Edmunds Answers



  • karjunkie 12/11/08 3:42 pm PST

    Sorry to hear that! Normally the "hold and jiggle" works. The problem with removing the ignition switch right now is that it is locked. Normally, to remove the ignition tumbler, the key has to be turned to the ACC position and you push the release button that is near the switch under the plastic cowl covering the steering column. I would try removing the plastic cowling and drenching everything under there with WD-40 or any other penetrating oil. Let it soak in and try the "hold and jiggle" procedure again. If that doesn't work, a locksmith will have to pull the ignition with a special tool and do some damage to the steering column. So try the soaking with oil solution first. Good luck!

  • Stever@Edmunds 12/11/08 3:49 pm PST

    I'd give Karjunkie's jiggle suggestion one more try (or ask someone else to try). The owner's manual says "To unlock the steering wheel, insert the key and turn it gently while rotating the steering wheel slightly right or left."

  • psychobillyman 12/17/08 6:01 pm PST

    Wow, I'm having this same exact problem with my 1998 Pathfinder. Now my truck is stuck at my parking structure at work and I'm pretty much screwed. I removed the column plastic, I wonder if I took a saw with me if I could cut the front of the lock it get the tumbler out and use a screw driver to start it and disengage the column lock. But, I'm not sure what the two little wires do that go to the top of the ignition switch. Any words of advice, unfortunately I'm about as broke as them come right now so paying for my truck to get towed and repaired somewhere is really an option.



  • Stever@Edmunds 12/17/08 7:11 pm PST

    If the key isn't stuck, try a different key. Maybe try some graphite or WD-40 spray. Otherwise it looks like both of you are going to have to replace the ignition cylinder. Sometimes you can get them cheaper at a salvage yard, if you don't mind having different keys for the ignition and doors.

  • kzak 12/19/08 4:36 pm PST

    Thank you all for your help. I did end up having to replace the whole ignition lock assembly which I bought from Nissan. Unfortunately, though, they didnt tell me when I bought it that the (new) keys would have to be programmed. I switched out the ignitions at home and couldnt start the car!! I had to have it towed to Nissan so they could program the new keys...


Top Electrical Ignition Experts View More

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1. zaken1 2075
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4. docj 685
5. tony78 420
6. 0patience 275
7. Stever@Edmunds 220