   #14
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Thanks again for the advice! The taillights did go into show mode, which now makes sense with the low battery.

I'm curious though why I would need charge the battery on a charger from the front posts and not directly to the battery? Is there a difference?
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:15 PM   #15
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Go to your manual and in driving and operating there's a paragraph on Key Lock Release. I have a 2010 and it's on page 8-19. Yours is probably in that area. Hope this helps.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:33 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deke736 View Post
Thanks again for the advice! The taillights did go into show mode, which now makes sense with the low battery.

I'm curious though why I would need charge the battery on a charger from the front posts and not directly to the battery? Is there a difference?
You can use the posts under the hood or on the battery itself. It's your choice.

I clip mine on the posts of the battery itself, but for others it's just more convienent to use the posts under the hood.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:17 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christianmotox View Post
When the battery is low the Technostalgia taillights with go in to show mode, and they are always drawing current from the battery, The manufacturer has acknowledged that the lights will eventually drain the battery if the car is not used ofter and you dont use a trickle charger. As of right now the manufacturer doesn't have a solution for this problem.

I have no idea whats the deal with the key not being released. but most definitely looks like the dead battery is the cause here.
Looking over all the taillight components, yeah, I can see where they will constantly be using battery power. Fired off an e-mail to the manufacturer and asked what they recommend if the vehicle will not be started for a long period of time. Especially during these freezing winter months. I know that's of no help to you now, but for future reference, it will be good to know what the manufacturer recommends. That way you'll know for sure the cause and how to prevent a reoccurrence. Cant find anything in the instructions that warn about draining the battery. Hopefully I get a response. Not sure how long ago you started her up and for how long (enough to charge the battery) you let her run. Hopefully with a jump/charge she'll start right up! Keep us posted and I'll let you know if I get a response on my e-mail.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:24 PM   #18
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don't know about the taillights, but tugging on the wheel my free the key; now, some of my car guys have suggested that, if the car is going to sit during the winter, a battery charger be put on the battery, because......some of the systems in the car carry what they call a parasitic draw on the battery, so....if it sits for a long time, the battery may well be low or dead.....
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:29 PM   #19
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UPDATE: my dad stopped by the house and the battery had ran completely dead. He put it on a charger and was able to remove the key. He left the battery charging, so hopefully it will be full by the time I get home tonight so I can track down where the electrical draw is coming from. He did not check the power wire for the underhood fuse box (though he did remove my power wires for my JDP halos), so that could still be the culprit!
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:31 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Normagene View Post
Looking over all the taillight components, yeah, I can see where they will constantly be using battery power. Fired off an e-mail to the manufacturer and asked what they recommend if the vehicle will not be started for a long period of time. Especially during these freezing winter months. I know that's of no help to you now, but for future reference, it will be good to know what the manufacturer recommends. That way you'll know for sure the cause and how to prevent a reoccurrence. Cant find anything in the instructions that warn about draining the battery. Hopefully I get a response. Not sure how long ago you started her up and for how long (enough to charge the battery) you let her run. Hopefully with a jump/charge she'll start right up! Keep us posted and I'll let you know if I get a response on my e-mail.
Let me know what you hear back. I do not typically store my car for the winter, but I do occasionally go a week or two without driving it. I just have never had an issue with it sitting for that short of period before.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:34 PM   #21
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Im sorry to hear about that man. I've dealt with the same battery drain issues with the Technostalgia lights. As was meantioned in a post earlier, this problem seems to be more common than original thought. A representative from Technostalgia stated that the taillights will eventually drain the car in a relatively short period of time. It seems to be more of an issue if the car is only a "weekend warrior", or pure car show since the car won't be driven nearly as often as a daily driver.

I started a thread on the battery drain issue a few months ago. Definitely check it out when you have time.
http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=263174

The only thing that can be done so far (without trying to rig up some sort of switch or ignition wiring) is to just buy a charger. I purchased the CTEK US3300, and used the wiring in the kit to make it a simply plug-n-play application from the post in the engine bay. It's way easier when it comes to where my outlet is located near the front of my vehicle, and I can keep the charger outside of the car on the ground to allow for proper ventilation. Somewhere in my build thread (you'll probably need to search CTEK installation or something along those lines), I have pictures of how I installed everything, and it wasn't hard by any means.

To be honest, just because an owner decides not to use the car as a daily driver, I don't think a battery charger should be needed to keep the battery from dying due to aftermarket taillights. The problem shouldn't occur to begin. However, it is what it is with these Technostalgia taillights. When the time comes, I'll be switching mine out for something else that I already have in mind. Technostalgias aren't worth the hassle, especially since I've had two dead batteries after the installation of the taillights within 2.5 months apart from occurrences.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:50 PM   #22
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Go to your manual and in driving and operating there's a paragraph on Key Lock Release. I have a 2010 and it's on page 8-19. Yours is probably in that area. Hope this helps.
^This, if you have an auto there is a plug on the column under the key you can remove, then stick in a screwdriver and remove the key.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:54 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Deke736 View Post
Thanks! I hope it's a simple fix. Are you in the St. Louis area? I am too- I live in Glen Carbon, IL but work over in Sunset Hills, MO.
Yea i am over in Granite City !
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:22 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCAT View Post
Im sorry to hear about that man. I've dealt with the same battery drain issues with the Technostalgia lights. As was meantioned in a post earlier, this problem seems to be more common than original thought. A representative from Technostalgia stated that the taillights will eventually drain the car in a relatively short period of time. It seems to be more of an issue if the car is only a "weekend warrior", or pure car show since the car won't be driven nearly as often as a daily driver.

I started a thread on the battery drain issue a few months ago. Definitely check it out when you have time.
http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=263174

The only thing that can be done so far (without trying to rig up some sort of switch or ignition wiring) is to just buy a charger. I purchased the CTEK US3300, and used the wiring in the kit to make it a simply plug-n-play application from the post in the engine bay. It's way easier when it comes to where my outlet is located near the front of my vehicle, and I can keep the charger outside of the car on the ground to allow for proper ventilation. Somewhere in my build thread (you'll probably need to search CTEK installation or something along those lines), I have pictures of how I installed everything, and it wasn't hard by any means.

To be honest, just because an owner decides not to use the car as a daily driver, I don't think a battery charger should be needed to keep the battery from dying due to aftermarket taillights. The problem shouldn't occur to begin. However, it is what it is with these Technostalgia taillights. When the time comes, I'll be switching mine out for something else that I already have in mind. Technostalgias aren't worth the hassle, especially since I've had two dead batteries after the installation of the taillights within 2.5 months apart from occurrences.
Thanks man! I have been following your thread hoping the same problem doesn't happen to me. I am still not convinced the tails are the cause of the problem (at least that is what I am telling myself) until I can spend a little time tonight checking everything out. I have had my taillights in since July without a single issue until today, and it has sat for longer periods previously. I am really hoping I just didn't tighten the fuse box power wire down when I was testing the AAC scanner last week and it caused a slow drain over the past week. Worse cast, I will hook up my battery tender during extended periods of sitting.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:25 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deke736 View Post
Thanks man! I have been following your thread hoping the same problem doesn't happen to me. I am still not convinced the tails are the cause of the problem (at least that is what I am telling myself) until I can spend a little time tonight checking everything out. I have had my taillights in since July without a single issue until today, and it has sat for longer periods previously. I am really hoping I just didn't tighten the fuse box power wire down when I was testing the AAC scanner last week and it caused a slow drain over the past week. Worse cast, I will hook up my battery tender during extended periods of sitting.
Very true man, as you may be in luck considering you've had them for long enough with any occurrences before. It may be something incredibly simple like you stated. Good luck and I hope you find it soon!
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