Oldsmobile Aurora Key Stuck- Shifter Won't Move

My 2001 Oldsmobile Aurora ignition key sometimes cannot be removed. This only happens on hot summer days here in Houston, 85-100 deg, after the car has sat in the sun all day long. At the end of the day I start the car normally and drive about a 1.5 miles. Stop, put the car in park and turn off the engine. The engine stops and then the key will not rotate to the off position. It stops just a little past the accessory position. Transmission is not locked at this point. If I drive longer (i.e. further) the problem is not present. This problem started last summer but all this past winter the problem did not occur once, it came back this summer. It fails like this one out of three trips.

I have tried many tricks to figure out what is going on and overcome the problem. I Play with the key, shifter, brake, and the only thing that works fairly consistently is to restart the engine, place shifter into drive, hold brake and load engine to 1500 rpm for 5-7 sec. Them immediately put shifter into park and turn off engine. 6 out of ten times this works. Otherwise I sit for four to ten minutes with engine idling or driving around parking lot until key will come out.

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So the problem seems to have two core links, high ambient temp combined with a very short trip. GM dealer cannot duplicate so they say they don’t know what to repair? Do you have any experience with this problem or know of a course of action to diagnose the problem?

Hello and welcome. Have had this problem with several other cars with floor shifter, just not specifically an Aurora. With what you describe, it sounds like the shift lock solenoid or mechanism in the floor shifter console is not working properly. That may be caused by a faulty solenoid, or possibly the adjustment of the shifter cable. With the shifter/cable not fully in park, the solenoid will not activate.

Usually play with key and shifter will allow it to go fully into park and release the key. I spoke with our transmission Tech. SF, and he agrees. He also added that he has had a FEW worn shifter cables also do this, which may be why brake torque of the engine you described works.

The movement of the engine may be enough to get the shifter/cable all the way to park. Sometimes spilling liquid(coffee, pop, etc) can also cause a linkage or shift lock solenoid in the floor shifter to stick after it has been in there a while. This could be the reason for happening in hot weather- liquid gets sticky. If you would like to try and repair yourself, let me know and i will try to help.

P.S. Getting the upper plate off the center console to gain access is quite a difficult task. Very easy to crack Let me know if you need more help.

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