Ok, never had this one happen to me before. Go to shut down the jeep (97 TJ, 2.4L 5-speed), and the key gets stuck in the ignition switch. Won't turn at all, can't start the jeep and can't remove the key, and pressing the key-release button is no help. I think i'm going to have to replace the ignition cylinder. I took the covers off around the column so I could get a good look and I see two safety-torx screws that holds what looks like the cylinder sits in. Is that it? Can it be that easy? I don't have to disassemble the entire steering column to get it out? Any info would be greatly appreciated.
Check to make sure that you did not park with the wheels turned locking the steering in some weird position. I have never had this problem with my Jeep but my Explorer Sport Trac used to do that all the time. Just try to turn the key (like normal) while moving the steering wheel back and forth.
Good advice. Make sure you didn't shut it off in something other than park if you have an auto, as this can sometimes cause it to lock up. Turn the key back and forth while trying to turn the wheel back and forth. mine has done this twice, and unlocked itself after a few moments.
Ryan - A good eye, a light foot, and a smart rig. Bolt-ons are boring
Tried turning the steering wheel back and forth while trying to move the key in any direction with no luck. Also, the steering wheel lock is not engaged which tells me that the ignition switch is not turned back far enough to release it.
Any other ideas?
I just got my new steering column in the mail. Turns out my steering column was cracked, so nothing would line up right. The ignition pin is probably what's stuck. You just undo the screws and pull the switch off the back end first. Then the pin, then the tumbler. It's quite simple actually. I've been starting mine with a screw driver for almost a year. Finally broke down and bought now parts I found someone parting out. If the pin is just cracked or broken, the replacement part is fairly cheap, but if the column is cracked, you'll have to find a new one. Anyways, the only hard part to remove is the tumblr itself. When the key is turned to the on position you can remove the tumbler easily. If not, it's a little bit tougher. pm me if you need some help. My guess is your pin broke.
'97 TJ "Earl"- i6, 5 speed, Runk steel bumpers front and back, CB. Everything else, stock