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Interesting issue and fix for my new-to-me Saturn #4752911
05/10/18 11:19 AM
05/10/18 11:19 AM
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,038
PA,US
HemiHawk Offline OP
HemiHawk  Offline OP

Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,038
PA,US
So I had to buy a car recently for a relative (long story). I ended up with a 2006 Saturn Ion. After some research (before buying) it has some decent components... 2.2 EcoTec, 4-speed trans that was used in V6 models so its beefier than the years before 06.

But there was an issue... The key didn't unlock the trunk or either doors. It worked the ignition fine. So the only way into the car was the key fob. My first task for the car was getting the GM ignition recall done for safety reasons. The other open recall was for the assisted power-steering so that was replaced at the same time.

So heres the neat/not neat part. With the ignition recall you are given two brand new keys cut to the code of the VIN. So essentially new keys like the car was brand new. Those new sharp cut keys work all the door and trunk locks.

All this to say... It appears if you never use your key to unlock the doors its possible the ignition and key will wear together, but the door locks will not wear the same. I never saw this as a problem until testing all the things you would on a used car. I wonder how many people out there don't realize that if their key fob died their key wouldn't let them in the car??


2016 Nissan Frontier Pro4x
2017 VW GTI sport
1995 Mustang GTS
Re: Interesting issue and fix for my new-to-me Saturn [Re: HemiHawk] #4752948
05/10/18 11:58 AM
05/10/18 11:58 AM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 3,996
United States of America
mjoekingz28 Offline
mjoekingz28  Offline

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 3,996
United States of America
Neato-O!

Quite interesting.

Re: Interesting issue and fix for my new-to-me Saturn [Re: HemiHawk] #4752955
05/10/18 12:07 PM
05/10/18 12:07 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 427
California
VeryNoisyPoet Offline
VeryNoisyPoet  Offline

Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 427
California
Interesting. Seems some keys and locks that wear down faster than others. My car still has the original keys. They look no different from the valet key that never gets used besides some scuffing. They work in front door lock, tailgate lock, and glovebox lock just fine.

Would have been cool to see a side by side comparison of your old worn-out key and the new key if there was any visual signs of it getting worn down and changing shape.


1998 V70 GLT / 202k miles [10w-30 Valvoline Syn w/ Maxlife Tech + Mann W917 filter]

"Use yah blinkah!"

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Re: Interesting issue and fix for my new-to-me Saturn [Re: HemiHawk] #4753007
05/10/18 01:03 PM
05/10/18 01:03 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,122
Lima, Ohio, USA
earlyre Offline
earlyre  Offline

Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,122
Lima, Ohio, USA
so you're saying i should key unlock my sable every so often... the ONLY external lock cyl in in the drivers door...

that's also bad news for some late model Chrysler products. there was a run for a few years, my brother's 07 Dakota included, that if you unlock it with the key, vs the fob, it sets off the alarm...every time.


hrm... I wonder if my buddy should look into getting some vin cut keys for his vibe....since he bought it(120kmi 2010), they key only works in the ignition, but it's now worn down to the point he can remove the key with the engine running... and it stays running...(2003 MY, fast approaching 225k mi)

Last edited by earlyre; 05/10/18 01:07 PM.

Mine:
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Re: Interesting issue and fix for my new-to-me Saturn [Re: HemiHawk] #4753021
05/10/18 01:15 PM
05/10/18 01:15 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 13,150
NH
supton Offline
supton  Offline

Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 13,150
NH
Hmm, wife's car and my car don't have transponders, but I bet we'd have the same problem: we lock maybe a tenth of the time we use the cars. Maybe less. On the good side we have multiple keys, and only one key takes all the wear (per vehicle), thus giving us leeway on key (or car) replacement.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 179k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 146k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 202k, his
Re: Interesting issue and fix for my new-to-me Saturn [Re: HemiHawk] #4753030
05/10/18 01:20 PM
05/10/18 01:20 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 4,658
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
zzyzzx Offline
zzyzzx  Offline

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 4,658
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
That's why I keep an original unused new key for the car that I use to have copies made from.

Re: Interesting issue and fix for my new-to-me Saturn [Re: VeryNoisyPoet] #4753039
05/10/18 01:26 PM
05/10/18 01:26 PM
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,038
PA,US
HemiHawk Offline OP
HemiHawk  Offline OP

Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,038
PA,US
Originally Posted By: VeryNoisyPoet
Interesting. Seems some keys and locks that wear down faster than others. My car still has the original keys. They look no different from the valet key that never gets used besides some scuffing. They work in front door lock, tailgate lock, and glovebox lock just fine.

Would have been cool to see a side by side comparison of your old worn-out key and the new key if there was any visual signs of it getting worn down and changing shape.


I wish I kept the old one, but I think they got rid of it. I was noticeably smoothed out. I'm sure the metal was cheap and weak. The car has 150k miles on it so it was used in the ignition a good bit.


2016 Nissan Frontier Pro4x
2017 VW GTI sport
1995 Mustang GTS
Re: Interesting issue and fix for my new-to-me Saturn [Re: HemiHawk] #4753048
05/10/18 01:32 PM
05/10/18 01:32 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 11,947
Santa Barbara, CA
bdcardinal Online content
bdcardinal  Online Content

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 11,947
Santa Barbara, CA
Originally Posted By: HemiHawk
So I had to buy a car recently for a relative (long story). I ended up with a 2006 Saturn Ion. After some research (before buying) it has some decent components... 2.2 EcoTec, 4-speed trans that was used in V6 models so its beefier than the years before 06.

But there was an issue... The key didn't unlock the trunk or either doors. It worked the ignition fine. So the only way into the car was the key fob. My first task for the car was getting the GM ignition recall done for safety reasons. The other open recall was for the assisted power-steering so that was replaced at the same time.

So heres the neat/not neat part. With the ignition recall you are given two brand new keys cut to the code of the VIN. So essentially new keys like the car was brand new. Those new sharp cut keys work all the door and trunk locks.

All this to say... It appears if you never use your key to unlock the doors its possible the ignition and key will wear together, but the door locks will not wear the same. I never saw this as a problem until testing all the things you would on a used car. I wonder how many people out there don't realize that if their key fob died their key wouldn't let them in the car??


Yup it is extremely common. Ford only grants dealers access to key cut codes back 10 years. When someone comes in with a vehicle more than lets say 14-15 years old and has their code, the keys usually do not work in the ignition. At that point we sell them a new ignition tumbler and I build it to the code.


2014 Ford Mustang GT Track Pack
1995 Ford Mustang GT

Ford/Mazda Parts Counter
NRA Benefactor Member
Opinions expressed are my own.
Re: Interesting issue and fix for my new-to-me Saturn [Re: HemiHawk] #4753074
05/10/18 01:48 PM
05/10/18 01:48 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,469
Wisconsin
Black_Thunder Offline
Black_Thunder  Offline

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,469
Wisconsin
I know the door tumblers are a little more precise then the key tumbler so the more wear on the key then the door locks sounds normal but maybe from the door tumblers never been rotated they are seized?


I had an issue with a couple of my vehicles where the door tumblers wouldn't turn with the factory key but after soaking the inside of the tumbler with penetrating oil I was eventually able to work the tumblers free and then just made sure to manually unlock the doors here and there to keep them freed up.


I'd buy Callahan autoparts if I could.
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